Creating a Skeleton in 3ds Max - Part 3 - Linking Bone Chains

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  • Games
  • Rendering
  • 2013
  • Lighting and Rendering
  • Character Animation
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
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3 min

Creating a Skeleton in 3ds Max - Part 3 - Linking Bone Chains

In this tutorial, we continue linking the bone chains in preparation for the IK Solvers & constraints.


  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2013
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2013 or higher.


00:00:03 --> 00:00:10
In the last movie, you created bone chains for the legs and you linked both the legs and the spine to the pelvis.

00:00:10 --> 00:00:19
In this movie, you take a minute to understand why it is important to link bone chains together before you get to do any rigging on the skeleton.

00:00:20 --> 00:00:24
You may want to save your file at this point as you will need to revert back to it later.

00:00:24 --> 00:00:29
As always, you can also use the files that you downloaded for this tutorial.

00:00:29 --> 00:00:36
To demonstrate the potential problem, start by hiding the Mesh layer so you can concentrate on the skeleton.

00:00:37 --> 00:00:45
Select both thighs and unlink them from the pelvis. As you move the pelvis, the legs now stay in place.

00:00:45 --> 00:00:51
Select the character's left thigh. You need to create an IK solver between the thigh and the foot.

00:00:52 --> 00:00:57
Creating solvers is part of the character rigging and will be discussed in greater detail in later movies.

00:00:58 --> 00:01:04
For now, it will be simply used to demonstrate a potential problem that occurs if bone chains are not linked together.

00:01:05 --> 00:01:13
With the left thigh selected, choose Animation > IK Solvers > HI Solver and then click on the left foot.

00:01:14 --> 00:01:19
An IK goal appears and you can now use it to manipulate the leg.

00:01:23 --> 00:01:27
Now select the thigh again, and link it to the pelvis one more time.

00:01:28 --> 00:01:32
Notice the problem, the leg flips to a 90-degree angle.

00:01:33 --> 00:01:39
This can be remedied by selecting the IK goal and in the Motion Panel, you can adjust the swivel angle value.

00:01:40 --> 00:01:47
But now, the Swivel Angle value's initial pose is set to 90 instead of the original 0-degree.

00:01:48 --> 00:01:51
This could potentially cause some problems with your rig later.

00:01:52 --> 00:02:01
To prevent any of this from happening and to minimize effort, it's best to make sure your hierarchy is in place BEFORE you get to the rigging part.

00:02:01 --> 00:02:07
Try it with the character's right leg. Select the right thigh and link it to the pelvis again.

00:02:07 --> 00:02:12
Notice that you did this BEFORE creating the IK solver.

00:02:12 --> 00:02:16
Now create an IK Solver between the thigh and the foot as you did earlier.

00:02:17 --> 00:02:21
This time, there were no quirky snaps or 90-degree flips.

00:02:22 --> 00:02:26
The leg stays oriented properly and the Swivel Angle remains at a 0-degree value.

00:02:27 --> 00:02:36
The bottom line is, make it a habit to have the hierarchy in place and bone chains linked properly together, before you start rigging the skeleton.

00:02:37 --> 00:02:40
Re-open the file you saved earlier to continue with the building of the skeleton.

00:02:41 --> 00:02:43
Next stop, you create the arms.
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  • 3ds Max
  • Rendering
  • 2013
  • Lighting and Rendering
  • Character Animation
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