There is one thing I have learned over the past couple of days that renders take ages!
So have been batch rendering out into .IFF files to then be placed into After Effects – best quality this way and I hav more control of the output. Also been doing batches of batch rendering, which means I have further cut it down so I animate a few seconds, get it complete then leave it to render for a couple of hours. I’ve then been After Effects to put it all together as it will import .IFF files then adding extra frames if and when needed, such as sorting out some timing issues. This has also allowed me to exploit the use of different camera angles in Maya so I have done one set of animation then rendered out two different camera angles of the action so as to then switch between the two for dramatic effect.
This has resulted in a lot of frames and files being used as seen below, but it has saved time as I have been able to create something a that I don’t think I would have been able to do in Maya alone.
I also have gotten used to the graph editor more, has proven very handy when trying to get movement mirrored for example:
Using the graph editor to animate the feet for example, when I needed the movement on both legs at the same time I ended up solely using the graph editor to animate the second foot in time with the first. Although for more complex movements that involved rotations and movement on the different axis the graph editor became very overwhelming and I was back to using the perspective view to create and check the animation. Thinking in 3D with just graph lines as reference is not easy; it is nice to be doing this in software that is capable of providing visual feedback as well.
When it comes to the view port I have found that setting up a camera and then using the perspective view to check things has been working out quite well. As I have been dragging the viewports to switch between the main camera and the perspective view in full mode this has also helped in discovering different angles of piece of animation that looked better than the angle that was original planned. This has proved to be a time saver as it has meant in some cases I have been able to use the same piece of animation twice and edit the two camera angels together.