Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Vehicle Animation Tutorial at Vimeo

Jelly Cars by Lee Caller
We've added to our growing list of animation tutorials at Vimeo by adding a video tutorial in vehicle animation.

Animating vehicles is a big source of work in the visual effects world where, increasingly, digital effects have almost completely replaced stunt cars.

Animating vehicles and cars is fun to do and in many ways less complex than character and creature animation, but it's still important to have a good variety of work on your demo reel. Producers like depth in animation reels, and an animator who can tackle a variety of work will rarely be out of a job.

We like Beetles
Yellow Beetle Rig by Aaron Parker
The tutorial uses the Beetle rig, created by Aaron Parker, and titled "Swappable Car Rig with Ubershockies - The AnyCar 3.1.4 for Maya".

You can download it for free - or email us for a updated Arnold-friendly version. We've made some improvements to the rig, so if you are planning on doing this tutorial do get in touch ans we'll send you the latest copy of the rig.

Cartoony Animation
The tutorial is a great way to get some fun, cartoony vehicle animation into your demo reel. The rig squashes and stretches nicely, and you can make it bounce and sway as it chugs along. Although you might need to stick a driver behind the wheel on a close-up or medium shot, the Beetle can be made to have a personality all of its own.  Our three part tutorial then explains click by click exactly what to do, and how to get a great result.

Jelly Cars by Lee Caller
To see some great work using the Beetle rig, check out the animation below by our very own animation tutor Lee Caller. 

Rig Notes
Yellow Beetle by Aaron Parker
The Aaron Parker rig does have a slight tendency to crash whenever you try to keyframe the main mover control. Save your work often! Best of all, email us for a copy of the rig - we've got a 2018 version optimised for Arnold and with all the major bugs removed.

This rig does not scale. This means you will have to scale your geometry (such as your set and props) instead.

Disappearing Control Curves
The control curves have a tendency to disappear. If the controls disappear, the solution is to go to display/show/all - this will bring them back. You may have to do this often.

Textures in Maya 2015 and above
The textures do not display in the viewport in Maya 2015. Solution: Click on the Lighting tab and select Two Sided Lighting. Under the Render drop-down menu, select Legacy Default Viewport.

Why bother with animating vehicles?
Go and see any Hollywood action film these days and you will see tons of stunt car animation. There is plenty of work for animators who can bring things like cars, helicopters and robots to life in a convincing and believable way.

Check out some of the excellent work below done by Escapee Henry Fenwick, now an animator at Jellyfish Animation studios in London.

Skidding Car by Henry Fenwick

Who made this rig?

Thanks to the very talented Aaron Parker for creating such a great rig for the Maya community to enjoy and practice their craft.

What is the License Type?

Where can I download it?
To find the Yellow Beetle, download the rig here at Creative Crash. Or email us for an Arnold-friendly version.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt, now recruiting for September 2019, follow this link.   To apply, visit the official page here

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