Character Studio - How to reverse clips?



I know Character Studio pretty well, but I just don’t know how to reverse clips in the motion mixer. I tried a lot of things, searched in the UR and so on, but apparently you can’t draw one end of a clip over the other one to get a reversed clip. Does anyone know how to do that or how to do this similar?
Anyway, there has to be a function to reverse any animation part (keyframes) without moving every keyframe on its own!?

Please let me know how to do that.

Thanks a lot.


Does nobody know how to do that? It has to be a quite simple thing…


This would be a great thing to know - I have also spent a lot of time trying to work this out myself as it would be a great time saver (animate climbing up a ladder and then just reverse it to go back down etc). I remember reading something about it on the discreet forums a while back, that it was currently not possible, as it had something to do with messing up the IK or something… I could be wrong. If you know otherwise, tell us!


Thanks for your reply!

Hmm, problem with IK? I don’t think so. You can just pick a keyframe and drop it to an other place, so there has to be a way to get this technique into a “keyframe-gizmo” where you can just modify this gizmo/keyframe-selection/motionmixer-clip and mirror it. This would be a great and fast tool to modify your animations as you want. I can’t believe this is missing in 3ds max.


What about filmbox out final motion to bones and reverse keys outside of CS,… quite a workaround but possible.



Thanks for sharing this interesting method, but I’d need an other application to do this, right?
But I would like to do it within 3ds max or Character Studio. Is there a way to script something like that or is there even a script to download?


I’d need an other application to do this, right?
No, just the FBX plugins. In thinking about the ladder example I would add a new biped and just copy positions & poses from the existing keyframes to new points in time to reverse the animation onto the new biped. Again not an elegant solution but something to consider vs loosing the CS rig to bones.

Also play with converting to freeform, generating a key per frame and what you might be able to do with that data in terms of going out to FBX and back in with bones… or what about mo-flow? Can you use negitive values anywhere? Ever bring BIP data in the mocap door, see what options may be hiding there too.

I may have to get into this if no one can solve it…



Thank for your ideas. I think I have to accept that this it not possible in 3ds max or Character Studio at present. I hope there’ll come better animation tools with max7…


It’s sad but true… this has bugged me for a long time. there IS no easy way to reverse a CS animation, but here are some interesting points:

  1. If you open Workbench, and right-click the toolbar and show the Time tools, like in dopesheet a reverse time button appears! but get this… IT DOESN’T WORK! but it may suggest the intention of actually utilizing it in the next version.

  2. I’m a beginner at maxscript, so I can’t do this just yet, but here’s the manual way to reverse an animation: once you’re satisfied with your animation, place a key at every frame. instead of selecting each object and placing keys for each frame, select ALL the biped bones and place a using the biped set key. an odd workaround to the problem of not being able to assign a key to all three Center Of Mass tracks is to also have a non biped object selected at the same time, and all three COM tracks will have keys… weird I know. once you have a key at every frame, turn all keys into free keys if they already aren’t (you’re IK animation will NOT change because there isn’t any interpolation being done anymore). at this point, you just Shift+drag each key to the end of the animation (working your way from the second to last key, to the first). Then delete the old keys, and voila. this sounds like a long process, but by utilizing shortcuts (i.e. 0 is the keyboard shortcut to assigns a biped key, < and > to move a frame, etc.), this can be accomplished pretty quickly. and if you don’t want a key at every frame, just use the key reduction filter in Workbench. A simple script can be made to do this in one button click… once i figure it out, i’ll definitely post it. :slight_smile:


I just re-read your post… you CAN reverse animation in max outside of Character studio… just use the reverse time button in dope sheet (just make sure you select the time segment first) :wink:


Thank you very much, abe3d!!! :thumbsup:
It’s not the ideal solution, but a good alternative method… I’ll check this out!


I looked for a thread that would answer my question and here it is. I just wanted to ressurect this thread and say how MESSED UP it is that I cant reverse an animation in character studio.

I even went and found that button that doesn’t work and tried it myself. Sure enough… doesn’t work.

Anybody fix this yet? Write a script? A plugin?

just a fools hope.


This is 100% pathetic on the part of Discreet/Autodesk or whatever they want to call themselves now.

This should be a simple point and click operation, and we get nothing. Pathetic.


This really is pathetic, Genesis. Character Studio is somehow limited in a lot of things. It uses its own system which does not comprehend the way Max is working. I can even not move a key behind another key in Character Studio, that’s just incomprehensive.

Well, I have done with Character Studio. Right now I’m using CAT for animation, it allows you to use the standard Max keying, which means it is possible to reverse clips finally.

The key selection tool I’ve searched for can be added to the timeline: Right-Click your timeline, choose Configure, Show Selection Range. This little handy tool allows you to move, scale and reverse your selected keys.


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