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3ds Max® 2008 Bible by Kelly L. Murdock

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Chapter 42. Creating and Animating Bipeds and Crowds

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 ...

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