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Foot Setup in Maya

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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6. Modifying Curves

Okay, so this is the final step. We will use the graph editor to modify the animation curves in the FootRoll. Whenever I use the graph editor, I always use the Hypergraph/Perspective/Graph Editor layout. So, to bring up this layout you go to Panels > Saved Layouts > Persp/Graph/Hypergraph. You should now have three views with all the windows mentioned. For this exercise we will use our side view, so I just change my perspective view to my side view.

Okay, so now that we have everything that we need, lets fix a few things up. Firstly, we need to adjust our heel lift. When we walk or run or actually pick our feet up for that matter, the heel lifts first after which the balls lift and finally our toes. It happens really quick that we don't really take notice, but it does happen. So, with that in mind lets adjust that really quick. The graph editor serves as an excellent editor for these type of things. We need to determine when we should delay the toes from lifting. Select the FootCTRL shape and move the FootRoll attribute to say about 7.5 or even 8, lets do it at 8. So at 8 you can see how far up the ball joint is. Select the FootRotate Group as that is the group that we set the key for. Once selected a curve will show up in the graph editor. It actually just looks like a straight line.

Select RotateX in the graph editor and then select the curve. Then click on the Insert Keys Tool in the graph editor. It's the second icon at the top of the graph editor, and make sure that the Time Snap button is pressed down aswell. The Time Snap icon is the 4th icon from the right. Then, with your middle mouse button, click on the curve and hold the button in. A line that has a little square where the curve meets it will show up. While still having your middle mouse button pressed down, drag that line up the curve to frame 8. Frame numbers should displayed at the bottom of the graph editor. Once you have placed it at frame 8 let go of the middle mouse button. You now have a new key at frame 8 with handles on both sides..


Now click on the Move Nearest Picked Key Tool (the first icon on the left), and then make sure that the Value Snap icon is pressed down (the third icon on the right). Then select the key and with your middle mouse button move it straight down to 0. You should now notice that the ball joint has moved down and the value in the channel box has a value of zero. Thats because we have just inserted a key with a value of 0 at frame 8 for the FootRotate group.


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