Maya 2009 New Features
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating animation layers


From:

Maya 2009 New Features

with George Maestri

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Creating animation layers

Now let's take a look at how to create layers. I have the same file open, Simple_WalkRun and this has that walk and run cycle in it. So I am just going to go ahead and scroll back and what we are going to do is we are going to create an animation layer. Now you can do that by going here and we can actually create empty layer, or create layer from selected. You can actually create layers, or create layers from selected here with these two buttons as well.
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Maya 2009 New Features
1h 40m Intermediate Dec 11, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Maya 2009 New Features, George Maestri demonstrates several breakthrough updates in the latest version of this 3D modeling, rendering, and animation tool. He explores the upgrades to the interface and covers soft selection and other modeling tools. George then delves into more complex new features, including the Asset Manager for organizing objects and nodes within a scene; animation layering to blend, merge, group, reorder, override, and add to preceding layers; Maya Muscle, for creating lifelike skin motion; and nParticles, a new particle system. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Working with the new interface
  • Organizing assets
  • Creating muscles
  • Sculpting muscle shapes
  • Working with nParticles
  • Creating emitters
  • Animating with layers
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
George Maestri

Creating animation layers

Now let's take a look at how to create layers. I have the same file open, Simple_WalkRun and this has that walk and run cycle in it. So I am just going to go ahead and scroll back and what we are going to do is we are going to create an animation layer. Now you can do that by going here and we can actually create empty layer, or create layer from selected. You can actually create layers, or create layers from selected here with these two buttons as well.

Let's go ahead and create a layer that has the body of the character. So if I click on this sphere, it's actually called Body and let's go Layers > Create Layer from Selected. And what this does is it creates a new layer here called Animlayer1. This layer only has that body object in it; it doesn't have any other objects. So if I animate anything else, that animation will go into a different layer. So you have to be careful when you actually create layers that you put exactly what you want to animate into those layers.

So I am going to hit my Move key and let's go ahead and animate this character walking under something low. So as he walks I want that body to drop down. So all I have to do is just set a key and then move it forward and drop the body, maybe set another key and then lift them back up. So what you can see here is that as this character walks that additional animation is layered on top of it.

So anything in Animlayer1 is laid on top of anything that's below it. So if I play this and I mute it, you can see it goes away. If I solo it, you can see that this is the only thing that animates, is that the body going down, and coming back up. Now if I want, I can actually add to that layer. So let's go ahead and select, in fact, let's go to our Outliner, let's go ahead and select the left ankle here. And as he goes down, you'll notice how that foot kind of gets stuck underneath him. Now we can certainly use animation layers to fix that, but before I do this, I need to make sure I add that ankle into the layer I am going to work with. So if I select this Animlayer1, right-click and go Add Selected Objects-- that's very important.

So now, let's go ahead and set a keyframe here somewhere around 50 and then as it comes out, I am just going to move that foot out and then I want to just copy and paste that other key. So now you can see I have just added that kind of foot going out to the side. Now again, if I solo this, you can see what's happening. In fact, it just goes down, the foot goes out and it comes back up.

Now when I mix that with everything else, look what you get. So you can see how this can be very, very effective, particularly when using things like cycles or motion capture, or other types of complex animation, you can go in and just do some very quick tweaks to your existing animation and be done with it. Again, I want to make sure that you understand this. You have to very careful as to what is in specific layers. Now if you want to see what's in any given layer, you can go into the Layers menu, and go to this little menu option here called Membership. And what this does, is it gives you the Relationship Editor, and all you have to do is just open up any one of these layers and it will tell you exactly what's in there.

So this one has the body, translate, rotate, scale, handles for the toes and the ankles and then this one animation layer here, Animlayer1, just has the body and the ankle. It doesn't have both ankles and it doesn't have the toes either. So you can see how it's very easy to set up these layers and add additional animation on top of something that you already have. So let's go ahead and move on from here.

There are currently no FAQs about Maya 2009 New Features.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Maya 2009 New Features.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.