Maya 2012 Tutorial
How to Use Animation Layers in Maya
Animation Layers can be used multiple ways in Maya. They are a powerful tool for adding and mixing multiple animations to one object.
In this example we will add an animation to an object. The animation is then added as an Animation Layer and a second animation is mixed with the first.
Add a polygon sphere by choosing Create > Polygon Primitives > Sphere.
With the sphere selected, click frame one of the Timeline and press shift/w to set a transform keyframe.
With the object selected, click frame 24 of the Timeline, move the sphere in the x direction with the Move tool (w key) , then press shift/w to set a transform keyframe.
Click the Controller Play button to view your animation. Once you are finished, reset your animation to frame one.
Select the sphere and open the Channel Box. Click the Anim tab in the lower section of the panel.
Click the Create New Layer from Selected icon. Two new animation layers are created.
The BaseAnimation layer is the original animation. Click on each of the layers and notice that only the BaseAnimation layer has keyframes.
Rename the upper layer VertMotion.
Select the VertMotion layer and click frame one of the Timeline. Press shift/w to set a keyframe.
Click frame six, move the sphere in the y direction and press shift/w. Repeat the process at frames 12, 18 and 24 to set the sphere at different heights for each of the keyframes.
Click the Controller Play button to view your animation. The animation is now a combination of the base animation and your up and down motion.
To soften the effect of the second animation, adjust the Weight slider at the bottom of the panel.
Override Layer Mode
In this example we used an Additive Layer Mode. In other words, the two animations were added together.
It is also possible for your new animation to replace the base animation by right-clicking the layer name and choosing Layer Mode > Override, then choose Layer Mode again and deselect Passthrough.