Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Maya Animation Interface

1. Interface. Here's the basic Maya interface. Click on the images below to enlarge 'em.

2. Timeline. You'll be rooting around quite a bit in the Timeline. Learn this inside n' out:

3. Preferences. Before you start animating, click the animation preferences button at the far right of the Timeline (see above) to set the Playback speed to Real-Time. If you don't do this, your animation will play back insanely fast. Yikes!

While, we're in Preferences, let's set our Frame Rate (Frames Per Second a.k.a. FPS) to 30 NTSC.

4. Keyframing. Here's how to manipulate keyframes in the timeline.

Turn Auto Keying on and off. Click the little key icon to the right of the timeline (see 2. Timeline, above). 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, then 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).

To do more advanced animation editing, we'll be using The Graph Editor...
Windows > Animation Editors > Graph Editor 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Final Fun-tasy

Final Critique: Thursday, March 19, 3:30 p.m. in the Undercity (MA 003)

So, what do we show at our final critique? Three rendered images of your final character/environment composite. Like we've been saying, don't be afraid of Photoshopin' the livin' daylights out of it. Composite, paint, the works. Don't be shy. Make it utterly irresistible...

and head off into the sunset...

or Markarth...

or a land of Nightmare!!!