Maya has all the tools you need to create procedurally driven particle animation using the instancer, but nothing makes it as easy as is should be as MASH does.
MASH is the procedural animation toolkit for MAYA which allow you to create the kinds of motion graphic elements and animation that we are so accustom to coming out of an application such as C4D.
MASH gives you some custom nodes that are specifically for creating procedurally driven animation, along with the panel that serves up the nodes, the MASH Waiter. Recently Mash has moved to Autodesk, adding the tool to their product portfolio. Unfortunately, during the transition period, MASH will no longer be available at Mainframe North — you do need new licenses please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With MASH for Maya, creating a particle morph is pretty simple. Showing that off here, Creative Director & Visual Effects Artist, Tobias Steiner walks us through how to create Particle Morph, entirely procedural system. The particle morph will travel along curves in the scene, reforming to create another object.
The tutorial covers using MASH to disintegrate one shape (a cube) into smaller cubes, and have those cubes travel along a curve and reassemble as a sphere. Again, this can be done without MASH, but MASH was built to really excel at this type of animation within Maya. There is a little simple expression that gets used to control the MASH blend node’s affect on the Particle Morph, but for the most part, everything is taken care of simply by using MASH nodes.