CAT Overview - Part 2: Animating with CAT

By
-
Login to Follow
-
Industry
  • Film & VFX
  • Games
  • Design Visualization
Subject
  • Animation
  • Character
  • General
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate

In this second set of videos, you will learn how to use CAT to animate. You'll see everything about the animation layer manager and the types of layers that CAT offers. You will also go through some techniques for using CAT Motion and the Target IK system.

CAT Animation Layers

In this video, learn the basics of animation layers and how layers relate to each other in the layer evaulation stack.

Types of Animation Layers in CAT

CAT offers 4 types of animation layers that all have a special use in animations. In this video, you will learn what are those types and what you can do with them.

Introduction to CAT Motion

CAT Motion allows the creation of procedural walk cycles with attitude. In this first introduction to CAT Motion, you'll see the workflow to create in place loopable walk cycles.

Making Characters Walk in a Scene with CAT Motion

Extend you knowledge of CAT Motion to make your characters walk (and run!) in a scene by having them follow a animated node or a motion path. All that while the footsteps are sticking to an uneven ground without sliding. See how the same technique is used for bipeds and centipedes.

Overview of the Target IK System

CAT has a unique Target IK system that allows to have the character's hands or feet follow an object in a scene. In this video, see how the Target IK system works.

Animating with the Target IK System

In this video, see how the Tarket IK system of CAT can be used to have a character walk on its knees and how to have the hands of a character rest on his legs (hands in pockets) then on his pelvis (fashion show walk).

Mixing Layers with Different Transition Positions

When you mix animation layers together, it often happens that the end position of the ending layer doesn't match with the position of the starting layer. CAT offers a nice workflow to adjust relative positions between layers that don't match. Learn how it works in this video.

After doing this second set of videos, i realized that their is still a lot more to cover. So i'll be recording new videos and will post them here soon. So, check out for CAT Overview Part 3.

Posted By
Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Animation
  • Character
  • General
50 Comments
To post a comment please login or register
| 11 years ago
Louis, I thank you once again for all your effort in producing this material. CAT training has been something has been greatly lacking for years now, the documentation was poor, fragmented and hard to navigate for the beginner. Your series of tutorials has at LONG last begun to help our community better understand how to use this comprehensive and powerful tool...so kudos! I'm encouraged to see that now that CAT has become an Autodesk product it is finally getting some of the attention that it well deserves. Looking forward to your next installment!
| 11 years ago
in the mixing layers with different transitions, you can have the 2nd motion start at the exact time the 1st one ends if you start the layer at zero instead of .1 that should get rid of the sliding. or have the 2nd layer start before the 1st one ends
| 11 years ago
this material is great. to bad we can't down load it to watch it again.
| 11 years ago
total insanity, as always. thanks, Louis. //garyD
| 11 years ago
Great ! thanks Louis.
| 11 years ago
Beautiful workflow and great demo videos! Easy to use and powerful:-) Thanks a lot!
| 11 years ago
i'm thinking we need some skinning tuts, probably the least documented aspect of character animation
| 11 years ago
Definitely it has helped us all Artists with all these videos tutorials. For those who wish to download the videos, just download the orbit downloader and download all the videos. I also agree, a tut for skinning a human body would be nice, a continuation from the last video from Part 1. Thank you again Louise. I'm starving for this knowledge.
| 11 years ago
Thanks for all the comments. I appreciate. It takes a lot of time to prepare all those videos so i am happy you like them. If you are interested in skinning tutorials, Paul Neale did a great DVD only on skinning. Look for his DVD series on www.cg-academy.net. I learned a lot from those DVD's and they are a good investment for any technical animator.
| 11 years ago
Hey Louis, again thank you and I'm sure everybody is looking forward for more tuts of CAT. I made a request at Digital Tutors and they have plans to create CAT tutorials as well. Check this thread I created just now: http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/22238/ Maybe you and DT can join forces? just an idea. Again, thank you.
| 11 years ago
Thanks for posting Louis! I've been using Puppetshop for a while now and wanted to learn CAT but there seemed to be little to no information on how to do some things that I imagine are pretty simple. I know some information is on the wiki but a few questions I've had about CAT is ... http://cat.wiki.softimage.com/index.php/Customizing_IK_Using_Constraints I was wondering if you could do a more in depth tutorial on different spine/pelvis set ups...specifically, how to make a an IK/FK spine with and independent hip controller. Thanks and well done on the first batch! :)
| 11 years ago
I bought the "3ds Max fundamentals DVD" from 3DBuzz.com a while back and it covers skinning in great detail as well. Actually, the name isn't quite accurate...it goes way beyond the fundamentals. So that's another good resource, and well worth the cost. Regarding these tutorials, they are an immense help, and I hope there is an upcoming overview of CATMuscles (which happens to be a pretty important feature to this animation system).
| 11 years ago
OUTSTANDING!! :D Thank you very much, I sincerely appreciate it! You do the BEST job with tuts and this series is excellent! XD !
| 11 years ago
Hi Louis, thank you so much for your great tutorial videos. I have better understanding on CAT now. CAT is a cool animation tool, but it's hard to learn because there is not enough documentation provided by the developer. btw, when I animate biped, I can select different Pivot points on biped's palm, how do I achieve it in CAT? Is this supposed to be the purpose of Local adjustment Layer? And also, after I use CATmotion and made several adjustment layers, is there any way I can combine all the animation layers together so that I can adjust keys and curves for each bone and NOT worry which animation layer they are? Thanks for the awesome and easy understanding tutorials again. I will look forward to more animation tutorials.
| 11 years ago
Hey Louis...love the tuts. Maybe someday you could get around to applying the CAT models and rigging to a modeled character and not just bipeds, but quads like the dragon and horses, etc. I myself would love it.
| 11 years ago
Louis you da man for putting these vids together.
| 11 years ago
Thanks for the tuts. I am looking forward to anything more you do on CAT. Would also like to see some work with the mesh characters. Thanx again.
| 11 years ago
great stuff Louis.
| 10 years ago
Thank you very much for the video and for your work! These lessons are very useful and helped me personally to understand the CAT. I look forward to Part 3 Thank you very much, Louis!!!!!!
| 10 years ago
Great stuff. I was looking for video tutorials for CAT and it seems they're not much material on the web so this is really helpful. Thank you very much
| 10 years ago
Louis, when can we expect part 3? CAT is great, but I could use some more help! Thanks.
| 10 years ago
Thanks again Louis. Hope something on CAT Muscle is coming soon :)
| 10 years ago
thank you very much, theese tutorials are very good :)
| 10 years ago
I used CAT RIG on my animation. Now I have to export to WRL and SW3D and I can not that. When I exported that animation only the geometric form does work. How can I resolv that problem?
| 10 years ago
Great Tut man ... anxiously for part 3
| 10 years ago
Hey people, Louis these tuts are great. Some CAT muscle tuts would really help as well. I haven't seen anything on this area as yet. Note to everyone asking about skinning tutorials. Skinning is exactly the same in max there are hundreds of skinning tutorials for max and there are plenty just in the max help. Skinning has not changed in CAT . Anyway keep up the good work Louis.
| 10 years ago
Thanks Louis, This set of tutorials are tough to find but really helpful. Probably the only once on CAT. I feel the need to make the character walk from scratch. I had to make a dog and could not find any way i could use Motion Layer to do it. A small vid here would help greatly. Cheers!
| 10 years ago
thank you sooooooo much. cant wait for part 3. hopefully some muscle?
| 10 years ago
nice tuts
| 10 years ago
Is there any way to download the clips off the area to keep on my HDD?? South Africa's internet really blows and we only have a 3 gig cap for the month :(
| 10 years ago
Thank You Louis, its really appreciated. I only wish I could wathch these tutorials 2 years ago. I lost precious time, literally months in Maya with rigging. CAT seems to have very intuitive intsrface but if you dont you dont know what it can do it looks a littke bit disturbing. But again thanks a lot!
| 10 years ago
Thanks. The IK target worked great, but what can i do if i want to take the ik off for a few frames but still have the ball connected to the hand, ie when i move the hand the ball moves..?
| 10 years ago
hi , i wanna ask you if with cat we can animate caractere on an deformable or animated ground. because when i pick an ground it does'nt take in account the deformtion or animation. it animate ans create a steps in courrent position only. if you can propose me an solution thank youu.
| 10 years ago
Thank you Louis, fantastic set of tutorials, I look forward doing part 3!
| 9 years ago
Thanks for these videos, sure helped a lot ! Few things though: I see you applying a walk-cycle on your (unrealistic) character very easily ... When I do that (I used the Marine-preset), the walk-cycle is : Drunk, posing, swinging, bended-knies and juggling all over the place .... makes me wonder ..... Also: when wanting to apply mocap-data seems a somewhat in-efficient way of working, but then again: the fundametals for working with CAT are off course a bit diff then CharaterStudio. And last: some modifications on the biped are not registered in the UNDO-list < is this common ?
| 9 years ago
thanks for this videos < and i realized that you need two tips to learn > first : you dont have to change the spinner value to make a key frame ,, you can only hold the shift key and right click the spinner arrows and your new key will be recorded automaticaly ,,! second : you always use the world adjustment layer to make a change for only one part of the body and then start to change the local value for other parts to zero ,, instead , you can use a local adjustmint layer for that part of the rig ,, the strange thing is that i learned this from your previous videos !!! again , thank you very much for your helpfull lessons .
| 9 years ago
Louis, I've found your tutorials extremely helpful over the last few years. Regarding CAT, I am curious if you have stayed on top of its progress as of Max 2011? Do you have any insider information on when CAT will be fixed to stop crashing Max when CATMotion is opened? Many people cannot even use CAT because of this bug. I wanted to know if you have any input/help to offer those of us who want to use CAT but can't because it simply doesn't work right in Max 2011 64-bit. The freeze is so bad that Max doesn't even let you submit a crash report to Autodesk... so no one is really certain how seriously Autodesk is going to take it. Some of the threads regarding this bug on the Area: http://area.autodesk.com/forum/autodesk-3ds-max/3ds-max-cat/cat-motion-freezes/ http://area.autodesk.com/forum/autodesk-3ds-max/3ds-max-cat/what-cat-defects-would-you-like-fixed/ Thanks for any input.
| 9 years ago
Hello Louis, Thank for your tutorials ! Frank
| 8 years ago
really impressive, I'm about to give up Cat and go back to the old days of bones tool, you just saved my project.
| 8 years ago
Hi, I'm a student in learning and your tutorials have put me ahead of the game in class projects. I would like to say thanks.
| 8 years ago
In last move in about 5min. You did an absolute layer imo 1st way was easier -2 keys of the same position of the leg.
| 7 years ago
Thanks for these great tutorials, they helped me very much!! CAT is awesome! :D Thanks again! Bigo
| 7 years ago
thanks for the tutorials
Thank you for this tutorial, however I can't blend cat motion layer with absolute layer without sliding. A tutorial explaining how to make character walking, stop, and restart several times. would be awesome! Thanks again.
| 6 years ago
The tutorials are good, but the video quality is pretty terrible. A higher resolution, better codec, higher bit rate, or a combination of those would be great.
| 6 years ago
The CAT rig is so easy to use. The last tutorial was great. I can't wait to see more. I hope next time to see some MOCAP in the next Tutorials. Great work.
| 5 years ago
wonderfull tutorial again
| 4 years ago
Dear Louis Superb tutorials. I learned most impotent concepts with your videos. Thank you very much for your great effort.
| 3 years ago
Using 3D Studio Max 2015, in the walking on knees tutorial, starting from 1:30, after rotating the lower legs upwards, the lower legs will stay in position as the knee swings; instead of conforming to the ground. How do we fix this?
| 2 years ago
Everytime I try to animate anything in CAT, and save the scene and load it in, when I turn on the animation layer, all my IK targets move and freeze to the origin. How do I fix this? What did I do wrong?
*Save $66 per month on Autodesk's Suggested Retail Price (SRP) when purchasing 1 year term 3ds Max or Maya subscription.