While teaching Animation with Quadrupeds at the Animation Workshop, Samy Fecih noticed students struggling with the technical and mathematical aspects of creating a walk cycle for a four legged character and created this tutorial showing how to get a strong base for the walk cycle using some math.
So this tutorial is very very basic, but shows how to get to a strong base for a walk cycle very fast using mainly mathematics
Sharing information that is based on Samy’s animation techniques that he has developed over the years, Samy shows some different ways to create changes for the walk cycle, demonstrating his workflow when dealing with quadrupeds.
Escape Studios’ Dan Shutt shows how to create a simple virtual set in Maya using a photo and creating camera Projections in Autodesk Maya, demonstrating how you can get realistic results for mid to background objects without going through a large modeling process.
Dan Shutt shows you how to use camera projections in Maya
Camera Mapping allows you to use a still or moving image to project onto low resolution geometry that has been matched to the original plate photography. This allows you to create a digital set in no time flat, providing realistic results as it essentially is the original photography.
The V-Ray FrameBuffer allows you to load the various render passes which can be handy to see the initial rendered output for comparison. If however you are using Arnold, this would be a missed feature inside the Maya Render view window.
The Render Blog’s João was caught in this very situation and wanted to load and view Arnold aov’s in the Maya Viewport, and shares how he was able to do so using python.
he idea behind this is very simple, maya’s renderview has the ability to load images, and we will assign to each menu item inside the optionMenu a render pass
João provides a little insight into how the script will work, and walks through creating a simple user interface to facilitate easily loading all the render passes and aov’s right within the Maya RenderView.
João does note that if you are working in linear workflow and using 16/32 bit images like exr’s, you need to setup a few things so that it can work properly, most notably having the OpenEXRLoader plying loaded with Maya’s plugin manager.
To create your own Python Script for Loading Render Passes and AOV’s into Maya’s RenderView Window, check the post here.
Creature TD and Technical Artist Wasim Khan shares his CreatureRig IK Stretch plugin for Autodesk Maya, which can create an IK stretch system that will allow you to define the initial length.
Created for one of Wasim Khan’s previous projects where he had to create a rig to morph a monkey to an ape, then to a man, Wasim built an IK system where an animator can define the length of an arm or leg by adding a new initial length. This allows for the animator to use the new length as the initial position for the IK system, making animation easy.
CreatureRigs Stretch IK (Maya Python Plug-in) is a single maya node to create an extensive robust ik stretch system for your rigs
Wasim Khan starts with an impressive animated example, then shows how the CreatureRigs Stretch IK Plugin works on some simple examples, and also provides a couple of examples of incorporating the CreatureRigs Stretch IK into a rig.
The CreatureRigs Stretch IK Plugin is available on the CreatureRigs set here, and features:
- Set stretch limit
- Customizable initial length of IK Joints
- Set Mid joint offset
- Set Mid-lock blending
- Soft Stretch – Avoid IK popping
- Stretch Mode Type – Scale / Translate (Animatable)
- Supports Non-Uniform scale
- Automatically determines joint chain’s stretch axis
- Custom locators to display current stretch mode
With the addition of the Modeling Toolkit, Maya has seen some modeling workflow improvements, one in particular, is the ability to shrink-wrap objects.
On the off chance that you either wish to know how to create an object shrink wrap, or the modeling toolkit is not working for you, Then David Lally shows how to shrink wrap objects manually in Autodesk Maya in this installment of his Modeling Minute Series.
Maya’s Modeling Toolkit is supposed to let you shrink wrap any mesh onto any live mesh
David shows how to manually shrink wrap one mesh onto another mesh by way of the Maya Muscle System, which has a few more steps, but is still rather simple and straight forward.
There is also a good tip here for using the Wrap Deformer to attach a piece of geometry to the mesh that will be used a shrink wrap, giving you an easy way to place objects such as pockets on modeled clothing.
A new discovery in the Render Blog – who has been posting some great stuff with texture and rendering, as in this post showing how to create a little script that will build a light from a current camera view – very handy!
In this tutorial we will write a simple script to create lights from the camera’s point of view
The Render Blog walks through creating a few lines of Python in Maya, noting that you don’t really need any previous experience to follow along – and in the end, you will be able to create a light in Maya that is based on the current camera view.
Check out the tutorial for Creating a Script that Will Build light from Maya’s Current Camera View here.
In an extension to his look at Multi-tile workflow in Maya, Max Depth shows how to setup a shading network for Arnold, using displacement, normal, color and reflection maps.
how to convert your texture files into the .tx format that Arnold prefers, and marvel at the reduction in render time this workflow offers
This tutorial also covers using the .tx format in Arnold, and shows how to convert the texture files to .tx to dramatically speed up rendering. Previously, MaxDepth explored the relationship between high resolution textures and pixel density with a demonstration in favor of the multi-tile UV setup in Maya. Give MaxDepth some likes: MaxDepth on Facebook!
Offering a look at the relationship between UV pixel density and texture resolution in Autodesk Maya 3D Generaist and Art Director Timothy Hanson shows how to maximize texture resolution in you projects by using a multi-tile UV workflow.
Paying close attention to pixel density and maximizing UV space, you can exponentially increase texture resolution for your texture maps
By comparing two spheres in a Maya scene, one with an 8k texture applied to it, and the other sphere has six 2k texture maps applied using a Muti-Tile UV workflow, Timothy easily demonstrates the benefit of having a multi-tile setup. Timothy also walks through creating a muti-tiled UV set up in Maya, providing some example shading network setups. Check out the tutorial for maximizing texture resolution in Autodesk maya by using multi tile UV workflow here.
Escape Studio’s head of 3D, Mark Spevick demonstrates how to create volumetric caustics in Autodesk Maya, walking though all the settings required to render volumetrics from a spotlight with mental ray.
how to utilise Maya to make gorgeous volumetric caustics
This volumetric caustic effect is very much like the Crepuscular or “God” rays that you would see in the real world. Creating them for the most part is fairly straight forward, however, there are settings in multiple places that you have to deal with, and Mark takes us through that task.
Stephie provides a great introductory overview for when, where and how to to use nHair in Autodesk Maya character rigs, sharing a technique for gaining more control over Maya’s nHair when used for animation.
A quick introduction to nHair where I will show a nice technique I learned to get more control over nHair for animation
Stephie takes a look at some of the instances when you would use an nHair setup in your rigs, citing wings, tails, clothes, and ropes for some obvious uses, covering some of the theory behind using nHair attributes to gain control over nHair properties.