Maya 2018 Animation Fundamentals

In this in-depth step-by-step course you'll learn the ins and outs of Maya 2018's powerful and intuitive animation tools. Software required: Maya 2018.
Course info
Rating
(28)
Level
Beginner
Updated
Aug 7, 2017
Duration
2h 51m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Rating
(28)
Level
Beginner
Updated
Aug 7, 2017
Duration
2h 51m
Description

Get up and running with Animation in Maya. In this course, Maya 2018 Animation Fundamentals, you'll learn about Maya 2018 animation fundamentals. First, you'll start by learning the number one concept for any animator to understand, the timeline and setting keyframes. Next, you'll dive into some of Maya 2018's unique features like the Time Editor and the MASH Animation Toolset. Finally, you'll learn about the brand new feature to Maya 2018 the RV player, making previewing animations much faster and intuitive. By the end of the course, you'll have a strong knowledge of Maya's Animation tools. Ares- Tiger-Bot model created and provided by Jay Choi. Ranger model created and provided by Ethan Snell. Software required: Maya 2018.

About the author
About the author

Mark started out with an interest for animation at a young age, and it eventually transformed into a passion for the subject. Mark made an impact on the industry quickly, working for Pluralsight (Digital-Tutors) as an Animation and Rigging Instructor. Currently, he is working as an animator on the popular children's series Floogals for NBC Sprouts.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi everyone. My name is Mark Masters, and welcome to my course, Maya 2018 Animation Fundamentals. The goal of this course is to get you up and running with animation inside of Maya, and walk you through the most important animation tools at your disposal. We'll begin with the very basics, and learn how to play back and view an animation. We'll then dive into the building blocks for all animations, keyframes. We'll learn the ins and outs of setting keyframes, copying keyframes, and much more, all while creating our very first animation. We'll then jump into Maya's powerful graph editor, and learn about the different tangent types, and how to use the graph editor to create more complex animations. Along our way, we'll also learn how to blend between animations utilizing the Time Editor, and how to create animations that follow a specified path, and we'll even examine the MASH animation toolset. The goal of this course is to not necessarily teach you animation techniques, but rather every animation tool within Maya that will help you create great animations. I'm really excited to get started, so let's jump in and begin learning about basic playback controls in the first module.

Playback Controls and Time Slider
In this module, we're going to learn about the basics of Maya's playback controls and time slider. So before we actually jump in, let's go ahead and go over a quick overview of some of the things that we'll actually be learning within this module. So we're going to keep things very, very simple in this module, and we're going to begin by learning how to actually play your animations inside of Maya's viewport. And then we're going to take a look at jumping between frames and keyframes in the actual timeline or time slider itself, and we're also going to take a look at how we can add and remove frames within our timeline, so that's going to allow us to actually set the actual frame length that we want for an animation. And then finally, we're going to wrap everything up by learning about a few hotkeys for a faster workflow. These hotkeys are going to allow you to quickly play your animation, as well as jump between frames and keyframes within the time slider. These are hotkeys that you're going to be using quite often once you actually jump into animation inside of Maya. So with that, let's go ahead and begin in the next clip, and learn about some of the basic playback controls.

Animation Preferences
In this module, we're going to learn about some of Maya's animation preferences. So before we actually jump into Maya, let's go ahead and go over a quick overview of what we'll be talking about in this module. So first we're going to take a look at some of the Time Slider preferences. These preferences are going to allow us to change things like the actual size of the Time Slider itself, as well as a couple other visual adjustments that we can do inside the Time Slider preferences. And then we're going to take a look at the playback preferences. These are some adjustments that we can make for ways that we can actually play or view the animation inside of Maya's viewport. And then finally, we're going to take a look at the playback speed, and understand how we can actually adjust the frames per second, and really understand the importance of establishing the frames per second for your animation before you actually jump into animation. So with that, let's go ahead and get started in the next clip and take a look at the Time Slider preferences.

Basic of Keyframes and Animation
In this module, we're going to learn about the basics of keyframes, as well as how to create a simple animation. So before we actually jump into Maya, let's first go ahead and discuss what we're actually going to cover in this module. So the first thing that we're going to talk about are ways that we can actually set keyframes inside of Maya. Keyframes are the building block and the foundation for any animation that you create. And on top of setting keyframes, we're obviously going to learn how to delete keyframes. How can we go in there, and maybe if we set a keyframe on the wrong spot, or maybe we decided we actually don't need that keyframe. We need to learn about how we can actually go about deleting those keyframes from our animation. And then we're going to talk about the basics of creating our very first animation. This is going to be on a very simple robot character, and we're going to take a look at how we can actually go about creating animations through setting keyframes, figuring out the timing of our action, and how we need to place those keyframes on our timeline in order to get a certain speed or look for the animation. And then we're also going to learn about ways we can copy our keyframes to different objects or different control curves. So this is really important if, maybe you're animating one action on a character or maybe one action on a specific object, and you don't actually want to have to go through and animate that all over again. Well, you can actually copy and paste your keyframes to different objects, or even the same selected object, so that you don't have to go in there and create everything twice. This is a really helpful way to speed up your workflow. So now that we know a little bit about what we're going to discuss throughout this module, let's go ahead and begin in the next clip and learn how to set keyframes.

Understanding the Graph Editor
In this module, we're going to learn about Maya's Graph Editor, So before we actually jump in, let's go ahead and take a look at what we'll be covering throughout this module. So the first thing that we're going to talk about is just basic navigation around the Graph Editor, how to move around and really just understand what you're looking at. And then we'll take a look at how you can move and shift your keyframes around from within the Graph Editor. We'll also learn about the different tangent types, and how important they are for creating your animations, and why it's so important that you understand the different tangent types that you have available to you. We'll also take a look at techniques for adjusting those tangent handles to alter the look and feel of your animation. Finally, we'll learn how to animate a ball bounce, completely utilizing Maya's Graph Editor. So those are the things that we're going to discuss in this module. So let's go ahead and jump in in the next clip and learn about navigation in the Graph Editor.

Using the Time Editor
In this module, we're going to learn about the Time Editor. So real quickly, let's go ahead and just talk about what the Time Editor actually allows us to do. So you can think of the Time Editor almost as a type of video editing software for your actual animation. So what we can do with the Time Editor is actually put all of our keyframe information on what is called a clip. And these clips can be duplicated, they can be moved around within the Time Editor to create basically sequences for your animation, to create almost like a blending between multiple different animations. So you can do a lot of stuff with these animation clips. We can also work non-destructively. So once you actually put your keyframe information into one of these clips, any time you edit the clip at all it's not actually going to have an effect on that keyframe information, so it's going to allow you to experiment and work non-destructively. We also have the ability to easily loop our animations with these animation clips. We can stretch them, we can even slow them down, and we can even loop our animation clips very, very easily. And we can also blend between multiple clips. So blending basically allows us to create two different clips. Let's say, for example, we have a run cycle and a walk cycle. Well, if we blend between two different clips, or basically two different animations, Maya is going to try and figure out what needs to happen between them. So basically, how should the character get from the walk cycle into the run cycle. So it's actually going to create some really great animation for us that we can use as a foundation. So this is actually everything that we're going to cover in this module, so let's go ahead and get started in the next clip and learn how to create animation clips.

Visualize Tools
In this module, we're going to learn about the Visualize tools. So before we actually get started, let's take a look at what we're going to learn in this module. So the first thing that we're going to take a look at is the editable motion trail. This gives you the ability to basically create a curve that follows the exact path of your animation, so it gives you the ability to very easily track things like your arcs, and you can also edit this motion trail and have your animation update in real time. Now after that we're going to take a look at the ghosting an animation feature. So this way we can actually create a ghosted image of your animation at any point in time, that you can view in 3D space. And then finally, we're going to learn about the animation snapshot feature inside the Visualize tools. This is something that is similar to the motion trail in that it creates basically a trail to visualize your animation. However, this is actually displaying your geometry, so it's placing the geometry at each point in time at those frames so you can very easily see where exactly your object is going to be in 3D space. So now that we learned about what we're actually going to take a look at in this module, let's begin in the next clip and learn about the editable motion trail.

Creating an Animation That Follows a Path
In this module, we're going to learn how to create an animation that follows a specific path. So let's go ahead and take a look at what we're going to learn in this module. so the first thing is that we're going to learn how to actually attach an object to a specific path, utilizing a curve. So we're going to create the path that we want using a curve, and then we're basically just going to attach that object to that curve. This is something that is really, really helpful, especially if you're animating something like a car driving down a road, or maybe even a roller coaster that has to follow a specific track. It's something that would be extremely difficult to do by hand-keyed animation, and have it appear as if that object is actually stuck on that track. So this is going to be really, really important for animations such as that. And then we're also going to learn how to adjust our spacing once we actually attach our object to the curve. And then we're also going to learn how we can actually fine-tune this animation. We can add things like rotation to it, and really begin to polish this animation. So now that we learned a little bit about what we're going to cover in this module, let's go ahead and begin in the next clip and learn how to actually attach an object to a specific path.

Quick Overview of MASH Animation Toolset
In this module, we're going to learn about the MASH animation toolset inside of Maya. So let's go ahead and talk about what we're going to learn throughout this module. So first and foremost, we're just going to take a look at the basics of working with MASH as we create our very own MASH animation. Now one thing to keep in mind is that we are going to keep things really, really simple just because there is so much that you can do with MASH that it really deserves a course all its own. So we're going to keep things really, really simple, and just give you a broad overview. So MASH is something that you're going to use quite often if you're creating any type of procedural animation, or maybe something like a motion graphics type of animation. That's where MASH really come into play. So we're also going to learn how to attach our objects to another mesh utilizing MASH. So we'll take a look at how we can do that in this module. And then we're also going to take a look at creating procedural animation effects. So we're going to create a really, really awesome effect utilizing the MASH animation toolset, in a very short amount of time. So let's go ahead and get started, and begin learning about MASH in the next clip.

Previewing Animations in Real-time
In this module, we're going to learn how to preview our animations in real-time. So let's take a look at what we're going to cover throughout this module. So the first thing that we're going to talk about is the Playblast feature inside of Maya, which has always really been the traditional way of ensuring that you're looking at your animation in real-time, because you're basically just creating a movie file out of your animation, and basically just rendring it out of Maya. Now the reason you want to do this is because you're not always going to see real-time playback inside of Maya's viewport. So say, for example, you're animating at 24 frames per second, but that doesn't mean what you're viewing in the viewport as you play it back is going to be at 24 frames per second, because it depends on really the complexity of your scene and the power of your machine. So if you're working on a really dense scene with a lot of characters, you might actually only be getting 10 frames per second playback in the viewport, which means that if you look at your animation inside the viewport, and it's not real-time playback, when you actually render out your animation your animation is going to look really, really different. So you never want to animate to the playback that you get in your viewport. Now after we look at the Playblast feature, we're going to look at the brand-new RV player, which is new to Maya 2018. This is a really, really powerful player that you can use directly inside of Maya's viewport. And this is going to be something that most animators are going to be switching to, simply because you don't have to create or render out an external movie file to simply look at your animation in real-time, you can do this all directly inside of Maya. But we're going to take a look at both of these methods in this module, so let's go ahead and get started in the next clip and take a look at the Playblast feature.