View Full Version : Character Extensions

09 September 2006, 03:03 PM
I'd like to setup a character with wings, but the documentation MB documentation is pretty slim on how to do this.

I've managed to bring in a static object and attach it to a character, but what if I want my wings to be driven by their own skeleton? I've tried bringing in skinned wing objects with bones but MB ignores the skinning completely.

Ultimately I'd like to drive a chacacters body in realtime using our Vicon system (we're already doing this), and "operate" the wings by playing back prerecorded motions using a keyboard or something similar.

Any help with character extension would be most appreciated


Kevin Abbott
Western Michigan University

09 September 2006, 10:27 PM
Hi Kevin,

Are you saying you followed all the steps for setting up an extension, put all the skeleton nodes in the extension and checked add <char_name> extension in the resulting pop-up so MB sees the extension as a body part and the skinning is not working (I have MB7 so it's pgs 880,881 in the manual) or did you just parent the wings to the character in which case MB won't use the skinning?

Once you have the wings extension set-up you shouldn't have any problems controlling the wings realtime with a Device asset.


09 September 2006, 01:46 PM
I think I may not have documentation as detailed as yours since I am running the Academic version. I don't have a printed manual and the online docs are pretty thin in this area.

Here's the part I think I am doing wrong

<<<put all the skeleton nodes in the extension and checked add <char_name> extension in the resulting pop-up so MB sees the extension as a body part and the skinning is not working>>>

I've never gotten a pop-up when adding an extension to the character. And can you tell me how do I put the skeleton nodes in the extension?

I've imported a wing mesh object skinned to a 2-bone rig (I've tried from both XSI and Max) but I don't know how to tell MB to use those bones to deform the wing.



09 September 2006, 10:01 AM
Crud... double post.

09 September 2006, 10:03 AM
I'm pretty sure the Academic version comes with a PDF manual but you can always get one here (it's free)

If I remember correctly the manual says something like.....

1 In the Scene browser, right-click a characterized character and select Create Character Extension. A new Character Extensions heading is added to the Scene browser. By default, the new Character Extension object added is named “<char_name> Extension,” where <char_name> is the name of your character.

2 From the Asset browser, drag any type of object you want to associate with the character into the scene. For example, you can add a light, a sphere, a constraint, or any other object. If your character model has additional limbs or a tail, you might add a series of Skeleton nodes.

3 Alt-drag the object(s) from the Viewer window onto your character’s Extension.

4 Select Add to <char_name> Extension from the popup menu that appears. This object is now part of the Character Extension and is considered as if it is a “body part” on the current character.

5 Select the part of the body you want your Character Extension to be associated with. For example, if you are adding a tail, you might select the Hips bone, because you want the tail to be attached at the hips.

6 Drag the selected body part into the Character Extension’s Reference Object field in the Properties window This creates a Reference for your Character Extension, which is used to calculate all future positioning of the Extension, for example if the Character Extension is included in a pose.

7 In the Properties window, view the list of properties to be keyed when you set a keyframe on this Character Extension. Add or remove the properties you want to have keyed by right-clicking and selecting Remove Property from Extension or Add Property to Extension. These properties are also included in any poses you create for this character.

You can also use the Include Part In Full Body option to define whether you want the Character Extension to be keyed when you set keys in Full Body Keying mode.

Good luck and Happy reading


09 September 2006, 10:43 PM

The steps you listed are not the problem I am having. My Wing object moves with my character as an extension. The problem is that the wing will not deform with bones.

How do I get the bones I imported with my Wing mesh to cause my the Wing Mesh to deform? I cannot get MB to treat the wings bones as deformers. My body mesh and bones are working perfectly. Do you know how I get MB to deform the Wing with the bones I need?

thanks again,


09 September 2006, 11:30 PM
OK, I made some progress. The problem wasn't in the chracter extension at all.

The problem was that I was expecting the wing to work with IK but it only works with FK at this point. Any idea how to get that fixed?

Thanks for all you help. I really appreciate it.


09 September 2006, 11:42 PM
Hey Kevin,

I'm glad you've made some progress. You'll probably want to look at using a Simple IK Constraint or a Chain IK Constraint depending on which you think will get you the amount of control your looking for.

Hopefully you'll be able to post your results when your through.

Have fun.


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