So naturally I had to have a mess about. This is a result of about 4 hours of straight forward animation (no blocking). It's a bit rough but just fancied finishing something super quick. Also I apologies in advance for the awful pun title.
I finally got my shot fully finished and rendered! I might do some smaller tweaks here and there to bring focus on the guy a bit more.
"Rollin’ Safari was a student project, produced as part of the Subject Area Animation at the Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction."
Fantastic take on the way animals interact with each other. Such a simple idea executed extremely well!
Watch more here.
I've only been properly utilising user-made Maya scripts over the last few years. During my uni learning days I didn't have much of a clue about these wonderful things. Animation in itself is so hard anyway, so scripts have been a god send and massive time saver. Any extra help you can get with whatever software you're using to make life easier is invaluable.
This post is mainly for those who are yet to start using scripts, or maybe this can act as a little highlighter of scripts you haven't heard of. The following are some of my most useful scripts for animation that I think everyone should have. I'd be very interested to find out what other animators regularly use too - because I'm sure there are some other really useful ones I'm yet to discover.
Completely irrelevant stock photo
Auto Tangent (for Maya 2011) - Download
This little script mimics (not quite as well) the new feature in Maya 2012, the Auto Tangent. It's a great tool to use as soon as you've finished some expertly crafted blocking and don't want ridiculous overshoots and funky curves all over the place. It's not a complete fixer, though - and you still need to get your face dirty in the graph editor to get exactly what you want.
abxPicker - Download
If you're like me, and the amount of controls on screen when animating a rig is rather overwhelming, then get this. It lays out your rig in an easy to use window, mapping out your character so there's no need to even click a controller in your scene. Not for everyone this, but keeps your workflow clean!
ShotView - Download
Made by the very talented Cameron Fielding, this wicked script sets you make a duplicate viewport with a difference. It has a built in time-line that allows you to scrub through your shot without messing around with your main viewport every few minutes. It also provides interesting pre-sets and options for quick play-blasting.
cMotionTrail - Download
One of the most useful scripts I believe. Select your controller, set your frame time and just by magic it plots locators on each frame to give you a visual representation of what shapes your animation is taking. Perfect for tweaking nice smooth archs! This takes the in-built Maya trail function and makes it better. More customisable options and a simpler interface.
Tween Machine - Download
This sucker allows you to calculate the position of a controller anywhere between two keys. Perfect for when you get to an advanced blocking stage and need to fill in some more keys and really take control of your shot. Edit: Just discovered Advanced Tween Machine too!
Animators! Excuse my ignorance and let me know if you've got any I need to have by saying something like this, "OMG you don't have *super-awesome-script*? GETIT!"
Spread the script love!
I've been working on a dialogue shot recently - trying to get into a habit of doing these more often to improve my animation. I've been posting various playblasts on 11 Second Club forum for awhile now but don't seem to get the feedback I need.
Last night I discovered a new site, YouAnimator.com. It lets you upload work-in-progress animations and have them critiqued by a range of animators using an interesting coin reward system. Once you have critiques made on your animation by others, you can distribute "coins" to whoever has given you the most valuable advice. Best thing about it, is it's all free!
I've always wanted to get my work critiqued properly in this way, but haven't had the time/money to spend on an Animation Mentor or iAnimate course. This site provides a really good source for animators to improve without spending a penny.
Here's the critique I received only yesterday by Yarim Machado. Click the picture to see the comments he's made. Looks like I've got my work cut out tonight! If you've got a work in progress, get signed up and receive some invaluable feedback!
It's officially been an inexcusable amount of time since the last post on here, so I thought I'd return with something that a lot of artists, animators, riggers alike may find quite useful.
When animating at home and work, I've always found it a nuisance to keep copying over new scripts or preferences I've saved. This also leaves hot-keys etc, missing that you've set-up on one machine and not updated on the other. With cloud-storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive getting ever more popular, why not sync your preferences folder on 'The Cloud" and have the same preferences on any computer you use?
How is this done?
- First off, back up your preference folder, so it can be restored if something goes wrong. This is usually found in C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\maya named 2011-x64 (according to your Maya version)
- Next copy your "2011-x64" preference folder to your desired cloud service and put it in a folder called "Maya Prefs", "Prefs" or similar
- Download and install Link Shell Extension: 32 Bit users - 64 Bit users - at the end of the install it'll restart explorer.exe (your task bar will flicker off and on)
- Once installed, open up your cloud directory (Dropbox, Google Drive) where you saved your preferences folder in step 2
- Right-click your preferences folder and go down to "Pick Link Source"
6. Once that's done, go back into your original Maya directory C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\maya. Make sure you delete your current preferences folder (if you haven't done already). Right click anywhere and go to "Drop As..." > "Symbolic Link"
...and you're done!
This has now made a virtual folder in your original Maya Preference folder, synced with your master folder in Dropbox/Google Drive! You can now add/edit any one of these folders with scripts, icons etc, and it will automatically update the other. Set this up on all the machines you use.
As I've said before, it's probably a good idea to back-up your folder so in the event you accidentally delete it from your cloud storage, it's always available to restore!
If you're a Mac user, an easy guide to Symbolic Links can be found here.
Hope this has been helpful and good use to some of you!
2 weeks ago I was boarding in the sunny French Alps with a group of lovely people. I borrowed my colleagues GoPro for the week and forked out for a pole and mount for it. Here, are some edits!