From 3d Studio Max's Biped to Motionbuild

From 3d Studio Max's Biped to Motionbuild

While working on the "Omiqron" Project I needed to go from Max to Motionbuilder to animate because of the freedom there is in Motionbuilder and the possibility to add motion-capture to characters. I tried to find tutorials on this but only found some for Maya so I used those and applied it on the "biped" in Max. I thought that maybe other people could use this as well and decided to turn it into a tutorial. It is my first one so hope it is understandable.

Before starting be sure that your character is facing the Z-axe which is very important for Motionbuilder.

When you finish rigging your model the first thing to do is to be sure your pivot points of the model and the biped are aligned. Then comes the boring part. To avoid dragging and dropping the different biped bones to the "character definition" tab in Motionbuilder you should try to adopt the naming convention that is being used in Motionbuilder for their characters (this isn't necessary though you can drag and drop the bones as well) for the naming convention these are the required names for the bones that have to be in a rig so that Motionbuilder can put a character to it:

If all goes well you should end up with a figure similar to this :

Once that is done you have to add physiques (or skin) to your model. Arrange the envelopes etc like a normal rig. Once you finish that select the biped and the model and go to "export" (File -> Export) select to export it to .fbx (Motionbuilder file).

You get this screen:

If you only want to export the model and the bones you chose "geometries", "geometries used as bones, exported as bones" and "skins" and click ok. You can also export everything J that is up to you but lets focalise on the characters.

Once that is done you can close Max save your Max file and open Motionbuilder.

In Motionbuilder open the file you made before "yourfile.fbx" and wait for Motionbuilder to load. if you have the rig standing on the ground and the model itself half way through the ground recheck your pivot point in Max (the file will work but it will be a real pain to animate).

When everything is loaded go into the asset browser and chose the "character". Drag and drop it onto the model. Normally you get a pop-up in the screen with the question: "characterize"

Click on it. Normally if you followed the naming convention the character gets made right away and the character is being characterized and you can animate it right away because a control rig has been created automatically. If not you get an error screen with the missing bones that you will have to place by yourself (see further down).

If you didn't follow that naming convention or if you have bones that didn't take the right place or so go into the navigator and go down to the "characters" drop down. double click on it and you see two "tabs" Character Definition and Character settings, the check box Characterize is unchecked (because of the errors) or checked if the characterisation went well. (If you want to change something to the rig like add some bones for the fingers or so uncheck it otherwise you can't modify the character).

If you click on the other tab you see all the different bones. With the bones that are needed (base) and then the rest. If you would like to put a bone into the "model" spot of the "character definition tab" you select your bone and a simple drag and drop onto the place where you want the bone to be. For example if I would like to but a bone for the hips I select the "hips bone" on the main screen and drag and drop it into the hips fields where there is marked " "once you have the base bones setup you can click characterize check box once that is done (and there aren't any errors) you click on the button on the right where there is : "create" (underneath "control rig") once that is done you have to go to "character settings" (see further down).

As input type you have to put "control rig" and then click active. (The advantage of renaming the bones in Max is that you avoid doing all of this)

Well normally if you made it through all of this you have a working biped rig in Motionbuilder. Hope it helped and if there is a problem or if you have suggestions feel free to contact me:

Thanks for reading

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