Understanding Biped Anatomy

The geometry of a biped is a linked hierarchy of objects that by default resemble those of a human. The parent or root object of the biped is its center of mass (COM). This object is displayed as an octahedron near the center of the biped's pelvis. Moving the COM positions the entire biped.

Center of Mass Object

You can select the center of mass by choosing Bip01 from the select by name dialog. You can also select the center of mass by choosing either the Body Vertical, Body Horizontal or Body Rotation buttons in the Track Selection Rollout. These will select the center of mass as well as the particular track you wish to change.

Using Animation Tracks

The center of mass uses three animation tracks. Two of these tracks, Body Vertical and Body Horizontal, contain Biped Dynamics options.

Changing the Biped Hierarchy

The biped Hierarchy is a little different than your standard 3DS MAX hierarchy in that you can't delete any of the components of the skeleton. If you try to delete any of the biped skeleton, you delete the entire hierarchy. If you want to create a partial biped, for example a biped with no head, simply hide the objects you don't want to see.

Repositioning Biped Body Parts

Certain Biped body parts can be repositioned in figure mode to suit different characters. You can move entire arm assemblies by selecting the clavicles and moving them up or down. You can also reposition the fingers, tail and ponytails as you like.

Adding extra Biped Body Parts

To add extra legs, arms or other body parts you need to create 3DS MAX geometry for those parts, then link them to the biped hierarchy. You can use Snapshot to duplicate biped body parts to create these as well. In either case you will need to animate them with standard MAX rotations, biped IK will not be available on these extra parts.