Using the Graph Editor in Maya

Now that you’ve learned how to Control the Velocity in Maya from last weeks post, you’re now ready to use the Graph Editor. After you attached the spaceship to the path to be used as a motion path for animation, you noticed that the animation of the ship has a linear motion. The speed of the ship is constant along the entire length of the animation path. Now, you want to change it so that the ship slows down as it is landing on the landing platform.

Right-click in the Interior_CAM viewport, then click the Play button to play the animation. You will notice that the spaceship moves at a very constant speed along the path. And when it lands, it comes to a very abrupt stop. This is where you will use the graph editor to make a change to the shape of the animation curve by editing a tangent of one of the Keyframes.

Click Stop to stop the animation. Scroll the Time Slider to about Frame 500, just so you can see the spaceship coming in through the hangar bay doors. This will allow you to more easily select the spaceship in the Interior_CAM viewport.Now select the spaceship, then from the Window menu, select Animation Editors > Graph Editor.

Using the Graph Editor in Maya

Select Graph Editor from the Window menu to open the Graph Editor.This opens the Graph Editor, which gives you access to objects and all of the animate-able parameters which those objects contain. In this case, when you select the spaceship, you have access to the motionPath1 U value, which is the position of the spaceship along the length of the path.
In the Graph Editor menu, click View, and then select Frame All to zoom the view to the selected object’s animated parameters curve. You should now have a linear curve, or a straight line, starting at 0 and increasing as the frame count increases.

Using the Graph Editor in Maya

Join us next week for the next steps in using Keyframes in Maya!

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