Blog Category: Animation

7 Best Maya Plugins for Animation Workflow

7 Best Maya Plugins for Animation Workflow

So around the internet there are tons of “best of” lists. I noticed that there are not really one for Maya Plugins. So here is a list of paid and free maya plugins. These plugins are based around the animation aspect of maya. There are tons of good ones out there for rigging and lighting.I decided to focus more on the animation aspect. These plugins should help increase productivity and workflow. I hope you enjoy my list of Best Maya Plugins. Feel free to comment and make any suggestions. I will be creating an “honorable mentions” list at the end of the post. These are tools I find helpful for my personal workflow, so some might not work for you and your techniques.
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Maya Missing Graph Editor, Outliner, or Other Torn Off Windows – Solved

Luckily for us solving the missing graph editor, or window, mystery is easy to solve. Sometimes when you are on a pc, and you are moving from two monitors back to one, changing the positioning of your monitors (for example from left to above) windows in Maya can go missing. Nothing is worse than animating a scene and not being able to find your missing graph editor!

I ran into a problem when I need to work from only one monitor (I normally work with two because I find animating easier with this set up). However, whenever I tried to open my animation graph editor I could not find it! Maya saves your window settings based upon an absolute position. Meaning if you have a position that is high and meant for two monitors Maya will assume that the second monitor still exists. I am not sure why the programmers didn’t decide to do it off of screen width and height percentages but that is a different story.

There are two ways to solve your missing graph editor and window problems. The first and easiest is to navigate to your Maya preference directory and rename it.
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Show Magento Savings by Percentage on Product Page

So you want to display the percentage of savings your customer is getting during a sale. Well here is a way to find the percentage of savings and display it to your customer the magneto product page.

Here is what your end result can look like:
Magneto product savings by percentage

Fire up your ftp and go to the following location: app/design/frontend/yourtheme/yourtheme/template/catalog/product/view/

Download and back-up the this file “price.phtml”.

Open up the file and look for this piece of code.
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Best Maya Animation Books

Here is my list of the best Maya animation books. This list is comprised of books that I found helpful to learning how to animate in Maya. Being a relatively new animator (I have been studying for three years), I can tell you these books have helped me understand Maya a lot more! If you have any suggestions, on books I should add to the list, submit them! Please note these are not the best Animation Books, that is a completely separate category. These are more technical and are not meant to teach the Principles of Animation. Anyway, here is my list of the best Maya animation books. [Read more…]

Review of Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation by Wayne Gilbert

While attending Animation Mentor, I was turned onto this book by a few animators.  The book provides various simplified characters that anyone can draw.  It is great for individuals that are not too confident in their drafting abilities.  While it may be more beneficial to those creating 3d animation, the book gives easy to follow examples that any animator can apply to their workflow. Mr. Gilbert takes you from start to finish on basic drawing tools you need to successfully thumbnail your shot.  The moral of this book is that it is okay to simplify. Keep it Simple Stupid.  This simple concept increases workflow productivity and relieves stress.  Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation reminds the reader that the goal of planning is to quickly boil down the essence of a pose.  However, as I stated before, the examples show that anyone can plan effectively, even those not great at more traditional gestural drawing.  Personally, I like to look at this book whenever I feel stuck or I am over complicating my thumbnails.  Planning should be fun, not scary, and free for expression.  Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation reminds you of that every time you open the cover.
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Animation Inspiration – Incredible Pumpkin Stop Motion

In the spirit of Halloween a fun stop motion involving pumpkins by Auke de Vries…

Music by Jelte De Vries

Incredible Pumpkin Stop Motion from Auke de Vries on Vimeo.

Demo Progress

[jwplayer mediaid=”328″]

Demo Reel Cover Art and Label.

I have blocked my phone number. If you would like to reach me please visit my contact page, or if you would like to view the original artwork…
3d animation demo cover3d animation disc cover

Animation Inspiration – Nude Animated Walks and Runs

Stumbled upon this great stuff this week. Check out Felix Sputnik’s animated walks and runs.

According to vimeo the walk cycles were produced using flash.

Animated walks and runs from Felix Sputnik on Vimeo.

I live the different views from x-ray, clothing, to skin.

Animation Clean Up –
Tracking Arcs With Sketch it!

When doing clean-up work sometimes it is hard to track the arcs. There are a few ways that animators can track and figure out the arcs of a motion. One, use an arc tracker program and track it in Maya. Two, and easiest way, get a dry erase marker and plot points on the screen. But using a dry erase marker on your screen might leave it dirty. Also, sometimes arc trackers are more complicated than need be.
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