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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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…]

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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Color Coding your Keys in Maya

I like to color code my key’s and inbetween key’s when animating in Maya. However, I do not like using Maya’s default between keys. Why? because whenever you place in a between key in maya it will move and slide around when adjusting keys around it. Below are two examples of the problem. The red ticks are keys and the green is an in-between.


Afters sliding the right key over one:

As you can see the green tick slides into an gross position. It isn’t on an actual frame. To prevent this from happening you have to do a little mel scripting magic.

Here is how you can fix the problem if you like colored in-betweens like I do.
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