Picking up objects is tough!
This is the first of many Tools for Animators from us
I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent trying to get a cup in and out of the hands of one of my characters. Honestly, Maya just doesn’t have an easy, animator friendly option for this. Sure, you can create a switch but, that switch wont hold space between it’s two parents. You can toggle visibility on two objects. But then you add a few inbetweens and that transition is toast. And forget about trying to get a whole group of students to set something up and still have time for their assignments. Both as an instructor and as a student, a lot of times the only solution is to struggle.
So, we made the LWS parentConstraint Tool (I know, catchy name)
This tool does a few VERY HELPFUL things. Ultimately it allows an animator to attach one object to another and animate their interactions.
First, pick the parent.
Second, pick the child.
Fourth, enter the frames that the two objects are touching
The results, you have two animated objects moving together with a seamless transition. If you want to edit the motion on the parent, delete the baked frames from last time, click constrain and bake again. Any animation you’ve already done on the object will remain and you are locked back into your connection.