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Joan of Arc: Bases

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Date Added: 24th March 2010
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When a character is finished, modeling and editing of the UV. We can even before the texture is finished (with the proviso of not improving the geometry thereafter), begin the editing and the integration of a skeleton to the character.

In max this skeleton can be made up of any kind of objects, Primitives, Mesh or Poly and even splines.

Nevertheless it is preferable to use objects envisaged for this purpose. With the construction of the skeleton it will be simpler and fast.

This skeleton will make it possible to control the character via parameters of skinning, defining how each bone deforms parts of the body.
There is no concept of muscle in basic skinning but for a simple case as here, this is sufficient.

1002_tid_image02.gif 1002_tid_image04.gif

The Bones objects (Os) are in the Create panel, while clicking on the icon Systems (gears) we find the Bones button.

We can define several types of chains of bones, useful for animation but here We are interested in giving a simple skeleton to our character.

Click on Bones then History Dependent as the type of IK Solver.

In fact we find ourself in direct kinematics, that is to say that the bones parents order with the bones children, whereas it is precisely the reverse in inverse kinematics (logical:).

Trace the chains of bones in the view Front as shown right.

To finish it, made a right click.

The bones objects are built end to end and their axes of rotation are already correctly positioned.

1002_tid_image06.gif 1002_tid_image05.gif

Click the Modify panel. Select a bone, the root bone e.g. (the bone relative of all the others in the hierarchy of the skeleton), in general the first bone created.
We can modify the thickness of the bones and the way in which it finishes, fine or broad. These adjustments are only visual and do not influence the bone behavior or skeleton.

Press on H, the short cut by default will show the Select Objects.
Tick the box Display Subtree, that allows us to see the hierarchy of the skeleton. It is then simple to select or to know the bone relative of all the others, the root, it is that which is closest to the left edge of the window.

We can of course constantly re-elect the bones.

1002_tid_image08.gif 1002_tid_image10.gif

It is not obvious where to place chains of bones at first. Moreover to lengthen or narrow a bone it is not recommended to use the Scale function, this will not change any value and lead to problems thereafter. For that, it is necessary to go in to the Hierarchy panel, click on Pivot then within the framework Adjust Transform, to activate Don' T Affect Children.

Maintain the joint between two bones opposite top and move this joint.

We can then easily modify the shape of the chains of bones and make them coincide with the shape of leg.

We can repeat the operation on each joint.

To move the chains as a whole, un-tick
Don't Children Affect, select the root and make your Move.


When rotating, it is better to use Local mode of the tool rotation.

1002_tid_image15.gif 1002_tid_image16.gif

Click on each of the bones, we can see their appropriate local axes, we can carry out the rotation still refining the bones as to match our object.

Now we will simply skin an object with a very simple skeleton. Create a cylinder with 12 segments of with dimensions for example, with enough length to increase the horizontal sections so as to have regular divisions.

In view Face e.g., create a chain of 3 bones as we see here.

Correctly position the chains on the axis of the cylinder.

This chain will become the skeleton deforming cylinder at the time of the inflections.

We now will Set how each bone influence the cylinder.

Select then apply a Skin modifier to it.


Activate the Animate mode and move a frame the animation bar. Select the second bone, use rotation Local mode, to carry out a rotation of approximately 45° opposite.

1002_tid_image25.gif 1002_tid_image24.jpg

Select the cylinder, then modify the Skin Parameters click on Add Bone.

In the window which appears select the two first.

That makes it possible to indicate the bones that will influence the cylinder.

Click on Edit Envelopes, on Bone01 and in Envelope Properties, activate the Relative mode.

This mode makes it possible to influence a vertex between several bones, that allows soft and progressive inflections, the contrary mode by default is absolute, where each vertex is influenced only by one bone (rigid envelope for example).

In Filters, ensure that Envelopes and Cross Sections are active.


continued on next page >

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