Problems Tackled!: Baking rigid body animations in Maya



Rigid bodies are useful in physical simulations such as a car crashing into a wall, or a ball affected by gravity falling down and bouncing; In my case I used a gravity field to pull shattered pieces of the platform down, forcing the character to escape! 



 I find it really useful to have rigid body simulations produce realistic animations, versus timing/animating it out manually which is really tedious on a large scale. But if you ever want to manually add taste to the animations or save computing power, it is then better to bake the simulation down to keys. 

 I want to highlight the problem where I tried to bake keys, but the keys didn't show up on the time slider timeline.

 ---- Baking Q&A Starts Here ----

Q: I baked the keys, but I still don't see any keys on my time slider :( 
A: The keys are baked, but still stored under the rigid body nodes, so select the meshes you have converted to rigid bodies, go to Edit -> Delete by Type -> Rigid Bodies

Q: I deleted the rigid bodies, but I still don't see the keys on my time slider timeline! 
A: If you carried out either: 
1) animate the rigid body mesh through setting passive keys, or 
2) making a mesh transition from a passive rigid body to an active rigid body. 
Your baked keys will still be stored under "choice" nodes that would have normally gone away with the deletion of your rigid bodies. So the solution I found for this was to bake it again, then your keys should finally be available! (This method was first passed on to me by the "brave rabbit", thank you so much Ingo.

Q: I still don't see keys on my time slider time line..
A: Send me your file and we can tackle it together!


Felt amazing today,
David