Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Animating objects using Set Key, part of Maya 2016 Essential Training.
- Animation in Maya is created using what are called keys or keyframes, and these indicate the values or attributes of an object at any given point in time. So let's go ahead and set some keys and do some animation. I've got this rocket here, and let's go ahead and animate it. So I'm going to select it, and let's just move it back a little bit in the scene. And I can set a key here under the animation menu. So if I go into animation, under key, the first one here is called set key and we have the letter S.
Now we also have a number of other options here. We can set key on any of our main channels here, so translate, rotation, or scale, by hitting shift W, E, or R, which is kind of a nice little feature. But the main one is the S key. So if I set a key or hit the hot key, notice how a little tick shows up in the timeline. So now I have a key locking in these values at frame one. And you can see here over in the channel box all of these channels have lit up as red, and red just indicates that we have keyframes and animation.
So if I move my time slider forward, I can create another key. So if I move my rocket ship, say, here, I can set a key. But if I don't and move the time slider, watch what happens. It snaps back to the previous key. So in order to lock this in place, I need to set a key. So let's go ahead and do that again and then just hit the S key, and again, it sets a key. Now also notice that when I move my cursor off of an actual keyframe that these channels turn kind of a pinkish color, and that tells you that they're animating, and then when we're actually on a keyframe, they show up in red.
So this is the keyframe, and this is somewhere in between keyframes. So it's just telling you that that channel is animating. Now another way to create a key is to use what's called autokey. So if we go down here in the bottom right, you'll see we have this auto keyframe toggle. If I turn that on, it will create a keyframe every time I move the object. Now the object already has to have animation. So if this is on and there's no animation on the object, I can move it and no keyframes will be set.
But once we have one keyframe set, this will set additional keyframes. This is a very nice way to animate. So if we take this rocket ship here, we can select it, move it up, and maybe even rotate it just a little bit. And now we will have this sort of animation. Now if you want, you can cut, copy, and paste keys, so you can move keys around on the timeline. So if I were to hover over this key in the middle, I could right click over it, and we have cut, copy, and paste.
So I could cut this keyframe, and notice how when I cut that keyframe out, it goes away. And then I can move to another point in the timeline and hit paste, and then it pastes that key at a different point in time. So now it's moving up a little bit faster. Now another way to do this is to simply highlight the keys and slide them around on the timeline. So if I hold down my shift key and drag my left click, notice how I can create this red window in the timeline.
Now this window allows us to slide and scale keys. So if I have one key, such as this, I can slide it around on the timeline just by grabbing that red window and moving it wherever I want. So this is a very easy way to reposition keys. Now if you have multiple keys, you can also do what's called scaling. So if I, say, create a key here, so let's go ahead and rotate it a little bit and maybe move it down or something like that, so now it's going down a little bit more quickly.
And if we want, we can hold down the shift key and select both of those keys. And when I do, I can now slide that whole range of keys anywhere I want on the timeline. So if I want this towards the end, I can do that. And now you can see how it moves very quickly there because this last key was a position key. Another thing I can do is in addition to sliding these, I can scale. So if I grab one end or the other, I can scale my keys.
Now one thing about this is that it will by default scale to whole frame boundaries. So if your keys fall slightly in between frames, it will snap to one side or the other, and that may change your timing just a little bit, so just be aware of that. But now that I have this scaled, I can again play my animation. Now one thing you can also do is cut and paste whole groups of keys. So if I were to shift select all of these, I could right click and do a cut and paste.
So those are some of the basics of how to set and manipulate keys directly on the time slider.
- Getting familiar with the Maya interface
- Selecting and manipulating objects
- Creating hierarchies and layers in scenes
- Creating polygonal objects
- Extruding a mesh
- Working with subdivision surfaces
- Sculpting a basic landscape
- NURBs modeling
- Creating and applying materials and textures
- Adding lights and cameras to a scene
- Adding depth of field and motion blur
- Animating in Maya
Skill Level Beginner
1. The Maya Interface
2. Selecting and Manipulating Objects
3. Organizing Maya Scenes
4. Creating Polygonal Models
5. Modeling Polygonal Meshes
6. Refining Polygonal Meshes
7. Sculpting Meshes
Sculpting a basic landscape4m 51s
8. NURBS Modeling Techniques
9. Refining NURBS Models
10. Creating Materials
11. Applying Materials and Textures
12. Rendering in Maya
13. Animating in Maya
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