Animate in Studio 3DS Max
3DS Max is an animation program released by Autodesk that provides you with the tools you need to completely model and animate a 3-D scene. Using the program, you can quickly animate complex movements, primarily through the included Auto Key animation technique. Using Auto Key, you can set the initial and final position of an animated object and set the time that passes between the positions. The software will handle the movement in the frames between.
1. Create or import the 3-D model you will be animating. You can create the model using the tools provided by the program, building your model by altering basic shapes and applying a model texture. Imported models can be obtained from a wide variety of sources online, freely or through purchase.
2. Rig the model by placing bones beneath the surface of the model. Create the bones by selecting the “animation” menu at the top of the user interface and choosing the “Bones Tools.” Click “Create Bones” and draw the bones using your mouse to select starting and ending points for each bone. Use the bones to create articulated joints in your model, which are adjusted to provide the animated movement for your model. Attach the bones to your model by selecting the model object you wish to attach. Go to the modifier panel to the right of your model and add the modifier “SKIN” to the modifier list using the drop-down menu in the modifier panel. Select the bone to attach the skin to by clicking on it.
3. Position the model in the initial frame of the animation. Pose the model in the starting animated movement by moving the model bones. Select the “Auto Key” button.
4. Select the final frame of the animation. The more frames you use, the more fluid the movement will be, with the animation moving in slight increments divided among the frames. Move the model to the final posed position. Press the “Auto Key” button a second time.
5. Move the frame selection slider back to the zero frame position and press the “Play” button. The model should move as you moved it physically, with any change in position animated automatically between the frames.
6. Repeat the process with other moving portions of the model to create complex movements. For example, to create a waving hand, first move the arm, then the elbow, then the wrist, followed by individual fingers.