What's New in Character Animation


Joint symmetry


New options in the Joint Tool settings let you create symmetric joints and joint chains. Select an option from the new Symmetry drop-down list to set the axis for your symmetry connection. With Symmetry enabled, you can create symmetric skeletons automatically.

Additionally, updated Joint Tool marking menus give you access to the most frequently used options in the Joint Tool settings. With the Joint Tool active, + + and select options to edit joints, joint chains, and symmetry connections.

Automatic joint centering


You can now automatically center joints in a model using the new Snap to Projected Center button . This snapping mode is particularly useful for creating skeleton joints and joint chains, but it can be used with any object type on creation and manipulation.

Set Bend deformer Curvature in degrees instead of radians

More easily enter the specific amount you want to bend a deformable object using the updated Curvature attribute on the bend deformer node and in the Create Bend Deformer Options (Create Deformers > Nonlinear > Bend > ). You can now enter the Curvature value in degrees (from -230 to 230) instead of radians. See also Create a bend deformer, Edit bend nonlinear deformers.

Limit spread of small weights

A new Weight Distribution attribute on the skinCluster node and in the Smooth Bind Options can help to prevent the spread of potentially undesirable weights as you paint weights with the default Interactive normalization mode.

When you paint weights with Interactive normalization, Maya normalizes weight values so that the vertex weights still add up to 1.0. When possible, weights are scaled based on their existing value. In cases where all the available, unlocked weights are zero, the Weight Distribution setting determines how new weights are created during normalization.

By default, the Distance setting means that Maya calculates new weights based on the distance of the vertex from the various influences to which it is skinned. Set to Neighbors to restrict the influences to which normalized weight values can spread, calculating new weights based on the influences that affect the surrounding vertices.

Improved influence locking in the Paint Skin Weights Tool

Minor updates in the Paint Skin Weights Tool make it easier to lock the influences you want to protect from having their weights changed as you work. See Lock smooth skin weights and Paint Skin Weights Tool for updated information.

Add a HumanIK Control rig to an animation layer

You can now add an entire HumanIK Control rig to a new animation layer using the Create Layer from Selected icon in the Animation Layer Editor. This functionality replaces the Add to AnimLayer menu item in the Character Controls menu button.

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