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Foot Setup in Maya

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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When you look at the curve now, you can see that the curve goes through the floor. Which is not what we want, we want the curve to remain above the floor or on top of the floor. When I say floor, I refer to the dark black line (the zero value). So, to fix that up we select the key at frame 0 and frame 8 (shift select or drag a bounding box around the keys). Once both keys are selected click on the Flat Tangents icon. The 4th icon from the left (these icons look blue lines with dots on them and are relatively in the center of the graph editor). Once clicked, you will see that the line now straightens itself out with a smooth transition to frame 15. Now if you move the footRoll from 0 to 15 you will see that up until the value of 8, the ball joint stays behind, which gives the impression of it being delayed. Just what happens in real life.

Okay, Now we will adjust the toe lift. Set the FootRoll value to -8. You will notice that the ball joint has once again lifted before it should have. In this case, when we rotate our heel upwards, our toes lead the way and then the ball follows. Once again this happens really quick in real life and we hardly notice it at all. So, we want to do the same thing and delay the ball joint from lifting at the same time as the toe joint. With all that being said, we select the HeelRotate group in the hypergraph. It might not show up in the graph editor because we are working with negative values now, so, if it is not showing up, just hit the "A" key in the graph editor, and that should center the curve. We are going to do the same thing to this curve as we did to the previous curve. Select the curve and click on the Insert Keys Tool and drag a key to -8..

Now, we select the newly created key and move it straight down to zero with the middle mouse button. Then, select the key at -8 and 0 by shift selecting or dragging a box around them. Once both are selected, click on the Flat Tangents icon. The line should now straighten itself out with a nice smooth transition to frame -15. It is the opposite of what the previous one looks like because of the negative values.


Once that is done, go ahead and play around with your FootRoll. Change the value to -15 and back to zero again. You will see that before -8 the toe now leads the way and the ball stays behind, after -8, the ball begins to lift, which is what we want.
Pretty cool hey!?

Well, that is the end of the tutorial!! This one was a pretty long tut, but I hope that it has helped someone along the way, and that you have learnt a new thing or two with it. If you are having problems following the tutorial or nothing is coming right for you when you do some steps, please do not hesitate to post a message on my forums. I check the forums on a daily basis and will respond fairly quick. I would also appreciate any response to the tut. Was it good or not? Let me know so that I can improve on tuts in the future.:) I have also attached a maya file of the scene so that you can see first hand what is going on. Anyways, thank you for taking the time out to go through the tutorial! Greatly appreciated:) Happy Maya learning :)

© A. de Carvalho (Mills)

Maya Scene File - FootSetup.mb

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