Vertex Sub-Object

Select an object with the Physique modifier. > Modify panel > Sub-Object Vertex

Typically, you will want to adjust envelopes to correct the way skin behaves as the biped moves. You can, however, manually assign vertex properties to override envelopes. Remove the influence of inappropriate links from selected vertices for example. You can also change the weight distribution between links for a single vertex using Type in Weights.


To remove a links influence on vertices

An example of this would be to remove the influence of the index finger links from the vertices of the middle finger.

  1. Turn on Vertex Sub-Object.

  2. Turn on Select and select vertices in the viewports.

  3. Turn on Remove from Link and select links in the viewports.

  4. Turn on Lock Assignments.

    The selected vertices are no longer influenced by the selected links. You must use Lock Assignments to ensure that these envelopes will not influence these vertices if envelope parameters are adjusted later.

To check vertex assignments

  1. Click to turn on Select by Link.

  2. Make sure all three Vertex Type buttons are on.

  3. Click a link.

    Physique displays the vertices assigned to that link. If any vertices assigned to the link are out of place, reassign them to a different link, as described below.

  4. Repeat the previous steps for other links in the skeleton.

To remove deformable vertices from a link's influence

  1. Make sure all three Vertex Type buttons are on, and then click Select By Link.

    Observe the assignments and determine which vertices are incorrectly influenced. Also note if the vertices are red (deformable) or green (rigid.) Blue vertices do not fall within the influence of any link and are thus assigned to the root.

  2. Click Select.

  3. Select only the out of place vertices.

    Note: Alternatively, you can use ALT+click to deselect the vertices that are in the correct place.

  4. Click to turn on Deformable, the left, red Vertex Type button. (The other two Vertex Type buttons turn off.)

  5. Click Remove From Link.

  6. Click each link that you want no longer to influence the selected deformable vertices.

To assign deformable blended vertices manually

Note: This procedure is analogous to the manual assignment method in character studio 1.x, except that envelopes determine assignment in character studio 3, whereas cylindrical capping regions were used in R1.x. This technique is considered an expert-level procedure to be used for specific manual reassignment tasks. Users should consider the generally more appropriate method of reinitializing with Vertex-Link Assignments checked. See Reinitializing Physique Settings.

  1. Verify that Deformable envelopes are active for each link to which you want to manually assign deformable blended vertices.

    This can be done in Envelope sub-object level, by selecting each link and confirming that Deformable is selected and that each envelope is sized appropriately for the link.

  2. Go to Vertex sub-object level and click Select.

  3. Confirm that all three vertex type buttons are active and selected.

  4. Choose all the vertices.

  5. Select Remove From Link and select all the links by a window selection.

    All the vertices should turn blue.

  6. Verify that the Red, Deformable vertex type is selected and choose Assign To Link.

  7. Pick a link.

    Selected vertices falling within the link's envelope turn red, indicating successful assignment. Remaining vertices stay blue.

  8. Use CTRL+click to select the next link.

    Unassigned (blue) vertices in the current selection are considered for assignment. Any vertices falling within the link's envelope will be assigned and turn red.

  9. Repeat step 8 for each link, until all the vertices are manually assigned.

To override vertex assignments manually

This technique is used when envelope assignments are inappropriate and you want to have specific vertices influenced by a specific link.

  1. Make sure all three Vertex Type buttons are on, and then select the vertices you want to reassign.

  2. Click Assign To Link.

  3. From the Vertex Type buttons choose the type of vertex assignment you want to use, deformable (red) or rigid (green.)

  4. In the Blending Between Links list, choose No Blending.

    This setting will disregard the effects of blending envelopes and vertex weights and allow you to assign the selection to any link manually.

  5. Click the link you want to influence the vertex.

  6. Click Lock Assignments to preserve the manual assignment.

To make vertices rigid

  1. Click Select and select the vertices you want to make rigid.

  2. Click to turn on Assign to Link.

  3. Select Rigid Vertices (green cross) in the Vertex Type area.

  4. Select No Blending in the Blending Between Links list.

  5. Select the link these vertices are to be assigned to.

  6. Click Lock Assignments.

    Small squares around the selected vertices indicate the vertices are locked.

    When you assign deformable vertices, some vertices might turn blue; they are assigned to the root instead of the link you clicked. To assign these vertices as correctly deformable vertices, simply use CTRL+click with the neighboring parent or child link. If the blue vertices now turn red, they are deformable.

    Tip: You don't have to work locally, one link at a time. You can use 3D Studio MAX multiple selection tools to select groups of vertices or groups of links, working with areas of the body and its skeleton all at once.


Physique Selection Status: This text display shows "Select Vertices" when you are able to select vertex sub-objects directly. When you use Select by Link or Assign to Link, this display shows the name of the currently selected link, or "None" if no links are selected, or "Multiple Links Selected" when you've selected more than one link.

Vertex Type

There are three vertex types, differentiated by color:

Blending Between Links

N Links: Vertices within all overlapping envelopes are influenced.

While this is selected in Vertex level, vertices may only be assigned to envelopes they fall within. Envelopes are used by Physique in this case to define the blended weight of each vertex.

No Blending: Vertices are influenced by only one link, as in character studio 1.

This is useful as a general default if you are developing characters for a game engine that doesn't support blending. At vertex level it is useful to override blending weights defined by envelopes and assign vertices as either Rigid or Deformable, to any link. For example, after selecting vertices of the skull and face, turn on No Blending, turn on Rigid vertices, turn on Assign to Link and click the head link. This will override the head envelope vertex assignments and assign these vertices as rigid to the head link. Use Lock Assignments to lock any changes.

2,3,4 Links: The set number of links (closest links) influences Vertices. Game developers can choose the number of links that can influence vertices.

Vertex Operations

Select: Select vertices using the selection tools on the 3DS MAX toolbar.

Select by Link: Select vertices by link.

Assign to Link: Assign the selected vertices to a link.

Turn on this button and then click a link to assign the currently selected vertices to that link. Assign to Link has a dependency on the envelopes defined for each link, and you must set Blending Between Links to "No Blending" to override this. After vertices are assigned manually in this way, you use Lock Vertices to keep them from being reassigned inadvertently with subsequent operations.

Note: You must select or assign a link by clicking the link; you can't use the Select by Name dialog to select or assign a link while you use Physique to work with vertices.

Remove from Link: Remove the selected vertices from a link.

Note: Select, Select by Link, Assign to Link, and Remove from Link will act only on vertices specified by the red, green, and blue Vertex Type ("+") icons above.

Lock Assignments: Lock vertex assignments.

Lock will prevent any changes from being made to the weights and blending presently assigned to the selected vertices. After ANY manual assignment of vertices, they should be locked. Before using Type-In Weights, vertices must be locked. When manipulating envelopes in difficult areas of the character, you might choose to lock vertices that are working well before changing the envelopes to affect other vertices.

Note: If additional data, such as more vertices, comes up the Modifier stack, Physique notes the proximity of new vertices to the locked vertices. It then locks the new vertices based on proximity. Already locked vertices will not be unlocked.

Unlock Assignments: Unlocks vertex assignments.

Click Unlock Assignments on selected locked vertices prior to reassigning them to another link, or changing their blending settings.

Type-In Weights: Displays the Type-In Weights dialog, which you use to enter a weight for selected locked vertices; only the weight for locked vertices can be changed.

To use this feature: select one or more vertices, then lock them, click this button to display the Type-In Weights dialog, select a link in the dropdown, and change the weight to that link to position the vertex (vertex updates in the viewports as the weight changes).

Note: you'll primarily use Type-In Weights to correct flaws on low- to medium-resolution meshes. On a high-resolution mesh, adjusting envelopes should be used to correct deformation.

This can be used for stubborn vertices that fall in blended regions between two or more envelopes. Subtle adjustments can be made to the vertex weights of specific links that would be difficult to achieve by adjusting envelopes alone.

Type in Weights dialog

Link Name: Use the dropdown to select different links and display vertex weight to that link. When more than one vertex is selected, each is likely to have slightly different weight. Because of the lack of commonality, the weight field will be blank when displaying absolute weights. Entering a value will set all selected vertices to the same weight.

Currently Assigned Links Only: When selected, displays only those links that presently influence a vertex.

All Links: When selected, displays all available links.

Weight: Displays vertex weight for the link displayed in the dropdown. Use the spinner to change the value, if necessary. When more than one vertex is selected, each is likely to have slightly different weight. Because of the lack of commonality, the weight field will be blank when displaying absolute weights. Entering a value will set all selected vertices to the same weight.

Absolute: Use an absolute value for vertex weight.

Normalized: Feature not implemented in character studio 3.

Relative Scale: This is the mode of choice when working on multiple vertices. If a particular link is not having a strong enough effect on the selected vertices, you should lock them, open Type-In Weights, choose the Link and enter a relative scale. 1.0 would keep the weights the same, 2.0 would double the effect of the selected link on the selected vertices.

Hide: Hide selected vertices

Unhide All: Unhide all vertices.

Initial Skeletal Pose: Put the character into the initial pose it was in when the Physique modifier was applied, usually this is also Figure mode pose.