Animate A 3D Looping LEGO Trench Run in Maya | Lucas Ridley | Skillshare

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Animate A 3D Looping LEGO Trench Run in Maya

teacher avatar Lucas Ridley, Professional Animator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      LEGO Plug-In


    • 3.

      Modeling Millennium Falcon 1


    • 4.

      Modeling Millennium Falcon 2


    • 5.

      Working With 3D Model Downloads


    • 6.

      Model Trench Environment


    • 7.

      Animate LEGO Build


    • 8.

      Animate With iPhone


    • 9.

      Animate With Mouse


    • 10.

      Loop Animation


    • 11.

      nParticle Laser Animation


    • 12.

      Camera Animation


    • 13.

      Lights, Camera, Polish


    • 14.

      Depth Of Field & Render


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About This Class

In this intermediate course we will walk through every step of the process to create an animation with a Millenium Falcon with 3D LEGOs in a Star Wars-inspired trench run environment using Autodesk Maya.

If you've never opened Maya before I recommend taking one of my other quick Maya beginner courses first like this motion graphics course.

You just need a copy of Maya and some prior experience using Maya to be able to follow along.

I do discuss a few paid plugins but I also offer free alternatives as well.

This course will put it all together:

  • Create a project from scratch
  • Use instances and stand-ins with Arnold
  • Animate easily with your iPhone or mouse
  • Animate with clever tricks to enhance and loop your animation
  • Adjust animation quickly and easily
  • Animate lasers using particles
  • Light and Render your animation

Meet Your Teacher

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Lucas Ridley

Professional Animator

Level: Intermediate

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1. Overview: [MUSIC] Hi, my name is Lucas Ridley, and I'm really excited to share with you this new course that we're going to take something from scratch and build a really cool loopable animation. You're going to be able to add your own style and flavor to this in a very interesting way because we're going to be using Lego-style bricks to build this together. We're going to learn some really cool animation techniques that I haven't discussed before in any of my other classes. Now, don't be intimidated if you don't consider yourself an animator. This class is for you because I teach you some really cool techniques that you can quickly and easily get some cool results with animation and work smarter and not harder. This is not for people who have never opened Maya because I go a little fast and I use some tools that maybe beginners will be uncomfortable with. If you would like to take a Maya beginners course, check out my motion graphics course, which is maybe 30 or 40 minutes long, so you can get up to speed and feel more comfortable using the interface, which I know can feel intimidating, but I hope my classes help you ease those fears about getting into 3D because it can be very fun. This project and this course, I think, is a great example of where I can just sit down and create a whole scene in animation just by myself from my own brain. It's especially cool using the Lego bricks because you can make whatever you want. They actually have their instructions for every sets online. Now that we're in 3D, all those Lego sets that you ever wanted to build, you can actually build in 3D and we can render it, play with it and animate them. We're going to do that on a small-scale in this course so we can work through the entire pipeline to understand where we start from and where we go, all the things to consider in between that. I look forward to seeing you in class, and I look forward to seeing your renders. Please share those with me at the end and let's get started. 2. LEGO Plug-In: Before we begin, we need to decide if we want to go one of two routes on the model of the shape that we're going to be using in flying around. We can go the Lego route and it needs a plug-in. The other route is we just download a model, more of a traditional method. I'll show you both ways. But we're going to start with the Lego method because I think it's pretty cool and we're actually going to do something a little bit special to animate that building on. Let's start with that one. We need the plug-in and there's two versions. There is a paid version and an unpaid version. Even if you don't want to throw down some money you can actually grab this model or not even the model, you can grab the tool that is the free demo specifically to build this Millennium Falcon model. I'll include this URL here in the downloadable PDF that will go along with the course like every link that I talk about in these lessons. But I did want to touch on the fact that I don't believe he is updating the free version and so you won't have the issue with Python 3 which is a Maya 2022 thing. They're transitioning from Python 2 to Python 3. I'm not that technical but it's a thing you need to be aware of if you're using Maya 2022. You also need to know you can't use Brickit which is the name of the plugin with versions of Maya earlier than 2018. Then you also need the Arnold version for Maya of 3.1.1 which has this AI rounded corner node. If you do want to purchase it just be aware that there is a different Python 3 download for the Maya 2022 version. Instead of just a few slight bricks you get all of these bricks. Why that's cool is you can go to a website like this and then download the instructions PDF for any Lego set and you could essentially build any Lego set in 3D using this plugin. Now, if the second you don't want to throw around 40 bucks which is understandable for a plugin, I would say grab the free one. You could also just sign up through his gum road and be aware of any time that he's running discounts so you could maybe get this plugin in the future for a discount. For simplicity sake, we are going to follow along with the Millennium Falcon. I will include this link here for the PDF of how we're going to go step-by-step through this. Now, I'm not going to go through every single one because it would make this course pretty long and a bit tedious. But I do want to show you how this plug-in works once you have it installed. Or like I said, if you don't want to go the Lego route you can download a free model from a site like Sketchpad. You just need to grab a free account on their website and then find a model by searching their library and you can download it right here by clicking the download 3D model and always be aware of the license type that says so that you're always giving them the correct attribution when you use their work. We will discuss how to use a model like this in a later lesson. Let's move forward in the next lesson using the actual Lego Brickit script. 3. Modeling Millennium Falcon 1: In this lesson, we're going to get started using the Lego BrickIt script. We're going to start modeling a Millennium Falcon. Now very quickly just to go over the installation process, even though there are videos from the plugin developer about this. I just wanted to mention that again, that all you really have to do is just grab the script itself here, the folder, and find your Maya version in the documents, Maya folder. I'm using Maya 2022. I'm going to click on that folder. I'm going to go to the scripts folder and then all I have to do is just click and drag this folder into the Maya 2022 scripts folder hierarchy, which I've already done. You can see it here. Now once we do that, all we have to do is once we're in Maya, of course, you want to do that before you open Maya. Do that first, then you open Maya. I'm going to go down to this little button in the bottom right here. I'm going to click that and it's going to open up this script editor. What I can do is click a little plus button here, and it'll open up a new Python shelf. Now that we have that up, we just need to grab the Python script that comes along with the download. If I jump back to that folder, I can actually see there's a Maya 2022 shelf here and it opens up in a Notepad. All we have to do is just copy-paste this into the script editor and this is essentially going to be the command that we run every time that we want to load the plugin. I've already done that, but basically what you would do is not just have to click here and do the script editor, you actually add it to your shelf. If you go to the custom shelf inside of Maya, you can middle mouse drag this into that shelf and let go and it'll create a new Python icon. Now, if you want to change the logo to the icon that comes with the plugin, you can just do that by editing the script here and you can go to the Shelves tab and then there's an icon name here. You can see I've found the BrickIt icon JPEG. That's what we're going to use for this. That's why I have this cool little Lego brick for the icon of that plugin. Before we can begin using the plugin, we need to know what we're actually building and how to build it. Let's grab the instructions from the PDF right here. I'm essentially going to have this side by side with what I'm doing and we're going to, of course, start at step 1 and then slowly move through. But I do want to call out some specific workflow techniques and tips that you need to follow so that this is a little bit easier for you and not so frustrating. When you use the BrickIt plug-in here, it'll take a minute to load, but I have the full plugin, so I'm going to have every single brick. If you're using the free download, the free demo version, it's actually going to be a lot easier to build this Millennium Falcon because you have fewer bricks to scroll through. Whereas I have to hunt and find every single one. They're organized from bricks to plates to plates modified. You see this here and if I middle mouse scroll, I can actually scroll through the tabs. But what we're going to do is just one-by-one find each piece. I'm going to have a one-by-two and a disk here. I can start to find these in the plugin directory of each brick. Those two pieces are essentially plates, so I'm going to go to plates, and then here we find the plate 012. Some of these texts are cut off because I have a 4K monitor. Some of that display is a bit odd for a 4K monitor, so it's struggling a bit. That's why some of the text is cut off. If I just double-click that, it's going to load in the piece and then I need to find the disk. It's the plate round. Just double-click that and you can see that they're coming in. Now if you're familiar with Maya, you might look at these and notice that they look a bit different. I don't have the wireframe unshaded, which is this model right here even though we can still already see the wireframe of the geometry. That's because these are.ASS files, which are basically Arnold stand-in files. You can actually see the stand-in icon here under Arnold and that's why we get this cube here with the wireframe. What that essentially is, is using an instance version of the geometry so we're not loading in heavy geometry. We reference a huge library of these .ASS files and use those as instant geo. Now, I'll get into this a little bit, but there are some bugs with this that we need to address. But first off, let's just select the first one and we can notice that the pivot point is in a very specific place. It is exactly where this node is for the cylinder of that Lego piece. If I start to move this around, we can see it's going to be very hard to place this. What I want to do is actually turn on vertex snapping, which is this button up here. It's the magnet, snap to points. You can also hold down V on your keyboard if you don't want to enable it all the time, but I want to leave this on. Now when I'm jumping around, I'm actually getting access to snapping to each one of these nodes of the other plate. Now, you'll also notice that there are two versions there. If we were trying to snap to the bottom or the top and so that is the difference to be aware of when you're snapping around. Now if I refer back to the plate, we just need to decide which side we're going to go. Let's stay on one side and we'll choose the left side here. I can, of course, just rotate this by holding down J and I can snap-rotate by holding down J. Now, what J does if we want to know for sure that this is working or not or if you're having trouble with J as a shortcut, you can actually see that there is a step snap option here in the tools while I have the rotate manipulator on which is of course E, and move is W and R is scale. But we won't be using scale of course with this. If I hold down J, we can see that this turns to absolute and so we're going to move at those intervals that are predetermined. If yours is a different interval, one that's not working with going to even 90 degrees or 45 that we're going to need, we can maybe change this to something like 15 so that we know in the future we could actually go to a 45-degree angle. I can just change this to 15, so it'll be a much smaller increment now when I hold down J, so I'm going to turn this off so that when I hold down J, I can toggle this option on or off. We're going at 15-degree intervals now. That is how you can play something pretty quickly and easily and get it to be where we want it to be. Now, the other thing to be aware of is the fact that every time that we double-click something from the plugin library, it's going to be spawned at 00. It's not a bad idea if we take our entire model and we move it out of the way. I'm going to undo the vertex tool snapping on just so that we can move both of these together. I'm just going to click and drag then with this while in world space. Hold down W, left-click, and you can see that the reason why these weren't moving together is because they're in object space. I rotated one, which means one's going to move. It thinks z is this way, the other thinks z is that way so when we try to move them together, they won't move the other. So that's why when we go to hold down W, left-click, and drag over world, and we do that now. Now we're using an absolute position in the world as opposed to relative to their own orientation. Now we can move this out of the way and we don't need to snap it anywhere because each object is going to be snapping to itself. Where it is in the world doesn't have to be snapped to the grid or anything special like that. We can just move this out of the way so that every time that we use this plugin, that it won't be right on top and hiding each new element that we're making. Let's just jump to the next one very quickly. We need another one of the one by twos that we already have and we need this black special hinge piece. Anytime that you come across something that you've already got, it's really easy to actually just duplicate that instead of trying to find it in the library again. But this brings up another point about as we're working, we want to make sure that we're coloring this because sometimes we'll be building the model and there'll be pieces inside of another piece, and so it would be hard to color that if they become sandwiched in between other pieces of Lego. As we're working, it's smart to go ahead and color each piece. With this one selected, I can actually go over here to the color tab and I can choose one of those colors and just find one that's similar to that brown color that we see in the instructions. I'm going to find maybe this color and I'll click that and you can notice that it doesn't change color and that's again because this is a stand-in. But what the plugin developer did was actually make it to the wireframe change, so you have some indication of this is actually a different color. Now if I get rid of the tool settings here so we can get a bigger viewport display and see all of these options we have up here. I actually turn on the anti-aliasing, so it will thicken those lines a little bit visually to us just in the viewport so we can see those color differences a little bit better. Now if we wanted to actually test exactly what that color is, we would need to go ahead and do a render real quick. I'll go to Arnold and I'll need to make some lights. I'm just going to go to lights and I'm going to do a sky-dome light. This will just be a big white sphere that covers everything. We go to Arnold, Open Arnold Render View, and hit Play. Again, this currently is docked, but this might not be docked for you. This could be a hovering window. You can have it docked. It depends on how you have your workspace setup, which you can change here under Windows workspaces and choose one of these if you get some things messed up and you want to get back to default. If I just hit play here, a pretty accurate I think color compared to what they're showing us in the instructions. That's how we can test the color as we go along and back on the next step of the building process, we saw that we needed another one of these. All I have to do is just select this and hit Control D and it will duplicate it and I can just slide this forward. But again, it's not snapping. I can either hold down V or I can turn on the toggle here and leave that on. You can see when I hold down V, it turns it on and when I let go, it turns it off. Or I can click it and leave it on. Because we're going to be using this a lot, I'm probably just going to leave it on as opposed to having to press the keyboard every time. I'm going to hit plus so I get the manipulators to be a bit bigger and then all I need to do next is find the hinge piece that we can find here under hinges. I believe it was this hinge brick. I can double-click that. Now that we have that, we can see that this is one of the oddities of this plugin. Sometimes when you have something selected, it will actually try to bring it in near that thing that you have selected. Because I had this piece selected, it actually brought it in. But if you don't have anything selected, it'll bring it in at 00. If we go back to the instructions, we can see that it's facing this side of the plate. I just need to get that into a good spot and we just need to make sure that that's a black piece now. We can go to color and we can choose the black. Because we duplicated this one by two from this one, it actually carries that color over. We can see in the wireframe here that this is actually the same color of the wireframe of this. We've taken the first couple of steps in getting our model done. In the next lesson, we're going to continue to work on this and I'll give you a few more tips on things to look out for. Thanks for watching. 4. Modeling Millennium Falcon 2: Welcome back. Let's continue building the Millennium Falcon with Legos. I'm actually going to use a program called PureRef. It's nice because it will maintain being on top while you're working. What we can do is actually just copy-paste a screenshot from the PDF, and then paste it in here so we get a few pages at a time as opposed to working with having to switch back and forth between the PDF. I'm just going to hop over here and I'm going to just screenshot this. I'm just grabbing a screenshot of the PDF on my second screen and then I'm just going to hit Control V and paste it in here. I can use the mouse wheel and scroll around, and we can middle mouse drag to move and then scroll in. We can actually have these up on the same screen, so if you don't have two screens, this is really handy so that you can keep working and maintain your work. The next step is we need to find some more of these bricks. I'm going to go back to the Brick It Plugin Library here, and I need to find these plates and a grid there. This is going to be the most tedious part really of the whole project, is going through and trying to find each one of these. If you have the whole one again, if you have a free one it's not going to be so difficult. But so let's go, we have 1234,1234 on either side so I can see we want this one. Because I didn't have anything selected, like I said in the earlier lesson, it's actually going to bring it in on 00. That's why again, we wanted to move this off of the 00 grid there. I'm just going to get this into the same orientation that we see here, and before I duplicate it, I want to go ahead and add that color, so I'm not having to duplicate work and color two things. When I hit Control D and then hit E, and then hold J to remember it, we get that snap. We can snap this around and then I just need to move this over to the side of that one. Again, we can always take a look at our progress if we wanted to make go to Arnold, open up Arnold Render View [inaudible] That looks right, so I'm just going to keep moving on through this, and I'm going to click middle mouse drag in PureRef to scroll down. What I'm hoping is going to happen here in a second as one of the little bugs too, so as we're working I'm hoping that one of these bugs pops up so I can actually demonstrate because it's hard to force that to happen especially in a demonstration like this. Again, because I had something selected, that's why it's popped up in the position instead of 000. I'm going to move this into place and then go ahead and get the color of this to be white. Then I need the cylinders there, so I'm going to go down to cylinders, and should be here, the brick around, so double-click that, and then we can get this into position. Before I duplicate it, I want to make sure again I'm going to color and I choose the transparent color that we need here, and it looks like a light blue, so it's maybe this one. Then we can duplicate that by hitting Control D and then just moving that over, and of course it's snapping because we have snap on. I'm hitting F to zoom in and taking a look and making sure that we have everything we need. We're missing one of the greats here, so I'm just going to go to plates and make sure it's not in plates, I don't think it is. Under plates we found it, the little Great version, and we can see that that's white as well. I'm going to go to Color, hit the white, and then we can snap this to the front, holding down J, I can rotate snap that in to place. Here we have one of the first bugs that I've noticed with this script. I just hit Control D, and instead of seeing the brick we actually have this bounding box. That can be a bit confusing, what we've actually duplicated and how to fix it. I think there's a couple different ways to fix this, of course, we could just delete it and try again. Welcome to working in Maya, and in any 3D program you are going to encounter some crashes. Some of those are going to be corrupt in a way that you can never open them again, and so it's very important to save in iterations and inversion. Essentially, I will save a file and then as a suffix, I'll say _version001, or _version002, and I'll save a new version every 20, 30, however long you want the interval to be that you're okay with losing some work. I'm going to recreate this really quickly and get back to the point that we're at. Now we're back and actually happen on the exact same brick at the same point in the process, so this tells me this might very well occur to you as well, so it's good to know that the easiest way to get around this is to just delete that and then try again. You don't want to move forward with that wire-frame version, but it's good to know that you can do something by deleting it and recreating it again, and also that if you go to the attribute editor here, which you can get to by clicking this button that you have the option to change how this is viewed in the view port. That is where that was controlled from, but we want to make sure that we are working as cleanly and safely as possible. Anytime you run across that issue, I highly recommend just delete it and then start over with that piece, just reduplicate it again like I just did. Now in PureRef you can see on this step that we don't see the piece that we've been building, so it indicates there's this whole new thing that we can start building by itself. What's important to note about this is you can actually group individual objects. Let me create this very quickly and I'll show you what I mean. Now with snapping on, I'm left with this odd piece where I can't really snap it because the pivot point's over here, so if I try to snap the end to the light here that I think is what we're remodeling, I can't really snap it. You can see it's actually when I'm pulling it this far, this way, it's actually snapping to these other pieces that are in line with that axis. I can't really snap this thing to where I need it to go. What I can do is actually hold down D and V and just middle mouse drag. I'm middle mouse dragging it. It's going through every single pivot point that it has here and it's identified with locators. If we were to look at the under surface, we can see these green axes here, and/or plus symbols, and those are locators. That is actually giving me the new pivot point. By holding down D and V, I can change where that pivot point is and move it to the point where I need it to be. Let go of D and V, and then just left-click and drag that of course with snap on we can get to where we need to be with that being at the tip now. That is super handy to be able to change the pivot point of where that is on the plate. Now the other thing to be aware of is the fact that there are different sides so we can see that we're doing this left-handed slope side. When we're going in here try to find one that will fit that we need aware of which side we're choosing because we have two; we have one for the left, one for the right, and so if I double-click that one, and I rotate it around, it will be the one that we need for that side. If I was to choose the other one, the slope would be on the wrong side, then it wouldn't fit. That's another thing to keep an eye for when you're building these. Now, for this one, we're going to need one for both sides, so it doesn't really matter which side, we start with the left or the right, but we'll eventually make another one for the other side. Now the next step is showing us that we actually need to place that piece on the front, and so that's where regrouping comes into play. Let me move this out of the way. What we need to do is actually grab everything that's a part of that piece which starts here, and we can shift select in the outliner, we could also click drag select all of it. What we can do is actually group it, so I can hit Control G, and we can see the pivot is there at 00, but where we want it based on where we are going to be moving this piece, it looks like we'll want to snap based on a point back here. What I can do is I can hold down D and V while the group is selected, and I can just middle mouse drag there. Now with snap turned on, I can move this into place and it will snap to those points that we need. Then of course I need to flip it around, so hold down J, and then just rotate that. Of course that'll be for this other side, so now I just need to snap it into place using the group. Then once you're done, you can actually ungroup it and everything will stay where it is. To ungroup something, you can just toggle this down, select all of these, and then hit Shift P, now we'll unparent it and then you can delete the group. That is an easy way to do that, or you could just leave the group there as well. Those are all the use cases; there's a bug that you need to look out for and delete anytime you see that wire-frame bounding box and then reduplicate from there. The next one is changing the pivot points by holding down D and V, and then creating groups, and then changing the groups pivot point by holding down D and V. How to unparent and ungroup something by selecting them all and then hitting Shift P. That's essentially all the knowledge you need to really build almost anything with this tool, which is really cool. I'm going to jump ahead to finishing this in my own time, since it is a bit tedious to go through the library. But you have the instructions, you have the knowledge now how to use this, and how to move forward to create your own, even if you don't want to do the Millennium Falcon, you can make whatever you want if you have the full set and range of bricks. Now before I leave you I do want to make you aware of how you should be saving this because the way I like to teach, I like to jump in and then just start going so we're making progress instead of getting bogged down with the technical boring stuff. Let's cover it very quickly because we need to make sure that we are setting our project, so we need to go to File, Set Project, and then we can choose the folder that we want. I've already chosen this one right here. Then I can choose Set, and then go to File, and then Project Window, and then I can hit Accept, and that will create all the folder structure we need within that folder I just chose. We need to save our file so that anytime that it crashes you can always come back to the file you had saved. The way you should be saving it is one and/or two ways. The way I like to save is always save Scene As and I typically am saving inversion, so you can see the type of convention that I'm using here is the name of the file _version, V for version001. Every time I save, I'm going to change this number to two. I'm going to go ahead and change that to two, hit Save As. Now, the second and/or way I mentioned was we go down here to the settings and preferences button, and we'd go to the File and Projects. We can actually turn on auto save. That's also why it's important to set your projects so that you know where your auto saves are being auto saved too in that project folder. Just be aware anytime you do turn that on, that it can make you run-out of disk space. Depending on the file size that you're saving, the scene size, these tend to be fairly light, so it's not really a concern but just for future reference, it's important to know that. I will see you in the next lesson. Thanks for watching. 5. Working With 3D Model Downloads: Now, you should have something that resembles this. If you're following along with the Lego, brick it, plug in aspects, if you don't want to use the Lego one, you can always download your own models from the Internet, which I wanted to show you a few of my favorite sites now and they are basically TurboSquid and Sketchfab. Let's hop over to Sketchfab real quick and I'll show you which one I downloaded for this course. Sketchfab is a great site that has free downloadable models like this one. You just have to click the download 3D model here and make sure that you're always following the license terms of that model. For this one, for example, you couldn't use it in commercial work and you couldn't resell it or something like that, but we also have to make sure that we attribute this artist, so this is the artist here, this is me attributing them and showing you where I got the model and giving them credit for their work. Now, the cool thing with Sketchfab is, of course, you can click and drag around and preview the model. You can also search from up here if you didn't want an X-wing you could search something else and make sure you click the " Downloadable" so that you can always download. Of course, they have ones for sale, but this one was for free. Let's go open that and let me show you one thing that you want to make sure you do. This is the file I'll include, according to license, I can share this model. I just can't sell it or anything. This is the model file name. I'll just open that real quick. Close the render view and we can see that all the textures are in and I had to manually do that. When you download something off the Internet, you need to re-map the textures to that model. What I did was, I right-clicked and went to Assign New Material. I chose an Arnold standard surface, which we can see here, and all I had to do was, everywhere you see this little yellow box here with the black arrow and a square, that means I piped in a texture here, and so each one of the textures that you get should be named according to what it is. For this example, color should be a color or what's known as an Albedo map. If you don't know what that is, that's what the color is. Anytime you see Albedo, that means to pipe that into the color. Every time that we hit the little checker box here, we will get the option to add a new node and we always want to choose File and then we choose the image texture when in the next prompt here in the attribute editor. The one thing that you want to keep in mind is, if you do have a normal map, when you go to map it in, in the Arnold shader, you can go to geometry and go to bump mapping, and then we would hit the checker box here if it was still here, and then we would open the normal map here. Now, I like to go back through the inputs, outputs through this method here by clicking these arrows and because it's a normal map, we need to make sure that the use as is set to tangent space normals. The default is bump and if it's a normal map it won't work, so we need to use tangent space normals. That's how you download a model off the Internet and then map it's textures to an Arnold shader. In the next lesson, we're going to continue, so I'll see you there. 6. Model Trench Environment: Let's make the environment now. Let's go to the torus here, click that, and now we have the beginning of our environment, which is going to be a looping spinning environment that's going to resemble the trench run from Star Wars. I'm going to go to the inputs and I'm going to decrease the subdivision height to four, so that we have a four sided cubed cylinder, donut here. We also need to twist it so that we get it to be flat face, so we can go to 45 here on twist. Then we can just manhandle this into place. I'm just going to hit, "E," and then, "J" to snap this. I'm going to scale it up uniformly. Then I'm going to go into isolate this, go into component mode. I want to actually go to face mode, so I'm going to click one face and then Shift-click another face and double-click it actually. That selects the whole row and then hit, "Delete." Then we need to flip the normals because the inside is black and the outside is gray and we're going to be flying through the inside, so we want that to be gray. I'm going to go to Mesh display normals, reverse. Now the inside is gray and the outside is black. Then let's go to the vertices and then we can unisolate this. We can see this [inaudible]. If I didn't have that isolated and I tried to select the vertices, it will actually select the locators on the Millennium Falcon. That's why I isolated this cylinder by itself so I can make that selection most easily. Now, we need to just scale this up so that it will work with the scale of the Millennium Falcon. I think this is a good start. I'm going to maybe extrude these two rings. I'm just shift, double-clicking them so that I can select both. Then I'm going to extrude. On the poly modeling tool shelf, I'm just going to hit this extrude button. Then I get this little window pops up. If it doesn't pop up, you can hit, "T" on your keyboard and it should pop up. You can also get this through the history of the object itself, but essentially you just want to create the thickness and in the direction away from the center. That will give us the other service that we need. Now, we just need to create some edge loops here because how are we going to be attaching all the gribbly cube stuff designed to it? It will be based on the faces. We need to add more faces by cutting them up a little bit. I'm going to go to the Insert Edge Loop tool, and with that I'm going to go to the tool settings and I make sure I have use equal multiplier checked on, multiple edge loops, and I've turned this up to maybe 10. It depends on how you've scaled yours, which one you should use, and you just need to click on one of the edges here. We're just adding some edge loops to this, and that's good. Then we can click these as well. Then what we need to do, I'm just going back to object mode by right clicking and dragging, going to object mode, we can create just a simple cube and then we can create the whole environment based on that. I'm going to go to the Animation menu here to get to the mash tab and then create a mash network. I'm going to click the option box here. I think I'm going to choose instancer for this. We can always change it back if we don't want. But basically, that will help reduce the file size and how heavy the scene is if we're using instances and not a mash. I'm going to apply and close and then when I close the tool settings here. With mash selected there in the outliner, I'm going to hop over to the attribute editor and get the whole menu of stuff for us that we're going to need. Now, you can see if we jump in here that has created a grid that's kind of just the default. You see there, we're going to be in a line or in a grid depends on the settings that you chose. We initially made it, but that is not a big deal because that's controlled from the Distribute tab here. You can see distribute type. We can change that to be whatever we want. Currently it's in a grid, we need it at mash. What we want to do is input this cylinder as the input mash. I'm just going to middle mouse click. If you left-click, you'll lose this selection in the ashtray editor. I'm just middle mouse clicking the torus and then dragging and dropping it right there. You can see that cube starts to get populated all over that mash. Now, all we need to do is just increase the number of points by a bunch. Maybe 10,000, and then we go back to the mash waiter here, they call it a mash waiter. We can add a random node. Let me find a random node. Sometimes it's hard to see these. There it is. I'm going to left-click it and then say add random node. We don't want to randomize the position, we're going to randomize the scale. As we randomize the scale, you can see how that's affecting and changing and adding all this interesting variation on the surface. Now, I have wireframe on shaded turned on, some I'm just going to turn that off so we can see how it's really going to look. We can see that this is definitely more interesting than when we started. The cool thing about this tool is that still scale this up, affect this model, we can always either hide this mash waiter by turning it off, hitting the little power on or off button there. Then we can always change any part of this model that we want, but I think it's working pretty well for our purposes, but just wanted to show you how you can control this after the effect. With the torus selected, I'm just going to isolate that, go to vertex mode. Then I can select everything and then on isolate select by clicking the button again. Then I can just see if I scale this up or scale this in, how it affects everything, and the kind of scale that I want to have. I control and scale this up, it will scale on every axes, but the handle I'm controlling. That's another way you affect it. We just scale everything up just a little bit more maybe. I think this will look pretty cool as the trench run. Of course, we can just keep scaling this up if we wanted a longer chord or look here. You might have to go pretty big on the scale to get much more of an effect there, but I think this is a good start and we can always increase the number very easily, and because we're using instances, it's not really going to affect the speed of our scene too much. I'm going to maybe say 40,000. That's pretty cool. Of course, we could add some offset to the positions as well if we did want, one thing I didn't want to change was the rotation because everything, for the gribble effect, it needs to look like it's on a grid pattern to a degree like it's constructed type of a thing. If we want to add a little more depth, we're going to increase the randomization of the Z position. I think this looks pretty cool and will get us as far as we need to go for the environment. In the next lesson, we're going to begin animating this in a couple of different cool ways. I'll see you there. 7. Animate LEGO Build: Now that we have the Millennium Falcon and the environment done, let's take a closer look at beginning to animate the Falcon in this environment. I have the Millennium Falcon done with a let go, break it, plug in. I'm just going to toggle everything down, and make sure that I don't have any more groups. I can see that I have one group here, so I want to toggle that down, and make sure all of these are parented to the main group. I want to get rid of any low groups I had in here, that I used to help build out the Millennium Falcon. I'm going to hit Shift P to unparent it, then I'm going to delete that group. Now, if I hit Shift P, I'm going to toggle them miniFalcon group down again. We can see that it actually sent it all the way to the outside of that hierarchy of that group. I just need a middle mouse drag after selecting all of them, and then let go on top of the MiniFalcon group, and then it'll parent those right back in. Also, Shift select or Ctrl select, because that would be an odd. They weren't all in line, if I Shift select that whole row, but if I had something like that, and then I wanted to jump up and select something else, that'd be Ctrl, left clicking. I could also have done that and then just hit P, that also parents it. Instead, middle mouse drag everything, and I can see that everything is by itself here, which is good. That's what we need it to be, to be able to do the next cool animation effect. The one thing that we need to fix though, is that, this group is not centered on the world. I'm actually going to create a new group by just deselecting everything and hitting Ctrl G. Then I can just rename again to miniFalcon 2 or something. If I just double-click this Ctrl, double-click that, paste, I'll call that one. The reason why I'm doing this is because we need everything to be at zero, zero, zero, for the next thing to work. Now, with this new group made, I need to move this group back to the center. I'm going to hit X and then middle mouse click in the center, and that'll pop it back to zero, zero, zero. If we want the center of this thing to be in a different spot than the default of what a group or center pivot does, which is you probably already know about modify center pivot, to get something to bring the pivot to the center of that mass of the whole thing, we can adjust that now. Maybe we want it a little further back. When I'm going off of is based off of where the grid lines are. I can see the center is going through here, which I think makes sense. If we look at this little disk here, that the center of gravity of the ship is more back here, with hull thrusters, are going to push it, and all that good stuff, and that negative space in the middle, the center of gravity would be around in there maybe. Once that's done, then I can move all of this stuff to that new empty group, so that it has got that nice center pivot of everything here, relative to the grid, which is important for the next one. I'm just going to delete that old group, so now we have this miniFalcon in a group that's centered correctly where I want it. We just need to go to MASH now, and go to Create MASH Network. I'm going to pop this open, and I just want to select one of these, and I am going to use Instancer, and hit Apply and Close. Now, I'm going to hide this miniFalcon for now, and that way we can see the locators here. Now, unfortunate because the break it plug in tool is already using stand-ins, instances already, and we're using instances again in the MASH Network, we start to lose that preview that we get. That's just going to be something we'll have to know moving forward, but there's a little work around we can do as well. What I want to go is go to the new MASH Waiter here, go to Distribute, and I want to go to the Initial State. What that's going to do, is put that piece where it originally was. If we could have seen this, it was just laid out in a grid, and we want it to L the pieces to be where they should be when we assign all of these pieces to it. For right now we only have that first piece, so to get another piece, we need to go to the Instancer of this. We have MASH2 Instancer down here, and then we get this list. We can see that we have that first plate listed here, but there's nothing else. We need to add more stuff. But if we select something, we're going to lose that selection, so we can't hit the Add Selection button here, when we select something else. How do we do that? There's this little trick right here, copy tab. If I click that, it actually pops up in this tab, no matter what I select now, that tab will remain open. Now I can go through Shift select everything, but the first one that we already did, say Add Selection. Now, nothing really changed in the MASH Network that we have, we still have just those couple of locators representing that one object. How do we update this so that we'll update and use everything that we just put in it? Well, we need to add an ID node. That's up here in the top right, so I'm going to say, Add ID Node by left clicking it. Then we see we have 84. That is telling me that it knows it has 84 items in the list. When we go back to Distribute, we're still stuck on 10, so that doesn't match up. We need to make this match however many that we put in. Ten was just the default it gave us, so we need to put in that number now, 84, and we can see that this actually matches the layout that we would expect of all those locators. We can confirm that by just doing a quick render as well. I can go to Arnold, Open Render preview here, and I'll just hit play. Every single piece is where we expect it to be. That's pretty cool, we recreate it with MASH Network. Why that's significant is because that allows us to affect and adjust these pieces. In this case, what I want to do is actually build the model itself, coming together. Let's do that now. Let's jump over back to the MASH Waiter, and then we're going to access the Distribute tab from there. If you look right here, we see we have a little Strength pop down menu. What we can do is affect the strength of the distribution, and a really cool way to do that is by using Random Strength built-in to the slider. It'll have random strength. We're affecting everything, rotation, position, scale, so that we can see from these checkboxes right here. I can actually just uncheck rotation scale, and these will not scale down to zero, or we could leave those on, and it can scale down from zero. Now, I don't really like the fact that it's scaling down to the center of the group there. What I would rather have happened, is each piece come from outside of where it originated from, and then go into that finished position, as opposed to collapsing down on itself. How do we do that? We need to add a few more nodes here. What we need to do is go to MASH2, which is the waiter for this system. We can create an offset. I'm going to click "Add Offset". Once we get that node, we can change the mode to closest point on mash. But we don't have any mash right now, so we need to create that. Because I want it to come from outside, I'm just going to use a sphere so that we can adjust how the sphere looks to control how far away it comes from all that kind of good stuff. I'm just going to scale up the sphere evenly from the center here. Also, another good reason why we brought everything to the center, so we can do all this at the same spot. Then what I can do is jump back to the mash 2 and then tell it, "Use this sphere." I'm going to go to the offset node, which is what we just made. Then I'm going to change the mode to closest point on mash. Then I'm going to go down to the tab that says closest point on mash. All right, that makes sense. Then I'm going to middle mouse drag the sphere into input mash. Now we can see that those locators got snapped to that sphere. If we move this sphere around, we can see that that's going to affect the position because it's trying to get to the closest point on that sphere based on its origin. We can see that all of these are moving around. Let me change the background by hitting Alt B. Maybe it's easier to see with a white background or a gray background here. You can see how that's affecting where those are. Let me just turn off this first mash network, so we're not getting confused with that environment around us, and hide that to us. We don't have a lot on the top and bottom here, a lot of those locators. What I can do is go into component mode of this sphere and then just scale this down. Because I have all these locators, it's trying to select those locators. What I can do is just isolate, select the sphere, then go into vertex mode, select the vertices and then unisolate that. Now we can hit "R" and then scale this stuff down, and we can see how that is going to affect the position of where those locators are going to start from. Because the Millennium Falcon isn't a sphere shape. Depending on how we move and effect this, it's going to change where those points are going to be coming from. Now what I can do is also just scale this straight up. This will dictate how far away are these going to come from to build out the Millennium Falcon? Again, I can just scale this to be, however distribution of these Lego pieces represented by these locators, and how that's going to be. I'm just going to scale this up a little bit more, then we can see the effect that this is going to have. I'm actually going to hide this sphere now. We can see that spherical representation. Then I'm going to go to mash 2 go to offset. If we just animated random strength down, we could see that these all start to come together. Now, there's one little goofy thing about this is that it doesn't dial down the strength of the rotation because it's still trying to point towards the orientation of the sphere itself. That's why everything is rotated up. What we can do is just disable rotation for this. It'll get everything sorted back to where it needs to be. We can just dial this one thing up and down to animate strength. Isn't that pretty cool? What we can see is if we turn random strength all the way up to one, and we take a quick render, we can see where we're coming from here. So I'm going to hit "Play" on the [inaudible] and we can know how this is [inaudible] Now one thing that I notice about this is maybe there's too much now at the bottom, the way it's getting there, the camera angle is going to be as well for this. But we can also take a stab at trying to get maybe a better distribution by just simply moving the sphere around as an object and see where that gets us. It's pretty sensitive as you can tell when you have render view on it snaps because it's updating and so it gets frozen for a second, and then it updates. It's probably a good idea to turn off rendering when you're doing an adjustment like this. I'm just going to watch these move as I move this around so that I'm trying not to clump these up too much. I'm going to unhide that so that I can get back into the vertex mode. I'm going to turn off the render so that I can get the isolate select button here. Actually, didn't need to do that because it remembers the last selection when you go into component mode like that. I'm just going to scale this back up a little bit, so it redistributes those around the edge a little bit. Then hide the sphere. Then all I have to do is actually key frame those things. We need to start to decide how long of an animation that we want. Of course, we can always move key frames around, but it's always good to start with that idea. This is going to dictate your render time. How many key frames are you going to render? That's where you're deciding it right now. Every frame you render, maybe it takes five minutes, maybe it takes up 10 minutes, maybe it can even take an hour per frame. This is a big decision, depending on the render times that your individual computer and hardware can do and perform at. I'm just going to leave it at 200. It's a nice default round number. Then I'm going to start from one here. I'm going to go into the mash. I'm going to make sure I'm on the offset tab. I'm going to animate two things at once here, basically. I'm going to choose random strengths. I'm going to set a key by right-clicking on random strength. We have a key frame here. We can select this, and then we can see the key frame in the timeline. Then I'm going to go to, let's say this takes maybe 30 frames to animate on to get into their position. I'm just going to slide this down to zero. Now the same time, I remember these, the first frame and the 30th frame because I also want to change the distribution strength. From here, I want random strength to be at one, so I'm going to set a key here. I'm going to go back to frame 1, then I'm just going to dial this down a little bit. We can see these start to group up at the poles. You don't have to do this if you don't want to. But, I think, it's a cool effect. We see a bit of change over time here with that. I'm not going to go all the way down to zero, because I don't want them to come from nothing. I'm going to maybe start around 0.15 or something like that. Then as I scrub on, we can see what the animation of this is going to be like. All of these pieces come together to form the Lego. Again, we're having to visualize this because it's using an instance of an instance. That's why we're not seeing the actual geometry here because the Millennium Falcon itself isn't actually built with geometry technically, it's built with stand-ins. That's why we're not seeing that here. We have the first bit of animation done. In the next lesson. We're going to animate this now in the trench using two different methods. I'll show you that next. 8. Animate With iPhone: In this lesson, we're going to do the first way of animating this Millennium Falcon flying through the tunnel using our iPhone and an app that we can get for three bucks. If you don't want to use or have an iPhone and you don't want to spent three bucks on an app, that's okay. In the next lesson we're going to use a free script that you can get from Gomorrah. Let's continue. The first thing we need to do is find a way that we can transform the original Millennium Falcon and the mash network Millennium Falcon. We're going to do that with a locator. I'm going to create a locator, and I'm going to call this falcon locator. Under the mash network for the Millennium Falcon, I'm going to create a transform node and then I'm going to middle mouse drag the Falcon locator into the controller node. That way I can't actually change the position of the Millennium Falcon. Then I want to constrain the original just so we have that as a point of reference, we're going to hide that from the final render. But what I want to do is just constrain that to this locator. I'm going to choose the locator first, then the Millennium Falcon, which is parent constrain. For this next step to work, we need a camera as well. Our iPhone is going to control a camera, and the camera in Maya is going to control the position of the Millennium Falcon. First we need to create that camera. I'm going to go create camera, and then I need to align the position so we want the camera in Maya and our iPhone to be looking this way and the same way the Millennium Falcon is looking. But if we look at the camera, it's actually pointing this way, and the Millennium Falcon is pointing that way. What we can do is just hold down J and I rotate this thing around 180 degrees, then we can constrain that to camera 1. I'm going to choose camera 1 first and then Falcon locator. Before I choose parent constrain this time, I want to make sure that maintain offset is on because that offset we just created is 180 degrees. We didn't have that checkbox on it. Flip the Millennium Falcon back the way it was. We want to make sure that that's on. Now the camera is what controls the Millennium Falcon. The reason why we did it this way is because we can't grab a camera and use that here, we have to use a locator or something like that. I'm pretty sure. Anyway, we have the camera, and now what we need is this app. It's called Virtue Camera. You need two things. You need the app on your iPhone and then you need the plug-in for Maya. There's a special plug-in for 2022. So make sure depending on the version of Maya they are using, you follow there and install instructions. Once you do that, you'll have an app on your phone. Go to the App Store. I think it's three bucks, buy a virtue camera there, you'll have it on your iPhone and then you have a new shelf. Once you install, that is the virtual camera, basically serving to your iPhone. Your phone and the machine you're using Maya on have to be on the same Wi-Fi network for this to work. As soon as we start serving though it's going to be looking through that camera. That camera is buried deep inside that Millennium Falcon right now. It's not going to be very useful to us. What we want to do before we initiate all this is actually separate the panels out. We want two panes side-by-side layout. I'm going to turn on the channel box. I'm going to spacebar, left-click and then go to perspective. You can also go, of course, panels perspective. This one is going to be camera one. We can see it's deep inside the Millennium Falcon, so it's pretty useless to us. I'm going to move the perspective camera out here so we can see the motion that we're going to be getting, and then I'm going to click on start serving. I'm also going to scroll this down, so we have a little more real estate, and then I'm going to jump over into my iPhone here, and I'm going to start screen recording. You can see that hopefully [LAUGHTER] some phones have really problem with screen recording and it crashes. I apologize if that doesn't actually go through while I'm recording this lesson. Because I've done this before, my computer shows up on my iPhone. If you haven't done this before, you can just use the QR code, scan it with your iPhone to help connect the two, Maya to your iPhone. I'm going to click Maya and then it's going to ask us to choose what camera we want to use. Of course we want to use camera one because that's the one that we created, and I'm going to click done, and now I want to connect the two. I need to click the chain link up in the top right. I'm going to click that, and then it wants us to calibrate the iPhone. Now we get the checkbox and it's ready to go. If we look on the right side of our viewport, we can see the manipulator is actually moving right now. That is pretty cool. What we need to do is actually increase the scale. A little bit of motion here on the real-world is going to translate into a lot of motion here because I want to position it and get it to where I want it to go. I'm going to increase positions scale on my iPhone, the slider on the left side. When I move up, it should move up quite a bit. We can see the Millennium Falcon there, and now we can animate this. We can see that there's a bit of a lag from the viewport to our camera. Also noticed if you turn off the two mash networks for the Millennium Falcon and then for the environment itself, you can actually preview this with just that first one that you built if you attach that with a parent constrain to the camera. That's pretty cool. We can actually preview this in real time. Then what I can do is hit record on my iPhone and it will start recording the position. I'm going to hit "Record now" it's going to count down 3, 2, 1 and now I can start animating this with my iPhone. That is pretty cool. Then I can do pitches up and down. I'm staying within the bounds so that I can see in the trench. Maybe do a little faster motions. This is a cool way that you can animate without having to be a good animator. You can just animate with physically, which is essentially like motion capture. We're doing motion capture with our iPhone. Because we have 2000 frames, hopefully it's capturing some of this stuff and we can edit and use whatever that we want or don't want. I'll show you how to also loop this animation as well here in a little while. Let's see what we got. I'm going to hit the "Record button" again to stop that. I feel like I could just do that all day to be honest. I'm going to close this now. It's recording now and see we got all these crazy keyframes. We know it records at a high frame rate. We have more than one key frame per frame in Maya. Just crazy, but that's just how accurate this thing gets. Now I'm going to space bar on the perspective view, so we maximize that. When you're playing back, you want to make sure that you're playing in real time. I'm going to right-click on the timeline, go to playback speed and we can see that it's trying to play every frame. We want to play in real time. I'm going to go to real-time and then hit Alt-V to play back. Another thing we can do is actually reduce the amount of keyframes. Let's go to the animation editor and this might speed things up as well. With the camera selected here, I want to go to resample the curves, and I want to make sure that we're using a timestamp of one and just say re-sample. Hopefully that's putting a keyframe on every frame instead of three keyframes for every frame. The other thing that we could do to help reduce this is there's some other filters in here, but let's just scrub through this for now and see if that helped a little bit. That seem like speed things up here. Now the other thing that you can do to make sure that you're seeing exactly what I captured is, we can actually create a play blast. You can see that because we didn't have this all the way out, it actually didn't sample everything for the re-sampling. I'm just going to do that one more time with the graph editor open. Now that we have that timeline extended all the way to every keyframe, let's just re-sample that again. I'll just click that and now we have a keyframe on every frame and then I'm just going to do a play blast. If you have the QuickTime Player installed, you'll have these encoders that are pretty nice and condenses the file size rather. If we use the QuickTime format and H.264 is typically what I do. I'm going to actually just say from render settings so that I can make sure that QuickTime can play this back, and and I'll hit play blast. If we've set our project, this should put the movie file in the movies folder of our project folder. This will take a little while to play blast because it's a lot of frames. This is the way that you can at least do it the first round and choose the chunk of the animation that you want to use for moving forward. Obviously, we don't want to use this whole thing because we're only trying to render 200 frames. We need to go through here and find a good loop for 200 frames and I'll show you how we can use that in another lesson. I'm going to play blast this. I'm going to watch that video, and then I'm going to make a note of what part of the timeline that we want to use for the actual animation for the 200 frames. Let's get this done and I'll see you in the next lesson where I'm going to show you a different way to do this, actually just using your mouse. 9. Animate With Mouse: In this lesson, this will be the free alternative version. Instead of using your iPhone and a paid app, you can actually grab this script from Gumroad, which I'll include in the PDF download a link to this from, it's Devin. I don't know their full name, but it's a free 0$ RecordAttr tool. I think there are several out there online, but this is just one I found. Essentially if you know, after effects, it's like motion sketch and after effects where you can move your mouse and it's recorded in real time in the app. What we can do is you can download that and it's simply just a script that you open from the script editor. Inside of Maya, all we have to do is go to the script editor down here at the bottom right. We can go to file, open script. Then we just need to navigate to where the script is, which is for me in my downloads folder. I have the record at our script, I'll hit, "Open." Now we have that script in our script editor. I'm going to hit, "Control H," and then just play that. It will open up the tool itself. Now we can close the script editor, and we need to load the object that we want to record. Again, to make this nice and easy for everybody, I'm going to just grab a cube that's going to represent our Millennium Falcon. I've created a cube, vertex snapped it up here. I'm just going to scale it up and in somewhat flying shape here. Flat shape rather. Then what I'm going to do is also go to an orthographic view. Let's see, I think it's in the front view, I'm holding down space, left-click drag, front view, and hit, "A," here we go. Because I want to make sure I'm going within the bounds of the trench. Now obviously, the limitation of this is we only have like two axes here, and it's based on the camera view that you're in, essentially. You could try to add a record, the rotate here, but then you'd need to change the manipulator to rotation as opposed to having it in translation. I can't move and rotate this just by clicking and dragging. Hopefully that limitation is clear. We'll just be able to click and drag this around. But what I'm going to show you here in a second is how you can take that animation. You can actually paste it onto rotation. I'll show you how to do that here. We have our representation. I'm going to load the object to record. I'm going to choose add the attribute to record and I'll hit, "Record." Now, it's important to that maybe we increase the timeline here a little bit. Maybe let's say 400 because there is a bit of a lag from when this script starts running to when it actually starts recording. If we start at frame 1, it's going to maybe be even like 20 or 30 frames before it starts recording. I'm going to hit, "Record," and then now I can drag this thing around and it'll be as smooth as the motion of my mouse is. I'm just going in these figure eights. Then when we're done here, it should have this recorded. As I scroll back through, you can see indeed, it did record my mouse movements. Now, you can see how we're comparing the two motions. Obviously we're missing pitch. That's a rotation. We're missing the role here. But there's something that we can do that's cool here. Now that we have some animation to work with, I'm going to close that tool out. I'm going to go back to perspective here. We need the graph editor. I'm going to go Windows, animation editors, graph editor. We can see the motion. Now it can appear a bit jaggedy. One really cool tool built inside of the graph editor is a filter to smooth stuff like that out. What we can do is go to curves, smooth filter, I'm just going to open this up because we actually see a preview as well in the graph editor. If I toggle preview on and off, we can see how much it's smoothing. We want to change the sample rate to 24 because we're animating at 24 frames a seconds. We don't want to record 30 frames a second when we're working in 24. That's why I'm changing the act to 24, and then the cutoff frequency, will just smooth this out. We can preview that occurring in the graph editor in real time. That's pretty cool. We can smooth out the motion. Whether the script itself was a bit noisy or I was moving a bit noisy, we can smooth that out. I'm going to do that and then I'm going to take the side-to-side motion which is translate X. I'm going to copy it and then I'm going to paste it on the rotate Z. I'm going to hit, "Shift E," to just set a single keyframe on a rotation. I'm going to delete these other two rotations because I'm not worried about those right now. I'm just going to Control V and paste that in. Now, I'm going to select all of those keyframes in the graph editor. Then I'm going to control click the translate X, so I can see them side-by-side here. I'm going to shift middle mouse, drag all of these keyframes down so that they're just slightly offset from the translation. We can hit, "Play." We can see how that rotation is making sense in tandem with the translation. We're working smarter, not harder, by using the keys that we already have to paste onto the rotation. Now we can play with this and see if maybe we get a better results by offsetting in a different direction and by how much? But I think what we had here just by a little bit makes the most sense. Now the other thing we can do is because especially rotations are working off of the zero axis. It's really easy to scale this stuff. I can go to edit scale and hit the option box here. Then I want to scale from zero. I'm going to just hit, "Edit Reset Settings," so we're all starting in the same and we're pivoting from the zero mark here, the zero value. Then I can just say times that by 1.1. Then I can just hit, "Apply," multiple times. We can see I'm scaling the key value, so I'm actually rotating more than the original paste that I did. We're getting a lot more rotation with the same keyframes. I'm just scaling them up evenly because I know I'm going left and right. I want to make sure everything's scaling evenly and at an interval that makes sense, then I can adjust pretty easily by just keep hitting, "Apply," or hit, "Undo, " if it's too much. But I think something like that looks pretty cool. In the next lesson, what we're going to do is we're going to take whichever version of this animation. Of course, sorry, let me just put a bow on this one. If you haven't watched the other lesson, you essentially would constrain the Millennium Falcon to this cube. What you could do is choose the cube first and then the Millennium Falcon, and then go to parent constrain. Let me just delete that constraint real quick. I can actually just show you in case you have skipped the last lesson. I'm going to choose the cube first and then the Millennium Falcon locator, go to constrain and I'm just going to make sure maintain offset is off. Then I'm going to hit, "Apply." Now what I can do is actually just hide the cube. All we have is the Millennium Falcon. Now I discussed this in the last lesson, but I want to make sure this is clear here as well, that you can actually go to the parent constrain and go into the attribute editor and create an offset here. You can see that the Millennium Falcon is facing the wrong way. Where we can go is go to rotate for Y, this is XYZ in that order here. That's why I'm choosing the middle one. I now need to rotate Y so that's why I'm doing 180 degrees there. Now we have that one following that. From the last lesson, we have the camera animation from the iPhone app. We have two versions here of the animation that we can use. For the next lesson were I'll show you how we can easily loop this using the Time Editor. Thanks for watching. 10. Loop Animation: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to create a loop animation from the stuff we've recorded for the Millennium Falcon. What I'm going to do is go into the time editor. I'm going to go to windows, animation editors, time editor. This is a relatively new editor inside of Maya only since maybe 2018, I think, I can't really remember, but it's been a little while since this has been on now, we're in Maya 2022. With the camera selected, I'm going to add selected content from the scene and that is going to make a clip. We can see it turns orange here in the channel box. Now if I click and drag this around, this is actually controlling all of those keyframes. I'm just going to dock this down here by clicking hovering and letting go. Why this is useful, is because it's a really easy way to blend and make clips essentially of animation. What I'm going to do is find a spot that I think works. We have this jitter that happened here. I'm going to find somewhere that is going left to right. I'm going to just click and drag this down. We're basically cutting it. Think of this like a Premiere Pro or some movie editor. We're editing keyframes instead. We're back down here where it's a similar spot. I think this is a good place to clip that. We could use the icons here and split it, we could click and drag one end down. It doesn't really matter and then we can just drag this down, so we start from frame zero here. Then what we can do is just copy paste that, it's going to move it onto a new layer and then we can just pick some point here. Let's just say frame 10, and we can actually trim this down to frame 10 now. We have identical clips except for the fact that the left one is now shave down 10 frames. What that means is we actually take this one and I'm just "ALT" clicking and "ALT" right-clicking to scale up. We can actually click and drag this to the left 10 frames. That means when we get to this frame, that frame is identical to this one, so it's going to loop. If I'm on frame one here, then this frame should be identical to it. When we trim this down, we will have this nice loop to our animation. See how it didn't move at all there, that means that's trimmed correctly. Now it's going to blend from the start to the end. What's going to happen is if I trim this now, I'll just split this and delete this and then I go grab 177. I'm going to make the timeline go down to 177. If I play this back, watch what happens when I go through the loop point, which is going to be the out point and it jumps back to the in point, the beginning. So I'm going to hit "Alt V" and then it pretty much stays the same. There's a bit of a jump here, but I think that's not from the loop itself. I think that's from, still let's double-check. I think we might have an overlap here. I'm just clicking either side, just by one frame. What we could do, we were actually duplicating one frame. I can just take this down, click this one and then just trim it down. I think we'll be on this frame now. We can just take this frame here and just click and drag it. Now we're starting on frame three. Now it should happen when go through this loop point. I think part of the reason why it jumps a bit now doesn't, was because we had that extra frame or two. You might have to go through and double-check that but now check that out. We have a looping animation using the time editor. Of course we get to click and drag these and move them around however we want it. We can actually scale these as well. What we could do is we could group these "Control G". Now it's a single thing so we can move around. What we could do is go to scale mode. There's a button here, we can scale this up, which will slow all this stuff down. If we wanted to slow our animation down, say we wanted to get to 200 frames, we want to just whatever for an even Steven thing, we started with 200 frames and actually show some of that was a 177. We can just scale this up to be exactly 200 frames if that's what we wanted, or we could scale based on the speed that we want this to be moving through the scene. Of course we get different parts in scale of those individually if you want to different sections to be different speeds. Now the other cool thing we could is also scale this, sorry, we could loop this clip, is the other cool thing we can do. There's also a tool here to loop, so we have the loop mode here. What happens if I click and drag this, we can see it's just bring in another copy out. As I drag this, it just keeps, makes more and more copies of the same thing. It's actually just looping through itself here, which is pretty cool. Those are the main tools of the time editor. It's a really cool tool. This is actually the first time I'm teaching it, but really it was one of my favorites inside of Maya. What I want to do is make sure I get this back down to frame one and that this is a frame 200. I'm going to grab the scale tool again and just get that out to 200. Now if we wanted to extend the timeline for some reason, like I'm guessing maybe this environment might be going by too fast. Let's do that real quick. We can just turn that back on through the mash editor and we can see this a little bit better how we are. No, I was just taking a minute because there's like 40,000 cubes or something. Even with the instances, I think it is starting to slow down Maya a little bit. Let's see or was it the first one? Maybe it was the first one. We have the environment. Let's go to the Taurus itself. Now what we want to do is we can animate the loop of this environment and then hit "Plus" on the keyboard so I get the manipulator a bit higher. What we want to do is just rotate this through. Let me just go to that mesh network, we have 40,000, so let me just take a zero off here, just so that while we're animating, it's not too crazy and then we can increase this when we're actually going to render. Now we can rotate, it moves a bit more freely. I'm going to go to frame one and jump over the channel box, and let's see, that is the rotate y-axis. I'm just going to hit "Right-click" and say key selected and then I'm going to go to frame 200, and I'm going to say 360. This is how we can ensure that this is actually going to loop. Let's make this linear. I'm going to double-click the timeline and then right-click and say tangents linear. That will make sure that it's going at the same speed through the loop point. Now we have a looping environment with a looping animation and I don't think it's moving too fast. What I was thinking is, the one thing we need to do though with this is because we're copying the same frame on 200 and frame one, we can actually take that 200 keyframe, we're going to move it down one at least. Let's grab that and move it down one frame. Now on frame 200, we're not copying that frame because we're not playing it twice where we have this frame should be different from that frame. Now when we play back there shouldn't be that one frame hold when we get to the loop point on the environment. Now we have the environment, we have the Millennium Falcon, and we have a looping animation. Really we only have a couple more things to go through, I did want to discuss shooting particles, and so let's talk about that in the next lesson. Thanks for watching. 11. nParticle Laser Animation: In this lesson, I want to show you how to create some lasers shooting out of the Millennium Falcon within particles. Let's jump down to the grid where we're going to create the system and then we can attach it to the Millennium Falcon afterward. Go to the Effects tab here, drop-down menu and then go to nParticles and choose the "Create Emitter". It's going to open up that option box and I'm going to call it lasers, create new solver. Let me just hit "Reset Settings" here so we have it all the same. Lasers, create new solver. The default is omni, we want to change the directional. We can change all this stuff after the fact, but it's I wanted to get it into a decent spot here. That's it. We'll hit "Create" and we have the lasers. If we hit "Play Now", we should see some particles. Let me just make sure I have nParticles showing here, I do. Let me jump over here and look at the directional. What direction are we shooting those out at? Let me grab the nParticle itself and hit "F". Then we can hit play and we see this single stream going out. The reason why it's a bit jittery is because we are playing in real time and for any kind of dynamic effects, we need to actually play every frame because it's trying to figure out the trajectory and velocity based on the previous frame. When you're playing in real time, it doesn't have enough time to do that, so we need to change playback speed to play every frame, max real-time. Now let's jump back to Frame 1, which is how we initiate the simulation. Now we can see we have these little white dots sputtering out. Now, what we want to do is have those little white dots actually be the lasers. Really simple way to do that is create a cylinder and then tell that cylinder to be an instance of those particles. Now that we have a cylinder, we can control, click the nParticle system and then just say nParticles and sensor and it should attach that cylinder to all the particles. Now we can see we have that cylinder attached to all the particles. Now what we can do is hit "J" and hold down J and then we can rotate these in line and then we can just scale this down to be more laser shape like. We can go to the inputs of the poly cylinder here and increase the height. We have a bit more of a laser size here. We can change all this stuff after the effect, but I wanted to get it in a good spot. If I hit play, we see these just fall and they fall because of gravity, which could help us because the environment is rotating and so if we shoot straight out, the lasers will go out but we're meant to be going around the environment. We can actually use the gravity to our benefit, maybe here in a minute. What I can do is bring the emitter, which is lasers here. I can bring this up, so we see it in the space that we're going to be using it. Let me jump back to Frame 1 and hit play again. Now it's going from there. We also see the scale that we're working with. If we need to change the size of those, maybe just a little bit more so we see them. Of course, that cylinder is down here, so we need to just scale those up a little bit. Then what we can also do is just go ahead and add material to this. I'm going to right-click assign new material. I'm going to choose Arnold Shader, go to AI standard surface and I just want to choose a red. I can call this laser here just for organizations sake. Just so we don't forget, I'm going to change this, the color to red and then I want to change emission to read as well. Then I'm just going to crank that up to one, that's more for later. But this way, we can actually see the lasers a bit better here in the view port. Now if the emitter's selected, I am going to actually change the direction of the way it's emitting. It looks like negative z, so I'm going to go to the distance direction attributes, just say negative one in z. Now we should be firing in that direction. We can see it is going off in that direction, but the scale is a bit different. What we want is maybe less particles here. Let's say maybe four. Then we want to increase the speed, so we're only at speed one now, so let's go to 10. Now we can see we are actually going a bit further out. Let me just increase that to a 100 and then see how that's going. Now we're starting to get somewhere with the lasers. The only problem is we see that they're not following the trajectory. Because we're basically doing a cheat with this environment where it's like this rolling environment, but it's meant to be this long corridor or visually, it's like a cheated perspective thing. We don't want the lasers to be going way out into space, so what we can do is go to the nucleus and just increase the strength of the gravity. We can just play this back and then just slowly increase the gravity until it makes sense with the rotation of the environment itself. We're starting to get there now. Let me just go a little bit more. We're at a 100, we can, of course, increase that, but that's starting to look right. We should be losing it in their horizon like that. Now the only thing we need to fix is the orientation. To visualize us getting the correct aim direction for the laser and I'm just increasing the particle right here and then I want to go over to the particle settings themselves. We just need to go to a particle shape here and what we get is for rotation options. Of course we want a compute rotation to be on and then we want to choose aim direction to be velocity. Even then we see that it's pointed straight up and down. But if we choose aim access and choose position, then we get the correct orientation, I think of the lasers that we want. Now, just to test this though, I want to aim the emitter in different ways, so I'm going to hit "Shift E" here and then I'm going to rotate it over that direction. Let's see how that goes. That does look correct, that it's going to point the lasers in the correct direction that they are firing. Now what we can do is fairly confidently attach this to the Millennium Falcon. Of course, it doesn't really matter where we attach because we're not going to really see it from behind as such, but we can attach this emitter. We can just vertex snap it as I clumsily navigate around here. I have the emitter selected, I'm going to hold down V and middle mouse drag and I'm just going to put it somewhere in here and drag it more to the front here. I think these are actually the kind of canon situations here, so we can put it here. Then we could just place it under the locator here, so I'm just going to middle mouse drag it and pop it under the locator. Now this should be firing in the direction that it's pointed. We can just adjust the emission rate back down. I think something to four. Now we're getting these lasers. I think we can maybe increase the speed even of that. Let's jump down here and increase the speed a little bit. But when we do this, we know we're probably going to have to also change the speed of the gravity. If I can see it's starting to go off into the distance, so I can go to the nucleus and then increase the gravity to 200 because I want to be losing this over the horizon. That's pretty cool. But, of course, this is optional, you don't have to have this laser, but it was only I just wanted to add really quick to add a little something to this. Now, the last thing we need to do is get the camera animation working so that we're not static like this. There's a couple different ways we could do that, but in the next lesson, let's take a look and see what our options are. Thanks for watching. 12. Camera Animation: In this lesson, let's get some camera animation in here. Let's start by creating a renderCam. I'm going to go to Create and I'm going to go to Camera. I'm going to call this render cam by double-clicking and saying renderCam so that we can identify it when we're actually rendering. Then I'm going to go to Perspective, renderCam, and then I'm just going to pull this out here and get it into position. I'm going to bring it back little bit. One thing we can play with is the focal length, so we could maybe increase it a little bit and then bring everything back so it flattens everything else, or what we could do is go even wider and then bring it in really close. I'll leave that up to you. I think going wide and being up-close is going to be a lot better. Then the other thing we do is look at the film gate so we can see the dimensions here of what we're going to be working with. Now instead of having a static count, there's a couple different ways we can approach this. We could hand key it, we could copy paste animation from the ship and then scale that down, we could use the virtual camera app again. Then I also have a library of animation that is meant for cameras, so it's an atom's file set. This is something that you would have to buy, but essentially this is similar to the virtual camera app, but essentially you would just import these atom files onto the renderCam. Currently, I think I already have something selected here so I can just hit ''Apply and Close''. It is an animation layer,and I can just change this to be additive. It'll pop the camera back to where it was. Now we have a bit of animation for free that is basically an idol of a camera animation, but this is from the real camera motion library asset that I created. We could do this by hand, we could do with the virtual camera app, and or we could copy paste some of the motion from the ship itself, and I think that might be actually a good way to go. I'm going to mute that animation layer by just clicking that Mute button. Then I'm going to want to bake everything down from the ship. We need to go back to the Time Editor, do that. I'm going to go Windows Time Editor, and then I want to bake this down so we could go to Bake and then bake to scene, and that way we bake this down to the scene and we should have through the camera. This was Camera 1, all this animation and we can just kill this time editor by clicking here. Now we know the time editor isn't actually affecting the animation anymore, but we still have that clip if we want to go back to it, and we have the keyframes here. We could really just copy paste this and then adjust it for the camera itself. Let me look at one spot that caught my eye when I'm watching this Millennium Falcon animation. There was one spot, I think it was over here. It was right through here. I felt like I was hitting a wall. What I can do is go to Windows animation editors and we can smooth this stuff out like we did before because I think there were some jitteriness. See how there's some jitteriness in the graph editor here? What we can do is go to curves, we can go to smooth filter, and we can go to 24 and make sure we're not setting any more keyframes that we need to be. I mean just smooth that out, hit Apply and Close, and then we could leave this up for a second and get an idea of if that is fixing the error. I think it's that very suddenly it stops moving to the right. I'm just going to go ahead and fix that. Notice the Translate X. Let's see what it is here. It seems to be that this is too sudden of a change over that frame. We could slow it down in a couple different ways. I think the easiest way is maybe to just delete a couple of frames here and then just click drag these. Then what we can do is grab the regions scale tool here and then just scale this out. This is slowing down over more frames. I think that's what was catching my eye, and then I can just move keyframes around. Middle mouse dragging them to make this, and middle mouse dragging their handles as well to make that tangent work with that animation. I'm just going to delete some more keyframes and get that working so it goes in and out nicely between there. Cool. Now let's play that back. I'm watching to see how hard if it hits this wall over here. Not as hard, but I think it's because it goes down so fast. It goes down so fast here as well. What I'm going to do is slow that down by just deleting some keyframes, and so adjusting their handles, so that maybe goes down a little bit slower and eases up as it goes to the right. Still feels like it's hitting a wall there. Let me see what that is. It could also be a rotation. It looks like we have a bit of an odd thing happening here on the rotation where it just hits a wall there. What we can do is just delete all of these, get that working a little bit better. Now because I had made made loops in the Time Editor, it actually baked all those loops, so I can just select all of that and delete it, and then turn on this cool loop function so we can see the ins and out points even though we're editing stuff on the cut of the loop, we'll actually be able to see it. If I select all of those curves, post infinity cycle, then I can see where there's any hitches like this. I think there's one here. See how that rotation just stop scaling? That is going to be one of the major problems as well. We can just grab both of those. I'm grabbing the end rotation keyframe, and the beginning rotation keyframe, and I'm going to monitor it by looking at this one and just scale this down. See how that post infinity is going off? That's what I want to see, and I want this to be pointed in that direction. Then I can just delete all of this animation leading into it so that this will match a little bit better, and then I can just adjust that tangent handle and watch this side, and watch that goes straight. That makes a lot more sense to me. That's how we can find these troubling areas of the animation and smooth them out so that everything plays nicely well together on the cut. We see there's something happening here on another rotation axis. We just need to address that by grabbing both of them. We can grab that, and then we can just get the tangents working and then delete everything that's coming in before and after them, so that those are working together. Something like that should work. I'm holding down Alt Shift and right-clicking to scale in and out of the graph editor if you haven't seen that before. That is hopefully going to look better on that hitch that I was seeing on the right side. It looks like there's something else still going on there though. That's the issue. I think my original instinct was right on translate X. See how it's going really fast here, then it stops? That is also the problem area. What we can do is just delete some of this. We don't want to delete the very last frame, we want to delete everything up until there, and then we can click and drag this up. Then we just need to get the tangent handles working together. Then we can do that and then grab this one, and then grab that tangent handle, but then move over to the right, and then watch this area as I middle mouse drag up to see that link up. Hopefully, that is the final nail in the coffin on fixing that odd. That's maybe even worse. I think it's happening before that too as well. I just want to make sure that this stuff is a lot more smooth than what I'm seeing here. I'm going to jump back here and make sure there's this too. Look at all these trouble areas here. Now I'm just going to get that working. There's that translate. Anytime you're working with a loop, this is definitely at risk of happening. I'm just going to keep that selection, excuse me, and then middle mouse drag that up. Just double-check this loop in and out point here, and hit Three on the keyboard, and it'll normalize all the curves and then any problem will stand out even more now. Looks like we have a translate Z problems as well, so I'm going to isolate that one. Just try to take care of this through the tangents, as well as we've already done. I'm going to delete a few of those keyframes, then grab that tangent handle and the middle mouse drag it while looking at the far right side. It looks like that's a lot better, but also that those keyframes aren't matching up, so I can just shift middle mouse drag that down and then try to get these to line up a little bit better. I can maybe delete some more of those keyframes so that has bit more of a smooth transition. Now, we should see a bit better smoothness there. Still looks like there's some jitter. Let's double-check the loop here. There we go. There's another one that's not exactly looped up, but surprised to be honest. We might when I baked it and we could go back into the clip and check, but I may have cropped one too many frames off of the looping cycle there. So that could be absolutely be part of the problem. I'm moving a bit quickly. You can double-check this stuff when you're working on it. It's good to see how things are fixed on the fly as well. That's typically how I teach. Otherwise, you'll think everything is roses and gum drops and stuff and people never have any problems with stuff which is not reality. That seems a lot smoother already. I think we're just dropping a frame on playback. Just to inspect. Again, of course that we could also do the tangents on the pre infinity cycle as well. Let me just select them all and we can view them from this way too. We can also iron out any issues that we're finding here. Maybe if this is a bit too sharp still. We can always make those adjustments. Hit ''3'' on the keyboard to normalize everything. I think all of us should look fine now, for the most part. I think that's a bit sharp. I just want to move this in line and then just delete some of these that are on a line here. Cool. I wanted to do all that before we jump on the camera animation because we're copying, pasting this to the render cam, it's going to be a problem. Let me go ahead and actually jump back to the graph editor. What I can do, is copy all this animation. This is grayed out because we muted the animation layer. What I can do is just delete that and hit ''S'' on the keyboard, and then I can hit ''Control V.'' What we should get, if everything it has pasted correctly, we just hit ''1'' on the keyboard so we jump back to the normalized view here. We should have Translate X matches translate X and it doesn't. We know that something went array here. Sorry, I'm clicking on the cube. Let's just double-check translate x, translate x. That is not correct. Anytime you copy paste something, it might paste the wrong access to the wrong thing. That's why you always want to double-check this stuff. For renderCam, I'm just going to go ahead and delete all this. I'm going to hit ''Shift W'' and ''Shift E'' to get key frames back on translate and rotate. Then I can just go frame by frame here and copy paste all of this to the correct access. I can'' Control V'', and get that stuff in there. I'm want to go to View and turn off auto frame. That's why my view, they're is jumping around so much. Then go to Y and then copy paste it to Y. Then go to Z and copy paste that to Z. We're going to be basically inside the Millennium Falcon, I would expect. What we can do is just move this out. Now we're going outside. We get a view of what's going on. Let's just jump to get the rotations in here. I think it'll be cool how I show you how to adjust this after the fact. Then rotate Y and rotate Z. Cool. Now we should be basically following exactly what the Millennium Falcon is doing. It's pretty dramatic to be trying to view it through this view. Now, what we can do is select the renderCam. We can isolate just those curves. What we can do is really dial back some of this rotation animation. Specifically someone go to layouts, two panes side-by-side, go to perspective view. We have the render view and the perspective view. What I'm looking at is if I'm in object mode here, holding down ''E left-click'', we have the rotate Z. I really want to dial that back. I'm going to go to the trustees scale tool here. Or what we could do is just use the region scale tool and we can just brute force this back down to a reasonable place, closer to around the zero. This note is as the midpoint so I want to move that to the zero-point. I know I'm moving in that rotation axis from zero. We can just move this back and translate Z even more. Let's just move this back. Then also for the pivot, the rotate x here, I want to get that looking a lot better. I'm going to grab that, and I'm just going to hit ''R'' and then shift middle mouse drag and scale that down. There's a couple different ways you can say scale stuff. I'm going to W, middle mouse drag. I'm just going to scale this so we can get it into an orientation. Then let's just play back a little bit and see if we need to scale Y at all. That seems like it's okay. I think we could dial back some of the translation. What we're doing is translating on x. I think we can just dial that back. We're not having to go back and forth as far. Then we could just delay this. I think we're popping over one frame is also the deal. I think that was part of the reason earlier I was getting a bit confused on that. We can go 199 instead of 200 on the timeline. We're duplicating a frame that was also part of the deal. Now we have the camera animation. We could cycle this and then offset it. What we can do is be a little behind the plane because we don't want to move exactly the same way it's moving. I'm going to use curves and then I'm going to do pre infinity cycle because we're going to move it to later. I'm going to make sure that I have all the curve selected when I'm doing this pretty infinity cycle. Now we can actually delay this maybe 10 frames. It should always be behind. Isn't that pretty cool? We have basically this animation for free mentality here where we're copying, pasting animation around. The other thing we can do is just globally adjust some of these things if it's getting out a frame a little bit too much. I'm going just raise the whole camera up by having all the key frames selected and then shift middle mouse dragging up. That is a pretty cool animation, I think. Before we finish, I just want to have one quick aside to say for the final render actually chose to add the camera to an animation layer. All you have to do is choose the camera, go over here and click this little button and you add it to an animation layer. Then you click the animation layer to begin animating within it. The reason why I did that is because I thought in the final render it would be best. I just ignore all this other stuff, we'll get to that in the next lessons here. But I wanted the ship to come closer to the camera, and I didn't want to adjust every single frame of the animation. One thing that animation layers do really well is just set a couple of key frames and it'll globally change everything and blend it all together. What I did is just Hit ''S'' on the keyboard, so that sets the zero key frame. Then I go forward in time. I choose wherever I want the ship to come close to camera, it would just may be in here or somewhere. Then I just pull the camera back. Maybe reposition a little bit into the end frame. This will adjust additively on the animation layer below at the base animation layer. Now if we scrub between these two key frames here, we can actually see that all the animation we had prior still exists. We're just adding on top of it with the animation layer. We get to a point where the ship comes closer to the camera. Then we can choose where we want it to go back to its original position. Maybe out here somewhere. Then one easy way to get back to that and zero out the animation layer is just click this zero icon here, it says zero key layer. That will jump it back. You can see in the graph editor, all we've done is just set one key. The ship will come close to the camera, and then it'll go back further away from camera as it goes away back into the zero state for this additive animation layer. In the next lesson, we can keep taking this to the next level and finish out this project. Thanks for watching. 13. Lights, Camera, Polish: Let's finish out this project animation. First thing I want to show you how to do is to actually cache to the end particles because if you remember, were actually playing every frame. It's a bit hard to get an idea of the real-time speed that this is going at for always playing back every single frame and waiting for that simulation of the end particle lasers to perform and evaluate. What we can do is actually select the end particle itself. Let's jump to frame 1. Then we can actually go to the ncache menu here, which is under effects, and we can go down to create new cache 1 in object. We can open option box here. We can just accept the defaults. If you set your project, all of this should be correct. Then we can say create, and it'll run through and it'll create a cache of all these n particles. Then we can change the playback to be more real time. As soon as it's done, it'll actually hook up that cash with the particle system so that's going to be using the cache after we've created it. Now I can actually scrub, whereas before I couldn't scrub because we were having to simulate so you'd get a warning if you are going to scrub. The other thing we do is of course change playback speed to real-time and now we can get a more accurate representation of like how fast we're moving through this tunnel here. Maybe if we need to tweak some of the camera animation if it's a bit over the top, I think what I'm going to do is take some camera animation, smooth it out a little bit. I'm going to go to the Graph Editor, and under render cam, I'm going to just grab the smooth filter again. Make sure I'm on 24. I'm going to just dial this down a little bit. You see that updating in the preview here a little bit so I'm going to hit apply and close. Then now we should have a little bit better camera animation there. I think some of the rotation is still a bit too dramatic for my taste. I don't think I've really scaled down rotate y, did I, in the previous lesson. I'm just going to scale that down, just touch before we move forward with a region scale tool. In that way I'm going to dial back some of the extreme camera moves. That is looking pretty good. The next thing I want to do is add some lights to this. We have Arnold, we have the sky dome light, which I was originally using just for seeing the colors of the Lego pieces. What we can do now is use it as a base for our animation. I'm going go to Arnold, Open Arnold Render Preview. We want to make sure that we're using the render cam shape here. I' m going to hit Play and [inaudible] of the initial lighting that we have. Anytime you're in space, it's always pretty much going to be pretty directional lighting so we need to reflect that in our animation. What we can also do is to get more contrast in the image. I think because the millennium falcon is blending into the environment. We need to change the shader on the cubes and the cylinder here. What we can do is grab the torus and the cube, which I believe is the correct one. Sorry, this cube was the animated one. We need this cube and this torus, and we can right-click, go down to assign new material and choose a shader. We want an AI standard surface. Then we can jump through the attributes that are here. It will slowly open because I'm rendering, let me just pause that. What we can do is just bring down the color to hopefully a bit more contrast with the Millennium Falcon. We also bring down the specular. We could bring that down and increase the roughness a little bit maybe and then bring the color down even more. Maybe add a bit of blue to that I'm thinking. Let me just hit escape and stop this render. Open this up, and then we can actually go to a hue of blue and just increase the saturation. We're getting maybe a little bit of color in that, and then hit play and see maybe that's way too much. But essentially, I didn't want them to be totally black. I wanted just a slight hint. What I'm going to do is just bring the saturation down and see if that's any better. This is the fact that we have a very white background. We can change that by going to the sky dome and going down the visibility and just turning the camera to zero. Now we have a black background. There's couple different ways we can address the background in general. Let me just close this out for a second. We could map an image, we could do this in post. But for me, what I'm going to do is actually just add this in the scene. I'm going to grab a cylinder and I'm going to move it over here. I'm grabbing a cylinder because I want to wrap around. We get a little bit of parallax, at least in the camera moves so I'm just scaling this up. Then I want to go to first the renderer stats here and I don't want to cast shadows or receive shadows on this. Then I want to, of course, reverse the normals because we're going to be inside this thing. I'm going to reverse those. Then I want to add a new shader. What we could do is actually just use a Maya surface shader and then map a image into that. One place you can go and get free images is Pexels. Pexels, P-E-X-E-L-S, and you can download any of these images and use for free. I'm just going to grab this one, say thank you to Miriam. Then I'm going to navigate to this texture and I'm going to bring it into the project file itself. Let me jump over into that. From my downloads, I want to select that and then Control X to copy it or cut it rather. I want to jump back into my project and then add that as a source images here. I'm just going to paste that into the project folder of Maya. When I jump to the out color here and go to File, I should have that image in my project. If I hit six on the keyboard, we should see that. The other thing we could do is adjust the UVs. You can see that this is really scaled up in an odd way. What we can do is right-click, go to UV shell. We can see this is the main shell here that goes around. What we can do is just scale this up. I can also just turn this checkerboard off so we can see the texture in real time, how it's being affected. Then I'm going to hit Minus on my keyboard after hitting E to pull up rotation, hold on J to snap this. I think it's meant to go this way. Let's see. Let's just scale this all the way up. The other way we can see this obviously is in here. Let me hit Six on this, hit Spacebar so you can see in perspective and then backup a little bit. You know what, I'm actually going to delete some of these back faces there since we're not even really going to be seeing them, and it frees up more room in the UVs. What I can do is actually attach, it looks like I made a gap in the middle of the UVs. I can just sow those together by going to cut so sow let me just move that over to where it needs to be and then sew those together. I'm going to go cut, move and sow, now it's going to pop that where it needs to be for the UV shell and then I can figure out where I want this texture to line up with the image itself. I think I rotated it the wrong way. I'm just going to go back to this way. Then what I can do is actually start scaling this to the correct dimension so I'm going to hit the little icon up here to see the picture. It's actually going to be the best way to do this. Sometimes I forget all these basics, but when you're trying to move this quick and teach, it's really easy to get overwhelmed with some of the stuff, when you're trying to move this quickly. I'm going to hit Spacebar and jump back into the render stats and make sure that we can actually see something here. That looks a lot better. Then we can also go through and obviously render this and make sure those are the checks that we're going through to make sure everything is working together nicely. I'm just going to play there. Now, we have a fairly bright background. There's a couple of ways we can address that. We could actually add a color correction node by going to the Hypershade here and then grabbing that texture. I have the cylinder selected, then I can just click this button and I'll map that texture out. Then what I can do is this is the texture I can add it by hitting Tab and hit Color, I can say color correct and then just put this in between the out color here, and the out color here, going into the surface shader. What I can do is just decrease the value of the whole thing so I can just dial back the background by using that color correction node. Now, our Millennium Falcon is popping, I think a little bit more against this background. Just for fun, let me hit Save first. Anytime I'm doing this stuff, I want to make sure that I'm saving all the time. Now, we're finishing. I'm going to say Finish, say Version 1. Before I do anything crazy, like increase the amount of Mash objects instances by a factor of 10, we can see this in the render. I think that adds a nice texture to the scene. Maybe we might have gone too far on how dark that is. We can just dial that back by selecting either the torus or the cube, jumping to that tab and then we just increase that. Now, we're getting back to this because now that we have the darker background, I think we can go a little brighter on the environment itself. That's cool and then what we can do is we can add a more directional light, is where I'm going with this. Anytime you're in space, the light source is going to be pretty directional. We can go the rendering tab, hit the directional light. I'm just going to spacebar on perspective view. I'm going to hold off on the render for a moment. I'm going to take a look at the direction of this directional item, is scaled up and has no effect on the intensity or anything. But we need some directionality to our Render now. I'm just moving this in a way that I think it's going to give us some cool directionality to this Render. Now, I'm going to hit Escape real quick, because we need to increase the intensity of it quite a lot. But I also want to go to the Arnold tab and increase the samples here. I want to increase the exposure. I'm going to hit Play. Then I'm just going to dial in the exposure on this directional light. Now, it's catching this at an odd angle exactly where that meets. I don't want to create a tangent there. I want to bring that up or down, I think I may probably want to bring that down. We split the trench run, if you will, here a little bit and then just increase that even more. Then we can actually dial down the sky dome. I'm going to go to exposure here and then just dial that back. We increase the contrast in our environment a little bit. Let me run to a part of the animation where the Millennium Falcon is on the left side. We can see this looks against the environment being gray there. It looks like there is a point in the animation where we get that far to the left. But it's cool to see the shadow there. We actually see the red Lego piece on the ground. It's pretty cool. I think that's looking pretty darn good for my [inaudible]. There's a couple of more things we could do to sweeten this a little bit. What we can do is add an imager, which is a newer thing in Arnold, so if you're working in an older version of Maya or Arnold, you might not have this imager. But what we can do is instead of doing stuffing and compositing, you can add stuff in the Render. The way to do that is to jump to to the Arnold Render tab here and the Render settings by clicking the Render settings there, go to imagers, add imager, and then we can just add a renderflex node. Then without having to re-render it will do this post effects. What we can do is increase the strength on the bloom, which is this attribute here. I'm just increasing the bloom. You could add multiple ones of these, but I think this gives it a really good space feel to it. I think if we increase the intensity of the directional light, we might get some bloom on that left side of the environment. To see that change, we would have to re-render that. That is looking pretty good or it seems pretty blown out. That turns in there goes the bloom. I'm going to probably dial this back six, something like that and then we see how that bloom affects it. Of course the bloom, how it's deciding how much to effect is based on this threshold. We're currently at 0.9, we can just dial this back until it is only hitting the brightest spots. But if everything is the same amount of brightness, it's always going to be hitting those so we can just dial back I think that directional light even more because I have the threshold down pretty far to the side and it's going to bloom or not. That is one way to control it. Of course and then we can turn this on and off by hitting this little button here to see what are we actually achieving here. I think the radius need to be dialed down a little bit. We could basically make two of these. We could add another one and have like a really wide radius. I can just increase the strength, I can increase that a ton or a little bit and then have a different radius so we have two versions of this happening. Then I can maybe dial down the threshold. Let's see oh sorry, I need to be increasing the threshold. I need to be doing that first one. Let me mute that one and then increase the threshold. I'm headed backwards on the threshold. I can increase the intensity here. Now, we've got to isolate it to the Millennium Falcon. Then I think we're going to increase the radius on that. That's helping too with the lasers, I think. I'm just going to dial that back and then we're going to have this one be a bit wider. We're rubbing some of the environment I think on this one. I'm just trying to dial and grab maybe I add just the tops of that and then we can just dial down the strength, maybe 0.1, and then increase the radius maybe a little bit, just something that really soft. Then we can toggle this on and off and see what we're adding to it. I feel like that adds a bit of nice space fill. The last thing we might want to do is add some depth of field because of the stars and that those are maybe a bit too in focus and how this bleeds off. There's a couple different ways we could do that. Let's pause here and we'll pick it up in the next lesson. 14. Depth Of Field & Render: Now, let's pick up where we left off. The last thing we might want to do is add some depth of field, because of the stars and that those are maybe a bit too unfocused and how this bleeds off. There's a couple different ways we could do that. There's not a couple of different ways, there's one way, we can go down to the Arnold Render tab for that camera and say turn on the Enable [inaudible] and what we can do is also for the time being, just dial down the settings, the Render Settings. I'm just going to stop the render for a second because this will get pretty intense on the render itself. I'm just going to dial that down, and sorry, let me stop that. I'm going to just grab a region here, so I'm going to click Drag a little slice, so it's not having to do so much work there. We can see this update. The most distance, we can eyeball it, we can also jump in and [inaudible] measuring. What we can do from perspective view is grab the distance from the camera to the ship itself. To actually get the accurate distance here, what we want to do is go to isolate the camera. We know the camera that's controlling the motion, and the camera that's controlling the render. We can just isolate those, to close the render view for a second so we can see that's Isolate Select, and then we can just snap a create measure tool, distance tool. I'm going to hold down V, left-click and then hold down V and left-click here. Because I clicked that Locator, I actually chose that for the endpoint. All we have to do is just attach that locator to the render cam. Then all we need to do is jump back here, and by un-isolating that, go to the focus distance, and then we just need a map in the distance dimension into the focus distance. I'm going to right-click and say Create new expression. Now, I'm going to Control C, the render cam, focus distance. Then I'm going to choose distance dimension, and then with that selected, I'm going to paste in what we had copied from the camera. Then I'm just going to copy, paste this in and then say dot distance, which is that attribute right here. Then for this to work, we need to actually hit a semicolon, and you want to make sure that this is a lowercase d and then create. Then now we have the render cam ship will equal that distance in real time. If we click the render cam here, we can see that there is an expression, and as we change, we should see that distance changes and matches with that, so that the Millennium Falcon will be in focus all the time. We can go to Arnold and we can go open the render view. No matter how we move, that the Millennium Falcon will always be in focus, so that's pretty cool. Of course, it's important to always scrub through and find if there's any areas like this that may be worse for something like our bloom. I'm going to jump back to the imager and just see which one that is. I think it's this one, so when I go here and I want to change the threshold, so that's less stuff is getting grabbed, increase that until we no longer have that. Let me turn this one off to make sure I'm not affecting, I'm only looking at one at a time. I'm basically turning it off completely and there's only one little ping on the Falcon itself, and we can have this diffuse bloom here on this one. Then for the camera, let's jump back and make sure that we have the aperture size set the way that we want. Now, we should see that even if we increase the aperture size like a ton, the Millennium Falcon should still be somewhat in focus. Of course, you can go pass one in the aperture size just by typing in a number, which is why my scale here is a lot more, but we can get a sense of how it's going to look when we increase the settings. This is not looking bad. I'm just going to maybe dial depth of field down a little bit more, and take stock of this. We can increase the render settings now that we have a good idea, bloomed out the environment we've debt the field, the stars behind us. Now, we are just doing the finishing touches here, increasing the samples to four. I don't think I've ever increase the samples of the sky dome light as well which might help with some of the noise, so I'm just crank that two. Now, that we have all of those settings done, we can actually render this out, and there's a couple different ways you could do it. You do an EXRs and then could compile it inside of After Effects or DaVinci Resolve, or some other compositing software after the facts. Or you could just render them all out as images here. I'm going to just go for the EXRs and call this M-falcon 1, and I'm going to say name dot number dot extension, and then one through 199. Then I'm going to jump down here and I'm going to make sure we have the render cam select for sure, and do probably 720p, just to see how this goes. I think this render might take a little bit of time. This is how you would approach this process to get a render out. Now, the one thing that we need to remember is the fact that we're looking at the placeholder. We actually haven't enabled the first mash network. We can jump to actually disabling this mini Falcon. We can put it on a display layer if we wanted. Maybe that would be the best thing grabbing that. Let me just go ahead and save first, then grab the mini Falcon, and we can put on display layer here, and then just hide it. Then we can enable that other mash network, so I'm going to select it, go to the attribute editor, and that's sorry, this one, and turn that one on. The other thing we can do is we need to animate. We animate it in but not going out. We need to go back to it being separated. If you remember, we animated the distributes strength. I'm going to select that and we can see we went over about 30 frames, so we can go 30 frames inches from the end here, let's just say 180. We can set a key frame and then go to zero here. Then we can do the same thing for the offset that we did, so we can say zero offset on frame 180. Select that set key and then turn that off here. Random strength will be all the way up, turn this on rather. Then we can take a look at this by turning on the render view. You want to make sure that you have the render cam shape selected. I sometimes keep getting confused that when I open it, it switches back to perspective shapes. Anytime you're testing this stuff, always make sure that you're looking through the correct camera, of course. Then we can scrub through and we can see that now in D is being created at the time that we expect it to be. Just to finish this out, I'm going to close that render preview. Go back through the render settings really quickly to make sure those are what I want them, let me do it in 720. The render cam one through 199 and then want to make sure that these are up to snuff on that, and I think I'm going to let this one run over night. I'm going to hit Save on this and then I'm going to go to the rendering tab here. I'm going to render, and then I'm going to, again, let me say because I have set the project, these will be rendered in the Images folder you can see here on the path. I'm going to render, render sequence, and it should start and render. I hope you got something out of this course. I appreciate you watching as much you have. Please check out my YouTube channel. I post a lot of cool stuff on there. If you like a course like this and you want to take another one like it, I have a looping sci-fi course where we actually deal with some character animation, and creating a looping environment in a different way using some noise modifiers with stuff that's pretty cool. There's that course, and then if you finally want to learn Maya all in, I have that Maya for beginners course, modeling, texturing, rigging, animation, and effects. Those are the five sections of that course. Let me know what else you'd like to see me teach. If there's some other subject or something you want me to go deeper into, let me know. I am considering doing one-on-one mentorships with animation, so someone who is tired of dabbling and they want to jump into animation as a career, as a character animator, I'm considering that. Reach out to me if you're interested in that. But check me out on Instagram, Digital Creator School, check me out on Twitter, digital creator, I think with a five instead of an R. Then Lucas Ridley on Twitter and of course, YouTube, Digital Creator School on YouTube. Please also let me know what you thought of this course. Leave a review, share with people. Let me see your stuff. Tag me on social when you make a render, hopefully. If you make a render, please share it with me. I'd love to see what you come up with. Thanks for watching and I'll see you in my next class.