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In Maya 2011 Essential Training, George Maestri demonstrates the tools and feature set in Maya, as well as the skills necessary to model, texture, animate, and render projects with this deep and robust piece of 3D animation software from Autodesk. This course takes an in-depth tour of Maya's interface, including navigating and manipulating objects in 3D and customizing the workspace. The course also covers object creation and modeling basics, shading and texturing, surface mapping techniques, character rigging, and lastly, rendering and final output. Exercise files accompany the course.
Somewhere in between working with keyframes on the Timeline and working with the Graph Editor, there is another interface and that's called the Dope Sheet. So it's a little more sophisticated than the Timeline. Not quite as functional as a Graph Editor. But actually it's great, because it actually allows you to edit keys very, very quickly. That's the main purpose of it. So if we go into Animation Editors > Dope Sheet, you can bring that up. Now, I need to have something selected in order to work with it, so I am going to go ahead and select that locator that is controlling our motion here.
You'll notice it's kind of more of a bar shaped interface. In fact, this is actually the same interface as a Graph Editor. So if you click this little button here, you can go straight into the Graph Editor. Click this button again. You go into the Dope Sheet. So very easy to switch between the Graph Editor and the Dope Sheet. There's another button here and that's for Tracks, but we are not going to get into that. That's actually kind of a nonlinear animation editing for motion capture and that sort of stuff. So let's go into our Dope Sheet. So what the Dope Sheet has is it has kind of what we see here on the Timeline.
So for each keyframes there is, instead of a little red mark, which we see here on the Timeline, it has kind of a larger mark here. So we can actually select groups of keyframes here. You can see that, well, it pretty much syncs up with what we have on the Timeline. Now, the great thing about the Dope Sheet is that you can move keys globally, or you can move them individually. So here I can move every key I want for the scooter.
So I could actually take one of these keys and just like I do in the Dope Sheet, you can go into Move mode. So you can either hit the button or hit W and just middle-click and you can drag all of these keys if you want. Or if you want to be individual about it, you can drag individual keys. Or, and this is where it starts to get really cool, is that you can dig down. So I can go into individual keys. So you can say I only want the Translation keys to move or I only want the Translation in Z to move.
So you can actually go down level by level by level and basically just move all, part of them, or just individual keyframes. So it's a great way to kind of just go through your keyframes to retime things. The one thing you really can't do in the Dope Sheet is actually edit animation curves. So I can't actually edit the tangent of an animation curve to make it either softer or to change the inbetweening, that sort of thing. But generally, I find that once you have the tangent set, it's really just a matter of moving keyframes around.
That's a Dope Sheet. So it's a third great way to animate and edit keys in Maya.
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