Discovering Path Animation In Maya

In a hypothetical meeting, you have shown your client the animation of the spacecraft landing in the hangar bay and you achieved the effect using Keyframe animation. The client said that they liked it, however, now the client wants something more complex. They want the spacecraft to land a little more gently, with more of an arc as it approaches the landing pad.

While this animation could be done with Keyframe animation, it does become more complex because you will have many more Keyframes that you have to work with. Therefore, to accomplish this more quickly and easily, you will use path animation.

Path Animation in Maya

Path animation is managed by something called a motion path node, in other words, a modifier for an animation. To accomplish this, you will need to create a motion path for the space ship object, which you will then assign to the space ship. The motion path itself is actually a three-dimensional curve.

The Attach Motion Path command adds a motion path node to the spaceship that allows you to animate the object along the path and control its position at any point along the path over time.

Next week we will be covering the steps on how to assign an object to an animation path.

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