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Create Advanced Animation Techniques

Learn advanced animation techniques using AnimBot for character rigging, keyframing, and camera animation.

Easily reset poses, auto-mirror animations, and organize selection sets for efficient character rigging.

Follow along as we animate a dynamic tapping and jumping sequence, adjusting timing and anticipation for added impact.

- Workflow

  • If you want a better view for the workspace you can use the ZooTools view presets inside the Scene Browser and Import them in the scene.

  • After doing that, turn on the texture, light, shadow, and ambient occlusion.

  • Like in the previous tutorial, we’ll be using the Moustache Man for today’s animation and display of the AnimBot plugin for Autodesk Maya.

  • AnimBot adds a lot of useful tools to make animation in Maya easier and more organized.

  • One of these tools is the Reset button.

  • If you make a change in the rig and want it to go back to its first state, select the entire rig and click the button.

  • There is also a Mirror tool that mirrors the movement of one control onto the opposite one.

  • Right-click the Mirro icon and tick the Auto Mirro box.

  • This allows you to move both parts of the model as long as it is fully symmetrical.

  • The Selection Sets is a tool that makes it easier for you to select parts of the rig faster and keeps themes organized on the side in the workspace.

  • To add Selection Sets, select either a main control or a hierarchy, then click the Selection Sets button.

  • Add a name and color for the set and press the tick button.

  • The set will appear on the workspace and you can move it anywhere you want.

  • Do this for as many controls as you want to make animating more convenient.

  • Make the character in a pose where he would start stomping his feet in the first frame.

  • Before continuing the animation, open the AnimBot Hotkeys to set any hotkeys shortcuts that will make the animation progress faster.

  • Enabling Set Smart Key All Channels will add keyframes that won’t interfere with the other tangents inside the graph editor, therefore making the workflow smoother.

  • After setting up the first frame, make a second frame where one of the feet of the character is lifted up, then copy the first frame and paste it after the second one.

  • This isn’t going to be a loop animation where the character just stomps his feet but also jumps forward.

  • The animation won’t be loopable.

  • After the stomp, make the head of the character wiggle side to side to display anger.

  • Make the character kneel down after the head wiggle, and curl up his mustache before lunging at the camera.

  • After the character kneels down, make him jump toward the camera in the last frame.

  • Add some in-betweens in the animation, making the stomp more fluent and bouncy, making other parts of the character move, and so on.

  • The final step is to animate a camera.

  • In the ZooTools sub menu, open the Camera Manager window.

  • Give the new camera a name, resolution, and make sure that both the Match Res/Film Gate and Display Resolution Gate are turned on before clicking Create New.

  • After the camera has been added, select it from the Outliner and add a keyframe.

  • Animate the camera going slowly towards the character and following it upward when it jumps.

  • To make the animation viewable through a video player, open the Render Settings and set the Render Using to Arnold Render.

  • Right-click on the timeline and next to the Playblast option click the window icon to open the settings.

  • In the Playblast Options, increase the Quality to 100, the Scale to 1, and choose a Movie File location.

  • Click Apply then right-click the timeline again and click Playblast.

  • The animation will be then turned into a video file that can be viewed through any video player.

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