Week 1 –

This week we where introduced to maya and each of our assignments for the semester. For homework we are meant to animate a bouncing ball implementing the animation principals. I must keep clicking the wrong thing because the ball changes views and I cant manipulate it properly, so I had to leave it for next week to complete.

Week 2 –

This week we worked on animating the ball some more because it seems as though majority struggled or didnt complete it. Having gone over it step by step in class it was alot easier to understand. To extend on the homework we made a simple rig that makes it possible to change the balls rotation and also make it squash and stretch, creating a more ‘realistic’ animation. The animation still looked a little janky which was then smoothed out by adjusting the bar graph angles to be more realistic of a ball bouncing. It was complete trial and error for me and I dont think I quite understand it, but it’ll just take time.

Week 3 –

Our task for this week is expanding from animating a ball to now using the ball fox rig, quite a similar concept but now with a tail. Except to begin with, we adjusted the project to create a ‘level’ for the ball fox to interact with. This was a bit confusing at first but fun once I figured out how to use the poly shape tool to create and edit shapes to make things. for me I made an object similar to the pipes in Mario, so I could make the fox jump down into it and appear elsewhere, but this resulted in the tail not looking correct when going into the pipe.

Week 4 –

For week 4 we focused on rigging a toothbrush and setting up a controller for it so we can manipulate the toothbrush without having to touch it. Wrapping my head around the controller element was rather hard at first trying to memorise the process and i think ill need to revisit the lecture whenever wanting to do it in the future but after completing the first controller, it becomes a repetitive task which can be easily done. For the controller I set up 2 sliders. One controlling the squish and stretch whilst the second one controlling the twist motion. Then there was the third controller which allowed for bending the brush and moving it around with a multi dimensional slider.

Week 5 –

Week 5 focused on setting up our first manual rig of a biped. I chose to go with the Emma model as it was what was used as the example and figured it would make it easier to follow. The instructions are pretty straight forward in how to set up the joints and handles although my issue is trying to pin point the actual human anatomy and where things should line up. The major hard part is after having the skeleton is setting up the skin weighting. Using the brush tool was a long and tedious task that wasn’t very accurate and could still have flaws in areas unnoticed due to its nature, resulting in jagged skin. We where also introduced to the component editor which I didn’t grasp at all, there are just to many layers and names that I can’t seem to match what i want.

Week 6 –

This week we focused more on skin weighting and learnt some tips on what areas painted result in a more natural movement, like raw importance of having some clavicle movement when manipulating the arm. We where also introduced to the component editor which I didn’t grasp at all, there are just to many layers and names that I can’t seem to match what I want.

Week 11 –

Week 11 has been my favourite class task of all, using a pre rigged character to lip sync the model to an audio clip from the wizard of oz. this task was easy to follow and fun to play around with the facial manipulation to try and match the vibe given off by the audio. In saying that, the audio was very repetitive and became a bit annoying by the end. But overall i enjoyed playing around with the mouth shapes and setting up my own sequence.
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Week 9 –

After seeing everyone’s cool concepts we started looking at setting up the Script Rig systems. After the tutorial I re watched the installation video multiple times because the Rapid Rig wouldn’t install. I wasted 2 hours minimum tampering with files and scripts trying to figure out why it wouldn’t load, only to realise i just needed to restart maya and it worked like it was meant too. Rapid Rig itself seems pretty understandable, everything is labeled well and quite intuitive. The i class tube went a bit fast as it was an example but i rewatched it multiple times to try and figure out how to go about rigging it as the week 10 class wasn’t uploaded so I didn’t have the lesson to go by.
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Week 8 –

Week 8 was the introduction to quadruped walk cycles. For this project i followed along with the recorded tutorial and played around with the dog model. Having this pre rigged model felt a lot nicer to use and was quite easy to get the hang of as the handles where nicely sized and clear on what to do. One of the issues i came across was when swaying the body to create a more natural movement the tail would distort and look unnatural so to avoid seeing it i recorded it angled away. Like most things in maya, after learning the gist of things animating the walk cycle become repetitive and time consuming, but it is much quicker then traditional animation and is definitely more fluid.
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