AE outline

Here's where I put a class by class breakdown of what we do. Watch for updates!

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Class 01 - Welcome to the Basics of Maya

Notes: Be sure to bring pen and paper. Note keeping and sketching will be very helpful in this class. Plus you can doodle if you get bored. Fun!

Lecture/Demo: A quick run through of Maya modelling, texturing, animation. We build a simple character for our first assignment: The Clown. Then we connect the parts together to demonstrate parenting relationships in Maya. Then we add textures our character to give it some basic color. Next we duplicate the character to populate our scene. Finally we add some animation to create movement. Students will be shown how to playblast their progress for hand-in.

Activity: Students follow along with instructor demo and try to replicate the activity. Lots of smiles and laughs: good times.

Assignment: Apply the lessons from class and refine our practice scene to show next class.

Very easy to make and terrifying to behold.

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Class 02 - Meet The 12 Principles of Animation

Notes: Be sure to refer to the reference image available when building your clown.

Lecture/Demo: Creating an image plane in maya. Using reference on an image plane as a guide while constructing of a simple object. Introduction to maya directory organization and the project setting. File referencing vs. Loading. Introduction to some of the 12 Principles of Animation, specifically Timing, Slow In/Out and Arcs. Animating a hop and turn using the Clown character created earlier. Setting animation keys. Introduce the graph editor. Changing timing on the timeline.

Activity: 1) Students will finish building the simple clown character to match the example file as closely as possible. (20 min.) Students will turn this in at the end of the first half of class. 2) Students will follow the instructor demo animating a hop and turn using the clown character they built earlier. Students will playblast their work for hand-in at the end of next class.

Assignment: Continue working on the clown animation so you'll be ready to hand it in at the end of next class.


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Class 03 - Finishing the Clown

Notes: The clown assignment will be handed in at the end of class.

Lecture/Demo: Some more demonstration of working within the graph editor. Student files will be opened and modified as examples of how to make adjustment to your work. Too Fast? Too Slow?Distance, Speed and Time: the three connected attributes and how they relate to animation. Meet your first character animation rig: Introduce the Mooly Ball. How to install a script in Maya: the abx picker tool.

Activity: Students will work in class to finish their clown modeling and animation assignments for hand in at the end of class.

Assignment: Start planning and work on modelling your obstacle course environment for the next assignment: The Live Ball. Familiarize yourself with the character rig's animation controls. Be sure to practice setting keys, changing timing and editing values in the graph editor.


The triangle of Distance, Speed and Time.  A handy reminder when adjusting the timing of your animation.

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Class 04 - Live Ball: Reference and Planning

Notes: Be sure to have your rough planning ready for the start of class. A first pass at your environment will be needed.

Lecture/Demo: Keys, Breakdowns and In-betweens: defining the difference between these elements in 3d animation. Frame rates 24fps vs 30fps and thinking in 3rds of a second. Analyzing Reference: draw-overs and flagging keys/breakdowns in Photoshop CC. Animate the first part of the Live Ball with focus on changing a bounce into a hop. Show 2 hops - one where body rotates to follow arc and one where facing remains level. Using Editable Motion Trails for speed and ease in animation.

Activity: Follow along with in-class demonstrations of reference analysis and ball hopping. Students will finishing their plan and build the basic body animation for their live ball animation in class.

Assignment: Have your Live Ball planning completed for next class. Have your environment model roughed in for next class.



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Class 05 - Live Ball: Slow In and Out

Notes: So things are going slower than expected - we're going to push the Live Ball until the end of class 8.

Lecture/Demo: How to get convincing physics for the Live Ball. Linear Transit and Parabolas. Slow in and Slow out: Mass and Inertia. Visualizing movement: Editable Motion Trails revisited.

Activity: Finishing their environment for the Live ball and blocking in the core performance of the live ball.

Assignment: Have the basic choreography for your Live Ball finished.



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Class 06 - Live Ball: Squash and Stretch

Notes: You'll need to have your Live Ball core performance finished to be able to follow along with the demos in this class.

Lecture/Demo: Adding the squash and stretch to the Live Ball. Direction of stretch follows the tangent of travel: using animated motion trails for guidance. Recap: Installing shelf tools and scripts, abxPicker and bhGhost.

Activity: Students complete the core movement of the Live Ball and start adding squash and stretch.

Assignment: Compete Squash and Stretch on the live ball for next class.



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Class 07 - Live Ball: Overlap, Follow Through, Drag

Notes: Live ball assignment will be due at the end of next class (class 8)

Lecture/Demo: Animating the Tail of the Live Ball. Useful tool: bhGhost.

Activity: Follow instructor demo and work on the Live Ball tail animation.

Assignment: Finish the Live Ball animation to be handed in at the end of next class.

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Class 08 - Live Ball: Polishing

Notes: Live Ball animation will be due at the end of class.

Lecture/Demo: Meet the rigs Mort, Jerry and Buckid. Recap - playblasting your work.

Activity: Finish the Live Ball assignment.

Assignment: Shot assignments will be handed out.

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Class 09 - Meow! Introduction to Lip Sync.

Notes: Notes from this class

Lecture/Demo: What I'll be showing

Activity: What the students will be doing.

Assignment: Any work or activity to complete outside of class.

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Class 10 - Building and Using Basic Visemes

Notes: Notes from this class

Lecture/Demo: What I'll be showing

Activity: What the students will be doing.

Assignment: Any work or activity to complete outside of class.

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Class 11 - Posing: Silhouette, Balance and Line of Action

Notes: Notes from this class

Lecture/Demo: What I'll be showing

Activity: What the students will be doing.

Assignment: Any work or activity to complete outside of class.

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Class 12 -

Notes: Notes from this class

Lecture/Demo: What I'll be showing

Activity: What the students will be doing.

Assignment: Any work or activity to complete outside of class.





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