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Maya2014BasicAnimation&TheGraphEditor

WhenyousetaKeyframe(orKey),youassignavaluetoanobjectsattribute(for
example,translate,rotate,scale,color)ataspecifictime.Mostanimationsystemsusethe
frameasthebasicunitofmeasurementbecauseeachframeisplayedbackinrapid
successiontoprovidetheillusionofmotion.
TheFrameRate(FramesPerSecond,orFPS)thatisusedtoplaybackananimation
isbasedonthemediumthattheanimationwillbeplayedback(forexample,film,TV,video
game,andsoon.)Whenyousetseveralkeysatdifferenttimeswithdifferentvalues,Maya
generatestheattributevaluesbetweenthosetimesasthesceneplaysbackeachframe.
Theresultisthemovementorchangeovertimeofthoseobjectsandattributes.

AnimationUIElements
TimeSlider:displaystheplaybackrangeandkeysyouvesetforaselectedobject.
Keysaredisplayedasredlines.
TheboxattherightoftheTimeSliderletsyousetthecurrentframe(time)ofthe
animation.
PlaybackControls:controlanimationplayback.
GotoStartofPlaybackRange,StepBackOneFrame,StepBackOneKey,Play
Backwards,PlayForwards,StepForwardOneKey,StepForwardOneFrame,Go
toEndofPlaybackRange
AnimationPreferencesButton:displaysawindowforsettinganimationpreference
settingssuchastheplaybackspeed.
AutoKeyButton:Enable/DisableAutoKey,automaticallycreatingnewkeyframes
eachtimeanattributethatalreadyhasatleastonekeyframeisadjusted.
RangeSlider:controlstherangeofframesthatplaywhenyouclicktheplaybutton.
Aframerateof24framespersecond(fps)istheframerateusedformotion
picturefilm.Forvideo,theframeratecanbe30fps(NTSC)or25fps(PAL)
dependingontheformatbeingused.


SettingKeyframes:
Withyourobjectselected:
S:Animate>SetKey
Keyframealltransformattributesforselectedobject.
Forexample,toanimateaballbouncingoverafence:
SelecttheballandSetakeyframeatFrame1fortheinitialballposition
MovetheballupalongtheYaxisandForwardalongtheXAxisandset
anotherkeyframeatFrame30
MovetheballagainalongtheXandYaxesandsetkeyframesfor
Frame50andFrame60tosimulateaparabolicbouncingmotion.
NoticethatthelasttwokeyframesandX+Ycoordinatesareclosertogether,
reflectinghowtheballdecceleratesalongwithgravityandfriction.
Dontworryabouttheballmovementnotlookingrightwewillgooveradjustingthe
ballsmotionpathlater.

Whenpreviewingyouranimation,youmaynoticethatitrunsthroughallofyourframes
veryfast.ToadjusthowyouranimationisplayedbackinMaya:
AnimationPreferencesButton>TimeSliderTab>PlaybackSpeed
PlayEveryFrame
Realtime(24fps)
Half(12fps)
Twice(48fps)
Other(customspeed,suchas25,30or60fps)

Topreviewyouranimationinanexternalvideofile(calledaPlayblast):
Window>Playblast(optionsbox),or
RightClickTimeSlider>Playblast:
Format:QuicktimeMovieorImageSequence
Encoding:Fileformat
Quality:0100
DisplaySize,Scale,FramePadding
SavetoFile:ClickBrowsetosavetoyourcomputer
ClickApplyorPlayblastandyouranimationpreviewshouldpopup!

TheGraphEditorInterface
Mayaautomaticallyinterpolatesthemotionbetweenkeyframes,creatingwhatsknownas
anAnimationCurve.
ThesecurvesaredisplayedvisuallywiththeGraphEditor,accessibleunder
Window>AnimationEditors>GraphEditororbyselectingthePersp/Graphlayout
fromtheSideToolbar.
Withtheballwecreatedbeforeselected,wecanseeallofthekeyframeswesetearlier
displayedinalistontheleftandgraphicallyontheright.
AllofthebasicTransformAttributes(Translate,Rotate,Scale,Visibility)showupon
theleftOutlinersinceweusedKeyframeAll,butonlytheattributeswithkeyframeswill
showupintheleft.
Shift+SelectspecificattributestodisplayonlytheimportantonesintheGraphEditor
F:View>Frame>FrameSelection(intheGraphEditorMenuBar:Framethe
selectedattributesofthecurrentlyselectedobjectintheGraphEditor.
A:View>Frame>FrameAll(intheGraphEditorMenuBar):Frameallattributesof
thecurrentlyselectedobjectintheGraphEditor.

AswiththeMove/Rotate/Scaletools,theAnimationCurveassociatedwithagivenaxisis
colorcodedforeaseofuse:XisRed,YisGreenandZisBlue

Editing,Moving,CopyingandPastingKeys
Withoneormorekeysselected:
AdjusteithertheTimeorValueofthekeymanuallyusingthenumberfieldsinthe
topbaroftheGraphEditor
YoucanalsoswitchtotheMoveTool(W)&DragVerticallytoadjustthe
valueandDragHorizontallytoadjustthetime.
UndertheEditMenuintheGraphEditor:
Cut:Cuttheselectedkey(s)
Copy:Copytheselectedkey(s)
Delete:Deletetheselectedkey(s)
Paste:Pastetheselectedkey(s)
PasteOptions:
Copies:Increasetopastemultiplecopies
PasteMethod:
Insert:Insertthecopiedkey(s)intothecurrently
selectedcurve
Merge:Mergethecopiedkey(s)withthecurrently
selectedcurve.Usethisoptionifyouwishtocopya
singlekeyvaluefromonepartofyourcurveintoa
differentlocation
Scale:Scaletheselectedkey(s)
Method:
Scale/Pivot:Scaletheselectedkey(s)valueandtimebya
specifiedAmountandPivotPoint(intime)
Start/End:Scaletheselectedkey(s)valueandtimeby
specifyingNewStart&EndTimes.


EditingAnimationCurvesandTangents
TheGraphEditordisplaysourAnimationCurvesalongXandYaxes:
TheYAxisdisplaystheAnimatedAttributesValue
TheXAxisdisplaystheKeyframeRangeoftheselectedattributes
LeftClickorMarqueeSelectakeyframealongananimationcurvetoselectit.
Withthekeyframeselected,youshouldseetwopinkKeyframeTangentsextending
fromeithersideofit.TheseTangentsindicatethedirectionofthecurveeitherfollowingor
precedingtheselectedkeyframe.
LeftClickorMarqueeSelectthepointsattheendoftheKeyframeTangentstoselect
thatspecificTangent.
WithaTangentselected,DragUp&Downtoadjusttheanimationcurvesattachedto
thatspecifickeyframe.

Bydefault,bothTangentsarefacinginoppositedirectionsfromeachothertopreservea
smoothcurve.ClicktheBreakTangentsButtonatthetopoftheGraphEditorandyou
cannowadjusteachTangenttofaceinadifferentdirection.
ClickingtheUnifyTangentsButtononceagainmakesthetwoTangentsmovein
synchronicity.

KeepinmindthatifyoufirstBreakTangentsandthenUnifyTangents,thehandles
willcontinuetopointindifferentdirectionsunlessyouunifytheirdirectionby
selectingoneoftheTangentoptionsbelow.
ThereareadditionaloptionsforhandlingTangentsbeyondthedefaultAutoTangents
thatareaccessiblefromthebuttonsatthetopoftheGraphEditor:
SplineTangent:Ananimationcurvethatissmoothbetweenthekeybeforeand
thekeyaftertheselectedkey.Thetangentsofthecurvearecolinear(bothatthe
sameangle).
LinearTangent:Ananimationcurveasastraightlinejoiningtwokeys.
ClampedTangent:Animationcurvethathasthecharacteristicsoflinearand
splinecurves.Thekeystangentswillbesplinesunlessthevalueoftwoadjacent
keysareveryclose.Inthiscase,theouttangentofthefirstkeyandtheintangentof
thesecondkeywillbeinterpolatedaslinear.
SteppedTangent:animationcurvewhoseouttangentisaflatcurve.
PlateauTangent:easeanimationcurvesinandoutoftheirkeyframeslikespline
tangents,butalsoflattencurvesegmentsthatoccurbetweenequalvalued
keyframeslikeclampedtangents.Theplateautangentnormallybehaveslikea
splinetangent,butensuresthattheminimumandmaximumvaluesalongacurve
areallatkeyframes.
ExperimentwithdifferentTangentTypeswhilepreviewingyouranimationtofindtheone
thatbestfitstheanimatedmotion.
GototheCurvesMenuatthetopoftheGraphEditortoswitchfromthedefault
NonWeightedTangentstoWeightedTangents,whichgiveusabitmorecontrolover
ourTangents:
WeightedTangentssmoothoutthecurvesbetweenkeyframessothatthey
connectmorefluidly.
Tangents>FreeTangentWeight:DragyourTangentstoadjusthowmucha
curveisweightedtowardsaparticularkeyframe.
Tangents>LockTangentWeight:LockyourTangentWeightatitscurrent
value.


SetDrivenKeys
DrivenKeysareawayofconnectingtheattributeofoneobjectwithanotherbysettinga
keyframethatdrivesanotherone.Asanexample,letsanimateaballbouncingoffofa
table,similartobeforebutonlyontheYAxis.
Withouranimationcreated,gotoAnimate>SetDrivenKey>Set
First,selecttheballandclickonLoadDriver.Itwillnowappearastheobject
drivingtheanimationofanother.
SelecttheTranslateYvaluefromthetoplistofTransformAttributes.
Next,selecttheplaneoffofwhichtheballbouncesandclickonLoadDrivento
setitasthedrivenobject.
Again,selecttheTranslateYfromthelistofTransformAttributes.
MovethetimeslidertoakeyframejustBEFOREtheballcollideswiththeplane
andclicktheKeyButtontoaddaDrivenKey.
Movethetimesliderforwardtowhentheballisactuallycollidingwiththeplane.
MovetheplanedownontheYAxisandclicktheKeyButton.WiththisDriven
Keyset,theplanemovesdownwardswhentheYvalueoftheballgetsclose
enough.
Playtheanimationtoseehowoneobjectsattributereactstoanotherthroughtheuseof
drivenkeys.Youcanevenmanuallydragtheballupanddownanditwillmoveaccordingly!


AnimatingAlongAMotionPath
UsingMotionPaths,wecandrawoutaNURBSCurveanduseittodefinethedirection
ofmovementforouranimatedobjects:
First,drawoutaPathusingeithertheCVCurveToolortheEPCurveTool
undertheCreateMenu.
SelecttheobjectyouwishtoanimatealongthepathandthenShift+selectthe
path.GotoAnimate>MotionPaths>AttachtoMotionPathsOptionsand
definethefollowingattributes:
TimeRange:Start/End
Starttime:Firstframeofpathanimation
Endtime:Lastframeofpathanimation
Follow:On
FrontAxis:Directioninwhichyourobjectisfacingwhilemoving
UpAxis:Y
Worlduptype:Sceneup
WhenyouclickAttach,theobjectisrepositionedtothebeginningofthecurveand
travelsalongitslengthforthedurationyouspecified.


Youcanalsofinetuneamotionpathbyaddingkeyframes:
SelectyourobjectandgototheChannelBox.UnderthemotionPath1Input
Node,youhaveseveralattributesthatarekeyframable:
UValue:PositionofobjectalongtheMotionPath,rangingfrom0(startof
path)to1(endofpath).
Front,Up&SideTwist:OrientationofobjectalongtheMotionPath,
rangingfrom180degreesto180degreesrotationalongallthreeaxes.
Toanimateanyoftheseattributes:
First,gotoaspecifickeyframewithinyouranimationTimeRange
Secondly,changethespecificattributesvalue(UValue,Twist)
Thirdly,RightClickandselectKeySelected
YounowhaveextraKeyframesalongyourMotionPaththatyoucanadjust
tochangeyourobjectsspeedandpathorientationovertime.

TheGreasePencil
Athrowbacktotheartofhanddrawnanimationbydrawingontransparentpaper,the
GreasePencilisnewtoMaya2014andallowsustoplanoutouranimationsbysketching
ontopofkeyframes.
View>CameraTools>GreasePencil(orclickthebuttonatthetopoftheviewport):
Gototheframeoverwhichyouwouldliketocreateasketch
ClicktheAddFrameButtontoactivatetheGreasePencil
A1024x1024pxtransparentimageisattachedtothecurrentcamera
Whenyousaveyourscene,yourGreasePencilImagesareautomatically
savedbydefaultto:
...\Documents\maya\projects\default\sourceimages\3dPaintTextures
SetyourbrushsizetoeitherPencil,MarkerorSoftPencil
ChangethecolorbyclickingontheChangeColorButton

LeftMouseDragoruseyourStylusPentodrawinthecurrentview
ClicktheEraserButton(orusetheoppositeendofyourStylus)toerasebrush
strokesinthecurrentviewport
ClickontheShowPreFrameGhostandShowPostFrameGhostbuttonsto
overlayimagesfromotherkeyframes:
RightMouseHoldtheGhostButtonstoshowframesfromupto1,2,3,4
orOthernumberofsurroundingkeyframes
RemoveaGreasePencilImagewiththeDeleteKeyframeButton
RightClickTimeSlider>GreasePencil>DeleteFrames>All:
RemoveallGreasePencilKeyframes
Alt+Shift+>:GotoNextGreasePencilKeyframe
Alt+Shift+<:GotoPreviousGreasePencilKeyframe