To make an animation preview in 3dsMax, check Autodesk's tutorial documentation HERE


When you right mouse button (RMB) click and hold on the timeline in Maya you will see the option to 'Playblast'. This allows you to create a movie file or images to show your animation. If you click on the box, it will bring up your Playblast options.


Here are more detailed steps to ensure you output your work with the correct settings. Use this when you're about to Playblast.

  1. 1920x1080 in render settings? (Full HD)
  2. HUD: Display Frame Counter on? 
  3. Playblast Display: Override Viewport?
  4. Check Staging (Resolution Gate) then turn it off.
  5. Movie format (*)
  6. Good compression?
  7. Check naming: <Last>_<First>
  8. For best fidelity, turn on Full screen anti-aliasing
 (* For step 5 be sure to check out: Getting QuickTime in Maya (without the player) 

**WARNING - QT format/H.264 codec is safe but the QuickTime player is unsupported in Windows.
Use the player at your own risk! 

Do you want QuickTime player in Windows anyway? Then watch this YouTube video

Still having issues? You can try this QuickTime Alternative which *may* work (untested)  

Step 1: Aspect Ratio (or why you're playblasting at 1920 x 1080) 

Aspect Ratio refers to the the proportional relationship between an images width and its height. The format that you pick is going to have a huge impact on the composition of your scene.

Currently, the most common standard is 16:9 - the international standard format of HDTV. Some common 16:9 resolutions are 640x360, 960x540 (HD540),1280×720 (HD720) and 1920x1080 (HD 1080). The main reasons to choose this aspect ratio are to appeal to the widest possible audience and to ensure that your work displays well in the most likely format it will be seen in.

For play-blasting animation, I prefer a resolution of: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
as it's a good compromise between high fidelity and efficient file size.

Start by setting your resolution in your render settings. Click on the "Display Render Settings Icon" in the upper right corner of Maya. Set your "image size" as pictured below:

Step 2: Set your Display Options

In Maya, in the upper left menus click on "Display>Heads Up Display" and make sure that "current frame" is checked on. This will show a frame counter at the bottom of your render: very important for animation feedback.
Next, in your camera view, click on the "Show" menu. Scroll to the bottom to "Playblast Display" and click on it. In the menu that pops up, check "Override Viewport" and check on the items that you want to show whenever you playblast.

Step 3: Check your Staging and Playblast

Click on the resolution gate icon (small grey rectangle with a blue circle ) in the upper right side of your camera view to see what you'll be playblasting. Once you are happy with the framing and composition of your scene lock the camera down and remember to...

  turn off the resolution gate before you playblast!

The last step is to right mouse click and hold on your timeline to show "Playblast..." and click on the little box on the right side to bring up the options menu. Set your playblast options to look exactly like this:

To get quicktime in maya - check out this workaround:

Make sure the scale attribute (!) is set to 1.00 or it will shrink down movie file resolution! (everyone seems to get caught by this one.)

The name of your playblast should be:
       <Your last name>_<Your first name>_<assignment_code>.mov

When you're done, RMB click on the timeline in Maya and select 'playblast' and you should get a movie file showing your animation. Joy!

And now, as a reward for reading a bunch of technical stuff: a cute picture of a kitten.

this kitten is very cute.

  (* For step 5 be sure to check out: Getting QuickTime in Maya (without the player) 

For rare errors with the install, from ANC student John El-Zouki:

'So if the QuickTime installation fails with an error message that includes "microsoft.vc80.crt" in the text, they're most likely missing a Windows component that can be repaired by installing the "x64: vc_redist.x64.exe" file (under Visual Studio 2015, 2017, and 2019". The x64 files are for 64-bit machines, and the x86 version is for 32-bit (which probably won't be required ever)"