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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.
One of the nice benefits of working with layers is that it allows you to easily export animation, or actually your animation layers. This can make it very easy to create libraries of motions. So for example, I have this character that has a walk and a run. I can actually export each of these layers individually. So that way I can import them later into another scene and just mix them right in. So let's just go ahead and show you how to do this. It's really a very simple process. All I have to do is select a layer. So for example, let's go ahead and take this Run_Layer and if you right- click over this, we have a number of options for the layer. The one I want to take a look at is called Export Layer.
All you have to do is just go Export, and what it does is it allows you to export a Maya Binary File. So you just export a file called run and that's it. Now if I open a scene with a brand new character here. I've got one here called Simple.Legs and this is just that same character with no animation on it. So, all I have to do is just import that file that I exported. So I just go Import, run and notice how the layer comes right up and all that's imported is just the layer. It didn't import any characters or anything else.
I've also exported that walk. I can also import that walk scene. So let's go walk.mb and now you can see I have two layers. I have the walk and the run layer and now I pretty much have what I had before in that scene. So you can see how it's very easy to move animation between scenes just by using layers.
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