In the following steps,
you use keyframes to set the starting and ending positions of the
To set beginning and ending keyframes
the Go To Start button to go to
the start of the playback range. This changes the current frame
- Select the ball, then select
Animate > Set Key.
(Keyboard shortcut: s).
sets a key at frame 1 for all transform attributes of
the ball. Transform attributes are the X, Y, Z move attributes.
Although you animate only the translate X and Y attributes of the
ball in this lesson, keying all transform attributes saves you time
having to choose specific attributes to be keyed.
In the Time Slider, notice the red marker at frame
1, known as a tick. This tick appeared when you set the key for
frame 1. With the ball selected, ticks in the Time Slider indicate
where you’ve set keys.
- Go to frame 72. A convenient way to do
this is to click the desired position in the Time Slider.
- With the Move Tool,
drag the ball’s X-axis handle to position the ball at the right
edge of the ground as shown in the image below.
- Set a key at frame 72. (Press s.)
- Go to the start time and play the animation.
From the two keys you’ve
set, Maya creates motion between the positions. By default, the
animation plays in a loop from frame 1 to 72. The ball travels through
the fence at this stage.
- Press the Stop button
on the playback control to stop the animation after you view a few
can drag the mouse back and forth (scrub) in the Time Slider to
see the animation play back and forth at the speed you drag the
If you were to display
the scene with Panels > Layouts > Four Panes,
only the active panel would show the ball moving.
To make the ball fly
over the fence rather than pass through it, you need to position
the ball above the fence and set a key there.
To set intermediate keyframes
- Go to frame 33 or so—at the
moment where the ball sits in the middle of the fence.
- With the Move tool,
drag the Y-axis handle of the ball until it sits slightly above
TipThroughout this lesson,
tumble the perspective view or examine a front view to make sure
the positioning is correct.
- Set a key. (Press s.)
- Play the animation.
The ball now flies off
the ground, over the fence, and back to the ground in a smooth arc
between the keyed start, middle, and end positions.
- Press the stop button to end the playback.
In subsequent steps,
play the animation after each key you set. It’s generally useful
to check your work in progress after each key, especially when you
In the next steps, you’ll
set keys to bounce the ball in the middle of the right half of the
To set keyframes to make the ball bounce
- Go to frame 50. At this moment, the ball
sits in a position above the middle section of the right half of
- Move the ball so it sits on the ground.
- Set a key.
- Go to frame 60.
- Move the ball up again, but not as high
as its peak height above the fence.
- Set a key. When you play the animation,
the ball travels over the fence and bounces on the other side.
If you have a fast computer,
you might notice that the animation plays too fast. By default,
Maya plays the animation as fast as it can be processed. Because
this scene is simple, the animation might play faster than the default
film rate (24 frames per second).
Do not be concerned that
the animation plays with a halting or jerky motion. When you render
all the frames of your animation for final production, the animation
will be smooth. If you want to preview the animation at the smooth
production speed (or nearly so), use
Window > Playblast.