02-28-2006, 06:13 AM
http://www.jawa9000.com/ go to technicle>Non-Linear Animation
It's for Maya 5, though. A couple of things have changed since then. You can now set your rotation/translation values to be absoule or relative without having to create multiple sub-sets.
Also, you can reference animation to share between two characters with the new Trax reference.
Trax is something I use constantly.
03-04-2006, 10:11 PM
Thanks for the link...great help. :thumbsup:
03-05-2006, 12:07 PM
No problem. Here's a little quick mini tut on how I use trax:
1. Before keying anything, select all the controllers that will have "keys" on them. Create a "character set" out of those. I usually don't create a character set that includes the joints unless I plan on baking the animation. Just create an empty character set, and select each controller, highlight the keyable attributes in the channel box, right-click and "add to character set". You can also create "sub character sets" if you want to isolate the upperbody/lowerbody and mix animation between them.
2. In the channel box for each of the "keyed" items, you'll now notice that the attributes are "yellowed" out. This means they are part of a "character set". If you right-click any of the attributes(scale, rotate, etc.) you can add or remove from the set.
3. In the bottom right corner of the screen, you'll notice an arrow where you can turn on/off your character set. Set it to none(I'll explain this later)
4. Key in some cycle(remember, when making cycles, the first frame and last frame are NOT identicle, rather, the last frame is ONE frame short or the first frame. This is because when you loop the "clip" in the trax editor, you don't get a "repeated" first frame, resulting in a "skip" in animation). You can still create the motion with the repeated frame. Just remember to trim out the last frame when saving the clip.
5. After the cycle is complete, open up the graph editor. Check how many frames the cycle is. If it's, say, 14 frames, then key in a value for every "keyable" attribute for everything in the character set at frame 1 and frame 14, even if there are no keys for certain joints/controllers(this in a sense, "isolates" the "clip", so you don't get joints interpolating due to future keys. Also, make sure there are no keys going past the end frame for anything. A quick way of keying "all" controllers is to highlight your character set in the outliner and hit "s", this will key everything within that character set.
6. Load up your trax editor and on the bottom right next to the timeline, select the character set to "Your Character".
7. You'll notice that ALL your keys will appear in your timeline, for all controllers/joints that you "keyed". This is why we didn't create the cycle with the Character set "on". It gets hard to manage your keys with keyticks all over the timeline.
8. Select the "+" symbol in the trax editor that says "load existing character set", and select "create clip" with animation curve checked. Name your clip
9. You now have a clip in which you can scale, cut, blend into other clips, etc.
10. To access all your clips, open up General Editors>visor. You can delete/rename them there.
11. To add clips to the trax, goto clip>..... all your existing clips should be there.
12. To redump the keyticks of your clip back to your timeline for further editing, select the clip and rightclick "activate keys"
Also, if you select a "clip" and open up the attribute editor, you can scroll down into channel offsets and select things to be absolute or relative rotations/translations.
This is just a simple start, hope it all makes sense. YOu can do much more with the trax editor, like layering clips, create Sub character sets(for reusing upper body or lower body motions), keying "into" clips.
It's an awesome tool for creating game animation cycles because you can check if the cycles "blend" well into each other and you can store animation within the visor without having to save out a new scene for every cycle.
I usually don't use Maya's pose for some reason. Instead, I just create a 2 frame "clip" that in motionless if I need a particular pose, then I just call out that clip when I need it and trim the second frame.
03-05-2006, 12:07 PM
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