NON-LINEAR DEFORMERS AND SOUND SYNCRHONIZATION IN MAYA
1. Nonlinear deformers allow surface geometry to be treated non-uniformly with respect to some modifications, either for the purpose of constructing geometry or for the purpose of keyframing a transforming object.. These deformers are available under the animation module.
CASE 1: DEFORM>CREATE NONLINEAR > BEND DEFORMER Build a cylinder, 8 subdivisions axis and 8 subdivisions height, use channels box to modify it
- go to bend input, select curvature, and use mouse to modify values.
- Change low bound and high bound options to 0 to reduce bending on upper and lower portions of cylinder.
CASE 2: DEFORM>CREATE NONLINEAR > FLARE DEFORMER Build cylinder as in previous example;
- select start flarex and modify values with mouse in window.
- change lower bound properties and observe result.
CASE 3: DEFORM>CREATE NONLINEAR > SINE DEFORMER Build cylinder as in previous example;
- select amplitude and wavelength and modified values with mouse in window
- perform same operation on flat surface (100 x 100)
- note wavelength offset must be less than wave length
- note: drop off attenuates wave
CASE 4: DEFORM>CREATE NONLINEAR > SQUASH DEFORMER Build cylinder as in previous example;
- select “factor” and “expand” and modified values with mouse in window
- note that total volume remains constant unless value of “envelope” > 1
CASE 5: DEFORM>CREATE NONLINEAR > TWIST DEFORMER Build cube similar to previous example;
- subdivide width, height and depth at 8 units
- select “start angle” and “end angle” and modified values with mouse in window
CASE 6: DEFORM>CREATE NONLINEAR > WAVE DEFORMER Build flat surface 100 x 100
- select amplitude and wavelength and modified values with mouse in window
- note wavelength offset must be less than wave length
- try drop off at 1 to attenuate wave
- key frame two different values for offset
- use dropoff value at 1 and increase amplitude (+ or – direction)
- Move surface and note change in position of concentric rings
- Modify radius
- Keyframe two different positions of defomer
2. Loading Sound Revisited: We have already seen in workshop 5 that sound can be imported into Maya for timing a animation and exported into a movie file through the playblast utility. Final rendered frames are then syncronized separately through sound editing software Sound Edit or Quicktime Pro.
You can’t import sound files into Maya some formats. However, you can use Quicktime Pro convert your sound files to Windows and Apple compatible file formats like aff. To convert a sound file in Quicktim Pro:
1. Load the sound into Quicktime Pro through the file open sequence.
2. Save the file to aif format.
To load an audio file into your scene (the instructions below are abbreviated from the Maya help documentation and offer a different approach than the drag and copy method described in workshop 5):
1. Use File > Import. A file browser lets you select the name of the sound file to import.
To display sound on the Time Slider:
1. Right-click the Time Slider. A pop-up menu appears.
2. In the pop-up menu, select the audio file you want to hear from Sound > audio file. The audio file’s waveform appears in the Time Slider and it plays during playback.
3. To change the start time for the sound. Select Display > Sound > NAME OF SOUND TRACK >and change the Start Time (Offset #) to the frame number at 24 frames per second. (frame 48 = 2 seconds at the default Time Unit of 24 frames per second). You will now see the sound waves representing the sound appear in the Time Slider starting at time 48.
4. To play your animation with sound, open the Animation Preferences window and ensure that Playback Speed is set to Real-time (24 fps) and click Play. The sound begins at 2 seconds (or time 24 on the Time Slider).
Deformers Weights Editor 1.0.0 for Maya (maya script)
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See also Useful Utilities. Someday I'll migrate deformer related stuff here.
What do I do if my wire behaves badly over long distances?
Increase Dropoff helps
If using to deform another curve that will follow it, keep wire scale to 0
Some points not moving with Wrap
Can change Falloff Mode from Volume to Surface.. but so heavy..
Auto Weight Threshold
When on, the wrap deformer automatically sets the optimal weight of the wrap influence objects’ shapes by calculating the smallest Max Distancevalue that will ensure every point on the mesh is affected by an influence object. This option is on by default.
Lets you manually specify the influence of the wrap influence objects’ shapes based on the proximity of their components to the objects being deformed. Depending on the point density (for example, the number of CVs) of the wrap influence objects, changing the Weight Threshold can change the overall smoothness of the deformation effect. Values range from 0.000 (smooth) to 1.000 (sharp). Use the slider to select values from 0.000 to 1.000. Default is 0.000.
Weight Threshold, Use Max Distance, and Max Distance are only available when Auto Weight Threshold is turned off.
Use Max Distance
Turn Use Max Distance on if you want to set the Max Distance value and limit the influence area.
Specifies the influence area of wrap influence object points. By limiting the influence area with Max Distance, you can manually limit how much memory Maya requires to perform the deformation. The less memory required, the better the performance. Using Max Distance is especially useful when you are working with high-resolution wrap influence objects.
The Weight Threshold takes effect within the influence area defined by the Max Distance value.
The Max Distance value is in Maya’s working units, which are by default centimeters (Window > Settings/Preferences > Preferences > Settings > Working Units). The default Max Distance is 1, limiting the influence area to within a distance of 1 unit from each point, which requires less memory. A Max Distance of 0 means the influence area is infinite. This setting will use the maximum amount of memory.
The Auto Weight Threshold value provides a good starting weight for the minimum cutoff. If the deformation is not satisfactory using this value, you can turn off Auto Weight Threshold and adjust the Weight Threshold manually. To find the best value, start by using the Auto Weight Thresholdvalue that displays in the Attribute Editor, then gradually reduce the value until the deformation is satisfactory.
(from Maya Help)
It's All About That Deformer in Maya!
Whether you are a rigger, modeler, animator, or a character effects artist, you need to know about deformers. Autodesk Maya offers several that can be used in a multitude of ways to enhance your work. Below I'm going to give a quick run down of the main ones everyone should know about. I urge you to open up Maya and play around with them. Get inspired and let your creative playfulness go wild!
*For higher quality videos check them out on our YouTube by clicking the gif.
Basic definition: Start with 2 geometries of the same typology. When you apply the deformer, it makes second geometry morph into the same shape as the first. You can edit the amount of influence in a component level.
Basic Definition: Control a set of components (vertices, CVs, lattice points) on an object. You can edit the amount of influence in a component level.
Basic Definition: Think Photoshop wrap text. This allows you to warp and move a geometry along a curve.
Basic Definition: Use this one after some other deformers. It smooths out the mesh to blend back to it's original shape.
Basic Definition: This creates a a type of box around your object. You can dictate how many "edges" it has and then as you move the lattice points the object in cased in the box deforms accordingly.
Basic Definition: When you wrap one geometry to another the first geometry tries to follow the deformations of the second geometry as much as possible based on the distances between vertices.
Basic Definition: This one is like projection mapping one object to another. You can use it with geometries or curves.
Basic Definition: This one has several different options: Bend, Flare, Sine, Squash, Twist, and Wave. Each produces a different shape along a line, but they each deform a geometry based on that shape.
Now go have fun and try all of these for yourself!
Modifying NURBS CV’s, Poly, SubD vertices/faces offers low-level control
Objects can be both modeled and animated using these low-level components
Low-level modeling and animating can be very time-consuming
Maya provides tools that allow animators to model and animate at a higher level
Deformer tools modify low-level components in an easier, more intuitive, and faster manner
Large numbers of low-level components are modified with a small number of high-level controls
Deformer tools, or deformations, can be used to both sculpt (model) and animate objects
Maya offers a variety of deformation tools including…
- Non-Linear Deformers(, Flare, Sine, Squash, Twist, Wave)
- Sculpt Deformers
Any object defined and described by control points can be deformed
Controlpoints, or lower-level components, include
- SubD vertices
- CV’s (control vertices) (NURBS curves, surfaces)
- Polygonal vertices (Polygonal surfaces)
- Lattice points (Lattice deformers)
Polygonal fork, NURBS cherry, NURBS sphere
Polygonal Fork – applied twist deformer
NURBS cherry – applied squash deformer
NURBS sphere – applied lattice deformer, deformed further by bend deformer
The more components around the area of deformation, the smoother the deformation
TIP: Be sure to create objects with enough components to deform to the desired form
Working with deformers
Deformers are part of Animation menu set (F2 hotkey)
Select object(s), Deform->…
Create Nonlinear->… (bend, squash, flare, sine, twist, wave)
Create Sculpt Deformer
Modifying deformer attributes
- Selecting deformer shows modified objects in purple
- Node attribute editor OR
- Useful interactive manipulators (select deformer node, Show manipulator tool)
Modifying twist node attributes interactively
Note various nodes created in Hypergraph
Node controlling twist attributes (twist attributes)
Node representing twist handle position (transform node)
- Transforming position of handle, further deforms shape
- Can animate handle position
Node representing twist handle shape (shape node)
Grouping deformer and shape nodes
Moving a deformed object will change the shape further
The object “passes through” the deformer
To move the deformed object while maintaining the shape
1) Select the deformer handle and the shape
2) Group the nodes
Non-Linear Deformers(click for movies)
Components are transformed unevenly (non-linearly) in relation to each other
Useful for simple types of deformations and modeling
Squash and Stretch
Deformers and Construction History
Construction History preserves attributes and operations that contribute to a surface shape
The nodes representing these attributes and operations are kept intact with the shape
These nodes are connected as input connections to the shape node
Maintaining construction history allows further modification of object
Every tool that changes the shape creates other input nodes further modifying the object
Input nodes affect input nodes – input nodes are stacked on top of one another
Added bend deformer to sphere
(2) input nodes controlling shape of sphere
1) Make sphere node (creates sphere with shape parameters)
2) Bend deformer node (bends sphere shape)
- Note input of bend is output of sphere creation node
- Note output of bend node connected to sphere shape node
Tweak nodes: allows shape modification (component mode) with attached deformers
As we add input nodes changing the overall shape, we construct a list of input operations (stack)
Construction history keeps track of the attributes and order of multiple input nodes in the list
We can perform various operations on this list of input nodes
List the nodes
Disable the effect of the node on the shape
Re-order the nodes of the construction history
Sphere that has been twisted, then bent
We can list the input nodes and modify the order
To view input nodes and order, RMB marking menu on object, Inputs->
Status line construction history icons
Shows 1) input nodes 2) output nodes, 3) turns on/off history
Listing and changing the order (bend, then twist) changes the shape
MMB drag on node name
Removing construction history will “freeze” the surface in the modified shape
Can no longer modify input node attributes, new input nodes will not be saved
Maintaining construction history is memory intensive and can affect performance
To turn off construction history for further operations:
To remove construction history on current objects: Edit->Delete by Type->History
Deformers modify low level components (CV’s on NURBS, lattice, vertices on polygons)
By default, all components are affected by the deformer tool
Components controlled by deformers are termed deformer sets
Can control which components are affected (or not affected) by the deformer by editing the set
Change the membership of components in deformer sets
1 – Deform->Edit Membership Tool (select the deformer handle, remove or add to set)
2 – Window->Relationship Editors->Deformer Sets
Sphere with squash deformer
Select squash handle, Deform->Edit Membership Tool
Displays CV’s that are part of the deformer set
By default, all CV’s are affected
Removing the middle CV’s from the set membership
Removed CV’s are not affected by deformer
Further squash modifications will not affect CV’s
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