Tutorial 1: Biped and Physique

Lesson 3: Biped with Physique

Use Biped and Physique together to create realistic character animations. You can create an animation using Biped, save the .bip animation file, and then apply that motion to any skinned biped. A skinned biped is one connected to a mesh in the form of a two-legged character. The mesh is attached to the biped figure using Physique. You can also use the Skin modifier that ships with 3D Studio MAX, but Physique gives you better control and extra options.

In this lesson, you will use the animation of slipping on a banana peel (banana.bip) that you viewed earlier. You'll apply that animation to the Dr. X character, which uses a Biped skeleton and 3DS MAX geometry with a Physique skin modifier.

Loading a skinned biped

  1. On the 3DS MAX menu, choose File > Open.

  2. Choose cstudio\tutorial\tutorial_1\cs3_tut01_drx_physique.max. Click Open.

    You see Dr. X in a reference pose.

    The character mesh geometry

  3. On the 3DS MAX toolbar, click Named Selection Sets and choose biped skeleton.

    This file contains several named selection sets, including some hidden objects. Hidden objects cause a warning to be displayed. Click Yes to continue.

    The biped is displayed in the same space as the character's mesh geometry.

    The biped positioned inside the mesh

    This is a figure pose for Dr. X, but it's missing its ponytail. You can still see how the biped is aligned to the skeleton.

  4. Enlarge the Perspective viewport to a single viewport by pressing W.

  5. Arc Rotate around the character to see how the biped parts fit inside the mesh.

    Dr. X figure pose from Front

    Dr. X figure from side

    Dr. X figure from the top

  6. On the Motion panel, on the Display rollout, click Show/Hide Objects to turn off display of the renderable biped geometry.

  7. On the Display rollout, click Show/Hide Bones to display the biped's bone structure.

    The biped skeleton is displayed as simple lines, so you can see how the biped figure was aligned to match the pose of the Dr. X mesh. The biped's fingers and toes are also aligned with those in the Dr. X mesh.

    Biped fingers displayed as links

    In this lesson, we won't go through how to fit the biped inside the mesh. You will do that in Aligning a Biped to the Mesh Model (Tutorial 7) .Aligning_a_Biped_to_the_Mesh_Model

Applying a motion file and playing the animation

  1. On the Display rollout, click Show/Hide Bones to hide the bone display. Click Show/Hide Objects to hide the biped.

    You can see the mesh of Dr. X in the viewports. The biped is not visible because its renderable elements and bones are hidden. Nevertheless, the biped is still present and can control the motion of the mesh.

  2. Turn off Figure mode.

  3. On the Motion panel, on the General rollout, click Load File and choose cstudio/tutorial/banana.bip.

    The biped is moved to the first frame of the animation.

  4. Click Zoom Extents to center Dr. X and the footsteps.

  5. Right-click the viewport label.

  6. From the Viewport Properties menu choose Smooth + Highlights.

    Dr. X is displayed as a solid, smoothed figure.

  7. Use the time slider to move to different frames in the animation.

    In different frames, you see Dr. X walking and slipping on the banana peel. This is the same animation you viewed with the biped.

    You can use the 3DS MAX playback button to preview an animated mesh like the Dr. X. .

    If this playback is dropping frames, you can get a better preview of the timing of a motion by making a Preview.

Creating a Preview

  1. Choose Rendering > Make Preview to create a preview animation.

  2. On Preview Range, turn on Custom Range. Set it from 0 to 100.

  3. Adjust the resolution of the preview under Image Size by setting the Percent of Output spinner. Set the spinner to 24% for a small preview or 50% for a larger preview. The greater the speed of your computer, the larger the preview you can play.

  4. Click Create to render the Preview.

Viewing the animation

  1. On the 3DS MAX menu, choose File > View File.

  2. Choose cstudio\tutorial\dr_x_banana.avi from the list.

    The Media Player is loaded and displays the animation at frame 0.

  3. Click the Play button.

    The Dr. X moves with the motion you applied in previous steps.