How to make an object rotate while banking on a path in Maya?
April 22, 2009 7:21 PM   Subscribe

How can I rotate an object in Maya while it's on a path and automatically banking? I'm currently making an animation involving a paper airplane, and I have it set to bank automatically, but I would like it to fly upside down at one point, and briefly turn on its side at another. I'm very new to paths in Maya, and whatever I try to do usually ends up making the plane rotated for the entire animation. Ideally I'd like to be able to keyframe a rotation while still having the paper plane following the path and banking normally. Is this possible?
posted by N2O1138 to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
I believe what you want to do is create a "holder" for the plane - like an internal axis - and have that do the banking and so forth; you then rotate the plane relative to that axis. ("Holder" is my word, not a term of art.)
posted by spaceman_spiff at 7:34 PM on April 22, 2009

Go into the channel box, and there should be a flyout under 'inputs' (if you have your object selected), whereon if you click, you'll see some fields marked "Front Twist". "Up Twist", and "Side Twist." These are bad names (I believe they depend on your object's base rotation), but if you click on one of them and middle drag left/right, the value should change and your plane should rotate in place. You can key rotations by right-clicking on the field and picking "Key Selected." Good?
posted by zusty at 7:42 PM on April 22, 2009

(Er, what I meant by that was that Front Twist et al don't necessarily correspond to a clear pitch/roll/yaw, because of your object's pre-existing rotation state.)
posted by zusty at 7:45 PM on April 22, 2009

There's a very simple and uncomplicated answer to this and it just involves simple grouping. Select you paper airplane geometry and group it twice (Ctrl-G x2). In the hypergraph the top level group will be what you want to constrain to your path. Once its on the path it's translates will be locked, but you'll still be able to rotate the plan. Then, if you want a second layer of rotational animation, just grab that second group you made (under the top level group) and add any additional rotations on that group node.

posted by AsRuinsAreToRome at 8:01 PM on April 22, 2009

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