CHAPTER 38

Understanding Rigging, Kinematics, and Working with Bones

IN THIS CHAPTER

Creating a rigging workflow

Understanding forward and inverse kinematics

Using interactive and applied IK methods

Setting thresholds in the Inverse Kinematics panel of the Preference Settings dialog box

Learning to work with the HI, HD, and IK Limb solvers

Building a bones system

Setting bone parameters and IK Solvers

Making linked objects into a bones system

What does a graveyard have in common with animated characters? The answer is bones. Bones are used as an underlying structure attached to a character that is to be animated. By using a bones structure, you can produce complex character motions by simply animating the bones and not having to move all the vertices associated with a high-resolution character.

Although Max includes a prebuilt skeleton with its Biped and CAT systems, at times you may want to build a custom bones system because not all characters stand on two feet. Have you ever seen a sci-fi movie in which the alien was less than humanlike? If your character can't be created by modifying a biped, then you need to use the traditional manual methods of rigging.

This chapter focuses on the process of manually rigging a character that, depending on the complexity of your character, could end up being even easier than working with bipeds. It also gives you a clear idea of concepts of rigging.

This chapter also presents the idea of kinematics. Kinematics is a branch of mechanics that ...

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