Saturday, 13 February 2010

Buffer Curves

I have only just started using a feature in Maya called "show buffer curves". I've known about it for months but I have only recently realised how great it is. Now this is a tool that is only really going to work for animators who block their work out and don't animate straight ahead.

Basically what it does is it shows you what your frames/curves used to look like before you changed them. For example, in the above image you can see that I have changed my curves to splined and underneath them there's a grey linear tangeant which is what I had before I changed to splined. What this does is help you to keep your curves as close as possible to your blocking frames as you can whilst smoothing everything out. You can see where there are large overshoots and so on.

Very, very helpful indeed and saves a lot of time messing about trying to get your curves right. Also saves you from sitting around and guessing what your curve should look like. You're also giving the computer less control of your frames and making it use the ones you want to - Animator 1 - Computer 0.

It's kind of like onion skinning for the graph editor.

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