Friday, 12 October 2018

Why Do Animators Need Clean Curves?

Graph Editor in Maya - keep those curves clean
Recently a new student at Animation Apprentice asked this question: "Why it is necessary to have clean curves [in the Graph Editor]? Can we just ignore them as long as the animation looks good?"

This is a good question. After all, the audience will only see the final result, not the curves in the Graph Editor.  So, why bother keeping the Graph Editor clean? What is the point?

Keeping the Graph Editor reasonably clean is important because it can be hard to unscramble the curves when things go wrong.  So, having a good, clean workflow is important, because your work will look better as a result, and will be easier to edit.

Keeping your curves clean is important in an animation studio, too. In a studio, you will undoubtably have critiques with your lead animator, and if they’re working with you and want to quickly tweak something, they would certainly expect to “read” your Graph Editor effectively and efficiently.

Likewise, if another animator has to take over your work (which can happen, perhaps if you are ill or on holiday), it’s important that the new animator can quickly pick up and understand what’s going on - and that means keeping everything tidy.

One useful habit to get into is to set keys on all the control curves on the same key frames; you end up with a lot of keyframes, but it helps to keep your work flow simple and clear.

To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our next classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link.

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