Character Sets


Does anyone know of a tutorial or where to find some extra information on how to utilize Maya’s character sets and character subsets for Nonlinear Animation? (Besides the Maya help document) Anything would be much appreciated. Thanks,



Great, so I guess nobody on the forum uses the trax and Nonlinear animation techniques…


Is there something specific you’re looking for, that isn’t covered in the help file?


While, like Lomax I’m not sure what information you’re after perhaps the following might help:

If you’re keen on checking out your local bookstore, have a look at Maya: Secrets of the Pros, or Maya Character Animation by Jae-jin Choi. While neither are dedicated to your topic, both contain sections that might be of use.

Otherwise, my suggestion would be to check out some sites like or You’ll have to dig through some tuts but perhaps looking for non linear animation might turn something up for you.
Good luck!



Thanks for the suggestions. I finished the project without using nonlinear animation. Although, it would have been helpful to know more about the Trax. I’m going to keep reading…thanks again



I feel your pain, Shawn. I really do. I was looking for this for months and no one had a single tut on it. I did however end up learning all about it on my own. I just wrote a very small mini-tut on the topic over on a thread at
You can view it for some brief answers here:

PM me if you need help on it.

Now if only someone can point me to a good tut on how to animate “constraints” on/off. Like someone grabbing a hat from a table and putting it on his head.



i personally havn’t found trax very useful for animation work… except for quick time-scaling of ‘cyclic’ animation in a scene. but for the effort that goes into setting it all up i have to question whether it was worth it. i just prefer to animate directly to a control rig for something like a character, its too hard to get personality out of a clip library, or maybe there’s some major trax workflow i’m not aware of :wink:


I dont use the trax editor any more. I’ve found it really annoying that it creates keyframes at every frame of the new clip when I take 2 clips in the trax and do a merge (ie a run clip to a jump clip). Its quite handy for doing stuff like time warps tho - if certain points of an animation aren’t fast enough or need a spot more hangtime you can quickly add these into the animation and not destroy any of the timing of your character animation. Exporting clips is good however especially if you want to add them to another character with the same or similar rig - save you a heap o time. Nowadays I just save off a new scene :stuck_out_tongue:
Subcharacter sets are handy too - I use these to create a library of poses on my characters hands seeing as theres a heap of joints in there - I just add the joints rotations in the subcharacter set as opposed to setting up a heap o control objects. Theres no set thing to character setup I’ve found - each one is different but it certainly helps to keep all your setups in similar ways.



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