• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Chapter 12. Character Animation > What Is Character Animation?

What Is Character Animation?

Character animation means applying anthropomorphic motion to objects. These objects don't necessarily need to be human or animal characters. Virtually anything can be a character—gas pumps, mushrooms, and even sacks of flour have been animated as characters. However, in nearly every case, the animator uses deformers in Maya to impart animal motion and intelligence (and, if the animators are successful, emotion and identity). Obviously, you can animate robots and other rigid objects in a way that still conveys they are characters. This chapter, however, is concerned with organic, bendable characters.

Deforming objects in a way that mimics nature is usually more complex than other deformations in Maya. Typically, if you're bending or twisting something, you can add the deformer and quickly get the mechanical result you want. However, animating something with an implied skeleton overlaid with muscles, which are overlaid with skin, which is overlaid with clothing, requires a lot more adjustment to get an anatomically believable result. For example, a human elbow bends differently than a neck joint does. Initially, all of your Maya joints allow universal rotation. Further, real muscles “flex” when contracted, creating a bulge as the muscle tissue is compressed—an effect that's more evident for some muscles than others. Also, localized joint movement pulls and relaxes nearby skin in varying ways. A torso doing a “crunch” makes skin do something different from the skin on fingers bending into a fist. Finally, all these variations are different from character to character; a scrawny old wizard is set up quite differently from a plump baby or a bodybuilder.


PREVIEW

                                                                          

Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial


  
  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint