Monday, August 28th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Speed up animation with Character Tracker for Maya

Mobile game studio and tools developer Trikingo has released Character Tracker, an interesting new plugin for controlling 3D characters inside Maya in a way similar to a videogame.

The plugin, intended as a quick way to block out animations, makes it possible to control a character using game-like navigation, with the plugin automatically blending between existing movement cycles.

Block out animations in Maya by moving a target on screen and having the character follow it
Founded by Industrial Light & Magic pipeline TD Felipe Za, Trikingo develops a range of Maya plugins and character rigs, the latest being Character Tracker.

The add-on lets animators control 3D characters inside Maya in a similar way to a videogame, by moving a target object around on screen, and having the character follow it automatically.

Users import their own treadmill animation cycles – the demo videos show idle, walk and run cycles – with the plugin blending between the cycles and changing the character’s direction.

It’s possible to adjust the results by setting the speed at which the character turns, and the thresholds between it switches between movement cycles.

Users can record a movement sequence in real time, then bake it out, making it possible to clean the animation up manually, and use it in offline work.

A previous version of the software, available free on Trikingo’s website, made it possible to control the character using an Xbox game controller.

Price and system requirements
Character Tracker is compatible with Maya 2023. It has a MSRP of $29.99.

Read more about Character Tracker for Maya on Trikingo’s website