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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.
So now that we have learned how to add in muscles to a skeleton, let's go ahead and show you how to modify their behavior and edit those muscles. I have saved out a scene here called Arm_02.mb and it's pretty much like the last one that we have been working with and it's essentially that arm that bends. Then I also have a little bit of vertical motion here, because I am going to show you how to work with muscle jiggle. So I am going to go into my Outliner here and let's just go ahead and go here to Group Muscles. Let's go into Wireframe Mode here. If I want I could actually just select that muscle here. So Muscle Bicep is what we want to have selected.
So once we do that, we can actually go back into Set Muscle Parameters. Now what that does is it brings us into our Muscle Builder. Remember how we had Build, Cross Section and Finalize, but we also have a fourth tab here called Muscle Parameters. What this does is it allows us to change the way the muscle behaves. So we can change the basic Object Settings, such as how much Fat is in the muscle and how Muscular it is. This will affect the dynamics of this, the Radius of the muscle. But first, before we do any of this, we need to load the selected muscle. So I have Muscle Bicep selected, so let's just go ahead and go Load Selected.
Then I can go through and change some of these parameters. Now, the ones that are probably the most important are these ones down here called Stretch and Jiggle. So Stretch Volume Presets gives you the ability to change how the muscle stretches when the muscle actually bends and moves. So for example here I want to actually make this Small, Medium; you can see how this works, or Large. What this does is it actually changes these numbers here. So we have a Start number, a Mid number and an End number. So this is the start of the muscle, the middle of the muscle and the end.
Now, notice I only have three of these. That's because I only have three control points. If I had added more in when I created the muscle, I would have more places to actually bulge that muscle, but for this case we really don't need more than three. So this Mid number actually gives us the amount of bulge. If I wanted to make this more, I could say just bring those up to say 3 or something like that. I could actually type in whatever numbers I want and then just apply those values and you can see how this now affects it. If I want to I can always go back to these Presets, which I think actually work just fine.
Now, in addition to this we also have what's called Jiggle. So if I go to the second part of this animation, you can see that as the muscle moves up it doesn't really jiggle. But in the real world you would actually get a little bit of jiggle in muscles; as the character runs around, muscles due tend to jiggle. So we can actually add in the Jiggle here. So I am just going to turn on Heavy and see what happens. You can see now the muscle is actually jiggling. It's actually giving you some nice secondary motion. Now, we can do Light, Medium, or Heavy and again, these numbers here change and these are just Presets here, so how much Jiggle do you have, at what part of the muscle? So is the start and the end of this part of this muscle going to jiggle? No, because they are actually tied down, but the middle will.
Then how much does it Cycle and how much does it Rest; how many frames to Cycle and how many frames to Rest and then a Dampen amount. So how long does it take to kind of settle out? Now, once you have all these set you can basically change them whenever you want or you can just leave them as it is. So you can see how you have a lot of control over how the muscles work dynamically using Muscle Presets.
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