Aligning objects in Maya is little bit complex compared to other popular 3d animation software. You can’t find any dedicated align objects similar to 3ds max, Cinema 4d or Blender. But with the tools available in Maya you can create awesome effects. Using the curve align object tool in Maya you can easily place objects in the vertices or CVs of a curve. It is a must know technique if you do lot of motion graphics or architectural modelling. Using this procedural modelling technique you can create beads in necklace, rings, place trees, pillars in paths or anything similar. You need to simply create the curve and modify its vertices according to your needs. Duplicate the desired object and place them in the curve with a mouse click. Very easy and handy technique you must practise.
The video animation shows the formation of the text FermiCG with animated Diamonds (watch the diamond modelling tutorial). The text is originally created with create text tool with a stylized font. The double lined text curves are detached and deleted the outer/inner section accordingly. You can sketch your own curves in Maya or Illustrator/ Photoshop and import them in Maya .The diamonds are placed with the curve align object tool and animated manually. The procedural animation technique and displacing the animation keys with a technique yield the final animation. That technique will be revealed in the next tutorial. Rendered with Mental Ray with 3 spot lights without shadows and no HDR /caustics are used. A little bit compositing is used in After Effects.
Software : Maya
Difficulty : Beginner