Duplicating with SDK: Making Flipping Pages in Maya

In the short animation SunDay, Rikka flips through the Lever Solver book. To rig up the book, I used set driven keys as below. (How to set up SDK can be read in my post Adding Set Driven Keys to animate a hand in Maya.) Where 0 is the minimum value of the SDK and…

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SunDay – 3D Short done :)

Here’s the 3D animation that I’ve been working on for the past ten weeks with my friend, Chocky. This was made for our end of year project at AIE, and we had a very short time to concept, create, and render this four minute animation. Tasks were split up between the two of us as…

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Animating Facial Expressions using Blend Shapes in Maya

This is how you can use blend shapes to make facial expressions for your character. First, select the mesh that contains the face of your character. In this case, the torso mesh contains Liah’s face so I selected that mesh. You want to duplicate this mesh several times – one for each expression. To keep…

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Mixing and Blending Character Animation: Maya Trax Editor

You can make parts of character animation in different files and mix them together in another file using the Trax Editor in Maya. Here I had my witch Liah walking, running, and idle in different files but with the same bone and controler structure. First we want to make a character set, so select all…

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Looping and copying keyframes in Maya

Above is a walk cycle I animated for my high poly character, Liah. To make a walk or run cycle, looping frames and copying key frames from one side to the other is pretty useful so here are ways to do them. Looping key frames so that they cycle Here’s a part of an animation…

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Adding Set Driven Keys to animate a hand in Maya

Setting driven keys makes it much easier to animate a hand as it eliminates the need to rotate each finger joint one at a time. Two movements are particularly useful for the hand – making a fist and spreading fingers out. So to set driven keys, it’s good to make a nurb circle for the…

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Intro to Maya’s Graph Editor: Animating a Dancing Flour Sack

When animating, it’s better to restrict the types of transformation that is key framed rather than hitting the ‘s’ key on the keyboard to key frame all the transformations of an object or joint. To do so, click on the object/joint and select the transformations that you want to key in the Channels Box, then…

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Adding sound to the animation timeline in Maya

For sound effects and background music, it’s probably much easier to export your Maya animation as a sound-less movie or numbered stills and add sound in Premiere. But if the music dominates the timing of your animation, you want key in frames as you listen to the sound playing in Maya’s playback mode. To add…

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Adding bones to a Character in Maya

So here’s my second character I modeled and posed in Maya. Let’s see how I rigged her up, starting with the model in a T-pose as below. To start rigging, make sure you’re in the Animatons tab. Select the Skeleton –> Joint Tool and click to make joints for the spine, starting from the centre…

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