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Working with the Timeline

From: Maya 2011 Essential Training

Video: Working with the Timeline

Now, Maya has a lot of great animation features. But it all really is centered around the Timeline. So, let me take you on a quick tour of the Animation Timeline, so that you understand how to work with time before we actually get into setting keyframes. So, along the bottom we have a Timeline. If you left-click and drag on this, you can actually scrub through this Timeline. Now, along the right here, we have our playback controls. So if you want you can actually play back.

Working with the Timeline

Now, Maya has a lot of great animation features. But it all really is centered around the Timeline. So, let me take you on a quick tour of the Animation Timeline, so that you understand how to work with time before we actually get into setting keyframes. So, along the bottom we have a Timeline. If you left-click and drag on this, you can actually scrub through this Timeline. Now, along the right here, we have our playback controls. So if you want you can actually play back.

You can step forward a frame at a time. You can jump to the end, jump to the beginning, and so on. Now, along the bottom here, we have two pairs of numbers. The inner ones here, from 1 to 96, is how much of this Timeline we're actually viewing. The outer ones are the total length of the animation. So, right now, these are set to 96. So, my entire animation is 96-frames long.

But let's say I wanted to zoom in and just look at the first portion of this. Well, I can certainly change this number here and just say I want to just view the first second of my animation from frame 1 to 24. Now, notice, when I do this, this little bar here, shrinks down. What this is is it's called a Range slider. This is our window into our animation. So, if I grab this, I can change how much of my animation I see.

If I grab one of these handles on the end, you can stretch or compress this as well. So, right now, I can only go back to frame 11 and up to frame 52. That just means that I can only see this much of my animation, but the entire animation itself goes from 1 to 96. Now, along the bottom here, we also have some options to set keyframes. Probably the more important one here, right now, is our Animation Preferences, which we also need to take a look at.

This shows us how our Time slider looks and also how it plays back. So, here we can actually set the numbers that we set down here, which is our playback and animation start and end. We can also set the height of our Time slider. Now this is maybe important if we have sound in there or something like that. You can also turn on what are called key ticks, which show you exactly where each key tick is. We can change the size of those. But probably, more importantly, is the Playback. This tells you exactly how to play back the animation.

So, do you want to play every frame or do you want to play it in real time? This may seem a little confusing, but let's understand how Maya works. If Maya plays every frame and you have a very complex animation, it may take longer to calculate the frame than it has to play the frame. So, for example, if it takes half a second to compute a frame, the most it could do would be two frames per second. But if you want, you can force it to go in real time. So, in other words, it will skip frames to just make sure that it hits the frame rate.

So, we can play real-time, half time, double time or whatever. If we set it to play every frame, we also have another option, and that is do we want to play back by every frame, every other frame, which would be 2, every third frame, every fourth frame, whatever? And what's the maximum playback speed? If we set it to Free, that means it could play a thousand frames per second, if it doesn't have much to calculate, or we can give it a top end, which means I don't want it to play it any faster than I'm going to render it.

Now this actual frame rate, the actual timing of your scene, is under this tab here called Settings. So this is where we set our coordinate system, our working units, and our time base, right here. So, this is where we set, whether we're doing film, PAL, NTSC and so on and so forth. So I'm just going to leave this at Film, because that's how I was animating. So, these are some of the basics of Maya's Animation Timeline. Get familiar with how this works, so that way you'll understand it when you start animating.

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This video is part of

Image for Maya 2011 Essential Training
Maya 2011 Essential Training

115 video lessons · 26174 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 34s
    2. Using the exercise files
      26s
    3. A note on screen resolution
      1m 50s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of the Maya interface
      7m 42s
    2. Working with files and Maya projects
      2m 27s
    3. Navigating viewports
      5m 56s
    4. Reviewing the Viewport menus
      6m 28s
    5. Configuring safe frames and grids
      3m 21s
    6. Selecting objects
      4m 33s
    7. Using the Move tool
      3m 48s
    8. Rotating and scaling
      4m 31s
    9. Manipulating pivots
      3m 59s
    10. Understanding the Channel Box
      5m 36s
    11. Working with the Attribute Editor
      2m 28s
    12. Using the Hotbox
      2m 59s
    13. Working with marking menus
      3m 6s
    14. Customizing the interface
      3m 36s
  3. 59m 25s
    1. Creating polygonal objects
      6m 28s
    2. Working with polygonal components
      4m 42s
    3. Selecting polygonal components
      5m 44s
    4. Working with Soft Select
      7m 3s
    5. Using the Extrude tool
      6m 47s
    6. Keeping faces together
      2m 42s
    7. Extruding along curves
      3m 27s
    8. Using the Polygon Bevel tool
      4m 14s
    9. Smooth and subdivision surfaces
      7m 6s
    10. Blocking out a character body
      11m 12s
  4. 36m 6s
    1. Working with edge loops
      3m 27s
    2. Inserting and offsetting edge loops
      3m 38s
    3. Symmetrical modeling techniques
      5m 53s
    4. Combining objects
      3m 50s
    5. Using the Polygon Bridge tool
      2m 7s
    6. Connecting components and splitting polygons
      2m 48s
    7. Poking and wedging faces
      2m 49s
    8. Working with polygon booleans
      3m 17s
    9. Modeling with nonlinear deformers
      4m 54s
    10. Modeling with lattices
      3m 23s
  5. 1h 18m
    1. Introducing NURBS modeling
      5m 3s
    2. NURBS primitives
      5m 54s
    3. Using the NURBS curve tools
      5m 7s
    4. Creating Bézier curves
      1m 59s
    5. Creating text
      3m 51s
    6. Manipulating NURBS curves
      4m 13s
    7. Refining NURBS curves
      4m 16s
    8. Offsetting NURBS curves
      2m 31s
    9. Editing NURBS surfaces
      7m 3s
    10. Refining NURBS surfaces
      7m 22s
    11. Using NURBS Revolve
      7m 31s
    12. Using NURBS Loft
      4m 11s
    13. Using NURBS Extrude
      6m 0s
    14. Using NURBS Planar
      4m 47s
    15. Stitching NURBS surfaces
      8m 52s
  6. 35m 53s
    1. Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces
      5m 57s
    2. Creating curves on a surface
      3m 53s
    3. Projecting curves on surfaces
      7m 2s
    4. Trimming NURBS surfaces
      3m 42s
    5. Using the NURBS Fillet tool
      5m 31s
    6. Sculpting NURBS and polygonal surfaces
      5m 52s
    7. Converting NURBS to polygons
      3m 56s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Working with the Outliner
      4m 58s
    2. Grouping objects
      4m 2s
    3. Creating hierarchies
      4m 17s
    4. Duplicating objects
      4m 51s
    5. Understanding the Hypergraph
      3m 32s
    6. Working with Hypergraph connections
      2m 31s
    7. Hiding and showing objects
      2m 12s
    8. Creating layers
      4m 2s
    9. Working with selection masks
      2m 57s
  8. 40m 18s
    1. Overview of renderers
      3m 24s
    2. Understand the basics of materials
      6m 15s
    3. Creating and applying maps
      5m 13s
    4. Using bitmaps as texture
      2m 59s
    5. Working with the Hypershade window
      5m 12s
    6. Working with mental ray materials
      6m 57s
    7. Using displacement and bump mapping
      3m 14s
    8. Using the Ramp Shader
      2m 36s
    9. Using the 3D Paint tool
      4m 28s
  9. 30m 14s
    1. Texture-mapping NURBS surfaces
      5m 46s
    2. Projecting textures onto surfaces
      4m 0s
    3. Texture-mapping polygonal surfaces
      7m 0s
    4. Applying UV mapping
      8m 11s
    5. Using the UVW Editor
      5m 17s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Creating joints
      10m 2s
    2. Deforming a mesh using the Skin tool
      5m 2s
    3. Creating IK handles
      6m 48s
    4. Creating blend shapes
      5m 39s
    5. Rigging nonlinear deformers
      2m 36s
    6. Finalizing the character
      4m 45s
    7. Rigging the character to the scooter
      6m 24s
  11. 1h 5m
    1. Working with the Timeline
      4m 16s
    2. Creating and adjusting keys (keyframes)
      5m 4s
    3. Editing keys
      3m 13s
    4. Modifying keys in the Graph Editor
      5m 47s
    5. Modifying keys in the Dope Sheet
      2m 51s
    6. Creating breakdown keys
      2m 28s
    7. Animating objects along paths
      5m 54s
    8. Animation playback using Playblast
      3m 10s
    9. Animating with constraints
      6m 16s
    10. Creating animation cycles
      8m 25s
    11. Using set-driven keys
      6m 13s
    12. Adding sound to animations
      2m 24s
    13. Finishing the animation
      9m 45s
  12. 1h 2m
    1. Lights and lighting types in Maya
      7m 29s
    2. Adding depth-map shadows
      4m 13s
    3. Using Raytrace shadows
      3m 28s
    4. Understanding the basics of cameras
      7m 14s
    5. Adding depth of field
      6m 31s
    6. Adding Bokeh using mental ray
      4m 33s
    7. Using motion blur in Maya Software Renderer
      4m 10s
    8. Using motion blur in mental ray
      3m 5s
    9. Raytracing reflections and refractions
      4m 41s
    10. Interactive rendering with IPR
      3m 33s
    11. Lighting a scene
      8m 29s
    12. Batch rendering
      4m 53s
  13. 25s
    1. Goodbye
      25s

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