Creating Simple Page Turn Animation In Maya

Posted by in Articles, Graphics, Maya Tutorials

If you want to have a page turn animation of thick pages then it is a lot easier. But if you are thinking about the thin pages turning animation then you’ll need different method to do that.

We’ll be introducing with bones that works exactly as a human bone.

Let’s begin with the tutorial.

Create a polygon plane or NURBS plane.

Resize it to give it a shape of a single page sheet. Now move the left end of the page to the centre of the grid. To do this, hold down D and V together and click and drag red pivot (x-axis) towards the end line of the left side of page.

Now release the D and V and again hold X and drag it towards the centre of the grid.

After you are done placing, your work will look like the image above. Now increase the subdivisions along both axes.

Now go to the attributes and create a new empty layer. If you got confused to create a new layer. Click on the attributes editor.

After the new layer has been added, in default it will be named as layer1.

Now select the page sheet model and left click on layer1. After layer1 is highlighted, hold down right click and select Add selected objects.

Now to make the object non-movable but transparent, give a single click on the blank box at the right side of ‘V’ in the layer (V is for the visibility of the layer). It will show ‘T’ (T is for the transparency).

Now the page sheet is ready. Next, we are going to add bones to the page sheet.

Press F2 or select Animation from the Status Line bar.

On the menu bar go to Skeleton > Joint Tool.

Your cursor will change in to ‘Plus’ sign if you drag it to the perspective screen.

Now create and arrange joints similar to the image below.

Please note that the joint begins from the left part of the page. Hold down X to place the first and second bone. Also remember that, the first and second bone must be arranged in a same axis (in this case it is X- axis were Y will be 0 for both first and second bones).

In the time line slider change the frame visibility limit to 100, as shown in the figure.

Remove the transparency of the layer1 by clicking T twice (not double clicking, it will show blank if the transparency and locking is removed).

First select the page sheet and then Shift select joint1. Then bind the skin from the skin menu.(Refer to the image below)

Now rigging part of the page is done.

Lets animate it.

Select the first joint (joint1) and select the first frame and press on ‘S’ button to set the key frame where all the scale, translate and rotate value is 0.

Again with joint1 selected, go to 100 frame and change the rotate Z value to 180 and press S again.

Now our job will only be to set the keys.

Therefore refer to the following table.

Joint name Frame number Rotation Z
Joint1 1 0
Joint1 100 180
Joint2 45 17
Joint3 40 17
Joint4 35 17
Joint5 30 30












Joint8 15 20
Joint9 10 15

Press “S” button every time after setting the Rotate Z value.

When you animate it, you won’t be satisfied because of the page left edges moving along with the bone (the left part of the page is fixed on the book binding). Therefore we’ll be needing a simple weight paint job.

Select the page sheet model.

Go to Skin>Edit smooth bind>Paint Skin weights tool> option box. (refer to the following image).

It will load the paint attributes on the right side bar.

Select joint1 as in above image, the page sheet will look similar to below.

Hold down B and left click and drag left or right to resize the brush.

Now paint the brush which will give similar look to the image below.

Select the desired function to add, remove, replace or smooth the paint.

After you are done painting, select smooth brush (refer to image above) and brush over it 3-4 times.

Now animate it. You’ll see the page turning smoothly without any error. To make it more natural apply paint tool to all the joints.

Hope this tutorial was much helpful for basic rigging and animation of a page sheet. You can further copy the page sheet to have multiple pages.