Ok animators, how many of you have drawn on your screen with a dry erase marker?… Yes, it may sound weird to the normals out there, but it’s a pretty common and useful practice for seeing the motion curves of parts of a body, etc in an animation.
…And then I found out about “motion trails”. I think the feature’s actually been around for a while, but, of course, as Maya has about 6 billion features, it’s easy to overlook many of them, and judging from asking around, not enough animators know about this.
All you do is click on a part of the rig you want to track, such as a foot or hand controller, then click “create motion trail” from the “animate” menu. BOOM. Now you have a motion trail that exists in 3d space, updates every time you make a change, and doesn’t leave any marks on your screen.
A big thanks to Sue Campbell for that tidbit. 🙂