Improving Interactive Performance

This topic presents some ways to improve the interactive performance of Physique.

Physique is multithreaded, and optimized for modifier stack changes below the Physique modifier.

Level of Detail Controls

The controls in the Physique Level of Detail rollout help you optimize performance while working with Physique, by letting you specify which skin deformations are refreshed automatically in viewports. The more complex the skin object, the more effective these controls can be at speeding up your work.

NoteThe 3ds Max renderer also heeds Level of Detail settings. Don't forget to reset these controls before the final render.

Turning Blending On and Off

When Physique is first initialized, the Blending Between Links parameter in the Physique Initialization dialog is set to N Links. This means that every envelope must be considered when determining the influence on any vertex. You can reinitialize with No Blending (or only 2, 3, or 4 links) to reduce this calculation permanently, although at the cost of losing some or all blending at the joints.

NoteSetting to No Blending is advised only for those developing characters to be used by real-time game engines.

You can also set No Blending at the Vertex sub-object level. You can temporarily disable Link Blending on the Physique Level of Detail rollout, on the Modify panel.

Using the Optimize Modifier with Physique

The standard 3ds Max Optimize modifier allows you to reduce the level of mesh detail in order to increase display performance and speed up screen refreshes. Optimize can be helpful with Physique when you work with complicated skin objects such as detailed biped figures.

There are stack update options that determine how the stack is updated. See the Physique Level of Detail rollout for a reference on the stack update options.

WarningIf the current stack update option is Reassign Globally, any modifier in the stack below Physique causes Physique to reevaluate vertex assignments each time the stack is changed. While this technique will improve performance in one way, it will hurt performance if you need repeatedly to make changes down in the stack.


To optimize skin objects:

  1. Select the skin.

    If the skin consists of multiple objects, select all of its component objects.

  2. Apply an Optimize modifier to the skin.

    The Optimize modifier's Parameters rollout appears on the Modify panel.

  3. In the Optimize group of the Parameters rollout, increase the value of Face Threshold.

    As you increase Face Threshold, Optimize reduces the number of faces in the mesh.

The optimized mesh displays more quickly and speeds up your work with Physique. However, it doesn't show full detail, and sometimes an optimized skin does not animate correctly, because of the reduced number of vertices.

TipAlways turn off Optimize before you render the animated skin.