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Animation with ZooTools Pro -Autodesk Maya

🔴Learn how to create your first character animation using Zootools Pro rigs.

🔴This tutorial covers essential animation techniques, including setting up an idle animation and using animation layers for added depth.

🔴Animation layers come into play to add secondary animations like breathing or head scratching, offering variety to our character's idle state.

- Workflow

In the ZooToolsPro submenu, open the Scene Browser.

This isn’t a necessary step, but if you want you can put a new Scene from the Browser.

In the zoo_rigs_hive folder, Import the manne_anim_pose.

If you imported a new scene, activate the texture, light, shadows, and ambient occlusion.

Dock the Graph Editor above the Time Line.

To open the Graph Editor, go to Windows, Animation Editors, Graph Editor.

Turn on the Auto keyframe, below the play and pause button on the Timeline.

This is so a keyframe gets added automatically when moving a control on the rig.

  • Going through the Time Line or Graph Editor, the pose of the model changes.

  • For this tutorial, we’ll be using the 11th pose.

  • Select the entire rig, in the Graph Editor delete all the other keyframes besides the 11th one.

  • After deleting the other poses, drag the keyframe to 0 using Shift + Middle Mouse Button.

  • Set up how many frames you want the animation to have, a good number is around 30 to 48 frames.

  • Copy and paste the first frame to the end of the timeline so that the animation is perfectly loopable.

  • In the middle, begin making the animation by moving the controls around starting from the torso and then adjusting the arms.

  • These 3 keyframes are the mainframes used to block out the animation.

  • Everything between these frames is called in-betweens.

  • Those frames are details for the main frames to make the animation feel more alive.

  • For starters, make the middle frame a turn where the character looks to the side before going back to its normal starter position.

  • To make short animations loopable, activate the Post and Pre Infinity Cycles inside the Graph Editor in the View tab.

  • Add details to the animation by making the character lean up after turning, adjusting the arm to move slightly forward and the fingers to reach out a bit.

  • To add character, make the feet tap on the ground as well.

  • Animation Layers

  • A useful tool to use when animation is the Animation Layer.

  • This layer adds another animation on top of the Base Animation.

  • Both of them work together.

  • This is helpful so things don’t get too crowded in the graph editor.

  • To add an Animation Layer, in the Anim tab, click on the create Layer button.

  • You can switch between the animation layer and the base animation in the layer display.

  • In the animation layer, make a simple breathing animation where the torso goes up and down slightly.

  • You can rename animation layers by double-clicking on the name.

  • If you want, you can add another animation layer where the other hand scratches his head when the model turns.

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