Select the Biped > Motion Panel > General rollout > Figure mode
While Figure mode is active, you can change biped structure and fit that structure to a character mesh. It can be used for a variety of other procedures as well.
Figure mode is a reference position to fit a biped to a mesh. Use Figure mode to fit a biped to the mesh representing your character. This "reference" or Figure mode position, in which the biped is aligned to the mesh, is necessary when a mesh is linked or attached to the biped with Physique. After the biped is positioned to fit within a mesh, leave Figure mode on during the process of attaching a mesh to the biped with Physique, or when using Link on the 3DS MAX toolbar to link the mesh objects of a character to the biped.
The relationship or "fit" position between the biped and the mesh can always be restored by turning on Figure mode, regardless of which motion file happens to be loaded. After fitting a biped to a mesh in Figure mode, use Save on the General rollout to save a figure file (.fig). If you accidentally reposition the biped in Figure mode, load the figure file.
Figure mode is used for biped adjustment after a mesh is attached to correct biped joint location. After using Physique to attach a mesh character to the biped, you may want to reposition a biped limb relative to the mesh. For example, if the biped shoulder joint is too far out relative to the mesh shoulder, then the Physique modifier must be inactivated, the biped limbs adjusted, and then a Reinitialize in Physique must be performed before reactivating the Physique modifier.
Figure mode is used for biped adjustment after a mesh is attached to correct posture in a motion file. Figure mode is also used to make adjustments after a character is attached or linked to the biped. After loading a .bip motion file, for example, you may find that the character is hunched too far forward during the entire animation. Rotating the biped's spine objects in Figure mode will correct the character's posture for the entire animation. This is a basic procedure where you simply rotate the biped limbs in Figure mode and then exit Figure mode; the posture will be corrected for the entire animation.
Figure mode is used to define biped structure. All the parameters on the Structure rollout are activated in Figure mode allowing you to tailor the biped to your mesh character. After creating a biped, make all of your biped structure changes on the Structure rollout. For example, you may want to use one toe with one toe link if your character is wearing shoes or if your character's toes do not need to be keyframed individually. Set the biped structure before "fitting" the biped to the your mesh character.
Turn Figure mode on to scale a character. Use the height spinner on the Structure rollout to scale a complete character (a complete character has a biped and mesh attached with Physique).
Rename a Character. Figure mode is not necessary for naming a character, but while you are editing the biped structure, you may want to name the biped. Naming a character is necessary when multiple bipeds are merged into one scene. Rename the character in the Name field on the Structure rollout. This renames the center of mass object and appends the name to all the links in the biped hierarchy. For example, renaming Bip01 to John will rename the right thigh object to John R Thigh.
Reverse-Knee Characters. If your character mesh has reverse knees, rotate the biped calves or thighs along the local X axis 180 degrees in Figure mode; the biped local X axis is along the length of the limb. character studio assumes you want a reverse knees character if the calves or thighs are rotated past 90 degrees in the local X axis. When Figure mode is turned off, the biped walks, runs, and jumps with reverse knees.
Note: See Tutorial 7 for a step-by-step procedure on fitting a biped to a mesh in Figure mode, and using Physique to attach a mesh to the biped.
These are quick notes designed to give you a general sense of the issues involved when a biped is fitted to a mesh.
Use the Structure rollout to set the number of toes and fingers; specify the number of links per finger and toe. One toe with one toe link is often sufficient if your character wears shoes, or if animating individual toes will not be necessary.
Put the lowest biped spine object at the character's belt-line.
Non-uniform scale the biped fingers to slightly protrude from the character's hand.
Rubber Band mode and Non-Uniform scale are used to size the biped limbs to fit the biped to a mesh.
Use Link on the 3DS MAX toolbar to link non-deformable (mechanical) objects to the biped. Do this after Physique is applied to prevent Physique from generating extra links (Envelopes). Superflous envelopes (links) can be turned off in Physique however, so this is not critical.
Reposition and use Ponytails on the Structure rollout to animate a character's jaw, ears, hat, hair and ponytails.
Objects like eyeballs and weapons should be linked to the biped after Physique is applied; otherwise links (Envelopes) will extend to these objects when Physique is applied.
A saved .fig file can be reloaded if the biped is repositioned in Figure mode by mistake.
Move the first link on each finger to position the fingers relative to the mesh; use local and world coordinate systems for this. Use Non-Uniform Scale and scale the finger links to position the joints. After positioning the thumb, rotate the first thumb link around the local x axis until the local Z axis creates a natural rotation for the thumb (refer to the image). A User view and toggling back and forth between a shaded and wireframe display is helpful when fingers are positioned.