Thursday, March 31, 2011

Animation Project 01: Bouncing Ball 1

Project 1 
Create two short animation loops using a polygon sphere.
Create a couple of short animations (5-6 seconds) using the Ball Rig.
Loop 1 will be a ball bouncing.
  • New concepts: Timing and spacing
  • New tech: Graph Editor

Loop 2 a ball bouncing with squash and stretch.
  • New concepts: Hold keys and keying attributes separately

Ball Story by Swanky SOU Alum Steve Hammond

Your next bit of business is to create some 5-6 second animations using the ball rig. Click here to download the rig.
This animations 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.

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).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Maya Timeline Reference

How to kick those keys around in the Timeline!
Turn Auto Keying on and off. Click the little key icon to the right of the timeline. Red is on, black is off.

Move a Single Key. Shift + Left Click on a key. Let go. Click and drag on the inner set of arrows to move it to its new location. When you're done, click somewhere else in the timeline to cancel out of the move/scale mode.

Move a Range of Keys. Shift + Left-click-drag a range of frames. They will turn red! Move the inner arrows to move that entire range of keys in the timeline.

Scale a Range of Keys. Shift + Left-click-drag a range of frames, as above. Yes, they will turn red! Move the outer arrows to the left to make the animation faster and move them to the right to make the animation slower. This is a very nifty way to quickly modify the timing of your animation. If you don't see the outer arrows, use the Range Slider to increase your playback range until you do! After you've adjusted your timing, if you're working on a cycle, use the handy Range Slider to adjust your playback range to fit your new timing.

Copy a Key. Right Click on a key and choose Copy from the fly-out menu.

Paste a Key. After copying a key, right click the frame into which you'd like to paste your copied keyframe. Choose Paste > Paste from the fly-out menu. Beware not to just click paste and let go. There are two pastes you have to choose. It's Maya, remember.

Change Playback Range. Enter new numbers in the inner set of boxes 'neath the timeline.

Change overall animation length. Enter new numbers in the outer set of boxes 'neath the timeline.

Delete a Key. Right-click on a key and choose Delete from the fly-out menu.

Set a Key for All Keyable Attributes.  Hit "S".

Key a Particular Attribute. Shift + W (move), Shift + E (rotate), Shift + R (scale).

Setting Up Maya Animation Preferences

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Final Project

Final Critique is Thursday, March 10 at 3:30 in ye olde Digital Studio MA 110.