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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 in this point, we should have the blocking pass done, and we should have the rough timing of the major poses of the scene. Now we've used Step tangents to make sure that the character jumps from pose to pose. So let's play what we have at this point. (Character: Ha, it worked! Prepare to meet your doom!) So the next step is to actually start animating. We need to release the curves which allows Maya to do the in-betweening. So we can do that by selecting everything in the character.
We notice we have our poses here. And let's go in to our Graph Editor, and when we see that, we can see, okay, we do have Step tangents and I should have everything selected. And when I do that, I can just go ahead and grab everything and then just change the curve type. Now typically, I go for either Plateau or Clamped; either one should work. The difference is that Clamp tangents will in-between two like poses with a straight line.
So it will make sure that it holds those poses exactly. Plateau will do the same thing for similar poses. So if the two poses are identical in value, they will be in between with pretty much straight line. But Plateau does one more thing, and that's if the poses are off slightly, it'll make sure that the pose doesn't overshoot that pose. Now this particularly good for when you're moving feet around, so that the feet don't set below the floor. But for this instance, either one should work. And once we do that, let's see what happens.
(Character: Ha, it worked! Prepare to meet your doom!) So this is a decent pass, but there's a lot of work to do on this. The first thing is it's really soft, because he's just floating from pose to pose. So let's take a look at this one more time. (Character: Ha, it worked! Prepare to meet your doom!) So one of the things that I notice is here between 36 and 60, he is just kind of leaning back. We need to add in some holds. Then the thing I've noticed is that there are a couple of errors in the rotation.
Notice this elbow here. It rotates backwards. Now sometimes depending upon how you pose the character and where the joint limits are, you may get little errors like this. So you can fix them very easily either in the Graph Editor or by copying keys. Let's go ahead and try to fix it in the Graph Editor. So I'm going to go ahead and select this left elbow, and you'll see that this is actually almost like a computation error in Maya. So I'm going to go ahead and select those keys and instead of these Clamped tangents, let's just using Linear tangents and see what happens. So now.
So that actually fixed that elbow. Now if that didn't work, I could certainly delete that key and re-animate it, and it should go back to normal. Now sometimes it's just an issue with switching from different types of tangents and sometimes that can confuse Maya. (Character: Ha, it worked! Prepare to meet your doom!) Now that we've released the curves, we need to take the next step, which is to go through and add in our moving holds, and we will do that in the next lesson.
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