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Duration
4 min

# Basic Concepts in 3ds Max - Part 2 - Rotations and Layers

### In this tutorial, you cover the basic concepts of how rotations work in 3D. You also learn how to create a layering system to freeze and hide objects in your scene.

Notes

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

Transcript

`00:00:03 --> 00:00:09Before you start building the skeleton, it is important to cover some ground rules about rotations.00:00:09 --> 00:00:19There have been many papers about rotations in 3D, gimbal lock limitations, 90-degree and 180-degree flips and other related issues.00:00:19 --> 00:00:24Here we will not attempt to dissect all these problems that have already been addressed numerous times.00:00:24 --> 00:00:30Instead, you will follow a set of rules that will minimize the chance for such problems to occur.00:00:31 --> 00:00:38Understanding how rotations work in a 3D application makes it easier to decide which viewport to draw the bone branch in.00:00:39 --> 00:00:43As much as possible, you want to favor rotations on the Z-axis.00:00:44 --> 00:00:50For example, to build a leg or a spine, you'd want to use a side view like the Left view.00:00:52 --> 00:01:00This way, when you locally rotate the leg for example, the main rotation of the thigh or calf is happening on the Z-axis.00:01:09 --> 00:01:13You'd still need to animate the X and Y rotations,00:01:13 --> 00:01:16for the thigh mind you,00:01:19 --> 00:01:21the calf only rotates in Z,00:01:21 --> 00:01:26but these would represent secondary, less extreme motions.00:01:29 --> 00:01:37In the case of an arm, you would create the bones in the top view to favor the local rotation in Z again.00:01:43 --> 00:01:53The rotation in Y is only important at the shoulder level, since the forearm, like the calf, only rotates in local-Z.00:01:56 --> 00:02:00As far as the rotation in X is concerned, that effect is minimal.00:02:01 --> 00:02:09The reason for favoring the Z-axis is based on how rotations are evaluated in 3ds Max and in 3D software in general.00:02:09 --> 00:02:13The default order of rotational computations is XYZ.00:02:14 --> 00:02:19The final rotation is determined once all three axes have been evaluated.00:02:19 --> 00:02:28This means a change in X or Y affects all three axes, but a change in Z affects only that angle as it is evaluated last.00:02:29 --> 00:02:33Therefore, it is important that major rotations happen on that angle.00:02:34 --> 00:02:38You could potentially change the axis rotation order in the Motion panel.00:02:38 --> 00:02:45However, be aware that most gaming engines are only compatible with an XYZ Rotation Axis Order.00:02:45 --> 00:02:52It is often simpler to keep that a mind and make it a habit of favoring the Z-rotation axis when creating bones.00:02:52 --> 00:02:55This is precisely what you will do in the next movie.00:02:56 --> 00:03:02One last thing to consider before moving on; you may want to set up a layering system to help with scene management.00:03:02 --> 00:03:06This makes it easier to deal with hiding and freezing various objects.00:03:07 --> 00:03:13Right-click an empty area of the main toolbar and choose Layers. The Layers toolbar appears.00:03:13 --> 00:03:20Select all the components that make the zombie and choose the Create New Layer button on the Layers toolbar.00:03:20 --> 00:03:28Give your new layer a name such as "Mesh", ensure the Move Selection to New Layer option is enabled and click OK.00:03:28 --> 00:03:36A new layer is created and the zombie's visibility and Freeze status can now be controlled through this layer.00:03:44 --> 00:03:52If you don't want objects to show in gray when frozen, you would need to remove that option in the objects' properties.00:03:59 --> 00:04:05Deselect all objects in the viewport and create two new layers named "Controllers" 00:04:09 --> 00:04:11and "Bones".00:04:11 --> 00:04:15You will use those as you start building the rig in the next movie.`
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• Basics
• Rigging

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