Monday, 21 January 2013

Maya motion tests

Using the graph view
The first thing we explored in this session was the use of graphs in Maya, and how by using these can help with the smoothness and timing of the animation. As you can see on this graph, my shape has been moved on many different axes, with each one having it's own colour (normal to the X, Y, Z colours used).

Pendulum Swing
Our first task of the session was to animate a pre-made pendulum to swing backwards and forwards like it would in real life. To do this you simply key frame the main points, and the computer does the inbetweening for you. This can often create a very stiff animation, so we then learnt how to ease the movement in and out.

With this movement, we can then loop it for infinity on either end of the motion, which allows you to have a pendulum (for example) on a modelled clock tick for the whole animation and saves animators needing to animated each tiny motion.

Here you can see when we zoom out on the timeline, that the motion has repeated itself, and carries on to for infinity.

Ball Bounce
Our next task was to make a ball bounce (realistically)! First we had to figure out the distance it would bounce in the air each time, and the duration of each of these bounces. To begin with I made my bounces too low and close together, not allowing me to create an interesting bounce.

After some tweaking however, I was able to create a good motion, which is even indicated on the graph (showing what you would expect a bouncing ball to look like if it were moving out of one spot). To create these curves and steep bounces back up when it hits the ground I needed to edit the curvature of the line manually on the graph, which is much easier than trying to manually do it with the normal animating controls for the ball.

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