Muscles with Flex


I’ve been playing with volume preservation in Max a little lately and hadn’t seen this method before, but it uses Flex and and Displace to create ‘muscles’.

I’m sure there’s more that can be done with Flex. It’s a nice method to paint the strength of the Flex/distortion onto the mesh.

Anyway 2013 file attached.
I’d be interested to know what other folks use for volume preservation and muscles in Max.


Thanks for sharing it! Could you describe your method a little better? I’m afk at the moment and got curious.


No worries, I’m at home at the mo so it’s from memory.
Just playing around at the mo. but ive skinned the tube as usual.
Then I started playing with Mcloth and rigid bodies to preserve the volume of the arm and add muscles, I was getting ok results after a lot of tweaking and it could be adjusted in real time which was nice. But the rigid bodies don’t scale to increase the muscle size so I looked at other ways.

Basically it uses Flex on the elbow and muscle area with a normal sphere deformer, or displace I can’t remember from memory, added to the Flex as a deformer in the muscle and elbow area. The flex is turned right up to minimise a lot of secondary movement and just work as a mesh displacement.

The weight of the flex can be painted onto the mesh to add definition where you want it, the ‘muscle shape’ and strength can also be adjusted to bulge areas. All in all there’s a few ways to control the shape and strength of the muscle through Flex and the Deformer.

I think it would be heavy to run on an entire character but may be helpful in some instances, but could always be turned off in viewport. Just another option for peeps.

I’ll post up the Mcloth as well as that was fun to play with.


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