Animation Basics

Maya: Animation


This page goes trhough some important fundamentals in regards to animating in Maya. I’ve included a space scene here to play with, but the videos go through the basic elements of aniamting in Maya.


Scene File Example (0 mins)

Here’s an example of the space scene with finished animation

Video 1.1: Basic Animation with the Space Scene (0:11 mins)

Video Notes

Animation Week 1

**Some videos are best viewed in HD, you can change the settings to HD in each video as view fullscreen to see the detail.

Scene Files
MayaSpaceship Project Files zipped

1. Set your project directory to MayaSpaceship
2. Open 01_AnimStart.mb
3. 02_AnimComplete.mb is an example of a finished scene with animation


Animation basics in Maya (11 mins)

The following videos cover animation basics in Maya

Video 2.1: Switch to native OS File Browser in Maya (0:22 mins)

Video Notes

Class Notes

Setting Preferences
Opening with the native MacOS window settings
Window > Settings/Preferences > Preferences > Files Projects > File Dialog > OS Native = On

Video 2.2: Animation Preferences in Maya (0:15 mins)

Video Notes

Animation Settings for things like fcurve defaults
Window > Settings/Preferences > Preferences > Animation

Video 2.3: Changing the Framerate in Maya (0:18 mins)

Video Notes

Changing the Frame Rate (FPS)
We’ll be working in 25fps after this week.
Window > Settings/Preferences > Preferences > Settings > Time > PAL (25fps)

Video 2.4: Setting Key Frames (0:32 mins)

Video Notes

Setting Keys
Set key for translate = shift w
Set Key for Rotation = shift e
Set Key for Scale = shift r

Set key for all = s

Set Key for one attribute = (right click on attribute name in the channel box) right click set key

Video 2.5: Channel Box Slider (0:41 mins)

Video Notes

Using the Channel Box as a slider
Click on the attribute name in the channel box.
– middle click drag in the 3d window.
– shift makes it go faste
– ctrl makes it go slower

Video 2.6: Moving Keys in The Time Slider (0:59 mins)

Video Notes

Moving Keys in the Time Slider
To select in the time slider.
– Hold down shift and click on the key
– Hold down shift and click drag over many keys

To move
Click in the middle of the red area and drag

To Scale
Click on the tiny arrows at each end of the red selection, drag out to scale.

Video 2.7: Navigating The Graph Editor (1:30 mins)

Video Notes

Navigating the Graph Editor
In the graph editor you navigate like other 3d windows.

pan = hold alt, middle click drag
zoom = hold alt, right click drag

To zoom on one axis = hold alt and shift then right click drag (in the desired direction)

Video 2.8: Moving, Scaling and Snapping Keys in the graph editor in Maya (3:22 mins)

Video Notes

Moving Scaling And Snapping Keys in the Graph Editor
Move Keys
Select the move tool = w
Move = middle click drag

Move Keys on One Axis
Select the move tool = w
Move = hold shift and middle click drag in a direction

Numerical Move
Select the time number input area at the top of the graph editor. Make sure you highlight the number for either time or value. Type the following

To Add 10: +=10
To Subtract 10: -=10

Scale keys
Select the move tool = r
Scale = middle click drag

Scale Keys on One Axis
Select the scale tool = r
Scale = hold shift and middle click drag in a direction

Numerical Scale
graph editor > edit > scale (option box)

To Snap Keys
graph editor > Edit > Snap
click the time snap icon (a magnet) or value snap icon (a magnet)
and move the keys a little, they will snap into place.

Video 2.9: The Animation Tangents (3:19 mins)

Video Notes

Tangent Types
There’s a few tangent types in Maya the main ones are
– Auto (Automatically tries to be smart about what your tangents should do)
– Spline (tangent point or average the next and previous keys)
– Linear (straight lines)
– Flat (flattens all the tangents)
– Stepped (for animatic and storyboard like animation, or on/off animation)

Video 2.10: Recovering Time and Range Sliders in Maya (0:39 mins)

Video Notes

How to show the Time Slider and Range Slider
If you loose the Time Slider or Range Slider
– Right click on the dotted grey area next to any toolbar. Click on
– Time Slider or Range Slider

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