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Creating blend shapes

From: Maya 2011 Essential Training

Video: Creating blend shapes

Now, there are going to be times when you want to animate the shape of something. You want be able to move from one shape to another. Maya's Blend Shapes really helps with that. Let me show you some real basics of it, and then we'll apply it to our character. So, let's go ahead and just create a simple object here, and let's say I have a sphere and I am going to go ahead and duplicate it.

Creating blend shapes

Now, there are going to be times when you want to animate the shape of something. You want be able to move from one shape to another. Maya's Blend Shapes really helps with that. Let me show you some real basics of it, and then we'll apply it to our character. So, let's go ahead and just create a simple object here, and let's say I have a sphere and I am going to go ahead and duplicate it.

Do Ctrl+D, duplicate it, and then Shift+D to duplicate it again. So, this original sphere, I am going to go ahead and keep that the way it is. Then I am going to create to what I call shapes. So, I am going to select some vertices of these, and maybe even go into soft selection, so make sure I have that turned on, and just kind of deform one of these spheres.

Then go ahead into the other one and deform the second one in a slightly different way. So, now I have these three objects here. Now, they all were created based upon the same objects. So, I've got this sphere and then I have got the same sphere basically with just a different shape, and this one has another one. It's the same object, just a different shape. Now, what I can do is I can actually animate between all of these shapes using what's called Blend Shape.

Now all I have to do is Shift+Select the shapes I want to use and then my master object. So, I select my master object last. So, in this case I am going to select my sphere last. You know it's selected last when it's bright green and everything else is white. Then all I have to do is make sure I go into Animation and then under Create Deformers at the top of the list we have one called Blend Shape. So when I do that, well not much happens. But actually something happens behind the scene.

So, if we look down here under INPUTS we have what's called blendShape, and we have a value for each one of these. So, Sphere3 and Sphere2 each can now contribute to this. Probably the easiest way to do this is by using an Animation Editor called Blend Shape. When I open that up it brings up this little floating window and it allows me to use these sliders to dial in each one of these shapes. So, if I wanted to look like this one, I dial it in.

If I wanted to look like that one, I dial it in. If I wanted half one and half the other, then I can dial that in as well. This is a really great way to create all sorts of shape animation. So, for example, you could have a flowing blade of grass. You could animate between those. Or in this case with Character Animation you can use it for blinks. You can use it for mouse shapes, such as dialog, that sort of thing. It's very handy for a lot of different applications. So, let me show you an application that works for our character.

I am going to go ahead and open a scene, Dog_18, and this is our basic dog. Now, what we've got is I've created a second head for the dog. So, let's go ahead and do a simple blink. So, I am going to go ahead and just take this head and duplicate it. Then I am going to take my duplication and I am going to model it. So, we are going to go ahead and select some vertices.

Soft Selection, I still have Soft Selection on, which actually will help with this. Then I can just go ahead and start manipulating my surface. All I have to do is just go ahead and select the vertices for the upper and lower lid and dial them closed. Well, I am going to go ahead and just do it very quickly. Once we do that, all I have to do is select this, select my head, and then just do Blend Shape.

Go to my Blend Shape window and you can see I'm getting a blink, but it's not quite the same. I am actually going to go ahead and Delete History on this. Let's go ahead and just use my preset head here. So, I've got in my Outliner. You'll find there's an actual object here called Head_Blink. Then all we have to do is do Display > Show > Selection. You can see that I've actually modeled that.

It took a little bit of time, so I didn't want to go through that whole process. But all I did was exactly what I did before. Took the head, copied it and then modeled it, so that I have the blink. So, all I have to do is select this head, select the head that I'm using, Create > Blend Shape. So, now that I have that Blend Shape, I can go in to my Animation Editors and now I've got a very nice blink. You got to make sure that as these things blink that they come out and completely cover the eye, because the eyes are somehwat spherical.

So, now I've got my character so that he can blink. Now, this Blend Shape can be used for all sorts of things. You could obviously use it for mouth position. So, if you want to open his mouth or make him smile, do that sort of stuff, you can certainly do that. You can also use it in any other type of organic animations. So, if you wanted to just model a couple of different shapes, you can then just blend between those. It's really a great way to animate.

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This video is part of

Image for Maya 2011 Essential Training
Maya 2011 Essential Training

115 video lessons · 26163 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 34s
    2. Using the exercise files
      26s
    3. A note on screen resolution
      1m 50s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of the Maya interface
      7m 42s
    2. Working with files and Maya projects
      2m 27s
    3. Navigating viewports
      5m 56s
    4. Reviewing the Viewport menus
      6m 28s
    5. Configuring safe frames and grids
      3m 21s
    6. Selecting objects
      4m 33s
    7. Using the Move tool
      3m 48s
    8. Rotating and scaling
      4m 31s
    9. Manipulating pivots
      3m 59s
    10. Understanding the Channel Box
      5m 36s
    11. Working with the Attribute Editor
      2m 28s
    12. Using the Hotbox
      2m 59s
    13. Working with marking menus
      3m 6s
    14. Customizing the interface
      3m 36s
  3. 59m 25s
    1. Creating polygonal objects
      6m 28s
    2. Working with polygonal components
      4m 42s
    3. Selecting polygonal components
      5m 44s
    4. Working with Soft Select
      7m 3s
    5. Using the Extrude tool
      6m 47s
    6. Keeping faces together
      2m 42s
    7. Extruding along curves
      3m 27s
    8. Using the Polygon Bevel tool
      4m 14s
    9. Smooth and subdivision surfaces
      7m 6s
    10. Blocking out a character body
      11m 12s
  4. 36m 6s
    1. Working with edge loops
      3m 27s
    2. Inserting and offsetting edge loops
      3m 38s
    3. Symmetrical modeling techniques
      5m 53s
    4. Combining objects
      3m 50s
    5. Using the Polygon Bridge tool
      2m 7s
    6. Connecting components and splitting polygons
      2m 48s
    7. Poking and wedging faces
      2m 49s
    8. Working with polygon booleans
      3m 17s
    9. Modeling with nonlinear deformers
      4m 54s
    10. Modeling with lattices
      3m 23s
  5. 1h 18m
    1. Introducing NURBS modeling
      5m 3s
    2. NURBS primitives
      5m 54s
    3. Using the NURBS curve tools
      5m 7s
    4. Creating Bézier curves
      1m 59s
    5. Creating text
      3m 51s
    6. Manipulating NURBS curves
      4m 13s
    7. Refining NURBS curves
      4m 16s
    8. Offsetting NURBS curves
      2m 31s
    9. Editing NURBS surfaces
      7m 3s
    10. Refining NURBS surfaces
      7m 22s
    11. Using NURBS Revolve
      7m 31s
    12. Using NURBS Loft
      4m 11s
    13. Using NURBS Extrude
      6m 0s
    14. Using NURBS Planar
      4m 47s
    15. Stitching NURBS surfaces
      8m 52s
  6. 35m 53s
    1. Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces
      5m 57s
    2. Creating curves on a surface
      3m 53s
    3. Projecting curves on surfaces
      7m 2s
    4. Trimming NURBS surfaces
      3m 42s
    5. Using the NURBS Fillet tool
      5m 31s
    6. Sculpting NURBS and polygonal surfaces
      5m 52s
    7. Converting NURBS to polygons
      3m 56s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Working with the Outliner
      4m 58s
    2. Grouping objects
      4m 2s
    3. Creating hierarchies
      4m 17s
    4. Duplicating objects
      4m 51s
    5. Understanding the Hypergraph
      3m 32s
    6. Working with Hypergraph connections
      2m 31s
    7. Hiding and showing objects
      2m 12s
    8. Creating layers
      4m 2s
    9. Working with selection masks
      2m 57s
  8. 40m 18s
    1. Overview of renderers
      3m 24s
    2. Understand the basics of materials
      6m 15s
    3. Creating and applying maps
      5m 13s
    4. Using bitmaps as texture
      2m 59s
    5. Working with the Hypershade window
      5m 12s
    6. Working with mental ray materials
      6m 57s
    7. Using displacement and bump mapping
      3m 14s
    8. Using the Ramp Shader
      2m 36s
    9. Using the 3D Paint tool
      4m 28s
  9. 30m 14s
    1. Texture-mapping NURBS surfaces
      5m 46s
    2. Projecting textures onto surfaces
      4m 0s
    3. Texture-mapping polygonal surfaces
      7m 0s
    4. Applying UV mapping
      8m 11s
    5. Using the UVW Editor
      5m 17s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Creating joints
      10m 2s
    2. Deforming a mesh using the Skin tool
      5m 2s
    3. Creating IK handles
      6m 48s
    4. Creating blend shapes
      5m 39s
    5. Rigging nonlinear deformers
      2m 36s
    6. Finalizing the character
      4m 45s
    7. Rigging the character to the scooter
      6m 24s
  11. 1h 5m
    1. Working with the Timeline
      4m 16s
    2. Creating and adjusting keys (keyframes)
      5m 4s
    3. Editing keys
      3m 13s
    4. Modifying keys in the Graph Editor
      5m 47s
    5. Modifying keys in the Dope Sheet
      2m 51s
    6. Creating breakdown keys
      2m 28s
    7. Animating objects along paths
      5m 54s
    8. Animation playback using Playblast
      3m 10s
    9. Animating with constraints
      6m 16s
    10. Creating animation cycles
      8m 25s
    11. Using set-driven keys
      6m 13s
    12. Adding sound to animations
      2m 24s
    13. Finishing the animation
      9m 45s
  12. 1h 2m
    1. Lights and lighting types in Maya
      7m 29s
    2. Adding depth-map shadows
      4m 13s
    3. Using Raytrace shadows
      3m 28s
    4. Understanding the basics of cameras
      7m 14s
    5. Adding depth of field
      6m 31s
    6. Adding Bokeh using mental ray
      4m 33s
    7. Using motion blur in Maya Software Renderer
      4m 10s
    8. Using motion blur in mental ray
      3m 5s
    9. Raytracing reflections and refractions
      4m 41s
    10. Interactive rendering with IPR
      3m 33s
    11. Lighting a scene
      8m 29s
    12. Batch rendering
      4m 53s
  13. 25s
    1. Goodbye
      25s

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