Maya 3D / Sequential Key Tutorial

This tutorial offers a small tip for Maya users who need to keyframe repetitious action.

Example 1.1

This tutorial shows how to key selected attributes of an object(channels), into any number of desired frames, via user prompt. It can save time, and reduce error that can occur while scrubbing frames and adding keys. It's very useful when doing walk cycles or any complex motion that has repetitive elements. Also supplied is a Calculator that aids in Keyframing by preforming the basic math.

For Example: An animation of a rubber ball bouncing 5 times from the left side of the screen to the right side. The ball will contact the ground 4 times, so the Y translation of 0 will be keyed for all of these points. After After the first key is established, we can duplicate those conditions for the subsequent keyframes.

In Example 1.1 the ball is in the position that will be repeated. The only information needed now is which attributes will be keyed and in which frames. This ball will bounce once each second, starting from the 13th frame(the first ground contact). @24 FPS the keyframes would occur at 13 37 61 85 109. The object (the ball) is then selected, and the attributes to be keyed are highlighted in the channels box. Hightlighted attributes appear black.

Example 1.2
Next, select the Animation toolset, and under Animate, select the Set Key options box, illustrated in Example 1.2.

Animation Toolset > Animate > Set Key option box


example 1.3
From here, match the settings Illustrated in Example 1.3. The last radio button, "Channels", is the option that allows the selection of attributes from the channel box. Once the settings are correct, select "Set Key" or "Apply", and a user prompt will appear.

Example 1.4
The prompt called "Set Key" asks for the "list of times", enter the frame numbers (separated by only a SPACE) and press "OK" (See 1.4). The attributes you have selected from the Channels window should be keyed into all of the frames you entered into the prompt.

*Note: The calculator supplied outputs correct format, just copy and paste. You don't HAVE to enter the frames sequentially, i.e. you can put 44 5 23 9 and they'll key all the same.