Basic animation question - importing X,Y,Z path data
I'm completely new to Maya. I'm working on a project where we video butterflies using two high-speed cameras. Using Matlab, we then track a certain point on the butterfly in both camera views and obtain the X,Y,Z position of that point versus time.
I am trying to figure out how to animate a butterfly along that path in Maya. Right now I am just starting out with small steps (trying to animate a rigid butterfly along a single path). My data comes in a txt file with the columns:
time X Y Z
My question is: what is the best way to animate an object along that path defined in my text file? We can do it by manually typing in the X,Y,Z using the keyframe animation procedure, but that is painstaking.
Is there a way to import my X,Y,Z data into some sort of motion path, then I can just attach my object to the path and animate it?
Or should I create a .anim file from my data and read that in?
Any ideas would be awesome! Thanks!