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Total Newb Maya questions


Springheel
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Having said that, without the graph editor it would seem difficult to get good results. In my experience the graph editor is extremely valuable. It helps debug a lot of animation weirdness, and it's not difficult to use. It's helps a lot with making "clean" animations (as few keyframes as practical, but no fewer), which are easier for you and other people to modify and also tend to look nicely smooth. There are also some features you can't access anywhere else, like the different curve smoothing options (which are almost essential for some tasks).

Gonna search for some tutorials on the graph editor then.

 

Good animation is a tricky art. Have you studied classical (2D pen-and-paper) animation at all? Not as in actually doing it, but the techniques they used. Curves, weight, secondary animation, etc. (I don't even remember the full list any more, there's a bunch of them.) It was an eye-opener for me when I did a proper animation class and they showed us that stuff.

Eh, no. Perhaps I can assist in some trivial tasks then? Checking if animations made for one character look right for another if and tweak them if necessary. Or only very simple animations.

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There will be lots of need for simple animations, like reaching out to interact with something or subtle idle movements.

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Select the text and do file->save selected to shelf, name it md5import.

Reopen the shelf editor and your new button should be under shelf contents, select it and then select the tab edit commands and paste this into it:

 

source "C:/Documents and Settings/Flanders/Mijn documenten/maya/scripts/Md5toMaya_019b.mel";

md5import;

 

A faster/easier way is to select that line in the script editor and drag it to the shelf using the MMB. In the shelf editor under 'Shelf contents' you'll be able to give a it a proper name and custom icon.

 

It's been a while since I posted this question for the animators, let's try again.

 

The graph editor is an essential tool if your doing character animation or any type of animation. Even if your doing a simple thing as a bouncing ball. The curves show you how the movements will fade in or out between keyframes and what kind of tangents (linear, spline etc.) are used on your keyframes.

 

You can't get that information by just looking at the timeline or the viewports. You'll be using more keyframes to fix an unwanted movement while you could just look at the right curve and see what's happening. It takes a lot of practice to use the graph editor while animating but in the end it gives you complete control over your animation.

 

applying the animation principles (squash & strech, drag & overlap etc.) to character animation is whole other story ;) But even simple animations (although the simplest are usually the hardest to do) can benefit from using graph editor.

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Thanks guys, that gave me some to consider. I don't have time to follow any animation courses or something like that but maybe I can get some stuff from the internet and teach myself a little. For now I'll just keep checking the animation forum now and then and see if I can do some small tasks.

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As Springheel said, new idle animations are always needed in my opinion. Right now we have three or four (not sure), and they really add so much life to our AI.

 

@squill: Is the new rig already so far progressed that Flanders could do new anims with it? Or is it too early?

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@squill: Is the new rig already so far progressed that Flanders could do new anims with it? Or is it too early?

 

He can do animations using the latest version of the proguard rig. If the rig changes (model or skeleton) the animations can be simply transfered using anim clips if needed. More info about this on the wiki:

Using Character Sets

 

This also reminds me to add a topic about the use of the animation rig, explaning controls, IK/FK setup etc. on the wiki.

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  • 1 month later...

I have a total newb question: Whenever I select something in the hierarchy, all parent elements get selected too, I can't work like this. How can I switch that off? I searched for more than half an hour and I don't get it.

 

maya.jpg

 

It was not like this before, it just happened when I relaunched Maya. I must have hit a shortcut without knowing, methinks.

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Having said that, without the graph editor it would seem difficult to get good results. In my experience the graph editor is extremely valuable. It helps debug a lot of animation weirdness, and it's not difficult to use. It's helps a lot with making "clean" animations (as few keyframes as practical, but no fewer), which are easier for you and other people to modify and also tend to look nicely smooth. There are also some features you can't access anywhere else, like the different curve smoothing options (which are almost essential for some tasks).

You said you're not an animator, but you pretty much nailed it :)

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I have a total newb question: Whenever I select something in the hierarchy, all parent elements get selected too, I can't work like this. How can I switch that off? I searched for more than half an hour and I don't get it.

I think what you're talking about is normal behaviour, it's just the highlighting. If you set a key frame, it will only key on the object you selected, not everything above it as well. It's wierd but I got used to it. There could be a setting to turn it off but it's only a visual thing.

 

If you manually add objects to the selection with Shift + Click, the selected objects highlight white while the parent objects all highlight blue even though they are not really "selected". The confusing part is, the last object you added to the selection ALSO highlights blue. Confusing but not really a problem because the most I've ever selected at once is about 3 controls at once (eg. all the arm controls), so it's just "click, click, click" as long as you see a change you know it's working.

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No, that's not what I meant. The problem is that I cannot even see the rotate manipulator anymore, because it's so large and always drawn off-screen - due to the entire control hierarchy being selected up to and including "move_ctrl". This was not like this a few hours before that, so some setting must have been changed. At this point I cannot do anything with the controls anymore.

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Oh my, finally found it. I found a way to decrease the size of the manipulator by pressing Shift-Minus on the Numpad. No idea how this got changed, I certainly didn't do this on purpose.

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Oh my, finally found it. I found a way to decrease the size of the manipulator by pressing Shift-Minus on the Numpad. No idea how this got changed, I certainly didn't do this on purpose.

 

Increasing the size of the manipulator is a good way to make finer rotation movements, if you ever need that.

 

You can make it easier to see the individual rotation axes's on the shoulder joint for example and going to Display -> Transform Display -> Local Rotation Axes.

 

Heres it on my idle_arm_scratch:

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=4594201...04e75f6e8ebb871

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Increasing the size of the manipulator is a good way to make finer rotation movements, if you ever need that.

Yes, this might come in handy, thanks. Although I didn't need it so far, I just set the rough pose and then fine-tuned it in the Graph Editor.

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Ok, next problem. I'm trying to set some keyframes/curves for the finger controls. I selected the fingers_L_ctrl in the controls hierarchy, and somehow the channels in the graph editor appear to be locked. I can change the control points in the graph editor, but it doesn't do anything. I notice the small red X sign in the graph editor:

 

graph_editor.jpg

 

What can I do to animate the fingers? I did this before in the idle_torch anim, but in the walk36.ma file I can't get the fingers to move. What am I missing?

 

edit: I uploaded my WIP file to model_src, it's called walk36_torch.ma. It's largely unfinished, but it should showcase the problem.

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Just checking - you know that the hand control has a property called "grab" which you should be using if all you want to do is open and close the hand between a clenched fist and flat palmed - this covers the majority of situations.

 

Click on the floating thing that looks like a mitten and on the right you should see a property called "Grab". I use 9 for holding the sword.

 

The feet have properties like this too, called Raise toe, and raise heel.

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Just checking - you know that the hand control has a property called "grab" which you should be using if all you want to do is open and close the hand between a clenched fist and flat palmed - this covers the majority of situations.

Yes, that's what I'm using.

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Hi, it's the Maya newb again: I'm trying to apply the new idle pose to my armwipe animation. This is what I'm ending up with:

 

pose_mania.jpg

 

This is what I did:

 

- Open Maya, open idle_armwipe.ma

- Go to frame 0

- Open Visor, go to Unused Clips and import the idle_pose.ma clip from the model_src folder.

- Go to Trax Editor

- Activate the Character set (citywatch_body)

- Load the character (the red character-plus icon)

- MMB-drag the pose from Unused Poses to the Trax Editor (to the beginning, i.e. frame 0)

- Delete the pose from Unused Poses (it's in Character Poses now)

- Turn Auto-Keys on (I also tried without that step) (*)

- Ensure that I'm at frame 0, go to Character Poses and RMB > Apply Pose (this looks about OK at first glance). But when I'm playing the anim:

- Watch breaking the guard's shoulders and arms

 

(*) If I skip the auto-key option, my guard is switching to T-pose immediately after the first frame, which is odd too. Without auto-keys I tried to set a keyframe after applying the pose on all the controls below shoulder_ctrl_R/L to "bake" the pose, which fixes the first frame, but the second frame is a T-Pose.

 

What am I missing?

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it's seems you forgot to the delete the pose clip in the trax editor..am i right?

Absolutely, that helped, thanks! I could update my anims now, they are in SVN already.

 

I was under the impression that dragging the pose to the Trax Editor was necessary, so I thought I'd better not delete it right thereafter, but I gather this is just to get the pose into the "Character Poses" tab?

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