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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.
So now we have the rough animation blocked out. We've got our basic timing. We've got our major poses. The next step is to go through it a section at a time and make the animation more complete. So let's play what we have right now. So we've got this character standing with his arms crossed, and then he waves. Now the first thing I notice is at the very beginning of the scene, if you look at this, he's really, he kind of dies. He is not really alive at this point.
That's because when people stand still they don't exactly stand still. They move a little bit. Gravity is pulling them down. They're shifting their weight. There's always a little bit of motion when somebody is supposedly standing still. So we can create what's called a moving hold to bring more life into this character as he is standing still. Now there are times where you want a character to stand rock-solid, perhaps for comic effect, but typically if you have a character holding a pose for more than a few frames, you want to make that into a moving hold.
So let's go ahead and do that. First thing I want to do is just zoom in on my timeline. We have basically this dead spot is from Frame 1 to Frame 20, so I am going to go ahead and zoom in so I'm little bit tighter on this timeline. So we can see how we are working a little bit better. So I am going to go ahead and select all my keys on my character and let's take a look at him. So we've got a keyframe here at 20 and then he starts to move down. The first thing we need to do is understand what's going on in this character's mind.
What is he doing? Right now, his pose is one o -- when your arms are crossed you afe kind of not wanting to participate. Let's go ahead and kind of move him back. He's not really wanting to participate so let's kind of make this move a little bit away from the audience just to kind of give that sort of feel. So the first thing I want to do is start to work with the hips. So I've got basically the hips are in the exact same place here and here. But let's go ahead and move them.
So I am going to hit W to go into my Move tool. And I am just going to go ahead and move him back just a hair. So I am just going from here to here. Now let's go ahead and play this back. That actually brings a little bit more life to the scene, but it's still not quite realistic. Let's go ahead and move up the body. We've just done the hips and the legs. Let's do the rest of the body. So we can do that just by playing with the spine a little bit. I am going to go ahead and Shift- select just these 2 spine joints here.
And now I am going to go ahead and just rotate him back just a little bit, maybe back and a little bit over. So as you can see he is kind of moving back a little bit and then-- which is actually good, because it kind of compliments that big forward motion as he goes into that little squash before he comes up for the wave. So let's go ahead and play this and just see how this feels. Okay, I think we can add a little bit more. I am going to go ahead and select the head a little bit and let's go ahead and move that.
Again, I am going to move in that same direction and let's see how that works. That's better. So now we've got this basic pose. Now if we want, we could also go ahead and add a little bit more into this, just to give him a little bit more life. This probably would be sufficient, but let's kind of play with this just a little bit more. Now one of the things that you think I want to do is let's go ahead and just make him a little bit more impatient. So I am going to select his left toe and we are going to tap his toe.
So I am going to just give myself a few frames in, so let's go into Frame 2. And I'm just going to set another keyframe, which basically just sets everything at 0. So I am going to go move forward about 4 frames, and then just move his toe up like he's tapping it. And then at Frame 10, which is another 4 frames in, I'm just going to go ahead and bring that back down to 0. Let's go ahead and see how that feels. That looks good, but I think it will have more emphasis if we did it one more time, if I add one more tap on his foot.
So again, I am going to go ahead and select that toe. And so he taps here and let's go ahead and start another tap at Frame 12. Frame 16 let's rotate that up just a little bit. And then Frame 20, it's actually going to come back down naturally. So let's see how that works. Okay, I think I need to bring this one up at 16 just a little bit more, so let's see. At Frame 6 I have this at 15. Okay, so let's go ahead and have this at negative 15 like we have on the other frame and make this a little bit more even.
So now what we have here is we have a moving hold, so his hips and his spine are just readjusting slightly to give him the illusion of life. And then in addition to that we added one more little thing, which was tapping his toe, just to give a little bit more character, a little bit more life, to the scene. So as you can see, a moving hold brings your character to life. Let's go ahead and move on to the rest of the scene.
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