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Watch as author George Maestri employs the basic principles of animation to bring to life simple 3D characters in Maya. Starting with an overview of the character rig, this course provides guidelines for arranging stock characters into strong poses and explains how to generate locomotion between poses in a modular fashion. The course includes step-by-step instructions on animating realistic gestures, walks, runs, facial expressions, and dialogue, and culminates with an animated scene built entirely from scratch.
Prerequisite courses: Maya 2011 Essential Training.
Now we've animated all of the external forces acting upon the character. And as you can see, he definitely looks like he's in motion, but there's really no intention from the character himself. He is kind of being pushed around like a rag doll. So let's first of all analyze this scene a little bit. What is the character's intention? Well, my thought was that the character doesn't want to be pushed around. He wants to stay stable. So the first thing we want to do is try and get him to force himself to instead of being pushed back so far, to try and resist that.
So we can do that by starting with some hip motion. So I am going to go ahead and again select the hips. Now in order for him to actually push against the force, he needs some leverage. And with his feet straight like this or with his knees straight like this, he's not going to be able to get the leverage he needs to act against the force that's dragging him back. So at frame 5 I want to move him down and forward a little bit and what that's going to do is give the impression that he is consciously dropping his weight to get a little bit more leverage.
So now he's got that and now I can rotate him forward at frame 8 to try and get him into that position. So now it gives a little bit more sense of motion. Let's try that again. That feels like it has a lot more intention than the one that's pushing him back. So we can do the same thing on the other side. So as he moves back, again, he needs to get leverage so that he can act upon it, which means he's going to drop his hips, and then a few frames past that he is going to try and rotate himself up a little bit, so he has a little bit more sense of balance.
So even with that it gives a little bit more of a sense of motion. But we can also give a little bit more intention, say for example when he's moving back. So when he's going back this way, I know that if I'm being pulled back I want to see where I am going. I don't want to just be pulled back and not look over my shoulder to see where I'm going. So at this point I am also going to start rotating his hip. So I am going to back at frame 30, rotate his hips, and then at frame 33 rotate them a little bit more, maybe even lift him up a little bit.
So again, I want him to be looking over his shoulders. And now even at frame 40 I am going to kind of turn the hips a little bit. Now again, I'm just playing with the hips. We will move up the spine to kind of rotate his shoulders as we go. Again, I just want to work with the hips a little bit. So let's see what that looks like. That gives him a little bit more intention. So let's go ahead and keep playing with this. I am going to select the spine and then we're going to do is some more rotation.
So as he rotates forward, I actually want to kind of rotate his shoulders a little bit so then as he comes up I want him to straighten up. In fact, I am just going to snag a straight spine from frame 1. So I am going to go ahead and copy and paste that spine at say around frame 33 or 34 and then rotate him a little bit. I'm not worrying about the arms at this point. And then I want him to again be straightened up.
So let's take a look at what this looks like. So now he is getting a bit of a sense of, okay, I am looking over my shoulder. Well, let's go ahead and actually make him look over his shoulder. So as he comes back I want to rotate that head and kind of cock it, and again I want to try and get a nice line of action here, so what I'm looking here at this kind of almost like an S-shape here. And that will kind of give me a little bit stronger sense of motion here. So then as he looks over his shoulder, again I want to straighten out that head.
Now I don't have anything happening with the arms. Again, we have to also give action to the arms, but let's go ahead and play with that in the next lesson.
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