Course notes
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Lecture 1: Intro to Animating with Maya Lecture 7: Camera Moves and Positions
Lecture 2: Keyframing, Graph Editor, Playblast Lecture 8: Path Animation
Lecture 3: Digital Audio Lecture 9: Principles of Animation
Lecture 4: Audio, Projects, Hierarchy, Principles Lecture 10: Paint Effects
Lecture 5: Deformers, Path, Rendering, After Effects Lecture 11: Creating Sets and Clusters
Lecture 6: Ball Bounce Lecture 12: Making a Playable DVD
 Lecture 2: Keyframing, Graph Editor, Hierarchy
Manipulating the keys in the timeline:

Moving a keyframe
  • Click a little bit before the the keyframe you want to select
  • Shift Drag it to select the key frame
  • Grab it from the middle and drag the new location

    Cutting a keyframe
  • Click the keyframe you want to select
  • Right Mouse Button (RMB) and select Cut

    Copying a keyframe
  • Click the keyframe you want to select
  • Right Mouse Button (RMB) and select Copy

    Pasting a keyframe
  • You need to already have a keyframe in memory from Cutting or Copying it previously
  • Go to a new frame and Right Mouse Button (RMB) select Paste

    Selecting a range of keys in the timeline:
    Range in Timeline

  • Click before the first key frame you want to select
  • Hold Shift down and drag

    Moving a range of keyframes
  • Click the middle arrows after selecting a range
  • Drag to new location

    Cutting a range of keyframes
  • Select a range of keyframes using the shift drag
  • Right Mouse Button (RMB) and select Cut

    Copying a range of keyframes
  • Select a range of keyframes using the shift drag
  • Right Mouse Button (RMB) and select Copy

    Paste a keyframe or frames
  • You need to already have a range of keyframes in memory from Cutting or Copying them previously
  • Go to a new frame and Right Mouse Button (RMB) select Paste
    This will paste the keys on top of other keys if they exist

    You can also select a range for the keys to get pasted into - this will scale them to fit the range

    Scaling keyframes (stretching or contracting keys to slow or speed up the animation)
  • Select a range of keyframes by using shift drag
  • Drag the right or left arrow of the range to increase or decrease the time it takes for the animation to occur

    Using the Edit Menu to Cut, Copy or Paste Keyframes

    To cut or copy keyframe:
    Select the Keyframe you want
    Go to Edit - Keys and select Cut or Copy

    To paste keyframes:
    Copy or Cut a keyframe
    Go to the new frame where you want to paste the frames
    Select Edit - Keys and select Paste OPTIONS

    Time range: Start allows you to specify where the pasting should start
    Time range: Start/end allows you to specify a range that the keyframes will scale to fit
    Paste Method: Insert will push over the existing keyframes to make room for the new ones
    Paste Method: Merge will combine the new keyframes with the existing keyframes
  • Graph Editor:

    Window-->Animation Editors-->Graph Editor
    graph editor

    Contains keys, curve segments, and tangents

    View-->Frame All will frame entire animation or hit F while in the window
    View-->Frame Selected will frame selected attribute (drag a box around a few keypoints)

    If no objects are selected, select something in the main modeling window and click on its listing in the Graph Editor
    Click the Circle+/- sign to open or close the attributes - the Square+ opens the shape node (not used for this assignment)

    Vertical numbers on left side are values of the keys. This is the same value that is in the channel box of a keyframe.
    Horizontal numbers are Frames (Time)

    You will see one dot per set keyframe in each attribute

    The angle of the line means:
  • Line is going up - the value is increasing as the animation plays
  • Line going down - the value is decreasing as the animation plays
  • Line horizontal - there is no increase or decrease in the value over time

    A flat line is called Static Action
    This means that there is no movement at all and a key is not needed.

    To delete a line with no action, click the line and hit Delete

    Always remove all static actions!

    On the left side of the Graph Editor you can select the specific attribute you want to see (Ex: translate x)
    You can select more than one attribute to see at a time
    To see all the attributes at once, click the name of the object at the top of the list

    You can have more than one object selected in the modeling window. They all show up in the graph editor.


    To see the tangent, select a key point by clicking on it or dragging a box around it
    The brown line on either side of the point are the tangents.

    To move a tangent you need to have the Move Tool selected in the left toolbar.
    Select the tangent point and use your middle mouse button and drag up or down

    Two tangents are attached to all key points (In Tangent and Out Tangent)
    Tangents have a weight and angle (weight effects the pull on the curve)
    Each controls the velocity or speed of change at which an object changes over time
    The In Tangent controls the speed of change coming into the keypoint
    The Out Tangent controls the speed coming out of the keypoint
    Tangents keep continuity unless you break them (when you move one side, the other side will move).

    Setup Prefs to see what the icons mean:
    Window menu - Settings/Preferences - Preferences - Help: Tooltips Enabled

    In order to change a tangent, it must be selected

    Break Tangent Break Tangent
    makes the in tangent and out tangents move independently
    Keys menu - Break Tangent

    Unify Tangent Unify Tangent
    makes each side of the tangent act together, dependently
    Keys menu - Unify Tangent

    Lock Tangent Weight Lock Tangent Weight
    cannot change the length, can change angle

    Free Tangent Weight Free Tangent Weight
    both weight and angle can be changed

    Tangent Types:

    Spline Spline:
    A curved line is called a Spline Tangent - this allows some flexibility in speed
    as the object travels from keyframe to keyframe (Ease in and Ease Out)

    Linear Linear:
    a straight line is called linear interpolation-there is a constant speed as it goes
    from one keyframe to the next. This movement can appear mechanical.

    Clamped Clamped:
    when two key frames are at the same value but a different time, it will make it
    linear, whereas the rest will be curved. (used when two keyframes are very close).

    Stepped Stepped:
    the value changes at the key abruptly - used for cuts

    Flat Flat:
    causes the tangent to be horizontal - no change in value

    Plateau Plateau:
    curved coming into a flat line and curved going out of it

    Window-->Playblast, or RMB on Timeline, choose Playblast

    Will screen capture each frame and save it or show it temporarily

    Will play back sequentially, and save as a Quicktime file or AVI.

    Will animate entire timeline, or specified part of timeline.

    Playblast Options:
    Time range:
    Time Slider - (gets its start and end from the timeline)
    Start/End - You specify the start and end

    View: to see it or not

    Show Ornaments: removes some interface elements from view before it renders it
    * You need to turn off Show Grid in the main window also

    Multi-Camera Output: Used when you have more than one camera created

    Viewer - MoviePlayer (Quicktime on Mac or FCheck on PCs) - we don't use the Image Viewer
    Compression - reduces file size - use H.264 High

    Display Size (Render Globals, Window, custom)
    Scale - can change the size
    Frame Padding - will add zeros infront of the filename

    Remove temporary files - YES
    Save to File - if you want to save it.
    Movie file: give it a name
  • BE CAREFUL these are large files and you want to remove them after you look at them
  • Save them to TempRender on D:

    F-Check will play your animation on the PCs after a Playblast if you don't save it as a Quicktime.

    Close the window after you are done viewing it.

    To see the animation by using the PLAY button in Maya (may not play real speed)

    Window Playback:
    Window-->Settings/Preferences-->Preferences-->Time Slider

    Update View:
    Active-plays only active window
    All--animates all windows

    Playback Looping:
    RMB on Timeline, choose Playback Looping
    Looping - Once, Oscillate (forward and back), Continuous

    Always remove all test renders and playblast sequences that are not needed!!!