Create a basic skin shape for your character using any of the 3ds Max modeling tools and surface types. Be sure to place your character's skin in a neutral pose with arms outstretched and legs spaced slightly apart. You may also want to add sufficient detail to your skin's mesh or control points around joints to facilitate deformation during movement.
Character mesh in a neutral pose
Before you position the skeleton, use controls on the to alter the biped to match your mesh, setting the number of links for the spine, arms, neck, or fingers, or adding props to represent weapons or tools.
When you position the biped inside your mesh, start with the center of mass (COM), which is the parent of all objects in the biped hierarchy. The COM should be positioned in line with the hips of the mesh character. Scale the pelvis so that the legs fit properly in the mesh, and then use Move and Scale on the 3ds Max toolbar to position your biped skeleton.
When you are satisfied with your pose, check the alignment in all viewports to make sure that the skeleton is positioned correctly in the mesh.
A biped model is a two-legged figure: human or animal or imaginary. Each biped is an armature designed for animation, created as a linked hierarchy. The biped skeleton has special properties that make it instantly ready to animate. Like humans, bipeds are especially designed to walk upright, although you can use bipeds to create multi-legged creatures. The joints of the biped skeleton are limited to match those of the human body. The biped skeleton is also specially designed to animate with character studio footsteps, which help solve the common animation problem of locking the feet to the ground.
The geometry of a biped is a linked hierarchy of objects that by default resemble those of a human. The parent or root object of the biped is its . This object is displayed as a blue octahedron near the center of the biped's pelvis. Moving the COM positions the entire biped.
If your scene is going to contain more than one biped, it's a good idea to give the biped a unique name. By default, the first biped in a scene is called Bip01. Succeeding bipeds have the same name except that the two-digit number is replaced by another number in sequence: 02, 03, 04, and so on.
Use standard 3ds Max scale transforms to adjust a biped's posture by scaling the size of its links. You must be in Figure mode to scale the biped links. If you try to scale a biped without going into Figure mode, nothing happens.
Rubber Band mode provides a way to proportion the arm and leg links simultaneously. Rubber Band mode works with the Move transform rather than the Scale transform. When you move an arm or leg with Rubber Band mode turned on, both the link and its child are scaled in a single step.
For greater speed in displaying bipeds, or to make your viewports less cluttered while you edit your scene, Biped lets you turn off the display of some biped elements. These display controls are found in the Motion panel , rather than on the Display panel.
With the Physique component, you can use Biped to animate a deformable skin, usually a mesh object. However, some animations don't require deformation. For example, a knight clad entirely in rigid metal armor doesn't need to deform as skin does. Also, figures seen from a distance don't require the same degree of realism as figures seen close up.
Figure files save all information about a biped's anatomy: links, link positions, twist links, and Figure mode posture, and the scale of geometric elements. Figure (FIG) files have a .fig file name extension.
Footstep animation is a central compositional tool in Biped. Footsteps are biped sub-objects, similar to in 3ds Max. In viewports, footsteps look like the diagrams often used to illustrate ballroom dancing. Each footstep's position and orientation in the scene controls where the biped steps.
While character studio calculates vertical dynamics and gravity based on its footstep-driven technology, you don’t always want your character strictly under these controls. You might want the character to fly, swim, or to do something improbable in a physical world. For these situations, Biped supports a comprehensive set of freeform animation controls that allow you to take total creative control over your character's pose, movement, and timing.
The Biped user interface is split up into “modes” of operation. You activate these modes by selecting the appropriate button in the Biped rollout on the Motion panel, which is visible when a biped is selected.
The Workbench is a customized version of Track View that you use for correcting and improving biped animation. It extends the functionality of existing curve editors by giving you different options for visualizing and manipulating curves, and provides filters to perform general rotation, position and other biped-specific operations.
Motion flow mode provides an area to graphically arrange clips into a network and tools to create and edit transitions between clips. You can use Motion flow mode to organize clips into a network to animate one or more bipeds. The network of clips are joined together by transitions.