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

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Subject
  • Animation
  • Basics
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Skill Level
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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 --> 00:00:09
Before you start building the skeleton, it is important to cover some ground rules about rotations.

00:00:09 --> 00:00:19
There have been many papers about rotations in 3D, gimbal lock limitations, 90-degree and 180-degree flips and other related issues.

00:00:19 --> 00:00:24
Here we will not attempt to dissect all these problems that have already been addressed numerous times.

00:00:24 --> 00:00:30
Instead, you will follow a set of rules that will minimize the chance for such problems to occur.

00:00:31 --> 00:00:38
Understanding how rotations work in a 3D application makes it easier to decide which viewport to draw the bone branch in.

00:00:39 --> 00:00:43
As much as possible, you want to favor rotations on the Z-axis.

00:00:44 --> 00:00:50
For example, to build a leg or a spine, you'd want to use a side view like the Left view.

00:00:52 --> 00:01:00
This 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 --> 00:01:13
You'd still need to animate the X and Y rotations,

00:01:13 --> 00:01:16
for the thigh mind you,

00:01:19 --> 00:01:21
the calf only rotates in Z,

00:01:21 --> 00:01:26
but these would represent secondary, less extreme motions.

00:01:29 --> 00:01:37
In 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 --> 00:01:53
The rotation in Y is only important at the shoulder level, since the forearm, like the calf, only rotates in local-Z.

00:01:56 --> 00:02:00
As far as the rotation in X is concerned, that effect is minimal.

00:02:01 --> 00:02:09
The 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 --> 00:02:13
The default order of rotational computations is XYZ.

00:02:14 --> 00:02:19
The final rotation is determined once all three axes have been evaluated.

00:02:19 --> 00:02:28
This 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 --> 00:02:33
Therefore, it is important that major rotations happen on that angle.

00:02:34 --> 00:02:38
You could potentially change the axis rotation order in the Motion panel.

00:02:38 --> 00:02:45
However, be aware that most gaming engines are only compatible with an XYZ Rotation Axis Order.

00:02:45 --> 00:02:52
It 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 --> 00:02:55
This is precisely what you will do in the next movie.

00:02:56 --> 00:03:02
One last thing to consider before moving on; you may want to set up a layering system to help with scene management.

00:03:02 --> 00:03:06
This makes it easier to deal with hiding and freezing various objects.

00:03:07 --> 00:03:13
Right-click an empty area of the main toolbar and choose Layers. The Layers toolbar appears.

00:03:13 --> 00:03:20
Select all the components that make the zombie and choose the Create New Layer button on the Layers toolbar.

00:03:20 --> 00:03:28
Give your new layer a name such as "Mesh", ensure the Move Selection to New Layer option is enabled and click OK.

00:03:28 --> 00:03:36
A new layer is created and the zombie's visibility and Freeze status can now be controlled through this layer.

00:03:44 --> 00:03:52
If 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 --> 00:04:05
Deselect all objects in the viewport and create two new layers named "Controllers"

00:04:09 --> 00:04:11
and "Bones".

00:04:11 --> 00:04:15
You will use those as you start building the rig in the next movie.
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  • 3ds Max
  • Animation
  • Basics
  • Rigging
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