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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.
Now let's take a really quick look at the controls we have for animating dialog. So I am going to go ahead and zoom in to this character, and we have two main controls that are going to be used for dialog. The first one is called Jaw, so we can actually move that. If we move it down, it opens his Jaw. Left and right gives a little but of left and right bias. If we go above zero, you can see you can actually give almost like a pouty lip or actually bring his lower lip above his upper lip.
Now with this, you'll notice that there are two controls here: one is Translate X and Translate Y. Y is up and down, so Y is open and close mouth. X is left right, which is the kind of that left-right bias. Now for one, I can zero this out just by selecting them and typing in the number 0. Now, the same applies for this dialog control. Now, this actually goes through several different mouth shapes. So I'm going to start by going bottom right corner.
So we go bottom right, you'll notice that we have an 'oh' or more of an 'oo' sound, kind of that open O mouth, and then as we move this up, it goes into an 'oh', and then it closes. Now if you go the other way, if you go to top-left, you can see it goes into kind of bared teeth, almost like a 'ch' or an S kind of sound. Then as we come down, you'll notice how it closes. We have a neutral position here, and then we go into M, and if we come across, we go back over to 'oo'.
Typically with this, sometimes you want to go to a neutral and then to another one, but you can pretty much get from almost any specific shape to another just by moving this in the X and Y axis. Again, we have two Translate controls here, and all I have to do is just zero out those attributes to center it. Now, the other two that are involved with the dialog are the F sound, which is really very specific, and the 'sh' sound, which you are going to may or may not want to use.
The rest of these are for emotions. So we have a smile/frown control here, so you can make him smile while he talks. We also have what's called the sneer. So you can sneer left or right if you want, and then this one here kind of works the bottom part. But for most dialog, we will be able to do almost everything within these two, with the addition of these other two if we need them. So now that we understand this, let's go ahead and start actually animating dialog.
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