Chapter 13- Character Rigging using Biped and Physique in 3D Studio MAX | FREE tutorial , lesson & video training | Beginner | Advanced page 1
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Chapter 13- Character Rigging in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ) (Character rigging using biped and physique - Tutorial / Lesson in 3D MAX)
Author - Saju Asokan
Last Updated: Oct 11 2008
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This Lesson's / Tutorial's Contents at a glance
1> Creating the Biped 2> Aligning the Biped 3> Mirroring Biped alignment
4> Rigging using Physique 5> Adjusting the Envelopes 6> Mirroring Envelope params

In this chapter, we are going to rig the female human character/model we have created. Rigging is the process by which we make our model / character ready for animation. We will create a skeleton, which we will bind to our model / character, so that when the skeleton gets animated, our model / character will get animated along with it in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ).

3DS Max comes with a plugin called Biped which can act as a very effective ready made skeleton, and a plugin Physique which binds our model/mesh to the skeleton. Both these plugins were a part of Character Studio in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ) previously.

Open the scene 'chap-12.6-save-02.max'. (Download the scene here if you don't have it). Save the scene under a new name 'chap-13-save-01.max'

Creating the skeleton using Biped in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ) - Tutorial / Lesson
Now go to the Create panel and within that go to the Systems tab 3ds max character rigging. If Biped is installed in your system, a button with the label 'Biped' will be available. Click on it. (If you haven't authorized your copy of Biped, you will need to do that before proceeding).

Now the Biped creation mode is active. Go to the viewport which shows the front view of our model / character. Click at the point right near the middle of both the feet and drag the mouse up till the mouse reaches the top of our model / character's head. Now release the mouse button. A Biped will appear as shown in the figure in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ). Don't worry if the orientation of the biped is not proper. We will adjust that shortly.

A Biped is nothing but a skeleton which has advanced features for animation, which makes your work easier by a great margin. All you need to do is attach the model / character to the Biped using a skinning tool like Physique. Now each joint in the biped will be bound to the mesh surrounding it. As you animate the biped's joints, the mesh also gets animated in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ). Simple. Huh?

Aligning the Biped in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ) - Tutorial / Lesson

Now click on the 'Select By Name' tool from the main toolbar. Select 'Bip01' from the scene using that. Bip01 is the absolute root of the Biped. Now move to the Motion panel in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ). You will see the various tools related to the Biped in the rollouts. Under the 'General' rollout, click on the 'Figure Mode' button 3ds max character rigging. The figure mode allows you to set the posture of the biped. Now that you are in the Figure Mode, lets rotate our Biped so that it is oriented properly. With the Bip01 root selected, Rotate tool active and the Top viewport active, click Tools > Transform-Type-In . In the Offset section, enter 90 in the Z field. This should turn the Biped in the correct orientation in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ). If not, rotate it again using the Transform Type-In till the Biped faces the same direction as our female model / character's mesh.

With the Bip01 selected and the 'Figure Mode' active, you can move the Biped to align it properly with the mesh. Refer the figure.


Since we will need to work alot with the Biped and the mesh being active, will cause unexpected selections, let's freeze the mesh. Select the female mesh and go to the Display panel. Under the Freeze rollout, click Freeze Selected. This will make our mesh frozen in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ) so that it won't interfere any more while we select the biped.

Now, refere the figure and Move the Biped so that its Bip01 ( the small triangle at the center of the pelvis) is positioned relative to the mesh as shown in the figure. Don't worry if there is mismatch in the position of the other parts. We will scale them. Note that you can scale the different parts of the biped to suit our mesh's proportions and lengths in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ). You can also rotate the various joints using the Rotate tool, though you can't move joints beyond the limitations imposed by the joints.

This figure shows the key aspects of scaling and positioning the Biped in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ). You need to rotate, scale and position only one side of the Biped. In the figure you can see that I have aligned only the left side of the Biped with the mesh. Make sure that you have selected the Figure Mode while doing these alignments in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ).

Take a note of the bone at the shoulder. Instead of a square shaped shoulder, we need a sloping one. Hence rotate the shoulder so that there is a slight incline downwards. Scale the bones of the biped so that they encompass the mesh surrounding them properly in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ). This is required while skinning later. Refer the figure thoroughly while you scale, rotate and align the biped with the mesh.

Save the scene. Lets continue with rigging in the next page of this tutorial.
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