Tutorial 7: Skinning with Physique

Lesson 5: Animating Muscles with the Bulge Editor

By adding bulge angles, you can make an arm bulge according to the angle of a joint. As an arm bends to a ninety-degree angle, biceps can be made to bulge for example. For this tutorial, you'll use a mesh version of the Dr. X character, rather than a patch version.

Files for this tutorial are in the cstudio\tutorials\tutorial_7 directory under you 3DS MAX directory.

Creating a bulge angle

You'll be creating a biceps bulge in the characters right arm.

  1. Load Tut_DrX_Mesh.max.

  2. Scrub the time slider to frame 50.

    The right arm is at at a 90-degree angle.

  3. Select the mesh.

  4. On the Modify panel, turn on Sub-Object Bulge.

  5. Select the link on the right biceps.

  6. On the Bulge rollout, in the Bulge Angle Parameters area, click Insert Bulge Angle and then click Set Bulge Angle. In the Current Bulge Angle list, the bulge angle name increments. You've just created a new bulge angle at 90 degrees.

    Now you'll move the biceps cross-section to the middle of the arm.

  7. On the Bulge rollout, in the Selection Level area, click Cross Section.

  8. In the viewport, move the biceps-cross section to the middle of the biceps area.

    Turn on Select and Move on the 3DS MAX toolbar and then click and drag to move the cross-section in the viewports.

  9. Turn on Select and Uniform Scale on the 3DS MAX toolbar and scale the biceps cross-section in the viewport.

    The mesh around the biceps area should bulge. If the mesh scales very little or not at all, increase Weight in the Bulge Angle Parameters area.

  10. Scrub the time slider and examine the arm at different angles. When the arm is straight, there is no biceps bulge. As the arm bends to 90 degrees the biceps bulge.

    There are many controls that allow you to fine-tune the bulge. You can use Insert to add more cross-sections and limit the bulge to a certain area. You can use Power to determine when the start of the bulge occurs. A high Power value will only start the bulge very close to the ninety-degree angle.