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charactor manipulation

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video fx universe
charactor manipulation
on Aug 24, 2007 at 10:21:59 am

Lol I am back again, sorry. Well I have created some really good scenes i am proud to say, and now I have got the hang of ships, space and animation, I have come across a new problem I need help with. I have some 3ds charactors downloaded, yet when i import them they are positioned in a star jump pose.

Here is what i cant do, I cannot manipulate the arms to put them down by the charactors side. When i try to rotate the arm, it also rotates half the body as well. So how can you adjust the arms and les without completely screwing up the body?

I do need a simple step by step guide on this as I am guessing its not an easy task


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: charactor manipulation
on Aug 30, 2007 at 12:02:39 pm

Welcome to the reality of character animation. I have about five or six years into 3D Studio Max, doing mostly lighting, texture mapping, moving titles, and some limited modeling. I decided recently to take the plunge into character animation.

From what I've recently experienced in learning the Biped feature of Max 8, the 3D "character" you're refering to is just the skin. You have to build a skeleton (or use an existing Biped skeleton, which is already setup to be a human skeleton, male or female) with bones. You then have to put the skeleton inside the skin, so that it matches up with all aspects of the skin, from where the joints are, to the size of the hands, feet, etc.. Once you get the skeleton lined up with the skin, you apply a Skin or Physique modifier, and tweak your settings once again. At that point, you are ready to begin animating. There are several motion capture sites out there (mocap.com comes to mind) where you download free .bip or .bvh motion capture animations to try out on your rig.

From my recent experience working on the many Max character modelling tutorials that come with Max, and working through applying Biped skeletons to models, I'd have to say my hat is off to the people who excel at it. It's a long road, and you have to be very patient. Read the tutorials that come with Max. Apply them to your own ideas. Apply them again. At that point you'll be a rank beginner, but don't give up if it's really what you want to do. Good luck! The Max tutorials will give it to you step by step, by step, by step, by step...

Joe Bourke
Art Director / WMUR-TV

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