Chapter 9. Character Studio and IK Animation

At one time or another, almost everyone in the 3D community wants to animate a character. This chapter examines the 3ds Max toolsets used in the process of character animation. In this chapter, you will learn about two of the three components that make up Character Studio, a full-featured package incorporated into 3ds Max for mostly animating bipedal characters, including humans, aliens, robots, and anything else that walks on two feet, though you can have characters with more than two feet in certain situations.

Although Character Studio (CS) creates an instant structure for a character, you will also work with Inverse Kinematics (IK), which creates hierarchical structures for animating individually linked objects.

Character animation is a broad and complex field that everyone wants to experiment with at some point. This chapter introduces you to the basics of using Character Studio and Bones. Further investigation into these tools is a must if you want your animation to be full of life and character.

Topics in this chapter include:

  • Character Animation

  • Character Studio Workflow

  • Creating a Biped

  • Animating a Biped

  • Associating a Biped to a Character

  • Using Inverse Kinematics

Character Animation

The character animation CG specialty is easily one of the toughest specialties to master. It takes an exceptional eye and a special insight to become an amazing animator. To use one word, good character animation comes down to nuance. Because we as people move ...

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