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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.
Another way to affect the character of the walk is to adjust the foot placement. So, in this walk, which is our standard 16-frame walk, if I make the character's feet touch down in different places relative to the hips, it will affect the way that the walk works mechanically. So let's go ahead and do a basic catwalk-- in other words, the type of walk that models do on the runway. So what they typically do is they walk with their feet right in front of each other.
So in this case I'm going to use this centerline here on the grid, and I am going to use that as kind of my guide. And I'm just going to rough this in; I am not going to be exactly right on, but I am going to try and keep it as close as possible. So on this first step, I am going to select the left and right foot and just move them in, so that we have the feet right in front and behind each other. Then I'm going to keep this right foot selected. And one of things I am getting here is I am getting this kind of a little bit of a jump here because I have this keyframe here, so I am going right-click over this and delete this keyframe at frame 2, for the right foot.
So what happens now is with the feet in front of each other, if you notice, his foot is almost passing through the other foot, so in order for this to actually mechanically get around, it has to move out just a little bit. So it has to move on the outside of the other foot. So instead of moving straightforward, it has to swing around. So what that does is that creates an imbalance.
If you notice here, the character is slightly out of balance, so what we want to do is rebalance the character. So what I have to do is I have to push that weight to the right, so that it stays centered over both of the feet. So, as you can see, those hips move to the right before centering again. Now let's go ahead and do this second step the same way. So I am going to, again, grab the right foot and center it, grab that left foot and center it behind it. Then I am going to move one frame forward where I have a keyframe already set for this and delete that keyframe.
And now as that foot comes forward, again, I'm going to move it out to the side. In fact I am going to delete this keyframe as well. And when I do that, it puts the character out of balance. So in this case, I have to move a character in the opposite direction. I have to move him a little bit to his left to compensate.
And then--in fact, I am going to go ahead and extend this to 33 here, and then when I get to that last frame, again, I want to put those feet right in front of each other, and what this does is it creates a classic catwalk. So it goes 1, 2, and notice how his hips are just naturally swaying, and this is why models on the runway walk this way, so that their hips move and the clothes that they are wearing also move.
Now, just by changing this character's foot position, we've again changed the character of the walk. So what I'm showing you here are just different types of techniques to affect the character of your walk. Again, the mechanics are basically the same, just the foot place is different.
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