Creating a proxy for a referenced asset

The zombies in your graveyard scene are even more complex than the willow tree. To further improve the performance, you can replace some of the zombies with proxies.

However, unlike the tree, the zombies in your scene are contained in assets. The procedure for creating proxy assets is slightly different from creating a proxy for other objects.

To export an proxy asset

  1. Re-open your scene file ( File > Open Scene).
  2. In the Outliner, select zombieShuffle1:zombie_shuffle_AST.
  3. Select Assets > Export Proxy Asset > .

    The Export Asset Proxy Options window appears.

  4. Select Edit > Reset Settings.
  5. Change the Name to zombieProxy.
  6. Click Apply and Close.

    The File Browser appears.

  7. Name the proxy zombieProxy1 and click Export.

A proxy file is created for the zombie. This file is the base for your proxy.

To create a proxy file for the zombie shuffle

  1. Save the current scene as
  2. Select File > Open Scene and open the zombieProxy1 file.

    The file contains a single locator node inside an asset named zombie_shuffle_AST. This locator represents the position of the zombie in the graveyard scene.

  3. Since the zombie is far more complex than the tree as well as being animated, you will create a proxy from scratch, as opposed to using the original model as a starting point like the willow tree.

  4. Select Create > Polygon Primitives and make sure that Interactive Creation is turned off. Then select Cube > .

    The Polygon Cube Options window appears.

  5. Select Edit > Reset Settings.
  6. Set the cube properties to the following:
    • Width: 10.676
    • Height: 24.042
    • Depth: 15.215
  7. Click Create.

    Maya creates a polygon cube in the scene.

  8. Open the Channel Box and set the following:
    • Translate Y: 12.044
    • Translate Z: 2.073

  9. Open the Attribute Editor.
  10. In the pCube1 tab, change the cube’s transform name to zombie_proxy.
  11. In the Pivots section of the Attribute Editor, set the following:
    • World Rotate Pivot: 0.000, 0.000, 2.073
    • World Scale Pivot: 0.000, 0.000, 2.073

    This cube will act as a stand-in for zombies in your graveyard scene. Because it is approximately the same size as your zombie, you can use it to accurately predict spacing in your scene.

    NoteThe image above is just a comparison. The actual zombie model should not be part of your proxy file.
  12. Select Modify > Freeze Transformations.

If you want, you can make the proxy more elaborate by modeling it into a shape that is closer to the actual zombie.

Next you need to add animation that approximates the zombie’s shuffling animation.

To animate the proxy zombie

  1. Set the Playback End Time box to 200.

  2. Make sure the time slider is set to frame 1.
  3. In the Outliner ( Window > Outliner), expand zombie_shuffle_AST and select zombie_controller_GRPProxy.
  4. + select zombie_proxy and then select Edit > Transfer Attribute Values > .

    The Transfer Attribute Values window appears.

  5. Select Edit > Reset Settings.
  6. Click Apply and Close.

    The proxy object moves to the same location as the locator. This ensures it will be positioned correctly in the graveyard scene.

  7. In the Outliner, middle-drag zombie_proxy onto zombie_controller_GRPProxy.
  8. Select zombie_shuffle_AST press ‘s’.

    Maya sets a keyframe.

  9. Set the time slider to frame 200.
  10. In the Attribute Editor, set proxy_zombie’s Translate Z to 25.578.
  11. -click the Translate attribute and select Set Key.

    Now if you play the scene, the cube moves approximately the same distance and speed as the zombie shuffle animation.

  12. Select File > Save Scene.

    You can repeat these steps for each zombie you want to create a proxy for. Make sure you name the proxies appropriately so you know which zombies to apply them to since they are not interchangeable.