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Working with secondary motion

From: Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

Video: Working with secondary motion

At this point we have just the main mass of the character animating. We've got the platform moving forward and then the torso of the character reacting to that motion. But the character is made of many joints. The spine has several joints, the arms also, and the head, all have joints that will be affected by these forces, so the character himself will move in stages. In other words, the feet move forward first and then the hips start moving forward a little bit later, then the shoulders, and then once the shoulders start moving forward, the hands will start moving forward, because everything wants to stay in place.

Working with secondary motion

At this point we have just the main mass of the character animating. We've got the platform moving forward and then the torso of the character reacting to that motion. But the character is made of many joints. The spine has several joints, the arms also, and the head, all have joints that will be affected by these forces, so the character himself will move in stages. In other words, the feet move forward first and then the hips start moving forward a little bit later, then the shoulders, and then once the shoulders start moving forward, the hands will start moving forward, because everything wants to stay in place.

So in other words, this force will start at the feet, then go to the hips, then the shoulders, then the arm and the hand. So each of these will drag behind what it's connected to by a few frames because it takes a while to get everything going. Now in animation terms this is typically called secondary motion, but it also can be known as drag as well. So let's go ahead and start doing a little bit more realistic animation. First thing I want to do is go ahead and just select the three joints of the spine, set a keyframe for those, and then as it moves forward I want to rotate that spine back just a little bit.

Again, just to understand that the character has flexibility in his spine. And then as he comes forward here he's going to straighten up. So again we could actually animate those to 0. I can just type that in here. That should straighten him up. So now he gets a little bit of bend in his spine and the same this way. Now remember, the spine bends a little bit more forward than it does back so we can give him a little bit more extension this way. And then again, he's going to straighten up, but let's just go to frame 40 and straighten him up and I'm going to type 0 for his rotation.

So now I've got a little bit more rotation here. Now one of the things I forgot to do is I forgot to animate it to 0 at frame 25. I want him to kind of stay vertical until he moves forward again. So now once I have this, you can see it's a little bit more flexible. But again this force which is transmitting down the spine gets to the shoulders a little bit later and the hands will also drag behind.

So let's go ahead and just animate one arm. I am going to select the left shoulder, and then as that character bends back, you can see he kind of bends back around frame 5, but let's go a little bit further out and then rotate the arms back, and again they're kind of be dragging behind, so about frame 8 I want those to drag behind. And you can see how it's kind of going behind and then again I want that to kind of settle out somewhere for the beginning here, say somewhere around maybe frame 20.

I am going to rotate those back to 0. And again, set a keyframe at 25, and then again we're going to go in say about 7 or 8 frames. So 25+7 is around frame 32. Rotate that forward, go back a little bit say around frame 42-43, bring that back to 0, and then go ahead and set a keyframe for that as well at 48.

So now you can see how again we're getting a lot more flexibility with this character. The force of being pulled along that platform is now being transmitted through almost the entire body. So let's go ahead and do the right shoulder as well. I am going to go ahead and set a keyframe at 1, 8. We're going to go ahead and move that arm back, kind of 0 it out around frame 20, another keyframe at frame 25, frame 32, he is forward, 42, it goes to 0, and then at 48 I am just going to set a keyframe again just to get that locked in.

You can see now we've got a lot more flexibility. He's starting to look more realistic. But again, these are just external forces. These are just the forces acting upon the character. Now I've got one more to worry about here and that's the head, and again the head is going to drag behind as well. So again, I am going to do this around frame 8, just rotate his head just a little bit back, straighten him out, and again 0 is neutral. 0 him out at 20, 25. I am going to pretty much do what I did with the arms.

32, bend him forward just a little bit. 42, 0 him out and then another keyframe at 48. So I've got this pretty much on the same timing as the arms. So now once I have all of this, you can see how flexible he is. Now the thing is is that well, at this point all he is is a rag doll. There's no motion that he is providing to counteract any of these forces.

So this is just the effect of external forces on our character. So in the next lesson let's go ahead and start giving him a little bit more control over his body and a little bit more character.

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This video is part of

Image for Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

65 video lessons · 9884 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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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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