Anatomy Issues!


Hello All,

First of all, I am not a professional in this industry, but a hobbyist/enthusiast. (However I did go to Art School)

One big issue that has been bugging me for some time is how much I have seen anatomy be a problem. I have found many otherwise good images/animations/games look bad when the character suddenly shows an anatomical impossibility. Inversely, cartoons, etc that use a lot of motion capture make those without stick out like sore thumbs!

As an example: the difference between a flexed muscle and a flaccid one. (The age old Disney principle here should have solved this one - push-pull- conservation of mass)

Equally, while working myself within 3ds max, etc I find that the rigging set ups used are too simple as well. A simple example being knee joints. Anatomically knee joints are poly centric. (Hip joints are even more problematic- being that they are offset joints that dislocate slightly with every step!)

Are there any sources out there that can help solve some of these issues? (Maybe this is a great opportunity for someone?)

I work in the medical industry creating knee, leg, arm and back braces, etc- I have access to, and have worked with gait analysis, etc of handicapped patients. Unfortunately the medical industry here is so far behind in technology. (again another opportunity!)


Your post confused me a bit, do you mean fixing anatomical usage across the board? Not everything is meant to be anatomically accurate and in many cases the rules of following anatomy are deliberately broken (sometimes from ignorance sometimes intentionally). The default bipedal rigs system in max isn’t meant to be anything anatomically accurate from the start, just a quick dirty rig to toss onto a biped without worrying about making one from scratch.

The degree of a rigs interface is up to the needs of the production/animator. Usually people try to keep them as simple and logical as possible, some do have more anatomical detailing/function added like muscle rigging to help displace the skin more realistically though.


If your rig is “dislocating” with movements you might check your skinning weights and bone/joint placement. Have you been rigging from scratch placing each bone/joint or just using the bipedal system? I am not too schooled up in max lately since I switched to Maya about 5 years ago.


I know what you mean by bad anatomy. However I have only returned one game due to the overall lack of visual quality. Have you tried joint morphs in 3dsmax? In any case there are a number of rigging solutions in constant development. Where you are finding unattractive deformations is probably in the low budget realm.


Sorry, I guess it should have made this two threads.

The complaints of ever flexed, vascular muscles and the lack of flex and relax is just that, complaining. I probably shouldn’t use the forum for venting.

As for the skeletal issues: Watching a show like Sid the Science Kid (PBS kids- I have a 15month old son). It is all pretty much motion capture. It is distracting how good the motion capture translates. The motion capture would guarantee that the joints move as they should. Many other CG shows/movies I find tend to look wooden or almost robotic.

As for my own work, I am using the max defaults. I do plan to try make my own rigs at some point. To keep some of my projects going, I was hoping that there might be some better rigs out there as plug ins, etc. As Andrewty07 has mentioned, intention vs ignorance is one thing. But I am finding the default rig to be a problem. I am still figuring out a lot, but, as an example, knees seem to be an issue. I am a bit ham fisted with the weighting while skinning)


Many of your problems may be due to weighting and the model geometry which takes quite a bit of practice to get right for nice deforms. If you are using max then you can choose CS or CAT. CAT has a muscle system I haven’t tried yet because all my character animations are bone driven for realtime application. I use the third option with max which is plain max bones. I export the mesh and bones to motionbuilder and apply their rig for using mocap and for straight animation.

So with max you have 3 options. Like I said if you are really particular about your deformation and you are doing everything perfectly then morph joints are great.



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