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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.
In the last chapter, we animated a very basic walk; in fact, this is a walk that we animated. And as you can see, it has all the mechanics you need to create a walk, but not a whole lot of character; it's kind of just a dull, boring walk. So in this chapter, we're going to give this walk some more life. One of the first ways that we can do this is just by affecting specific poses of the walk, and what I'm going to focus on right now is the passing position. So let's start by creating a different passing position, so in this particular walk its 16 frames per cycle, so the passing position is right here around frame 9.
So I'm just going to scrub forward to Frame 9, and let's just go ahead and create a new passing position. I'm just going to go ahead and move--let's start with the hips. I'm going to go ahead and move those hips forward a little bit and maybe rotate the character. So let's say I'm going rotate him really far back. So when I do that, it already gives you kind of a different feel to that walk. Now if I want to, I can take this a little bit further, and let's say I can take that foot and maybe I'm going to rotate it and move it way up, so he's kind of almost kicking up like this.
And again, it kind of gives you almost like a silly walk kind of thing, but it's actually, gives it a lot more character. So just by changing that one position-- this is all we did, was change the passing position--and by doing that, we've actually created a much different walks than what we had before. So this is the second step of that walk, which is pretty boring, but the first step has a little bit more character to it. So let's go ahead and do that same thing on the other side.
So I'm going to move these hips forward just a little bit and then rotate him back, almost like he's leaning back. And then let's go ahead and push that foot down, rotate it down, and then just move that up like this. So now I've got--in fact, I can probably rotate that a little bit more to a match it up. Let's see what we have got. So now I have a basic walk, and I can start to play with it a little bit more.
So let's go ahead and take this foot, and let's maybe rotate it out a little bit. And because he is so out of balance, let's go ahead and move him off to the side and then maybe rotate his body a little bit off as well. And as he comes over there, we're going to have to move these arms out just a little bit to give him a little bit more clearance, like that. So that gives a little bit more flair. But also let's go ahead and play with the set-down of the foot. Right now he kind of puts his foot right there.
We could actually have a lot more fun with that as well. So what we can do is we can maybe rotate that foot up right before he sets down, and maybe give him a little bit more of a sense of a slam down for that foot. I'm going to actually take that frame from 15 and move it back to 14. So now I've got this sort of action, and that works pretty well. And now that I've got this going, maybe what we can do is play a little bit with that cushion position, where he kind of moves down.
So right at this point, he's moving down a little bit in terms of his weight. Let's go ahead and exaggerate that. I am going to push him way down and rotate him forward. Okay, so all I'm doing now is affecting another position of the walk. So we have a standard position. Then he squashes down, comes up, and settles. So let's do that again. He is going to rotate really far down, move down like this. So he is going to rotate forward, he comes up, and then right before he sets down, I want to put that foot, again, pretty far up, so it slams down a little bit harder.
So now, let's play it. So really, all we did was we changed the passing position and this cushion position, and we've completely changed the character of this walk. Let's play this through one more time. So what this shows you is that just by taking this simple walk, you can push the poses a little bit further and get much more character out of your walk.
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