Animating by Carys Lewis
The next step in this project is the fun part - animating! I really enjoy this part because it brings the creation to life, and you can start to see how it'll all unfold when it's rendered. The most important parts of this animation are showing how the leaves open to collect the energy, and also seeing how it powers the generator inside the tree.
I used the leaves I rigged up earlier and animated them uncurling when the sun comes up, and curling back up when the sun goes down. I also wanted there to be a difference shown in the type of power they collected, so I had the generator spin different directions depending on whether the power was solar or wind powered.
After animating, I did a "playblast" which is when you export the video as it looks in Maya, just to see how the timing all works before you render it out, as you definitely don't want to render out something wrong! The playblast looks a little confusing to people who don't use Maya, but you can still see how everything's going to move and work in the final video.