Animate point/orient constraints


Elo everyone…got a bit of a silly question here, I’ve been using maya ever since it came out so either I havent remembered something or Im loosing it or somthing. Well here it is…

Is it possable to animate the translation or rotation of an object after you have constrained em? I know that the constraints put keys in the channels, I know in 3ds max you can create an animated offset for this. can this be done in maya but without creating more nulls?..locators.

thanks in advance



I knowyou said without creating move nulls, but that’s what I would do

create a new null, constrain it to the bone and then when you need to more just the bone, weight it to the null and move it around…



in maya 4.5, you have offset on orient and point constraint, and you can animate these value.



there are a few things that you can do, the one i like best is like what goosh said… you have a object nurbSphere for example and you want it to be picked up by a char… then thrown maybe?!
so you need a locator (or null) to animate the throw and another on the char’s hand where the ball is held. You then POINT constrain and ORIENT constrain the nurbSphere to BOTH objects… your nurbSphere will be floating half way between your throw locator and your hand locator and there are two new history nodes on your nurbSphere a pointConstraint and an orientConstraint each with 2 Wieghting values at 1. you now just need to make an atribute in your hand control for the ball, then a set driven key to animate the wieghts of the constraints… ie when the ball attribute is at 1 the point and orient constraints are weighted 1 for the throw locator and 0 for the hand locator, the oposite when the ball attribute is at 0,
make sense?.. i hope you can follow that…


>in maya 4.5, you have offset on orient and point constraint, and
?you can animate these value.

Actually that feature had been in Maya since 1.0. All AW did was enable it in the channelBox by default rather than having the user going into channelControl. They actually called that a new feature!

You’d be better of animating the parent of the constrained object in most cases. Constraint offset is pretty limited in that you can only animate it from the channelBox, not by using the translate/rotate manipulators (unlike the equivalent feature in XSI and Animation Master), and you risk getting a lot of ugly flipping when using offset on rotate, due to various Euler rotation issues.

Maya’s whole constraining workflow is pretty limited if you ask me. But thats just me of course…


Thanks everyone. Yea was just seeing if there was an easyer way of doing it (max can :stuck_out_tongue: ) Im playing with the idea of doing an animted pivot. say for a gorilla character you have his wrist rotote then have the pivot move down to his nuckles and have the hand pivot around that, I have a few ways that work, but I got like 6 nulls!!! all with animated tracks(multiple pivots)

Just thought there might be an easyer way…

I havent had a chance to play with maya 4.5 yet :frowning: sounds cool though !


I did a script a while back to animate the pivot. It can be found here called animatePivot.mel :wink:

I’ve tested with rolling a cube and elephant feet, and it seems to work okay. It may have some issues though when you get into complex transformations (a combination of negative scaling, frozen transformation and rotated axis made it freak out).

The script is made so that the pivot moves in stepped keys, as I figured it would get very complex to work with a moving pivot (at least the way it’s implemented in the script). Though it would be easy to hack it so it works with linear or spline keys.




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