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Chapter 11. Animation > Path Animation

Path Animation

Animating the flight of an airplane could be difficult by just setting keyframes. Sometimes you'll want to establish the path first and then simply send the object along that path. Maya can even make the object automatically bank around turns and point in the direction of the path.

To animate along a path:

1.
Create a curve in the Top view (Figure 11.45). (See Chapter 7 for more on creating curves.)

Figure 11.45. This curve is drawn in the Top view.


2.
From the Create menu select NURBS Primitives > Cone.

3.
Select the cone, then -select the curve.

4.
From the Animate menu select Motion Paths > Attach to Motion Path (Windows) or Paths > Attach to Paths (Mac).

The cone jumps to the beginning of the curve, and when the animation is played back, it moves along the curve.

5.
With the cone still selected, click motionPath1 in the Channel Box.

6.
Enter –90 in the Side Twist field so that the cone points down the path (Figure 11.46).

Figure 11.46. The different twists are needed to orient the cone the way you want it. You cannot simply rotate the cone because its rotate attributes are controlled by the path animation.


When the animation is played back now, you can see how the rotation of the cone follows the path (Figure 11.47).

Figure 11.47. This is the resulting path animation.



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