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

Keyframing initial poses

Keyframing initial poses provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by George Mae… Show More

Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

with George Maestri

Video: Keyframing initial poses

Keyframing initial poses provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by George Maestri as part of the Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
Expand all | Collapse all
  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
    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

please wait ...
Keyframing initial poses
Video Duration: 4m 21s 6h 6m Intermediate


Keyframing initial poses provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by George Maestri as part of the Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

View Course Description

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.

Topics include:
  • Using screen-drawing tools for Windows and Mac
  • Quickly posing characters with custom MEL scripts and layers
  • Understanding forces and their role in creating lifelike animation
  • Sequencing and timing pose-to-pose animation
  • Fine-tuning transitions
  • Animating a character's gait and run
  • Crafting realistic facial expressions
  • Syncing speech to animated dialogue
3D + Animation

Keyframing initial poses

Now let's go ahead and start the process of creating pose to pose animation. The first thing I do when creating this sort of animation is I try to line up all the major poses that I think the character will hit, and sometimes this will actually make me have to create new poses. It makes me cycle poses, that sort of thing. So let's go through some of the process here. In this case I've already created a couple of poses just to speed things along. If we take a look at this character, he has poses every two frames and this is just so I can see them a little bit easier and copy and paste them a little bit more quickly.

Now I have a pose at Frame 1, which is him standing back and just kind of crossing his arms across his chest, and then he reacts and waves. So I have two poses for the wave. When I start going through this, I need to start kind of mentally thinking the animation through and I want to get the major poses lined up or sequenced. I'm going to worry about the exact timing a little bit later. So in this case I really would like him to wave more than once.

At this point I've just got this, I have got one at 3 and one at 5. Well, I actually want more. So let's have him wave three times. So one of the things we can do is we can select everything in the character, make sure you have all the nodes selected, then just right-click over the timeline, copy, and then you can just paste poses. This is one reason why I have created these malscripts that allow me to select everything in the character and these were discussed earlier in the lessons.

I can do the same thing here at Frame 5, which is copy and paste it again, say at Frame 9. Now if I want, I can copy and paste multiple keyframes just by holding down the Shift key and dragging over the frames that I want to copy. So in this case I want to copy Frame 7 through 9, copy, and then maybe paste them at Frame 11. So now I have got the character going from here to here and then you can even almost, as we scroll through it, you can kind of actually see the wave that we have.

The one thing that I would like to do also is I think I need to add in an additional pose. If he's going to go from here to here, notice how he's shifting his weight and typically when a character shifts his weight, he drops his hips and he compresses a little bit and I want to give this animation a little bit more of a dynamic quality. So I want to create an in-between pose. A pose between this one at Frame 1 and this one at Frame 3. Well, the first thing I want to do is I need to create some room.

So I'm going to select all my keyframes and I'm going to Shift+Drag all the way down to Frame 3 and just move those back two frames. So that way I have a little bit of a space to put in another pose. I don't really have time to go through all the mechanics of actually posing this character and we've done that for another chapter. So actually I have a pose that I have already created and it's going to hiding here at Frame 46. So I'm just going to go and cut that out and then right-click again and paste that to Frame 3.

So now I've got one additional pose. So instead of going from here to here, I'm going from here to here to here. Just even by scrubbing this through a few frames you can see how that's got a lot more dynamic quality to it. So what I have done in this frame, I've dropped the hips, so I have actually dropped his weight. You can see his weight going down and then he rises back up into this position. This is basically squash and stretch. So he is squashing and then he's stretching and this gives a lot more dynamic quality to the animation.

So to sum up, what we've done is we've sequenced the poses that we want our character to take and the next step is to actually time out those poses so that they read well as a rough animation.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: Where can I download the Linktivity Presenter drawing tool?
A: Linktivity Presenter is no longer available since the recording of this course. An alternative on-screen drawing tool is VB Doodle, which works with most 3d rendering software. Download VB Doodle here.





Don't show this message again
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


You have completed Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya.

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


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a Member and Create Custom Playlists

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

Get started

Already a member?

Log in

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:

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.

You started this assessment previously and didn’t complete it.

You can pick up where you left off, or start over.

Resume Start over

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 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 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

Sign up and receive emails about 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.