Intro & Background:
We've spent the first part of this class discussing motion -- both via pathing and via key framing. Our first project demonstrated our ability to use and apply those concepts. Now comes the fun part.
Project two is an all together new undertaking: use Maya to create both a realistic and complex motion. In this case we were tasked with creating a life-like juggling animation. This means creating the club model, creating the motion path, applying the club to the path.. then repeating that to mimic 3 juggling objects.
But why stop with just the juggling motion?
We decided to enlist the help of our trusty friend Juggle-Bot for this project, and it was more than happy to tag along for the fun.
First and foremost: The Club
To create the juggling motion, we used key framing to mimic the motions. It took a while to figure out the best way to accomplish this (or any way, for that matter). Trying to use the trax editor proved fruitless, so we ended up just using the timeline on the bottom of the main Maya screen. Once we key framed out a motion we liked, we just copied and pasted the key frames to the next phase of the motion; this created the repeating juggling pattern. To do the other 2 bolts, we just phase shifted the start of each by the proper amount and our juggling animation was complete. This solution proved simple and effective and, most importantly, it worked.
Our final animation proved to be quite an undertaking; all told we had almost 700 frames of animation that we rendered in a wide-screen resolution and using IBL (Image Based Lighting). Our batch rending took between 10 and 20 seconds per frame and our preview images usually took about 23 seconds to render on a machine with 2gigs ram and a 128bit graphics card.
It was well worth it, though. The frames look absolutely amazing. We ended up importing the juggling animation into the Juggle-Bot scene and then syncing up the two motions (Juggle-Bot's motion's were done in parallel to the juggling motions themselves). This saved us a lot of time since we could split up the animation time. We then rigged up the cameras to feature certain poses through-out the animation, and to try and help give Juggle-Bot a strong sense of personality.
The results are as followed.. enjoy!
Our animation is avaliable in full quality 720x480 resolution as well. You may download this file here Thanks for reading and we hope you've enjoyed!
~ Christopher Choyce && Devin Hunt