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constrain for character pick and drop a things... (2 posts)

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  1. ramesh

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    Posted 8 years ago
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    hello i am new to maya and want to know something about constrains.
    my character should take book and read some time and put it on the table so anyone can give me some easy way to do it ....
    thanks.....

  2. monkeysocks

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    Posted 8 years ago
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    Hey Ramesh, I have a answer for you. its actually from an old instructor of mine. Let me know if you arent getting the correct results

    “An animator should allocate about half of his animation time to planning.”

    -Ollie Johnston

    Constraining objects during animation, from Chuck:

    “Create a locator. Position the locator near the object. Name the locator "start"

    or something like that. Select the locator, shift select the object. Go to

    Constrain>Parent Constraint and open the option box. Make sure that Keep Offset

    is checked (might read "Maintain Offset" - I'm writing this from memory and

    don't have Maya on this computer). Constrain the object to the locator. Nothing

    should appear to happen, but if you look in the channel box of the object, the

    translate and rotate values should hi-light blue.

    Create another locator. Name it something like "grab". Snap it to the position

    of your character's hand. Parent the locator to your character's wrist joint.

    Animate your character reaching for the object. At the frame when the character

    is supposed to pick up the object, Parent Constrain the object to the locator.

    When you select the object you will see two constraints and associated weight

    values under the Shapes attributes in the channel box. The weight values are

    identified by a capital "W" followed by a number, starting with "0". Next to the

    "W(X)" name will be the value currently assigned to the weightt. 0 means the

    weight is off, 1 means the weight is on. Any number in between indicates that

    the constraint has a partial conrol over the object. The constraint weights for

    each constraint can be animated, allowing you to turn the control each locator

    has over the object on and off.

    Set your timeslider a frame before the frame where the character is supposed to

    pick up the object. Key the first constraint weight on (set W0 to 1, hi-light

    the attribute in the channel box, RMB and select Key Selected). Now key the

    second constraint weight off (set W1 to 0, hi-light the attribute in the channel

    box, RMB and select Key Selected). Advance your timeslider to the frame where

    the grab occurs. Set the Weights as follows and key them; W0 = 0, W1 = 1. You

    have now keyed a change in the weights. For the first part of the animation, W1,

    the grab constraint weight, has been set to 0 - not affecting the object. The

    start constraint, W0, has been set to 1, "holding" the object in place on the

    ground. At the moment the object is picked up, you changed the weight of W1 to

    1, while changnig the weight of the start constraint, W0, to 0; letting the grab

    constraint take over. If you scrub throught the animation, your character should

    reach down and pick up the object.

    To put the object down we continue with the same logic. You may have noticed

    that the object is always "controlled" by another node to which it is

    constrained. We transition the control from one constraint to another by

    changing the constraint weights.

    When the animation has led to the point where the character is ready to release

    the object, create another locator. We'll name this one "release". Position the

    locator in an appropriate place (if you are placing the object down, in the

    vicinity of where it will be placed, if you are throwing the object, you will

    place it near the release of the object). At the moment of release, create

    another Parent Constraint, constraining the object to the release locator

    (select the locator, shift select the object, Go to Constrain>Parent Constraint

    and be sure to maintain offset). Follow the same process of anmating the

    constraint weight change as described for picking up the object to facilititate

    the transtion of control from the grab constraint to the release constraint.

    This time you will be animating constraint weights W1 and W2 (when you created

    the new constraint, a new weight, W2, will have appeared in the Shapes area of

    the channel box).

    Once you have animated the transition to the realease locator, you can animate

    the locator's translation and rotation attributes to control the objects

    flight/fall.”

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