Maya: Animating the Camera

smallarrows.GIF

Animating a Single Node or Default Camera

Set up your options for animation:
File -> New Scene->boxicon.gif
Select Time: NTSC (30 fps)  (We record to video, 30 frames per second is the frame rate.)
Set the Playback Start/End between 1 and 300.
Set the Animation Start/End between 1 and 300.
Hit Apply

Use Windows->Settings/Preferences->Preferences
     Choose the Settings section.
     Make sure Time: NTSC (30 fps)

Choose the Time Slider section.
     Make sure Playback Start/End between 1 and 300.
     Make sure Animation Start/End between 1 and 300.
     Select Playback Speed Play Every Frame, this will allow the simulation to process every frame.
     Your playback speed will not be accurate
     Set Max Playback Speed to Real-Time
     Click Save

Choose Display->Show->Cameras  to make visible the camera icons

In the Perspective view use View->Select camera     (or pick the camera icon.)

Decide how to fly through the scene. Sketch key-frame positions. Consider what frame number each key frame will occur at.

Move the time line over to frame 1 at the bottom of the screen.

Position the camera using the Move Tool or use Alt + mouse button 1 2 or 3 for your first camera position.

Highlight Translate X, Y, Z, Rotate X, Y, Z in the Channel Box.
Use the right mouse key over the numeric input area, choose Key Selected.

Move the time line over to frame 60 at the bottom of the screen. (60 = 2 seconds at 30 frames per second)

Move the camera into position for the second keyframe.

(Highlight Translate X, Y, Z, Rotate X, Y, Z in the Channel Box.)
Use the right mouse key over the channels, choose Key Selected.

Repeat for all key frames.


Preview the Animation:

Click the perspective window.

Hit the play arrow on the time slider. timesliderplay.jpg

Stop the playback by clicking the mouse on the red square over the play arrow.

timeslidercontrols.jpg


Use Play Blast to Playback an Animation.
Click in the perspective view or any view you would like to preview.

In the Perspective window: Select View->Camera Settings->Resolution Gate.

Hold the right mouse key over the timeline, bring up the timeline mini menu,
select Playblast
Wait for it to finish
Click down the window
Hit the play button.


How to Delete All Animation Channels.
You may need to remove animation curves that do not work out.

Select the camera with the bad animation.

Select Edit->Delete By Type->Channels
(This will delete animation from all active objects.)


How to Delete Key frames.
You may need to delete key frames that do not work out.

Select the camera.

Windows->Animation Editors->Graph Editor
Use View->Frame->Frame All
Time is horizontal while attribute values are vertical.
Click and drag a box over the unwanted key frames
Hit the delete key.


How to Use the Timeline to Delete Key frames.
Select the camera.

Hold down the Shift key while dragging a red box over the keyframe(s) you would like to delete.

Position the cursor over the red area, use the right mouse button to bring up the timeline menu,
Choose Cut




Animating a Two Node Camera

Select Create->Cameras->Camera and Aim
(Create a new camera for the animation.)

There is a bug, delete the new camera immediately.

Select Create->Cameras->Camera and Aim

Bring up Window->Outliner...
Click on the + to the left of camera1_group

cameraoutliner.jpg

Notice:
The components that make up this camera are different that the default camera (persp), with no extra nodes. This camera can animate by moving the camera eye separate from the view. You can achieve some dynamic animations with this particular camera.

Change the perspective view over to the new camera:
Use Panels->Perspective->Camera1 in the upper right menu of the Perspective window.

Pick the camera eye by picking the component called camera1_aim in the outliner. It is under the main camera node.

Move the timeline over to frame 1 at the bottom of the screen.

Position the camera  eye using the Move Tool for your first camera position.

Highlight Translate X, Translate Y, Translate Z, in the Channel Box.
Use the right mouse key over the channels, choose Key Selected.

Move the timeline over to frame 60 at the bottom of the screen. (60 = 2 seconds at 30 frames per second)

Move the camera into position for the second keyframe.

(Highlight Translate X, Y, Z, in the Channel Box; this might already be done.)
Use the right mouse key over the channels, choose Key Selected.

Repeat for all key frames.

Use this technique to animate the camera view as well.
Select the camera view by picking the component called camera1 in the outliner. It is under the main camera node.




Render Your Animation to a TIFF Sequence

Maya Render Settings:

Choose Windows->Rendering Editors->Render Settings... 
or press this icon upper right srender_settings

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.

Save your scene file,  start the render with Render->Batch Render, in the Rendering module.