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Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

Moving holds


From:

Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

with George Maestri

Video: Moving holds

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.
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  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
      48s
    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
      24s

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Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
6h 6m Intermediate May 20, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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
Subjects:
3D + Animation Animation Character Animation
Software:
Maya
Author:
George Maestri

Moving holds

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.

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


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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.
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