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Riding a Bicycle

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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Before you do this tutorial you will need to know a couple of things. First of all you must have a good knowledge of the 3dsmax interface and tools. Second you have to be familiar the the standard animation and modelling tools in 3dsmax.

Also you have to have the bicycle model (downloadable on and a 3D people model is nice to have but not nessesary.

This tutorials has two parts. The first part is preparing the bicyle model. and the second one is adding a biped to the bicycle.

Step 01: Preparing the bicycle model

Start 3dsmax and load the bicycle.max file. As you can see this is a very basic bicycle but it will do. Begin by creating three circle spline's. These splines will act as helper objects.

Circle 01 and 02 have a radius of about 1.5 and are positioned at the center of the feet-pedestal.
The third Circle have a radius of about 15 and is positioned at the center of the pedestal

For easy viewing I have converted Circle03 (the big red one) to a editable spline and removed one segment and made it renderable in the 3dsmax viewport.

Next what we are going to is to link server objects to each other. Look at the images below to see what object you need to link to what.

Red arrow: black foot pedestals to the middle bar
Blue arrow: middle bar to the helper object

Next link the helper object to the large circular helper object. Also link the main pedestal object to the large circle. Of course you have to repeat this to the other side of the bicycle

Now all objects have been linked try rotation the large red circle. If you did all correct you will see the pedestals also are rotating. But as you can see the foot-pedestals are rotating also instead of being horizontal as they should be.

This can be fixed by selecting the green or small helper circle. Then goto the Utility panel > more > Link inheritance.

Switch of the rotation x,y,z as you can see in the image.

Now try rotating the red circle helper again. You will see the pedestals rotating correct. So that's all the linking we need to do for now.

Step 02: Biped and finishing

So now that we have the pedestals rotating the correct way two things remain to do, the biped and the wheels.

We are working on a script to automate the animation of the bicycle. But for now we are going to this the "easy" way. Select the tire of the wheels and link this to the spoke's. so both get rotated.
Now select the spokes and go to the Motion tab> assign controller. Expand the Y rotation and press the button to change its controller type.

Select a waveform controller with the following settings:

Repeat this for both wheels. Check the direction of the rotation and if needed reverse the waveform by checking "Inverted"

Create a biped, with a height of about 1.75cm. Position the biped in figure mode as seen on the image.

You can change the figure of the biped any way you like, that has no influence on the animation. But it's important to place the feet and hands in the correct way.

Now you have to link a couple of the object from the biped to the bicycle (see our other tutorial on linking a biped or the video for a better explanation here (http:// )

Bind the feet to the circles

And the hands to the wheel.

Now you can group all objects and animate the group. For example you can use a spline as path and use path constraint to let the group follow the path.

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Avolac on Wed, 04 May 2016 9:29am
when i group all object and set a path spoke are in central position and wheel are at there place what is the problem?
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