In starting a new series jokingly entitled “how to suck less”, this represents the first tutorial which explores photoshop’s vanishing point for export and its strength and weaknesses in the animation production pipeline. There are also some handy tips on how to get some control on a vanishing point export so that it remains effective in after effects, as well as some tips on using vanishing point to generate a quick camera with scene-correct settings that can be used as the start of camera mapping projections in after effects, maya or your 3D program of choice. View the tutorial here.
Dustin Nelson is an artist who is currently working for Bioware, and has created this 15 min tutorial where he explains some of the solutions using maya that can be used to create an animation control for objects that may be off axis. Typically, when objects are created, there are rarely concerns that the rotational axis would need to be off center. Below, you can see an example of this with a quick representation of a finger that is oriented with the grid. Here the rotational controls of the curves for the objects will clearly work well for animation.
with the hand of a typical character model however, the fingers would be fanned out, leaving most of the fingers off axis with the grid. In this case the controls’ rotations would not be conducive for animation at all.
The solution would be to develop a correct control axis that would work better for animation of the fingers; Where the control rotations were in relative alignment with each finger. An example of such a setup, would look something like this.
Dustin shows three methods to achieve this, the first is by displaying and using a joint’s handle, the second is by parenting a control curve shape node without its transform to a joint, and finally the third method is by creating group nodes to hide transform values.