IN THIS CHAPTER
Learning the basics of Character Studio
Creating and editing a biped
Animating a biped using Footstep and Freeform modes
Introducing the Biped applications
Using Crowd and Delegates
Max has always had a great way to create and animate characters, but in early versions of Max, it was available only as a separate plug-in known as Character Studio. Happily, Character Studio has been integrated into Max to the point that it isn't distinguishable as a separate package. In fact, some of Max's original features have overgrown Character Studio, but much of Character Studio's original, innovative features still exist and are extremely useful, including Biped.
Using Biped, you can create a fully linked and constrained human-form skeleton by simply dragging in the viewport. Biped objects can be altered in many ways while retaining their benefit. The major benefit of bipeds is that you can realistically animate them by simply positioning their footprints or setting freeform keys.
Although Max includes other features for rigging characters, which are covered in the next chapter, if you plan on animating a character that walks on two legs and has two arms, then biped is definitely the way to go. It's an incredible timesaver.
Nobody likes crowds (except for certain types of bugs), but with the Character Studio's Crowd Animation tools, controlling crowds can be lots of fun. The fun comes when you realize that you would spend weeks animating ...