Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gratuitous Fun - Custom Icons

The redoubtable Sian Phillips makes an excellent addition to any Maya interface!
Click here to download Miles' idiotic collection of Maya shelf icons! Includes Francisco Pulpo, Chia Pet, Sian Phillips, General Duke, Robert Conrad, Reed Richards, and more! You can use these in conjunction with Dan's cool script editor trick and/or waste hours of valuable time making your own!

Here's how to make your own Maya shelf icons.

1. Create a 32 x 32 pixel image in Photoshop
2. Save it.
3. On the mac, you'll have to convert it to .xpm format via some converter program. I use Graphic Converter. Windows users can just save .bmp files. Lucky them.
4. You can add custom commands to the shelf by Ctrl+Option+Shift selecting something from the menu - even an options box! Or, do the Script Editor trick!
5. In Maya, go to that shelf editor arrow thingy and open the Shelf Editor. Like this:
Note this is also where you can create a custom shelf, save shelves, etc.
6. In the shelf editor, select the icon you want to change, choose "Change Image," select a .xpm file and you're done! Much easier than actually doing something constructive, like animating or modeling!
Here's that frame chart too, if you're so inclined. Right click and save target as.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lt. Dan Walk Cycle Basics

Here's some stuff I threw together on planning a basic two-step walk. Click on the pictures for larger images

Lt. Dan is coming for you.

Behold, your next rig. This time we've got legs and feet. . . and an optional tail. This time, we're doing walk and run cycles. Oh yes. Click here to download the rig.
Lt. Dan and the bouncing ball rig were designed and built by Matt Ornstein! Props to him, I say!

Here's a 5 minute Miles video introducing the Lt. Dan rig:

Here's the link to the youtube page, if the embed video is lame.

Let's spend today (Tuesday, April 20) putting Lt. Dan through some basic jumps. We'll start in on walks and runs on Thursday, April 22.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Daniel Smith, people

 concept design by Daniel Smith
Thanks to Dan for laying down some Maya majesty on us! Here's the link to his site. Dig it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Storyboarding & Animating the Ball Rig

Here are the demo videos demonstrating storyboarding, holds, and animating a simple jump with the ball rig. Below is the finished jump (after more timing adjustments than I covered in the videos).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Assignment 2: Ball Rig & Blogs

Ball Story by Swanky SOU Alum Steve Hammond

Your next bit of business is to create a 10-15 second animation using the ball rig. Click here to download the rig.
This animation must demonstrate
1. Squash and stretch.
2. Hold keys.
3. Anticipation.
4. Clear staging of action and narrative.
5. Realistic weight.
6. Smooth, natural motion arcs.

Be sure to check out Steve Hammond's Ball Story (above). It's a nice example of all of these things in action using the very same ball rig. Before you start animating, you must do a storyboard breakdown of the animation which includes all of the key poses and rough timings. 

Due Dates
1. Blog and storyboard breakdown are due by Thursday, April 8. Post your storyboard breakdown on your blog. Post your blog URL along with your full name as a comment to this post.

2. Embed a playblast of your animation on your blog (via YouTube or another video service) by Tuesday, April 13.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Video: Squash n' Stretch Ball

Here's the video on how to add squash and stretch to the bouncing ball.

Bouncing Ball Videos

Here's the link to the Maya graph editor videos!
By Tuesday, April 6 you should have a bouncing ball and a bouncing ball with squash and stretch.