Props are objects that
a biped could be holding or carrying, such as a gun, sword, or briefcase.
They are represented as boxes that are additional links in the biped
hierarchy, an extension of the biped structure you can access at
creation time or in Figure mode. If you are loading motion-capture
data that contains prop information, this will transfer to the biped
Each biped can have up to three props. Prop
data will work seamlessly with other advanced features of character
studio: in the Mixer, Motion Flow, Unification, and Layered edits.
Props are defined in
the Structure rollout.
Props appear as boxes in the biped hierarchy.
They can be moved, stretched, and scaled in Figure mode as other
biped parts can. Props are supported by Physique, and are animated
using the biped Transform controller in the same way as other objects.
Create your prop and position it in relation to the biped in Figure
mode. Props can be made to follow the motion of either hand by keyframing
the Position and Rotation coordinate space of the prop.
Bipeds with multiple
props as swords
Animating Prop Linkage
Props can change linked parents (similar to
the 3ds Max Link controller) at any keyframe. This is done using the
Position Space and Coordinate Space lists in the Prop section of
Info rollout. Once a key is set on the
prop at a given frame, you can set or change the coordinate space
in which it is transformed by choosing a new space from the drop-down
list. You set rotation and position coordinate space independently.
Position and rotation
If your motion-capture file includes prop data, character
studio can read that data and apply it to a prop object.
Upon loading a
the motion data will be applied to the prop. If the prop switches
from one hand to another, character studio will
automatically determine the switch of the prop's coordinate spaces
as the prop is exchanged between the hands. This can be easily changed
once the data is in the scene: go to the desired frame, choose a
new coordinate space (as described in the previous section), then
set a key. When loading a BIP file for retargeting onto other characters,
the props move with each of the hands. character studio ensures
that the hands come together at the precise position on the prop
Props can be animated with 3ds Max controllers
and that animation can then be collapsed onto the prop’s transform
controller for editing with motion flow or the mixer.
Example: To animate a biped swinging
a prop with one hand:
- Create a biped with a single prop.
The biped appears with a single prop displayed
as a box positioned near the biped's right hand.
- On the Motion panel Biped rollout, turn on (Figure
- Scale the prop so it is
the correct size and proportion to be a sword.
- Rotate and move the prop so it is in
the correct orientation in relation to the right hand.
- Turn off (Figure Mode).
- Set a key for the prop at frame 0. To
do this, make sure the prop is selected, then click (Set Key) on the Key Info
- Now animate the biped as you like, or
open a BIP file of a character swinging a sword.
- Turn on (Auto Key), then select
- Animate the prop using standard 3ds Max transforms.
Example: To animate the biped switching
the prop to the other hand:
- Follow the steps in the previous procedure
to animate the biped swinging the prop.
- Move to the frame where you want the
biped to switch the prop the other hand.
- Move the biped's other hand so it is
in contact with the prop, and set a key for the hand.
- Select the prop and set a key for it.
- Move the time slider ahead one frame
and set another key for the
- On the Key Info rollout, expand the Prop
The lists for Position
and Rotation coordinate spaces should be available. Change the Position
from the right hand to the left hand, and click Set Key again.
The prop will now follow the movement of the
left hand in the frames that follow.
NoteBy default, the prop's rotation remains
in Body space. Depending on your animation, you might also want
to set keys so the Rotation space is Right Hand before the switch,
and Left Hand after the switch.
To collapse the transforms of a prop:
- Animate the prop however you like. You
can add list controllers to the prop as you can to any other part
of the biped.
- When the animation is correct, select the prop.
- In the Motion panel hierarchy list,
select the prop transform list you want to collapse, and then right-click.
A quad menu appears.
- Choose Properties from the quad menu.
- In the dialog that is displayed, make
the appropriate choices, and then click Collapse.
After a short delay, the track bar displays
the keys that have been added.
TipIf you see a different Properties dialog
that doesn't offer you the Collapse button, you are too low in the
hierarchy. Select the next level up in the hierarchy and try again.