Dropship Joyride: Robotic Motion Control for Practical VFX with Mimic for Maya


SOCIAL: @autodesk


Want to make a sci-fi movie reminiscent of the ones you grew up with, but using robots... and in just three days? Join our workshop Dropship Joyride: Robotic Motion Control for Practical VFX With Mimic for Maya. Explore a unique blend of old-school practical VFX and cutting-edge robotic motion control for filmmaking – all powered by Mimic, a free and open-source robot control plugin for Autodesk Maya.

In this workshop, you’ll kitbash a sci-fi spaceship, animate a cinematic flight sequence using Mimic, and then bring your starry voyage to life with one robot holding your spaceship and another holding a camera. Over three days, we'll work together to make a variety of physical spaceships and settings, experiment with robotically controlled shots, and ultimately produce a sci-fi short film from your carefully crafted sequences.

Throughout the workshop, we’ll use Mimic to control robot kinematics and create cinematic shots. We’ll experiment with dynamic framing, ultra-smooth and complex camera manoeuvre, dynamic shot construction, and automated focus and lighting. We’ll explore how to create layered shots through repeatable camera motions and achieve specific shot dynamics, such as slow-motion and rapid pans, by adjusting robot parameters like velocity and acceleration. We’ll also use keyframed animation in Maya to manipulate robots, cameras, and other assets on-set.

Before you begin, an online pre-workshop will help you install Mimic for Autodesk Maya, get you started with the fundamentals of using Maya and Mimic, and ensure you’re ready for the week ahead.

By the end of the week, you’ll not only have a cinematic masterpiece, but also hands-on experience in using modern robotics tools for dynamic and creative camera work. You’ll also gain valuable insights into the synergy between robotics and filmmaking, expanding your creative and technical capabilities in the world of motion-controlled cinematography.


  • Windows or MacOS
  • Autodesk Maya 2024 Indie, Professional, or Student Edition (free)