View Full Version : Good Animation .max files

05 May 2002, 10:09 AM
I'd really like to pick apart a good animation made in max to see the technical parts of it to learn what makes a good animation tick.

Does anyone know if there are any .max files online that are really top notch animations? Or would offer to give me one?


05 May 2002, 01:43 PM
nobody? not even just a small walk cycle?

05 May 2002, 06:02 PM
Walk Cycles are the best thing to study...also animal cycles(but they have different gaits i.e spend time longer in the air, than on ground or vice verser)

Also get the Animators survival kit.. its the best for walks.

Heres a walk Cycle you can play with:

(right click and save)



05 May 2002, 03:08 PM
Hey thanks loads for the .max file mate! I haven't checked it out yet but thanks.
Yeah I've got loads of animation books Survival Kit, Timing for Animation... I understand the concepts and have been doing 2D aniamtion for quite sometimes, it's just some of the technical aspects of MAX I need to get to grips with.

ANyway, thanks again!

05 May 2002, 05:47 PM

I'm confused. Okay I get that that goblin thing is made out of different sections rather than being a mesh with bones in it, but how is it being controlled?
I can only find keyframes on the feet to fiddle with and look at in trackview, but how come no other body part had any keyframes, what's driving them?

05 May 2002, 09:04 PM
ohh ok...:eek:

Well everything is controlled by helper objects, basically unhide them and then you can control it .The only mesh that is animated is the toes.

Basical its a control mesh, so you would have a version like this for animating. And a hires version as one whole mesh for rendering. (this is just how i work) Theres an IK rig in the legs, and one between the chest and pelvis.** Be Careful as you can pull the chest further than it can go.**

I thought of putting ik in the arms, maybe another version. And the fingers can also be animated.

Every animated part is split into XYZ f-curves.

And also theres a circle round the ankle, for controlling Knee twist.

Any other problems give me a shout.

P.s the helper object on the knee, cant be moved/rotated its just for rigging.


05 May 2002, 11:47 AM
I get it. FCirst of all I did the command Unfreeze all and then Unhide all and still the helpers didn't appear. I had to go into some hide by category thingy untill I found them.

I like the idea of animating a low polygon model and then rendering a highly detailed mesh, but I haven't come across this before, how do you go about it?

I mean, for me I just have a low polygon mesh, add bones and skin, then animate it all and finally add a meshsmooth before I render.

With your way how does it work? Say for instance with this goblin aniamtion what would you do next once you had this walk sorted out, how do you add the high polygon version so that it follows the same aniamtion that the simple boxes do? Do the boxes act as bones somehow?

Thanks, and please excuse my dumb assness.

05 May 2002, 03:33 PM
Well basically you, model the hires version first, with all the detail.You can still meshsmooth this model later. And this hires model can be from a 3d scan or just modelled. And from this mesh you build the control mesh really light version, using the hires mesh as template.

You chop it all up, where the joints are, ie knee, elbow chest pelvis, neck head.

And then you rig them both on the same rig. But you dont need to worry about skinning the control mesh(light version) you just link all the parts to the bones/puppets. And you animate with this.
Then at render time you render the hires version. You can set the control mesh to be invisble in the renderer and hires version not to be vice versa in the viewport.

You can get some problems in it with this setup, mainly seeing detail. I.e wrinkles, muscle deformation.

With meshsmoothing things thats all it does, so you need most of the detail before you do it , thats why it have to meshes.

Another nice technique is to build the hires model i mean really hires, and use it as a bump map/dispacement map. For a lighter version for rendering. So you still have a control mesh but a lighter render model, either polys or NURB, patch, but still quite heavy.

Where i worked previously you would animate, on a base model.(light) Then save the animation data and paste it onto a hires version including facial rig- very nice.

But this is just one way of doing things. Some companies have 3 rigs- an IK rig a FK rig and a rig which blends across both, which are all rigged up to control mesh and render mesh.

This is why it takes ages to do setups....

Personally every shot/scene is different, you might have one IK rig for on scene and a FK for another.The most important thing is what feels easiest to you, and comfortable, and what the character needs are, (look at scrat in ICE AGE!)

The Boxes/Helpers/shapes are puppets which control bones/IK handles and contraints, between everything. The bones are to skin the mesh. so you have 3 parts - meshes, bones and puppets and there all controlled by contraints and links between them. I do this so i go in and tweak the setup.

Ahh..I love animation.


:insane: :bowdown:

05 May 2002, 05:18 PM
Thanks for all the knowledge it seems like a cool technique.
What I was doing before was not having the puupet part and just animating the bones but they're quite easy to get lost with. I'm right in thinking that the bones' parent is the puppet parts right? So by moving the puppet you move the bones, and the bones through skinning moves the detailed mesh, right?

Cool, thanks again for the goblin, I;ve been clinically disecting it and get the f -curves now, and all the out of range stuff you used.

Where do you work in the UK if you don't mind me asking?

05 May 2002, 08:48 PM
Yeh basically the puppets which are usually shape objects control the bones either through contraints or links. I usually link the bones to points then to the shape puppets. Because then you can add contraints, expressions etc to the points.

Im between work at the minute, but did work at the Framestore in London, working on a tv series.

06 June 2002, 09:55 AM
Oh okay. I tried linking the bones to the puppet shapes but then this obviously breaks the bones apart so I guess I have to put in helpers and stuff and link them to the puppet parts, I'll just fiddle. Thanks.

06 June 2002, 09:09 PM
You shouldnt link things to the bones themselves, only the IK handles that control the bones.


06 June 2002, 09:41 AM
Oh, I get it I'll go and try this out now.

07 July 2002, 06:07 PM
Well, this is not a very good one, but you may want to check it out:


Go to "misc." and then to "tutorials". There's a .max file there.

If you have questions about it, mail me.

Hope this helps

07 July 2002, 06:56 AM
Eeks and Frinsklen, thanks for sharing.

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