I’ve been meaning to post this one for a little bit but..I’ve been testing it out and have really enjoyed using it. This tool is a modification to the graph editor within Maya. It’s called the Graph Editor Redux version 1.2.0 plugin for maya. It looks to have been developed by Ron Bublitz and he posted it on Creative Crash formerly Highend 3D. The plugin puts together alot of the animation tools that are out there all in one into the graph editor. It seems pretty handy and I do enjoy it. There is a tweener and autoTanget among others. It comes with a PDF explaining each button which is pretty handy. There are a few bugs on it that you can see in the reviews section and you can post comments and reviews on Creative Crash. One suggestion is to make it for 2009 and 2010 because for now it is only for 8.5 and 2008. So I look forward to the update.
So check it out, mess around and enjoy.
There are so many tools out there to help us animators that it sometimes it’s hard to shift through the good and reliable ones. As I have done before I would like to highlight some now that will help us animators along our journey to becoming masters of this craft. SO this time around I’d like to highlight some sketch tools that can help when it comes to tracking your arcs and also giving some feedback. I’ve come across a few that are free and some that are a price but very inexpensive.
The first one is called ZoomIt. Now this one is free and made by Microsoft, so it has some credibility..respectively. They display it as a good for presentations program but you can totally use it for a sketch tool. This is the pitch from the publisher.
“From Microsoft :ZoomIt is screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. ZoomIt runs unobtrusively in the tray and activates with customizable hotkeys to zoom in on an area of the screen, move around while zoomed, and draw on the zoomed image. I wrote ZoomIt to fit my specific needs and use it in all my presentations.ZoomIt works on all versions of Windows and you can use pen input for ZoomIt drawing on tablet PCs.”
“Have you ever had trouble explaining your idea on a computer to someone? Have you ever simply wanted to mark on your screen for illustrative purposes? Have you ever wanted to sketch an equation or figure to the side of your notes? Well now you can. With Sketch It! you can draw on top of any program on your computer including your desktop. Sketch It! will allow you to turn your ordinary computer into a virtual drawing surface. With a variety of features from changing the appearance of the line your drawing including size and color to placing the screen’s image into the clipboard or saving it to a file it’s all there. One of the best features about Sketch It! is that you’ll hardly notice it until you want to use it since it stays on the task bar waiting for you. Sketch It! is a perfect tool for a variety of individuals and professions.”
And then there is Annotate Pro. Which there is a free 30day Trial version and then you can pay $19.99 and get the latest version in all its glory. You might have heard about it or seen it on Keith Lango‘s tutorials. He speaks of it well and uses it all the time.
As you can see Keith sketches away in Maya. So hopefully you can find one that suits you and will only help you become a more efficient animator.
A friend pointed me in the direction of this site the other day and WOW! There are more animation tools out there than I realized. I guess as more and more people enter our industry there will be more tools made for the various programs that we use. TradigiTools has made scripts for Maya that will make life that much easier and our workflow that much faster. It is equipped with various tools like, a tweener that actually highlights your breakdowns with green ticks and keep the normal red, Timing incrament tools so you can automatically select how many frames you want or need between Keys and a Redundant key remover. There are quite a few more options and they have it setup in all nice drop down menus. Have a look at there Promo Vides to see for yourself..click here. Animation Mentor has also gotten together with them in promoting their tools. I honestly feel more schools should invest in this and let their students enjoy some of the tools that will be available to them as they hit the industry. So check them out and enjoy.
This site has been on Animators Resource since the beginning…but a friend recently called my attention back to it. There are a few tools on this site that can be super helpful to animators so I thought I should highlight them. As animators we always have issues with parenting objects. Well Paolo Dominici’s site offers some solutions. He has developed a ZV Parent Master. It allows you to parent and unparent at will. Parent multiple object and see all of this in your timeline. The best part is that its free! He gives a demo of it on his site too. You can also get it on Highend 3D here. He also has developed a ridicules GUI picker for characters. He has multiple demos of it on his site or click here. It will be a way to help speed up your animation and we all know anything helps. He has a list of other products as well. Check them out.