How to make loops in Maya with time editor (video)

Just a quick post about making looping animations in Maya Time Editor, mostly for myself. Suppose you have a walk mocap fbx and you want to make it loop so you can use it in UE4, here the way I found to make it. (I’m not an anim pro, if you know better please leave a comment)

  1. Export the mesh and the anim from UE4 as fbx, that gives you 2 fbx files.
  2. Import the mesh in maya, it will give you a group with the mesh and the skeleton. Unparent the root from the group.
  3. Drag the animation fbx file into time editor (Windows>Animation Editors>Time Editor)
  4. Find a part suitable for a loop and cut it. It should start and end on similar poses.
  5.  Copy the part and paste it twice
  6. Overlap the last step (in the walking sense of the world) of the first copy with the first step of the 2nd copy.
  7. Right-click on the second copy, “Match Relocators…” choose the foot which is on the floor as “matching object” (click on the bone then on the icon on the right of the field), matching clip: previous, matching time: inbetween. Click Match. The animations should blend correctly now.
  8. Take a frame in the first anim where you want to start and the same frame in the second anim and cut. First and last frames will be exactly equals this way. I found that the frame which follow the overlapped part is slightly different that the first frame, so that’s why.
  9. Select both anims, right click, bake to new clip.
  10. Now you have the looping anim, move it to frame zero, then right click on it an “Create Relocator”, set relocator location and rotation to 0 (rotate X may be -90)
  11. If for some reason the root  moves somewhere at the end you can create an overrie layer and supress this error
  12. Right click on the loop, “export selected”
  13. Import in UE4, done!

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