Maya: Animate a Bouncing Ball,
Changing Velocity between Key frames.
Animating an object is similar to animating the camera, move the time slider, move the object, select the channels and set key frames.
Set up your options for animation:
Choose the Settings section.
Select Time: NTSC (30 fps) (We record to video, 30 frames per second is the frame rate.)
Choose the Time Slider section.
Set the Playback Start/End between 1 and 30.
Set the Animation Start/End between 1 and 30.
Select Playback Speed: 30 fps x 1.
Set Keyframe 1:
Set the maximum playback on the time slider to 30, over to the right on the time slider.
Place a sphere above the origin (x 0, y 7, z 0), use the front view.
Pick the sphere.
Move the time line over to frame 1 at the bottom of the screen.
Hold down the Ctrl key while highlighting Translate Y, Scale Y in the Channel Box, on a Mac use the Apple Key. Use the right mouse key over the numeric input area, choose Key Selected.
Set Keyframe 15:
Move the time line over to frame 15.
Move the sphere down to the ground.
Select the Scale Tool button from the side tool box.
Click and drag on the green box to scale down the y axis smaller. This will give the sphere a volumetric squish when it impacts the ground.
(Hold down the Ctrl key while highlighting Translate Y, Scale Y in the Channel Box, on a Mac use the Apple Key; this might already be done.) Use the right mouse key over the numeric input area, choose Key Selected.
Set Keyframe 30:
Move the time line over to frame 1. (Yes frame 1)
Use the middle mouse key to slide the time slider over to frame 30, notice when you use the middle key the
animation does not move, this will let us set frame 30 the same as frame 1.
(Hold down the Ctrl key while highlighting Translate Y, Scale Y in the Channel Box, on a Mac use the Apple Key; this might already be done.) Use the right mouse key over the numeric input area, choose Key Selected .
Preview the animation:
Pick the front view.
Hit the play arrow on the time slider.
Stop the playback by clicking the mouse on the red square over the play arrow.
You should notice a few problems with your animation. The ball squishes before it hits the ground. The motion is constant, it does not feel like a ball bouncing with the pull of gravity, we shall fix that.
Fix the ball from squishing before it hits the ground, set keyframe 14:
We will set it up so the ball does not squish between frames 1 and 14, right before it hits the ground.
Move the time line over to frame 1. (Yes frame 1)
Use the middle mouse key to slide the time slider over to frame 14.
Highlight Scale Y in the Channel Box. (Do not highlight Translate Y this time!) Use the right mouse key over the numeric input area, choose Key Selected.
Preview the animation again.
Add the Feeling of Gravity and Edit the Graph Editor.
Pick the Sphere
Windows->Animation Editors->Graph Editor
Time is horizontal and value is vertical.
Use View->Frame->Frame All
Click and drag a box to highlight all the curves. They should appear white with yellow key frames.
Select Tangents->Flat or use this button to change the shape of the curves, notice the tangent handles are horizontal. This will give you an ease in, ease out feeling. (The curves may have been set to Flat tangency by default.) Play back the animation to see the results.
Fix the move in Y curve:
Highlight Translate Y over on the left of the Graph Editor, this will pick the sphere moving in Y channel only.
Click and drag a box over keyframe 15 in the middle of the curve.
Click the Break Tangents button.
This lets you move each tangent separate from each other.
Click and drag a box over the left tangent for keyframe 15, (pick the keyframe first to see the tangent), use the middle mouse button to move the tangent until it looks like the diagram above.
Do the same for the right tangent.
Playback the animation, the ball should have a feeling of gravity, it speeds up as it falls.
Fix the scale curves:
Highlight Scale Y over on the left of the Graph Editor
Use View->Frame All
Click and drag a box over keyframe 30
Select the Move Tool button from the side tool box above. (Not in the graph editor)
Click the Time snap button on the Graph Editor. You may need to make the graph editor window larger.
Hold down the middle mouse key while dragging keyframe 30 horizontally to keyframe 20.
This will make appear to snap back into shape quicker, less like a water balloon, more like a rubber ball
Type an expression to create volumetric squashing for the ball:
In the Channel Box:
Highlight Scale X, Choose Edit->Expressions... in the channel box menu.
Input the following under Expression:
sx = 1/sy ; sz = 1/sy
Render Your Animation to a TIFF Sequence
Select File > Set Project to set the location to which your want to save your rendered images
Choose Windows->Rendering Editors->Render Settings...
or press this icon upper right
Under the Common tab:
Under the Image File Output arrow:
Choose Image format: Tiff
Choose Frame/Animation Ext: Name.#.ext
Input Frame Padding 4 (This keeps the files listed in order alphabetically.)
Input a start and end frame value
Make sure to choose the right camera, especially if you added a new camera.
Uncheck Alpha channel (mask) (Unless needed.)
Under the Image Size arrow:
Choose Width 960 and Height 540 (1920 x 1080 hidef or what you need)
Under the Maya Software tab:
Under the arrow Anti-aliasing Quality:
Select Edge anti-aliasing: Low Quality
Low renders faster and is good enough for tests, use medium - highest for finals.
Choose Windows->Rendering Editors->Render View
Under Render, click Render Sequence
The frames will start rendering and saving to the specified file location.
If you want to cancel rendering your animation, you can hit ESC at any time.