Animation Layers

Animation Layers

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.


Step One

Add a polygon sphere by choosing Create > Polygon Primitives > Sphere.

Step Two

With the sphere selected, click frame one of the Timeline and press shift/w to set a transform keyframe.

Step Three

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.

Step Four

Click the Controller Play button to view your animation. Once you are finished, reset your animation to frame one.

Step Five

Select the sphere and open the Channel Box. Click the Anim tab in the lower section of the panel.

Step Six

Click the Create New Layer from Selected icon. Two new animation layers are created.

Step Seven

The BaseAnimation layer is the original animation. Click on each of the layers and notice that only the BaseAnimation layer has keyframes.

Step Eight

Rename the upper layer VertMotion.

Step Nine

Select the VertMotion layer and click frame one of the Timeline. Press shift/w to set a keyframe.

Step Ten

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.

Step Eleven

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.

Step Twelve

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.


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