General Rollout

Select the Biped > Motion Panel > General rollout

Use controls on the General rollout on the Motion panel to put the biped into Figure, Footstep, or Motion Flow modes, and to load and save .bip, .stp, and .fig files. You'll find other controls on the General rollout, as well. For example, the General rollout provides controls for converting footsteps into a freeform animation, or a freeform into a footstep animation, and for turning on In Place mode.

Procedures

To change the biped name (center of mass name)

  1. Select a biped.

  2. On the Structure rollout, enter a name in the Root Name field at the top of the rollout.

    This actually renames the biped center of mass object and appends the name to the rest of the biped links.

    Naming a biped is important when there are multiple bipeds in a scene, or if a biped is to be merged into a scene.

To create and fit a biped to a mesh for use with Physique in Figure mode

  1. Create a character (3D geometry) in a reference pose: arms out, legs parted.

  2. Create an appropriate biped skeleton.

  3. Turn on Figure mode and set parameters on the Structure rollout to suit your character.

    Keep in mind the number of finger, toe and leg links you will need.

  4. Align the biped to your model in Figure mode using Height on the Structure rollout, Rubber Band mode to position the knees and elbows and Non-Uniform Scale on the 3DS MAX toolbar.

    Keep the lowest spine object of the biped at the mesh belt-line and use Non-Uniform Scale on the biped finger objects to extend them slightly beyond the mesh fingers.

    Tip: Scale the biped limbs to approximate the dimensions of the mesh. Envelopes created by Physique will be sized based on the scale of the biped objects if the Object Bounding Box option is used on the Physique Initialization dialog.

  5. Select the mesh and add the Physique modifier on the Modify panel.

  6. On the Physique rollout, first turn on Attach to Node and then select the biped pelvis.

  7. Click Initialize on the Physique Initialization dialog.

  8. Physique creates links and associated envelopes.

  9. Fine-tune the Envelopes using the Envelope sub-object controls.

  10. In Envelope Sub-Object, turn off Deformable and turn on Rigid for the head link. This will prevent distortion of the face and scull.

    Tip 1: If your model consists of more than one object, select all the objects and then apply the Physique modifier.

    Tip 2: If you want to link eyeballs to the biped head, do so after you apply the Physique modifier to your model to prevent Physique from creating extra links to the eyeballs.

    Tip 3: Envelopes for finger links are bound to influence vertices on adjacent fingers. In Vertex Sub-Object, exclude vertices from influence by a particular link by first selecting them, turning on Remove from Link, and then selecting links in the viewports. The envelopes of the selected links will not influence the selected vertices. Click Lock Assignments in Vertex Sub-Object, otherwise any modification to the finger envelopes will re-assign all vertices within the outer bound of an envelope to that envelopes link.

To link a mechanical character to the biped (without Physique)

With mechanical or jointed characters, you can simply link objects to the biped without using the Physique modifier.

  1. Load or create a mechanical or jointed model; body parts should be separate 3DS MAX objects.

  2. Create a biped.

  3. On the General rollout, click Figure mode, then position and fit the biped to your mesh objects.

  4. Go through the mesh objects and use Link on the 3DS MAX toolbar to link each object to its corresponding part on the biped.

    All of the keyframe animation applied to the biped will also animate your model.

    If 3DS MAX Linking and Physique are used together, link the body parts to the biped after applying Physique. Physique will not create superfluous links to the mechanical body parts if they are not linked to the biped when Physique is applied.

To fit biped legs to the skin

  1. Turn on Figure mode on the General rollout.

  2. Choose Non-Uniform Scale, turn on the Local Z axis constraint, and scale the biped's pelvis so the biped's leg links are centered in each leg of the skin.

  3. Select the biped's two thigh links (LLeg and RLeg), turn on the Local X axis constraint, and scale the thigh links so they end at the knees of the skin.

  4. Select the biped's two lower leg links (LLeg1 and RLeg1), leave Local X as the axis constraint, and scale the lower leg links so the biped's ankles are level with the ankles of the skin.

    Tip: When the two upper legs are selected, you can press PAGE DOWN to select the lower legs.

  5. In a left or right viewport, scale the biped's feet so their profile roughly matches the profile of the feet of the skin.

  6. Scale toes or move them along their local X axis so each toe is aligned with the corresponding toe in the skin.

    The ends of the final toe links should go through the tips of the skin's toes.

    You might have to change the number of biped toes to match the number of skin toes. A biped must have at least one toe on each foot. If the skin has no toes or the character is wearing footgear, the position and number of biped toes doesn't matteróbut they should still extend beyond the skin.

    Tip: During the fitting process, try Freezing the skin object to prevent accidental selection.

To fit the spine to the skin torso

  1. Turn on Figure mode on the General rollout.

  2. Select the lowest link of the spine (Bip01 Spine). Choose the Move transform, constrain movement to the spine link's local X axis, and move it vertically to the waist of the skin, just below the navel.

  3. Non-uniformly scale the other spine links in their local X axis so they fit the upper part of the skin's torso.

    The neck link should begin where the skin's neck begins.

    If the torso of the skin curves, you should also rotate spine links about their local Z-axes, to align the spine with the longitudinal center of the torso.

  4. Non-uniformly scale the biped's neck in its local X axis to match the length of the neck of the skin. The top of the last neck link (also the base of the head link) should be where you want the head to pivot. This is usually just below the ears, centered with the spine.

    Leave the head in its default position relative to the spine and neck links.

To fit biped arms to the skin

  1. On the General rollout turn on Figure mode.

  2. Rotate one upper arm (R Arm1 or L Arm1) in its local Y axis to center its link in the upper arm of the skin.

  3. Non-uniformly scale the upper arm so its link ends at the elbow of the skin.

  4. Non-uniformly scale the lower arm (RArm2 or L Arm2) so its link ends at the wrist of the skin.

    If the skin's arms are bent, rotate the lower arm to center its link as well.

  5. Scale fingers, or move them along their local X axis so each finger is aligned with the corresponding finger of the skin.

    The ends of the final finger links should go through the tips of the skin's fingers. You might have to change the number of biped fingers to match the number of skin fingers.

  6. When the arm is completely fitted to the skin, select all of it and click Copy Posture.

  7. Click Paste Posture Opposite to pose the opposite arm.

To scale a biped and a mesh with the Physique modifier applied

  1. Turn on Figure mode.

  2. Select the biped and change the Height parameter on the Structure rollout.

To use In Place mode to adjust keyframes

  1. Select a biped that has animation.

  2. Click In Place mode on the General rollout.

  3. Turn on the Animate button.

  4. Find a frame where the biped needs adjustment and modify or add keyframes.

To save a biped Figure file

  1. Select a biped.

  2. Turn on Figure mode.

  3. Click Save File.

  4. Enter a name for the figure file, then click OK.

    Tip: The figure file can be reloaded if you accidentally move the biped in Figure mode after it is fitted to your character.

To load a biped Figure file

  1. Select a biped.

  2. Turn on Figure mode.

  3. Click Load File.

  4. Choose a figure file (.fig) to load, and then click OK.

    Warning: Loading a figure file will replace the selected biped's pose and structure.

To use Rubber Band to position the elbows and knees

  1. On the General rollout, turn on Figure mode.

  2. Select an arm or leg on the biped.

  3. Turn on the Move transform.

    Use Local coordinates with an X axis constraint.

  4. Turn on Rubber Band mode.

    This button is unavailable if you are not in Figure mode or if a part of the biped other than the upper or lower arm or leg or the center of mass is selected.

  5. Move the selected arm or leg link.

    As you move the arm or leg link, the hands and feet are stationary as the knees or elbows are positioned.

To adjust the biped center of mass with Rubber Band

  1. Turn on Figure mode.

  2. Select the center of mass object (diamond shape) on the biped.

  3. Turn on the Move transform.

  4. Turn on Rubber Band mode.

    This button is unavailable if you are not in Figure mode or if a part of the biped other than the upper or lower arm or leg or if the center of mass is selected.

  5. Move the center of mass.

    While Rubber Band mode is active, the center of mass moves independently from the rest of the biped, which remains in the same position.

    Tip: Another way to adjust the biped's balance is to change the value of Balance Factor. Balance Factor displays on the Key Info rollout when a Body Horizontal key is current. Balance Factor can be keyframed.

To save biped motion file (.bip)

  1. Select a biped.

  2. Click Save File on the General rollout.

  3. Enter a name in the dialog, then click OK.

    Tip: Optimize raw motion capture data and save the motion in a .bip file.

To load a biped motion file (.bip)

  1. Make sure Figure mode on the General rollout is inactive and select a biped.

  2. On the General rollout Click Load File.

  3. Choose a .bip motion file, and then click OK.

    Note: If the .bip file is a raw motion capture file, use Load Motion Capture File on the Motion Capture rollout.

To save footstep data

  1. Make sure Figure mode is inactive, then select a biped.

  2. On the General rollout, click Save File.

  3. Choose Step Files (.stp) in the Files of Type dropdown.

  4. Enter a name for the footstep file, and then click OK.

    Note: This only saves footstep data, not biped limb keys. Save a .bip file to save all footsteps and biped limb keys.

To load footstep data

  1. Select a biped, and make sure Figure mode is inactive.

  2. Click Load File.

  3. Choose Step Files (.stp) as the file type to load.

  4. Choose a footstep file, and then click OK.

    New default keys will be generated to match the footsteps.

To preview biped motion using 3DS MAX

To preview biped motion using Biped controls

  1. Activate a viewport.

  2. Click Biped Playback on the General rollout.

    The preview plays back repeatedly, showing white biped skeletons against a gray background.

  3. Click Biped Playback again to end the preview.

To edit the footstep buffer before you insert it by splicing

  1. Click Buffer mode on the General rollout.

    This button is active only when there are footsteps in the buffer. To place footsteps in the buffer, turn on Footstep mode, select some footsteps, and click Copy Footsteps in the Footstep Operations rollout.

    The viewports now display the footsteps in the footstep buffer, rather than the footsteps in the currently activated footstep sequence.

  2. Edit footsteps or motion keys as you normally would. You can't, however, splice (copy and paste) footsteps while in Buffer mode.

    Biped automatically updates the footstep buffer to reflect all key and footstep editing.

    If you load a biped (.bip) motion file by clicking Load File on the General rollout while Buffer mode is active, Biped replaces the footsteps and other motion in the footstep buffer, with the motion in the biped file.

  3. Click to turn off Buffer mode.

    Now you can splice the edited buffer by using Paste Footsteps on the Footstep Operations rollout.

To turn off Scale Stride mode

Interface

Foot States Display: Displays the state of the left and right biped feet at the current frame in a footstep animation. Foot states change as the biped foot moves from being in contact with a footstep to being airborne. An asterisk appearing after the Foot State indicates that the foot is selected. At any frame, a biped foot may be in one of the following four states:

Tip: Set Multiple Keys on the Keyframing rollout can select keys according to foot states. Selecting periodic keys (for example, all of the foot Move State keys) and incrementing all of them is the key to perfecting rhythmic motions, such as running.

Figure mode: Use Figure mode to fit a biped to the mesh or mesh objects representing your character. Leave Figure mode on when you attach the mesh to the biped with Physique. Figure mode is also used to scale a biped with a mesh attached, to make biped "fit" adjustments after Physique is applied, and to correct posture in motion files that need a global posture change.

When Figure mode is turned on, the biped jumps from its animated position to its Figure mode pose. Animation is preserved when you exit Figure mode.

All of the parameters on the Structure rollout are active in Figure mode.

Footstep Mode: Create and edit footsteps; generate a walk, run, or jump footstep pattern; edit selected footsteps in space; and append footsteps using parameters available in Footstep mode.

Two additional rollouts display on the Motion panel when Footstep mode is active:

Motion Flow Mode: Create scripts and use editable transitions to combine .bip files together to create character animation in Motion Flow mode. After creating a script and editing transitions, use Save Segment on the General rollout to store a script as one long .bip file. Save a .mfe file, this enables you to continue Motion Flow work in progress.

Tip: Use Motion Flow mode to cut motion capture files together.

Two additional rollouts display when Motion Flow mode is active:

Note: Some character studio controls are disabled when Motion Flow mode is active.

Biped Playback: Plays the animation for all bipeds unless they are excluded on the Display Preferences dialog. This playback mode usually gives real-time playback, which you may not get if you use Play on the 3DS MAX animation toolbar.

In Biped Playback mode, the biped is displayed as bones only, with no other scene objects visible.

Load File: Displays a standard Open dialog to load .bip, .fig, and .stp files.

Restructure biped to match file (.bip files only): Turn on to change the biped structure to match the structure stored in the .bip file. The file loads with the stored biped structure. This is an option in the Load File dialog.

This option is unavailable when you load a .bip file into a clip or onto a biped that is in Edit Clip mode because all the clips in the motion flow would have to be adapted.

Set lowest starting foot height to Z=0 (.bip files only): Sets the lowest starting foot height to Z=0. This is an option in the Load File dialog. Default=On.

In character studio 3 the height of a motion clip can be retained. This is important if you want to retain the height of a motion clip for motions adapted to characters of different sizes. If, for example, the character is jumping of a rock and you want to retain the Z position of the character, you would turn this option off. Leave this option off if Motion Flow motions must be blended that begin and end at different heights, such as three clips that have the character mounting a bicycle, riding the bicycle, and dismounting the bicycle.

Turning off this option can, however, cause a jump in the motion during motion flow transitions. Turn this on for smooth transitions in Motion Flow mode. If adaptation takes place, the height is set so that the lowest foot at frame 0 starts at the Z=0 height. This lines up clips along the Z axis and creates smooth transitions.

Note: Use Load Motion Capture File on the Motion Capture rollout to load the raw version of the motion capture .bip files that come bundled with character studio. These files have no footsteps and keys at every frame. Loading files using Load Motion Capture File allows you to filter the data and extract footsteps.

Save File: Save Biped files. You can save Biped files (.bip), figure files (.fig), and step files (.stp) files.

Save Segment: Save a segment of your animation as a .bip file or save a Script from Motion Flow mode as a .bip file. Displays a modified Save As dialog.

Convert: Convert a footstep animation to a freeform animation. This works in both directions. Displays the Convert to Freeform dialog or Convert to Footsteps dialog depending on the direction.

Buffer Mode: Edit segments of an animation in Buffer mode. Copy footsteps and associated biped keys into the buffer using Copy Footsteps on the Footstep Operation rollout first, then turn on Buffer mode to view and edit the copied segment of your animation.

Tip: Paste buffered motion back to the original animation repeatedly to create looping motions.

Edit footstep and biped animation that have been copied into the buffer using Copy Footsteps on the Footsteps Operation rollout. The changes can be pasted back by turning off Buffer Mode, turning on Paste Footsteps on the Footstep Operation rollout and overlapping the buffered footsteps with the original footsteps. The buffered motion is spliced into the original animation.

Bend Links Mode: Bend all the biped spine objects naturally by rotating a biped spine object. Bend Links also works for the biped tail and ponytail links.

Bend Links inactive (left) and Bend Links active (right)

Rubber Band Mode: Use this to reposition the biped elbows and knees without moving the biped hands or feet in Figure mode. Reposition the biped center of mass to simulate the physics of wind or weight pushing against the biped. Figure mode must be turned on to enable Rubber Band Mode.

To reposition biped knees and elbows, turn on Figure mode and turn on Rubber Band mode. Select the move transform tool, then select and drag a biped upperarm or thigh in the viewports. Use this as an aid to fitting a biped to a mesh.

To reposition the biped center of mass, turn on Figure mode and turn on Rubber Band mode. Select the Move transform tool, choose an axis on the 3DS MAX toolbar, then select and drag the center of mass in the viewports. Use this to account for wind force or pushing against a heavy object.

Use Rubber Band mode in Calibrate Figure mode on the Motion Capture rollout to position the biped knees and elbows to marker positions when a marker file is loaded.

Note: Rubber Band mode behaves differently than Non-Uniform Scale. For example, if you "Rubber-Band" the biped thigh, the thigh and biped calf objects scale proportionally to keep the biped foot stationary. Using Non-Uniform Scale, the calf retains its scale and the foot moves.

Moving the biped center of mass (blue diamond) behind the character, turns this default walk cycle into a struggle against a high wind.

Scale Stride Mode: Footstep stride length and width are scaled to match the stride length and width of the biped figure. Scale Stride mode is on by default.

Displays when Scale Stride mode is off.

Scale Stride mode is on by default, so scaling occurs automatically when you load a .bip, .stp, or .fig file. Scaling occurs when you paste footsteps and when you scale the biped's legs or pelvis.

For example, if you load a .bip file that was saved from a larger biped, the footsteps come into your current scene scaled to match the selected smaller biped. If Scale Stride mode is off, the footsteps come into the current scene without being scaled down.

If you turn off Scale Stride mode and then go into Figure mode and scale the biped up or down, the footstep stride width and length remains the same when you exit Figure mode.

In Place Mode: Use In Place Mode to keep the biped visible in the viewports while the animation plays. Use this for biped key editing or adjusting envelopes with Physique. It prevents XY movement of the biped center of mass during animation playback; motion along the Z axis is preserved. This is a three-button fly-out. In Place mode is stored with the 3DS MAX file.

In Place X Mode: Lock center of mass X axis motion. Use this for game export where the character stays in place but the swinging motion of the hips and upper body along the Y axis is preserved.

In Place Y Mode: Lock center of mass Y axis motion. Use this for game export where the character stays in place but the swinging motion of the hips and upper body along the X axis is preserved.

Biped keys for limbs, footsteps, and center of mass can be adjusted using In Place mode. When the center of mass is moved on the XY-axes in this mode, the footsteps move. View biped playback without requiring a follow camera. In this viewing mode, visible footsteps "slide" under the biped.

For export to games, this feature is valuable since many game engines intelligently move the character's center of mass laterally according to game play. In Place mode makes it easy to view, tune, and export animation in a manner that is complimentary to game engine playback.

Tip: Another way of following a moving character is to link a camera and camera target to the center of mass shadow, which is the disc between the biped's feet.

Note: Trajectories do not display when In Place mode is active.

 

 

 


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