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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.
The next step is to worry about weight shifts. So, there are a couple of places where the character moves his weight from one foot to another, and we need to make sure that that shift of weight is realistic. So, let's take a look at what we have so far. (Character: Ha, it worked! Prepare to meet your doom!) So, basically, he comes up, so his feet are still flat on the ground, which is fine.
This shift in weight is actually pretty good, because he anticipates and then he puts his foot down, so really, a shift in weight is where he moves his foot. So, let's take a look at this foot. That was okay. The next one, however, is this foot, the left foot. In this case, I think we need to accentuate that shift in weight a little bit more, so we can do this by creating an in-between. So, the foot starts at frame 30 and ends at frame 36, so we have got about six frames here.
Now, actually, I would like to have a little bit more time in this, so what I am going to do is I am actually going to push back this pose a little bit. So, I am going to select everything in the character, and I am going to push this back. I would like a few more frames to create this motion, so I would like at least four frames. So, I am going to create a keyframe right in the middle between 30 and 38, which would be at 34. So, the first thing I want to do is I want to lift this foot up.
And I want to make sure that the knee is in the right position here. So I want to make sure I lift the foot and also rotate it down a little bit. So now, he's lifting the foot as he twists it over. But when he lifts that foot, his weight has to be supported on the other leg.
So, when he lifts his left foot, the right foot is going to be holding all of this weight. So, I am going to go ahead and bend him down a little bit and push him a little bit to his right. And then another thing I am going to do is I want to actually turn this into more of an anticipation. So, I am going to go ahead and select his spine and rotate that down. So again, I am going to kind of crunch him down.
So now he is going to go down before he comes up. And what this does is it gives a little bit more contrast. So he moves down before he moves up, and it crunches down a little bit before he straightens up. So, we can also play with his head a little bit. Now, these are just roughs.
I'm just roughing in this pose. So, then as he comes up, his head will kind of roll into this pose. So, the head is the last thing to come up, which will be like this. Go ahead and delete this frame here. So, now we should have--he comes into that pose a little more gently.
Then again, we've got another shift of weight here. Actually, this is a really big shift in weight. So, when the character does a shift of weight, he actually has to put his weight on the other foot. But I do want to anticipate his a little bit, because as he shifts his weight, he means to kind of give himself a little bit of a hop. So, what I am going to do is right before this, I want to dip his hips and then come up. So, in order to do that, I need to set a key for his hips at frame 56 and then at frame 60, I need to drop his hips just a little bit, so that when he comes up, he's got a little bit more life.
So, now the next thing we will look at is the foot. So, as this foot comes up, this is actually pretty good. I can probably drop it down just a little bit, but then when it comes forward, I want to kind of flip up that toe. So, I'm going to bring up that toe a little bit, give it a little bit of secondary motion.
And then as it comes down, I want to make sure that I keep this toe. I want to get a little bit more of a sense of snap to this foot, so I want it to set down fairly quickly. So, I am going to go ahead and flip that foot up, so when it slams down, it slams down with more apparent force.
So, let's go ahead and play this. Okay. So, all I am animating in this pass is the shift in weight. Now, when you animate a shift in weight, you need to make sure that the character anticipates that shift, so you typically want to drop the character's hips before he takes a step, so that way you have the momentum to actually shift the weight of the character.
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