Saturday, 1 November 2014

Animating in Maya - using deformers

Using deformers to change the appearance of a polygon, help to make exaggerated poses and movements of the shape when animated. For example, when animating a ball, you emphasise the squash and stretch of the bounce to show the weight and volume of the ball, is it made of concrete or clay?, these deformers help to get the right amount of squash and stretch without having to mold the shape multiple times. I found that after adding a deformer to your polygon, you can change the position of the handle, changing the pivot point in which the deformer will deform from. Using this I was able to create smooth curves and shapes when modelling and animating for study task 2. I found that when manipulating the value of these deformers, using the middle button helps to keep the change in proportion.



Example of the handle

Key framing the deformers on the polygons was a struggle at first through how I could only seem to manipulate one deformer at a time and then keep key framing the changes of each deformer. If I moved the object using the translate tool, I found that it would effect the deformer rather than moving the shape. I found two solutions to this problem, one of which being to animate the main movement of the object without using the deformers and then add them, or freeze modifications of the polygon if I was happy with the deformer properties, and then translate the object.

I also found that not using the auto key tool helped with smoother inbetweens between the different changes on the square. I attempted to change the speed on the graph editor as the animation was speeding through the playblast, however every time I curved or made part of the graph linear it would affect the rotation of the deformer on a different key frame. 

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