Animating (Maya)

Maya is a 3D modelling software that is also used for animating and developing characters/ objects. Animation was completely new to me on Maya, however I had used this programme before for modelling when it came to my ‘Making Colomn’ blog. The task that was given was to animate three different shapes racing one another to one side of the grid and back again- one cone, one cube and one sphere.

The first step was to craft the three shapes I needed which I located in the ‘Polygon’ tab on the top left, then making them level to the grid by using the ‘Snap to Grid’ tool as well as moving them to the end of the grid, in uniform to each other. Moving the tools were easy especially because I could used the short cut ‘Ctrl+W’ which will automatically select the move tool.

Once I aligned all the shapes the next step was to animate which was a new concept for me, though I have done 2D animating before with my ‘Warburtons Animation’, ‘Running Man’ and  ‘Animated Alphabet’ task. One similarity between the two are that key frames are needed to help an object get from point A to point B. To set a key frame I right clicked on the coordinates on the ‘Channel Box/ Layer Editor’ then select ‘Key Selected’, this would change the selected box to red to show that that movement is being animated. To animate my shapes I set a key frame on frame 0 and then again at 10 frames, but at 10 frames I moved the cone, then the animating can take place. Once animating the cone I then moved on to the sphere and cube altering between frames and distance of movement. Following that, once the movement was figured out, it wasn’t too difficult to manipulate the size, shape and height using the ‘key selected’ tool. Overall I feel pretty comfortable with animating solid in Maya in the future, however I do believe I have more to learn when it comes to advanced shapes.

As an additional task I could also colour fill the shapes so they weren’t all just grey shapes. This part was much more difficult as I had only just got used to animating and I didn’t have enough time to go into a lot of detail, however I was able to set colours to each of the shapes. To colour the shape I highlighted the shape I wanted and then selected ‘Hypershade’, where this tab would appear and I could choose what colours I wanted. I managed to get the cone to a 3D filter of ‘oceanShader’ and the other two to pink, however I believe with more practice I could control what sort of shading I wanted as well as custom brush strokes on shapes.


Overall I feel comfortable with animating a shape from Maya and moving across the screen, however I do believe that I would have to research more into colouring shapes and animating different components on the same shape for example arms and legs on a 3D character model, or even designing/ moulding a shape like a face or hands.


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