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Creating the main poses

From: Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

Video: Creating the main poses

In this last chapter, we're going to work on acting. What we're going to do is take a full piece of dialog and animate the full character acting to that dialog. Now typically, we do this pose by pose. When you read out a track in dialog, what you want to do is get the basic poses that the character will hit at various points in the track. So let's listen to the track that we're going to use for this lesson. (Character: Ha! It worked. Prepare to meet your doom! Ha! It worked. Prepare to meet your doom!) So this track is fairly broad.

Creating the main poses

In this last chapter, we're going to work on acting. What we're going to do is take a full piece of dialog and animate the full character acting to that dialog. Now typically, we do this pose by pose. When you read out a track in dialog, what you want to do is get the basic poses that the character will hit at various points in the track. So let's listen to the track that we're going to use for this lesson. (Character: Ha! It worked. Prepare to meet your doom! Ha! It worked. Prepare to meet your doom!) So this track is fairly broad.

It's actually a little over the top. So it will have some broad acting to go with it, and this will be good because we can actually see these points fairly clearly. When you go through a track like this, you want to understand exactly what the character is doing at each individual point. Now, you may listen to the track many times and kind of act it out yourself. I like to thumbnail-out poses; you may want to work out the poses in Maya. Whatever it takes to get a rough idea as to what you want the character to do.

So let's go through this track a little bit at a time to try and understand what the mood of the character is and what the major points are. And then we'll look at some poses, and then we'll move on from there. So the first one is, well, what is he doing before? What is the moment before this track hits? Well, obviously, he is looking at something and reacting to something. So in the very first frame we want him to be kind of looking offscreen at whatever it is that he is reacting to, and then he's going to react.

So that's actually going to be a very broad motion. He is going to be looking and then he's going to react, then he is going to say, "Ha!" And then we have a little bit of a realization. So he realizes that whatever happened, it worked. Okay, so he's going to get happy. So he's going ha, react. It worked, realization. Then after that, he makes this declaration. (Character: Prepare to meet your doom!) So with this, I would like to have at least two major poses, which is, when he says "prepare," I almost want him to be declaring almost like he is in a speech.

Then when he says "doom," I like him to actually point at the person he's threatening. So with all that in mind I'm going to show you very quickly what the poses are that I think would work for this scene. So I've just sketched these out on a piece of paper and scanned them in. So basically, he starts by looking offscreen. He is kind of focusing intently on something that's happening. Then he reacts. He says, "Ha! It worked." So now he is really happy. So he has kind of got his hands up to his chest, almost like he's proud.

Then he goes into this declaration, "Prepare to meet your doom!" And then when he has doom, we're going to have him point. So, however you get your poses, you want to make sure that you have a pretty clear roadmap as to what you're going to do in the scene. The next step after this is to actually block out your poses and actually pose your character for each individual pose that you want in the scene. Now, I've already done this just to save time. We don't want to go through the process of making all these poses.

We've been through posing and the process of that before, so I don't need to rehash all of that. So let's just take a look at the poses that I've created in Maya. Now, this actually starts on frame 0, but I've put the poses every 2 frames. So here he is looking offscreen, and he goes, "Ha!" So basically, he just kind of comes up. Then he says, "It worked. Prepare to meet your doom." So all told, I think I have about six poses in here.

Now this one I'm not going to use because it's actually at frame 0, but I like having that neutral pose at frame 0. Then we've got a couple of different poses. What I want you to do is to go through the scene and block out your poses. Now what I've done is I've blocked these out just every couple of frames, so then we'll actually time them against the soundtrack to begin the animation.

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This video is part of

Image for Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

65 video lessons · 10015 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 22m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
    3. Character rig overview: Simple character
      6m 19s
    4. Character rig overview: Full character
      7m 30s
    5. Using other rigs
      48s
    6. Using screen drawing tools for Windows
      3m 9s
    7. Using screen drawing tools for the Mac
      2m 14s
  2. 23m 47s
    1. Creating strong poses
      3m 27s
    2. Creating custom MEL scripts to help pose characters
      4m 39s
    3. Using layers to select characters
      1m 10s
    4. Learning the basics of posing characters
      10m 7s
    5. Creating stock poses
      4m 24s
  3. 25m 11s
    1. Understanding forces and character motion
      2m 13s
    2. Understanding drag
      5m 51s
    3. Working with secondary motion
      5m 33s
    4. Bringing the character to life
      4m 21s
    5. Refining the animation
      7m 13s
  4. 39m 30s
    1. Keyframing initial poses
      4m 21s
    2. Creating the blocking pass
      7m 42s
    3. Moving holds
      5m 27s
    4. Animating weight shift
      4m 21s
    5. Animating pose to pose transitions
      7m 46s
    6. Animating a wave
      9m 53s
  5. 42m 15s
    1. Analyzing a walk
      5m 43s
    2. Setting up a character for a basic walk
      1m 22s
    3. Animating a walk: The feet
      5m 55s
    4. Animating a walk: The lower body
      8m 23s
    5. Animating a walk: Making the cycle symmetrical
      3m 10s
    6. Animating a walk: Working with the spine
      5m 59s
    7. Animating a walk: Arm motion
      7m 28s
    8. Animating a walk: The head
      4m 15s
  6. 24m 15s
    1. The importance of the passing position
      4m 52s
    2. Working with foot placement
      3m 50s
    3. Adding character to a walk: Contact position
      5m 10s
    4. Adding character to a walk: Passing position
      3m 20s
    5. Adding character to a walk: Finalizing
      7m 3s
  7. 52m 27s
    1. A run in four poses
      2m 39s
    2. Animating a run: The first pose
      4m 31s
    3. Animating a run: The second pose
      7m 17s
    4. Animating a run: Mirroring the basic poses
      10m 59s
    5. Animating a run: Hip and foot motion
      5m 12s
    6. Animating a run: The upper body
      5m 2s
    7. Animating a run: Left arm motion
      5m 31s
    8. Animating a run: Right arm motion
      4m 39s
    9. Animating a run: Cycling the animation
      6m 37s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Animating blinks
      7m 56s
    2. Animating changes in eye direction
      5m 6s
    3. Animating a head turn
      4m 35s
    4. Working with audio
      3m 38s
    5. Overview of mouth controls
      2m 44s
    6. Animating vowels
      15m 14s
    7. Animating consonants: B, D, and G
      7m 2s
    8. Animating consonants: F, M, and S
      8m 22s
    9. Animating lip sync: Assigning phonemes
      10m 43s
    10. Animating lip sync: The head
      9m 44s
    11. Animating lip sync: The body
      5m 10s
  9. 55m 55s
    1. Creating the main poses
      4m 18s
    2. Blocking poses to dialogue
      7m 1s
    3. In-between blocking pass
      3m 27s
    4. Animating moving holds
      5m 19s
    5. Creating weight
      6m 19s
    6. Adding secondary motion
      10m 0s
    7. Animating dialogue
      8m 12s
    8. Finalizing the animation
      11m 19s
  10. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

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