A getting started series on the Time Editor in Autodesk Maya by Steven Roselle
A getting started series on the Time Editor in Autodesk Maya by Steven Roselle. This is a very clear ramp up on using the Time Editor to create, blend, edit and time warp animations in a non-destructive and non-linear animation editing tool. Must watch for animators in Maya.
Our friend and Maya master Steven Roselle from My Oh Maya is creating a series of videos on the Time Editor tool. These are a great starting point for anyone who still has not tried it yet. He also covers some tips and workflows that, if you have used the Time Editor, there is a good chance you missed or overlooked. He covers clip creation and re-use, time warps, animated icons for your pose library, matching clips and transferring animation to name a few examples.
While not yet a MotionBuilder replacement it offers a much better option than the older TRAX workflow in Maya. The Time Editor among other things gives your the ability to work with diffrent “TAKES” in Maya out of the box like an animator could with MotionBuilder, allowing more than once timeline of animation at a time in a fast way without hacking it with the older Animation Layer system.
Something that comes up often is dealing with hip vs root bone motion and having to either add or remove it to work with diffrent game engines or mix and match move sets. If you are a AAA team and have tech artists and experienced editors it is a challenge but if you are an independent game studio or a lone artist, this might simply be impossible as was the case for the people who reached out to us.
I passed this on to Crispin and he worked up a great and clear tutorial on how to get motion ready for Cry Engine using their Motus Mocap online animations.
Click the image and check out the video on their blog post
A Motionbuilder tutorial discussing how to re-target animations from one character to another, and transfer the full Root motion correctly and accurately – even if there is a scale difference between the two rigs.
INDEX is below to jump directly to any section. The question came up on the Autodesk forums. Shout out to Brad Clark with Rigging Dojo, our friends at Crytek and CryEngine, and Epic and the Unreal Engine.
INDEX: 0:00 Introduction
01:49 Basics – Settings, Extensions, Constraints and Match Source
07:41 Plotting and Results
08:16 Scaling – Why do it and problematic results.
12:25 Some things are simpler than they first seem… Doh
13:40 Scaling – The Simple Fix and Results
17:00 Vertical Root Motion – Yes it works, an example.
19:57 Plot All Takes and Editing afterwards.
Move Weights tool, a little known tool that you should be using to make skinning easier and allow for added control in a pinch. TDs can use it to speed up skinning by copying good weighting to new joints for twist, like shoulders to a few new twist joints in the upper arm for example.
Mesh and Rig from 3dfiggins.com/Store/ AnimRig – Amazing Spiderman – Free Download
This week we are not doing much of a breakdown, there are many details and things that you simply have to watch through the video to understand and get the most from. We will pick out a few things that we want to explain or highlight. Enjoy!
Part one is hooking up the pedals to use the “gravity” effect, where they stay world aligned. This was a quick adding of another composeMatrix node for an offset and mixed it into a the exiting matrix multiplication in an order to allow offset the pedal.
Day 4, nodelling some components together and finally some amount of actual rigging
Continuing to build on the previous video with some updates to the core control shapes with better direction and selection and moved the model and nodes up from the world (this was done off screen due to crash recovery)
Myth: Having more than one shape node under a transform is a problem
Busted: You can have as many shapes as needed, the problem is that some scripts and tools assume there is only one shape node and or the shape node is the name of the transform+Shape. Write better tools.
Rigging up pedals:
Try to keep pivots clean, either world 000 or local in the position you need (put there by the buffer)
Rotate order for the pedal – make sure the driving axis is not influenced by the other two axis (like X in rotate order XYZ)
Build rig function in the graph and don’t relay on the hiearchy of nodes to make the rig work, use good graph connections so if there are changes in the hiearchy the rig function won’t break. (see rotate order comment previously ) need rotate order help check our infographic
Locking attributes are an interface issue not a “rig” issue, the rig shouldn’t break the actual functionality.
Make the pedals stay flat (oriented to the world) is the rigging goal (AKA anti-counter animation rig). Concept is rotation Data of the wheel control can be reversed and drive the pedal in order to have the rig do the counter animation.
Rigging Dojo Note:Raf starts talking about custom nodes vs. Maya default nodes and how connections like we are about to do cause Maya to create unitConversion nodes to deal with Angles and Radian conversions between connections. Rigging Dojo Alumnus Ryan Porter has release an open source set of angle nodes to help keep the graph clean You can use the animBlendNodeAdditiveRotation node to do this without extra nodes or unit conversions to reverse the rotation if you need or want to to stay in vanilla Maya.
rotationX -> input A and B of the animBlendNodeAdditiveRotation node then set the Weight B to -1 you now have zeroed out the rotation from the input.
Back to Raf: pedals_M_staff_Ctrl.rotation X ->mulDoubleLinear (*-1)-> pedals_M_pedalLeft_ctrl_srtBuffer
Now drive the mesh (temporary to test rig but in the video creates a multDoubleLinear node by mistake, should be an add node)
Notes on Left and Rig components (example is the left and right pedals) It all can still be thought of as a middle component
We asked about a shot need like a gag that animators need to counter rotate the arms like they broke.
GREAT TIP!!! as long as it is for a single shot fine to do a single one off
“Don’t complicate anything you design you can preemptively address any case you can think of…. address the minimal requirements. as well you can and quickly as you can and let them find out what they like about the main use cases”
Rig the other side:
Duplicate the pedals_M_pedalLeft_ctrl_srtBuffer and name it Right
Move the buffer to translate the rig over to the right pedal location
At this point Raf hit a point where there were some bad issues with the rig because of so many connections going to one node that was effecting many areas…time to break up the connections
Under pedals_M_cmpnt break up the deform output system
deform (create new nodes)
These new deform nodes replace the quick connections done before so re-connect the incoming connections from the controls to the deform nodes and then back out to the mesh
the pedals_M_pedalLEft_ctrl_srtBuffer ->addDoubleLinear to the new deform-pedal_m_pedalLeft_srt– and back to pedal_L_footRest_mesh
Time to drive the wheel mesh with the control rig so follow the process for component hookups outlined so far and check out the video
need to create an pedals_M_cmpnt- output
hook up the connections to drive the wheel and we need world transform as this is the master control or close to master:
When you do “god” nodes or master nodes always add offsets to these controls as a safety backup. The offsets allow you to expose it to animators without creating a problem with trying to deal with Maya pivots.
… This section gets a bit complex and hard to follow here in text, make sure you watch the video and build the nodes as you follow along
quality comes from Iterations, build a rig that you are not afraid to edit…building a robust and clean rig allows this.
Q: can you add an attribute to turn off the autocounter rotation on the pedals.
A: Adding an attribute to allow the effect to be turned off can create a bit of a cycle loop on the graph but it isn’t too bad, won’t cause a problem. Using a custom attribute “blend” to the pedals_m_sttaff_ctrl and feed it in to the multDoubleLinear value to change the multiplier.
NOTE: Thank you to the other TDs reading over our documents and catching problems, spelling or things we missed, it makes it better and we appreciate it.