Adding movement in Autodesk Maya with either key frame or motion path animation. Motion path animation is useful when animating turns with exact positioning in key frame animation is difficult if not impossible. Motion path animation allows you to set a path for the animated object to follow and then join the path and the object so the result is a seamless flow of the object along the designated line.
1. Bring up the object you want to add motion to into the Maya work area.
2. Select “Animate” from the Options menu across the top of the screen.
3. Click “Motion Paths” from the drop-down menu.
4. Select “Set Motion Path Key” from the mini drop-down menu and create the path you want your animated object to move along.
5. Hold down the Shift button and select the object to animate along with the path you’ve created for it to follow.
6. Set the time slider at the bottom of the screen to reflect how long you want the animated motion to last.
7. Go back to the “Animate” option in the top toolbar.
8. Select “Motion Paths” from the drop-down menu.
9. Click “Attach to Motion Path” to attach the object to be animated to the path you want it to follow.
10. Adjust the orientation of the animated object on it’s path by clicking on the object. This brings up the attribute editor, which allows you to edit object orientation and direction of motion.