Maya animation keyframing
Maya is originally a high end animation software which is used for generation of advanced computer animations for games, film and television. However the possibility to apply the functionality of animation in the design process was recognized early on by several architects. By adding the 4th dimension to the design process new concepts of design could be developed and implemented. A new architectural language was developed where complex relations where translated into geometry in the context of time. The animation tools available in Maya provide the designer not only the means to explore new design concepts but also give the designer a powerful tool for generate complex surfaces. In the following explanation we will look at the option of using two main methods of applying animation techniques for geometry generation. The animated snapshot and animated sweep.
At the bottom of the interface we can find the time line and the play buttons for the animation. Beneath the time slider where the keys will be visible as red lines we find the range slider. The range slider works as a zooming tool of the time line. If the animation has 2000 frames it becomes impossible to accurately define where a key is placed and where other keys are. The range slider lets the user to select a part of the time line and zoom in on it. The slider can be moved and extended by moving the centre or the outer boxes of the slider.
The total amount of frames can be set by manually defining the first and last frame in the outer boxes. The slider range can be set by manually defining the range through typing in the min and max frame. The current frame is defined next to the timeline.
The technique for defining change through time in Maya is called Key framing. With Key framing we, for example, define the position of one object at one point in time by assigning it a key and a changed position in another point in time and define a key again. The intermediate steps of displacement during the time difference is then calculated by the computer. This negates the need to define the position of an object during every time frame. Thereby it differs from for example cartoon animations where every frame of the animation has to be defined by the cartoonist.