Flying Arrows in Maya

Welcome, in this tutorial I’ll show you how to create animated flying arrows in Maya.

Step 1; Ok, first let’s create some arrows using Adobe Illustrator. For this tutorial I created an arrow like the one you see below.

Arrow Shape in Illustrator

Step 2; Now to bring in your Illustrator file to Maya, go ahead and save your file. Then when the the following options appear, tell it to save the file as an illustrator 8 format. The reason why is because Maya currently does not recognize illustrator files older than illustrator 8.

Illustrator 8 save preferences

Step 3; Now that we got those awesome arrows done, let’s import them into Maya! Go to Create -> Adobe Illustrator Object options.

Import Illustrator into Maya

Select the Curves option

Step 5; When it comes in you may notice the handle not centered on the object. To correct this just go to Modify -> Center Pivot.

Maya Pivot Point

Step 6; Now convert your curve to a polygon object using which ever method you like. My favorite is the Surfaces -> Bevel Plus.

Maya Bevel Plus

Step 7; Use the EP Curve tool to draw out your path that you want the arrow to follow.

Maya EP Curve Tool

Step 8; Now the next thing to do is line up your arrow to the path like such….

Align Arrow to Path

Step 9; Now we are going to attach the arrow to the curve by selecting your arrow and curve then going to Animate -> Motion Paths -> Attach to Motion Path options.  Now these are the settings that I used, but yours might differ depending on which direction your curve and arrow are facing.

Maya Attach Motion Path

Once it’s attached it’ll look something like this…

Step 10; Now we want the arrow to bend around the path so go to Animate -> Motion Paths -> Flow Path Object options.

Maya Flow Path options

Now your final result should be something like this.

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