Using CAT in 3ds Max - Part 6 - CATMotion Layers

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Industry
  • Film & VFX
  • Games
Subject
  • Animation
  • Character
  • 2011
  • Character Animation
  • Character Effects
  • Workflow
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
Duration
10 min

Using CAT in 3ds Max - Part 6 - CATMotion Layers

In this final "Using CAT in 3ds Max" tutorial, you learn about the CAT Motion Animation Layer Tool and how you can edit parametric values to give your character different dynamics.


Notes

  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2011
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2011 or higher.

Transcript

00:00:00 --> 00:00:07
In this Part 5 and last movie of the CAT series, you'll take a look
at how to alter the basic walk from the CAT Motion Layer.

00:00:08 --> 00:00:13
Select the base triangular node, and in the Motion Panel,
add a CAT Motion Layer.

00:00:16 --> 00:00:23
Enable Animation mode. At this time, the character walks
but the dynamics of this walk are ill-suited for a superhero.

00:00:24 --> 00:00:29
To edit the walk, click the CATMotion Editor button.
A modeless dialog appears.

00:00:30 --> 00:00:34
The left pane in the dialog lists the bone structure of the character.

00:00:34 --> 00:00:39
If the rig was based on a centipede, there would be quite a few more
entries in this list.

00:00:40 --> 00:00:46
Changes that you apply can be seen in real-time. This means you can
playback the animation as you make changes in the dialog.

00:00:47 --> 00:00:51
For example, you'll start by adjusting the head
so it doesn't sway that much.

00:00:52 --> 00:00:55
Expand the head group and select the Head Twist.

00:00:55 --> 00:00:59
Drag down the Scale value to about 20%.

00:00:59 --> 00:01:02
Do the same with the Head Roll value.

00:01:03 --> 00:01:06
This is better, but more adjustment is needed.

00:01:06 --> 00:01:12
Expand the RibCage and adjust the Twist and Roll scales to about 30%.

00:01:24 --> 00:01:32
Also, adjust the chest's OffsetPos in Y to about 10 units,
to move the chest forward a little bit.

00:01:33 --> 00:01:40
At the Pelvis level, adjust the Twist and the Roll to 30% scale
as you did with the chest.

00:01:43 --> 00:01:47
Also, bring down the WeightShift to about 60%.

00:01:47 --> 00:01:50
Feel free to experiment with these values.

00:01:51 --> 00:01:53
The arms are obviously spread out too far.

00:01:54 --> 00:02:02
Select the Arms OffsetRot and adjust its Y value to about 40.
This makes it look more natural.

00:02:02 --> 00:02:04
The feet also seem a bit far apart.

00:02:05 --> 00:02:12
Go to Legs > FootPlatform and adjust the OffsetPos in Z to about -15.

00:02:13 --> 00:02:17
If you want to slow down the walk or speed it up, this can be done
at the Globals level.

00:02:18 --> 00:02:23
The speed is controlled by the Max Step Time value. The default is 25.

00:02:24 --> 00:02:31
Set this value to 50 to slow down the walk to half speed.
Now the character is walking more cautiously.

00:02:32 --> 00:02:35
Take a look at the LimbPhases option in this dialog.

00:02:35 --> 00:02:39
These control the frequency of the animation for the various limbs.

00:02:39 --> 00:02:45
In this case, the first two sliders are for the legs
and the last two are for the arms.

00:02:45 --> 00:02:49
Notice how they're alternating so that the character retains balance.

00:02:50 --> 00:02:54
If you set both legs to use the same value, the character would be hopping.

00:02:55 --> 00:02:59
Or you can adjust the sliders to induce a limp.

00:03:05 --> 00:03:09
You can do the same with the arms for a variety of effects.

00:03:13 --> 00:03:17
Finally, select the CATMotion Presets entry at the top of the dialog.

00:03:18 --> 00:03:20
Notice the Layer pane.

00:03:20 --> 00:03:27
This is in addition to the CAT animation layers in the Motion Panel,
sort of a "layer-within-layer" kind of a thing.

00:03:27 --> 00:03:31
Here you can rename a CATMotion layer and save it to disk
among other things.

00:03:32 --> 00:03:36
You can also add more CATMotion layers and blend between them.

00:03:37 --> 00:03:43
In the Available Presets pane, double-click "2Legs"
and then double-click the GameCharRun entry.

00:03:43 --> 00:03:47
A dialog appears suggesting to load the run into a new layer.

00:03:47 --> 00:03:52
That's the option you want to use if you do not want to overwrite
the work you've already done with the walk.

00:03:53 --> 00:03:59
Much like with CAT animation (Abs) layers, the new CATMotion layer
overwrites the one before it.

00:04:00 --> 00:04:03
If you play with the weights, you can blend between the two layers.

00:04:04 --> 00:04:09
Like you did earlier with the walk,
this run needs a bit of adjustments as well.

00:04:09 --> 00:04:14
You can have fun with it on your own,
or follow the values given in this movie:

00:04:19 --> 00:04:22
Ribcage OffsetPos in Y = 10

00:04:28 --> 00:04:32
Pelvis OffsetPos X = -5.5

00:04:33 --> 00:04:36
Pelvis Lift scale = 70

00:04:39 --> 00:04:42
Pelvis Twist scale = 50

00:04:43 --> 00:04:47
Pelvis Roll scale = 50

00:04:50 --> 00:04:53
Arms OffsetRot in Y = 30

00:04:55 --> 00:04:58
Arms Swing scale = 50

00:05:00 --> 00:05:03
Arms Twist scale = 0

00:05:06 --> 00:05:11
FootPlatform OffsetPos in Z = -20

00:05:14 --> 00:05:17
Legs OffsetRot in Y = 10

00:05:21 --> 00:05:24
Head Roll scale = 50

00:05:26 --> 00:05:28
Head Pitch scale = 50

00:05:29 --> 00:05:32
Head OffsetRot in Z = 15

00:05:33 --> 00:05:41
Reduce the speed slightly by setting the Globals Max Step Time to 25
and the Stride Length to 400.

00:05:44 --> 00:05:51
Next you'll blend the motions to make the character walk a few steps,
then break into a run, then walk again.

00:05:52 --> 00:05:54
Go to frame 0 and enable Auto Key mode.

00:05:55 --> 00:05:58
Set the Run layer weight to 0.

00:06:00 --> 00:06:08
Go to frame 120 and set the weight back all the way to 100.

00:06:11 --> 00:06:16
The weight is now interpolating from a walk at frame 0 to a full run
at frame 120.

00:06:16 --> 00:06:25
To ensure the character is walking a few step before he starts running,
go to frame 80 and set the weight to 0 again.

00:06:25 --> 00:06:32
Now the character is walking from frames 0 to 80, and then blends
into a run from 80 to 120.

00:06:36 --> 00:06:40
Go to frame 260 and set the weight to 0.

00:06:43 --> 00:06:47
Go back to frame 200 and set the weight to 100 again.

00:06:47 --> 00:06:52
This ensures a constant run between frames 120 and 200.

00:06:52 --> 00:07:02
The character starts with a walk, then gets to run,
before walking again towards the end.

00:07:10 --> 00:07:17
In the Globals parameters, set the character to walk in a line
rather than on spot.

00:07:29 --> 00:07:34
If you want your character to follow a path rather than move in a line,
this is what you need to do.

00:07:35 --> 00:07:40
Draw a path, or in this case use Unhide by Name > Motion_Path.

00:07:46 --> 00:07:51
Create a Dummy or a Point helper and constrain it to the path.

00:08:02 --> 00:08:05
Make sure the helper is set to "follow" the path.

00:08:07 --> 00:08:15
In the CATMotion dialog, Globals parameters, click the Path Node button
and select the helper you just created.

00:08:15 --> 00:08:24
The character is relocated to the helper. You'll probably need
to rotate the helper in Local mode so that the character faces
the direction of the spline.

00:08:42 --> 00:08:47
Footsteps are created that you can reposition to make sure
the character is stepping where you need it to.

00:09:09 --> 00:09:14
Alternatively, you can set the footsteps to automatically
follow an uneven terrain.

00:09:15 --> 00:09:18
Right-click in the Viewport and choose Unhide All. A terrain appears.

00:09:19 --> 00:09:24
At this time some footsteps are above ground,
some others are sunk below.

00:09:31 --> 00:09:38
In the CATMotion dialog, Limbphases group, click the Reset button
to reset any footsteps you might have moved away.

00:09:39 --> 00:09:42
Click the Pick Ground button and then select the terrain in the viewport.

00:09:43 --> 00:09:49
The footsteps are now adjusted to the terrain
and the character follows the topology of the uneven ground.

00:09:55 --> 00:09:58
There's much you can do with the Character Animation Tools plugin.

00:09:59 --> 00:10:03
We hope this five-movie set gave you a basic understanding
how to use the tools.

00:10:03 --> 00:10:07
This concludes this movie set on CAT. We hope you have enjoyed it.
Posted By
Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Animation
  • Character
  • 2011
  • Character Animation
  • Character Effects
  • Workflow
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