This information sheet will explain about in-between process, adding details to
animation, checking file preview formats, indentify the use of render preview, and
complete final checklist
1) In-between process
After the key animation drawings have been checked and approved, they are
sent to the in-between animation artists to begin making the frames missing inbetween the key animation frames. This is done based on the timing sheet
(figure 1) created by the key animator, which indicates how many in-between
frames will be needed to get from one key frame to the next. In some instances
when an element in the animation is not linear, such as the movement of an
arm, tail, or head, the key animator will include a timing chart to indicate the
timing and placement of that element’s movement in-between the key frames.
The in-between animator is also responsible for cleaning up the lines of the key
frames and preparing the drawings to be passed on to the next department, the
finishing department. Figure 2 shows example of key pose and in-between
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Figure 1: Example of timing sheet
Key Pose
Key Pose
Key Pose
Figure 2: Example of key pose and in between
2) Adding details to animation
Curve adjustment
The timeline and the Channel Box offer a few basic controls for creating
and editing key frames. However, when you’re refining an animation, the
controls in the Graph Editor offer greater flexibility as well as visual
feedback on the interpolation between key frames. To open the Graph
Editor, choose Windows ➢ Animation Editors ➢ Graph Editor (figure 3).
You can also set a viewport to the Graph Editor view. The Graph Editor
can be synchronized to the Channel Box. When they’re in sync, selecting
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an attribute from the Channel Box also selects it in the Graph Editor. You
can also synchronize the timeline with the Channel Box, limiting the
displayed keyframes to your selection. Turning both of these options on
allows you to manipulate keys easily using all three tools. These features
can be toggled through the Channel Box under the Channels menu.
Figure 3 : Graph editor
Animation curves visually describe how the values between two
keyframes are interpolated over time. A keyframe is represented by a
point on the curve. The portion of the curve on the graph to the left of a
keyframe represents the animation before the key, and the line and the
portion on the right represent the animation after the key. The keys
themselves have handles that can be used to fine‐tune the shape of
the curve and thus the behaviour of the animation both before and after
the key. The shape of the curve to the left of the key is known as the
incoming tangent (or in tangent), and the shape of the curve to the right
of the key is known as the outgoing tangent (or out tangent). This is
shown in Figure 4.
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Figure 4: The curve in graph editor
Secondary action
Secondary action is any action that is not the primary action in a scene. A character
sharpening a pencil as he complains about his boss would be secondary action; the primary
action has to do with the poses and body language involved in speaking about the boss. A
character running his hand through his hair as he turns away from the mirror, giving himself
a wink, would be good secondary. The main action in this example is the turn, but the hand
through the hair adds a nice level of meaning to the whole scene.
The wonderful thing about Secondary Action is that there really is no amount that is too
much. Especially with humans; we’re constantly multitasking, constantly occupying
ourselves with more than one thing at a time. The animation can, of course, become too
busy. The fact is there is a balance, but for the most part your scenes can always use an
extra level of animation and therefore subtext. The way master animators truly utilize
secondary action is by “coloring” the action to suit the subtext of a scene. This means
changing the secondary action in pose, timing, spacing, etc. to distinguish it from a normal,
“vanilla” performance of the same action.
Let’s look at an example. Let’s imagine a scene where a mother is ironing clothes while
looking out a window. Her husband walks into the room and tells her that their son has been
killed in war. She is facing away from him, and still continues to iron. But her body language
changes. Her hands start shaking. She looks like she’s about to faint as her eyes well up
with tears. The adjustments to the action of ironing clothes (the secondary action in this
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scene) is what we call coloring the action. Now imagine the same set up, with the wife
looking out the window and the husband entering the room. This time, he enters and simply
asks her how her day was, but this time, she found out that morning that she is pregnant.
She answers him “Fine,” and smiles. How would you “color” the secondary action in this
scene? When she hears the husband enter the room, would
she excitedly speed up her action? Maybe she got some baby clothes out of a box and that’s
why she’s ironing. She’d then pause and look at the clothes as she describes her day to her
husband. Suddenly, through secondary action, animators have access to an enormous
amount of subtlety in a scene. Figure 5 shows example of secondary action happens in the
Figure 5: Example of secondary action
Exaggeration is one of the simplest, yet most misunderstood principles
of animation. Why? For decades novice animators have tried to blindly
exaggerate their animation to try to recreate the amazing cartoony styles
of the animators of yore. However, exaggeration doesn’t necessarily
mean better animation, or even more cartoony. Exaggeration
must be used with a keen eye for the effect you are trying to
Find the core idea in your scene and figure out the best
way to exaggerate the message. If you are animating a character
getting pricked on the butt with a pin, then you are going to
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exaggerate the timing and spacing of him shooting into the air.
If you are animating a character that gets scared by a spider, you
might exaggerate the squash and stretch in his body by having
his legs run away from his torso, stretching out his spine! In
both of these cases, we choose the main idea and exaggerate
only where we need to in order to strengthen the message. Both
scenes would look way over-complicated if we had exaggerated
etc. Figure 6 shows example of exaggeration.
Figure 6: Example of exaggeration
3) Preview file in required file format
There are many file format which users can preview their work. Some examples
*.avi (audio video interleave)
AVI files are the long running digital video workhorse from the Microsoft
stable. The format’s popularity has dipped in recent times but AVI still
reigns supreme with the swarms of legacy videos propagating the
internet. AVI was replaced by Microsoft’s Windows Media Video (WMV)
format and usually offers less compression than comparable video file
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formats including MOV and MPEG. It also does not allow users to
select aspect ratios manually, which can be a rather irritating feature.
Open with: Microsoft Windows Media Player, Apple QuickTime Player
and VideoLAN VLC media player.
*.mov (quicktime)
The MOV and QT Apple QuickTime Movie file formats both support a
wide range of codecs. The .mov format saves video files and the .qt
suffix is cross-platform, meaning that it supports both Mac and
Windows systems. The two file extensions are commonly saved
Open with: Apple QuickTime Player.
4) Methods using render preview
A Playblast is a quick preview that lets you make a "sketch" of your
animation, providing a realistic idea of your final render result without
requiring the time needed for a formal render. Playblasting gives you a
fast way to evaluate your work on the fly, taking a screen grab of the
animation in the viewport at each frame during playback, and then
“blasting” those images to an image viewer.
By default, Playblast generates a movie or images using the active view
and the current time range in the Time Slider to determine the animation
range. The default scale is 0.5, which makes the Playblast image
resolution one quarter the size of the active view.
By default, playblasted movies are saved to your Movie project location.
(This is set in the Project Window.) If there are multiple directories set in
the Movie project location, Maya uses the first location listed. You can
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also change the Directory in the Playblast Shot Options or Playblast
Sequence Options to change where movie files are saved. Figure 7
shows playblast option.
Figure 7 : Playblast option
Hardware render
Maya’s hardware renderer presents a seamlessly integrated rendering
solution that leverages the ever increasing power of next-generation
graphics cards to render frames.
Benefits include an intuitive workflow to generate hardware rendered
images for previews, specific passes, and hardware rendered particles.
You can render and display images using the Render View, which lets
you compare images during the shading and lighting tasks.
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The user experience and the visual quality of the final images
significantly surpass that of the Hardware Render Buffer window. You
can produce broadcast-resolution images in less time than with software
rendering. In some cases, the quality may be good enough for final
The hardware renderer uses Maya's existing interface and workflow for
assigning shaders, textures, particles, light linking, and so on.
To prevent the windows of other applications from interfering with the
rendering of the image, you can perform off-screen batch rendering.
Figure 8 shows render settings.
Figure 8 : Render settings
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Mastering Autodesk Maya 2016: Autodesk Official Press
1st SYBEX Inc. Alameda, CA, USA ©2015
How to Cheat in Maya 2014: Tools and Techniques for Character Animation 1st
Edition by Kenny Roy