Understanding Track Editing

There are several places to view your animation represented as tracks in 3ds Max Design. These views include the Track Bar and Track View. The tracks can be displayed as function curves, or as keys and ranges on a box graph. character studio makes special use of function curve editing capabilities with a customized version of the Track View - Curve Editor called the Animation Workbench.

Biped Curve Editing Using the Track Bar

After creating animation of the biped in the viewport using keyframing tools from the Motion panel, you might need to work on the animation tracks, either to adjust key interpolation for smooth motion or to adjust ranges and affect timing. 3ds Max Design allows for some basic ways to do these tasks for all scene objects using direct key manipulation.

The simplest and most direct access to keys and ranges can be found on the track bar. Keys for selected biped objects are immediately visible there. With some limitations, you can create keys by Shift+dragging in the track bar. Right-clicking a key displays a menu; choosing from this menu gives quick access to key properties such as interpolation controls. This Key Properties dialog is also accessible from a list on the Motion panel Assign Controller rollout.

A right-click on the time slider also displays the Create Key dialog, which is another quick way to set keyframes.

Selecting any two keys displays the range as a bar beneath the keys. You can reposition this range bar or resize it to adjust the timing of the animation. You can combine accelerator keys, like Ctrl and Alt, with left, middle, and right mouse buttons to extend or stretch the range displayed in the track bar.

You can expand the track bar to display the keys on function curves. From there, you can select and manipulate keys.

Biped Curve Editing in Track View

The same function-curve editing controls are found in Track View. Track View has two modes: Curve Editor and Dope Sheet.

character studio displays function curves for biped components in the Track View - Curve Editor.

Dope Sheet mode displays the footstep tracks and other biped keys as boxes. Here, you cut, copy, and paste keys to create repeated motion. You can use Time Editing in Dope Sheet mode, and cut, copy, paste, and insert time segments, complete with keys, into your animation.

Curve display can help pinpoint troublesome spots in your animation. You can see where a curve has problems, often corresponding to motion problems in the viewport animation. You move the keys to compensate for the problems.