Animating a Locator on a Path in Maya

If you want to animate the camera on a path coming down while looking at the spaceship and the hangar bay entry door, the first thing you need to do is create a locator object. This object will be animated along the path the same way the spaceship has been animated along its path. You can create a locator object by using the Create command.

From the Main menu, click Create > Locator. This will automatically create a locator in your scene.

Animating a Locator on a Path

The locator object is simply a helper that does not render in the scene. It is there for you to use for purposes such as the one you are using it for now.
From the Window menu, open the Outliner. In the Outliner, scroll down until you find the object locator1. Double-click the locator1 object, and rename it to CamLocator1. Then press ENTER to accept the change.

With the CamLocator1 object selected, hold the SHIFT key down and click the camera path in the front viewport. It is the path that sticks out the side of the mountains.

Animating a Locator on a Path

Make sure the Animation menu options are visible, then from the Animate option in the Main menu, select Motion Paths, and then click the options box for Attach to Motion Path. The Attach to Motion Paths options dialog opens.
Set the Time range to Start/End, and then change the End time to Frame 450. Do not forget to press ENTER to accept the changes.

Animating a Locator on a Path

Now click Attach in the lower left of the dialog. That places the locator object at the beginning of your path and animates the locator along the path over 450 frames.

Make a minor visual change to the locator. Make sure the Attribute Editor is open, and then in the Outliner, click CamLocator1. Now switch over to the CamLocator1 tab in the Attribute Editor. Open the Display rollout and check the Display Local Axis option. That will turn on the axis tripod associated with this locator object.

Right-click in the perspective viewport, and then click and drag the Time Slider and you should see the locator object moving along the path towards the hangar bay doors.

Animating a Locator on a Path

An important thing to understand is that the travel of the locator object is dependent on the position of the path. If you want to change the starting point of the locator, then you need to move that point on the path. The same goes for the ending point and any point in between along the path.

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