Hi, and welcome back, I hope you liked the tutorial that I created on basic materials. This time I am going to show you how to create an basic and simple animation in Maya. The topic would be create a burning rope and the final result would be as shown below.
In this tutorial, we will make an animation of simple burning rope. Let’s start with making a profile for the rope. Click EP Curve creation icon.
Then in the Side viewport, draw a curve line as shown below or as your wish.
Choose “Rendering” menu-set from the Menu-set drop down list located at the top-left corner of the Maya window.
Select the curve we have just drawn (if it is not selected). Then choose Window > General Editors > Visor.
Under the Paint Effects (tab), in the left category-list, choose “Fibers” category. Then choose the paint effect “wickerTubeProc.mel”.
Make sure, the curve is still selected in the view. Choose Paint Effects > Curve Utilities > Attach Brush to Curves.
The rope-like fiber paint effect is now prolonged through the curve. Thus it got the fiber rope shape.
Click “Render Current Frame” icon. You will see a pretty nice rope image rendered.
Set the animation/playback end frame to 100.
Open the Attribute Editor for strokeShape1. Make sure, you are at the Frame No. 1 of the animation. Expand (if necessary) the End Bounds groups under the attributes for strokeShape1. Default “Min Clip” should have been set to 0.0. Leave this at this value and right-click on Min Clip and then choose “Set Key”.
Go to Frame No. 100. Set the Min Clip value = 1. Then again right-click and choose “Set Key”.
Play the animation and notice any frame (for example frame no. 29).
Render the view at Frame No. 1. See the result.
Render Frame No. 99 and see the result. You will see that the rope is going to be exhausted at the end of the animation. This is what we want exactly for the rope. But where is that fire which is burning this rope? Let’s make that fire.
When more than one object is in the view at the same place it is a bit difficult to select the desired object in viewport directly. So instead, we will select the object from objects’ Outliner. Choose Window > Outliner.
In the Outliner window, you will see 3 items are listed other than the default items and “Stroke1” is highlighted as this was the last selected object.
We want to drive the fire on the same path curve that we drawn at the very beginning. So, select “Curve1” in the Outliner. It will be selected in the view as well.
Open the Visor window again (or restore it if you minimized it) and choose “glows” category this time. Then select “sunRise.mel”.
While curve1 is still selected, choose Paint Effects > Curve Utilities > Attach Brush to Curves.
The paint effect will be placed at the bottom of the curve.
Step Twenty One
Render Frame No. 1 and see the result. The orientation of the fire is not right. It should face upward.
Step Twenty Two
To correct this, go to attributes for sunRise1 and then expand “Tubes” group.
Step Twenty Three
Under Tubes > Creation > Width Scale, choose “Along Path” as Tube Direction.
Step Twenty Four
Choose Path Follow = -0.5 under Tubes > Forces.
Step Twenty Five
Render Frame No. 1. Now the fire direction is what we want.
Step Twenty Six
While you are at Frame No. 1, go to the attributes for strokeShape2. While Min Clip is set to 0.00 by default under End Bounds set the key for Min Clip.
Step Twenty Seven
Go to Frame No. 100. Set Min Clip = 1 and then set the key.
Step Twenty Eight
Render Frame No. 50. See the result.
Step Twenty Nine
Render Frame No. 99. See the result.
Render Frame no. 100. Nothing is in the view. The destructive fire has eaten up the entire rope. Hooray! Your animation is done.
Step Thirty One
Let’s render an entire animation. Choose Window > Rendering Editor > Render Settings.
Step Thirty Two
In the Render Settings dialogue box, leave “Maya Software” Renderer as the render engine. We need not use other renderer for this animation. Proceed to Common tab > Image File Output group. We should change all the three parameters here to get this small animation movie.
Step Thirty Three
Change the File name prefix to “Burning_Rope” and choose AVI (avi) as the Image format. The middle parameter (Frame/Animation ext) will be automatically changed to name.ext(Multi Frame).
Step Thirty Four
AVI (Audio Visual Interface ) is a common format for PC Screen movie. Let’s change it compression type i.e. Codec.
Step Thirty Five
My favorite codec is “Microsoft Windows Media Video” as it maintains the balance between quality and file-size (at least I think it appropriate for my own PC so far). May be, you can choose this for now.
Step Thirty Six
Just below the Compression button, set the End Frame = 100.
Step Thirty Seven
Then adjust the output size as per your requirement.
Step Thirty Eight
Now let’s see what happens if we render the current frame after setting the “Enable Default Light” to OFF mode (i.e. Unchecked) in the Render Options group.
Step Thirty Nine
The fire is still there. But there is no rope. We have not placed any light in the scene. But for the rendering of some visor paint effect items such as the fiber “wickerTubeProc1.mel” (which we used as the rope), lighting is necessary. So the default lighting was a must for rendering this fiber paint effect.
Set the “Enable Default Light” back to ON and render the current frame (No.1). This time it’s OK.
Step Forty One
If you want to get a better quality output, go to Maya Software tab and choose “Production Quality” from the Quality drop-down list under Anti-Aliasing group. Close the Render Settings dialogue box.
Step Forty Two
Choose Render > Batch Render.
Step Forty Three
Maya is rendering the AVI movie. The codec I have chosen (Microsoft Windows Media Video) need not take much time to render out the movie.
Step Forty Four
After rendering is finished, you can see the output AVI location though we could set the output location if we did set the project at the beginning (or while working with the animation) from File menu.
Step Forty Five
Go to the output location and play the animation. May be, we could set the animation range to a longer period so that the animation could be more smooth. However, this is just a practice. In your own real projects, you will render the animation sequence in TGA/TIF or such good quality format and then import them to a composition program (such as After Effects etc.) and get the final output from there.