Creating IK Target For Double Hand Animation in 3D Studio Max

While making an animation which animating one or double hand linked to another object we use IK targets. Linking an IK target saves us from animating objects seperately such as holding sword, rotating a car wheel etc. For sword example, mostly the position and rotation of the sword matters, not the hands. So when animating a sword, we expect that hands follow the sword handle by keeping their position on the sword.

I will explain it with a basic human CAT object. For ones who dont know how to create a CAT object, it can be found below Create Panel> Helpers> CAT Object

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If you successfully create the human figure click Motion Panel. You will find the Layer Manager as you can see in left picture. Press and hold the button which I marked with red and release the button on Abs (Absolute Layer). Then press Setup/Animation Mode Toggle button so it will transform from red stop image to green play image.

 

 

 

 

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Select any hand bone. If hand bone selected in the figure, you will see the Limb Animation rollup in Motion Panel. The button which I marked with red, creates the Target Point we need. You should press this button for each hands for this tutorial. If you did it right a cross must show up just front of the hands.

If you move this crosses, hands wont follow it. We will solve it very soon. Now its time to positioning the hands. I created a very basic sword for demonstration as you can see below.

 

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I moved the hands until it looks like the figure is holding the sword with two hands but targets are still keeping their position.

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Below the Limb Animation rollup, inside the IK System tab click the button which says Move IKTarget to Palm. This button will relocate the targets to the place where they have to be. Below this tab there are three scrolls as you can see in left picture. The scroll which says IK/FK must be “0,0”. Now the hands will follow the targets. So link the targets to the sword. Now the hands will moved by sword. Try to rotate or move the sword. If you didn’t miss anything, your animation must work well. I showed a picture below when my figure holds the sword.

 

Tip: After creating the sword, move the pivot point to the middle of the hands. When you rotate the sword the hands will animate very realistic.

 

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For another example the figure below move its hands as the wheel rotates.

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I hope it was helpful. If you have any questions leave a comment.

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How to 3D Low Poly Style Landscape

 

In this post I will explain the tricks of low poly style landscape render with 3Ds Max.1I started the project by creating the plane for the ground base mesh. Its a simple almost square 20×25 segment plane. Then I converted to “Edit Poly” by right clicking the mesh.

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After creating ground I heightened the hills and the mountains with “soft selection tool” which is in Soft Selection panel at right side.

5  When I create the mountain tops I increased the pinch value of the soft selection tool as you see in the picture at left. Pinch value make the vertices which is in the falloff area of the selection stronger or weaker. The graph below values must be seen like a mountain.

Tip: You can start to create mountains with a lower pinch and you can increase the value a little after.

 

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I finally decided to leave the mountains like above. 9

After finishing the ground, mountains material have to be set up. I decided to paint mountain body to brown and top of the mountain to white. Due to there is only one mesh to paint 3 different materials, the best solution is to use “multi-sub object”. To use this kind of material, Polygon Material ID’s must be grouped. I left the polygons that will be grass to default 1, I set the mountain body to ID 2 and the mountain top to ID 3. It can be set in Polygon Material IDs in the Edit Poly tab. As you can see above. Before setting the IDs the polygons which will be grouped must be already selected.

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I am using “smooth” modifier to harden the meshes. It can be selected in modifier list>smooth. If Auto Smooth is selected, decrease the treshold amount and the mesh will be like low poly style.8

To create the multi/sub-object, Open the Material tab (press M) then click the button which says “standart” which is shown in the first picture above. It will open a new window. Pick “Multi/Sub-Object”. As you see in the 3rd picture above there is a list of material slots. Due to polygon material groups which is I did before the ID groups of the material will paint them.

1st ID is green for the ground

2nd ID is brown for the mountain body

3rd ID is white for the mountain top

If the material IDs set correctly the mesh will be shown like the picture below.

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I created the trees in a very basic way. I created a cone, copied it 4 times and attached with a stick. I set the polygon material groups of the leaves to 2 and left the stick to default 1. I made a new multi sub object material and added it to the tree.clouds

Creating the clouds is a little bit tricky. I created a basic sphere with 16 segment then I used “pro-optimizer” modifier which is in the modifier list menu and I added “smooth” modifier to make it look low poly style. Just copied 3 times and variated it.

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Stone is also created with the same modifiers.

 

 

To create a forest, copying and copying is not the best way. It takes time and it will be like un aligned by the ground with hills. I think the best way to make a forest is to using the “Object Paint Tool” which is above of the viewport screen. Before using this tool make sure the object that you want to copy is 1 mesh.

Press the button which is marked with the number “1” then click the tree mesh. Press the button which is marked with 2 and you can click to the ground where you want to create a tree. It will copy the tree where you will click. It is also aligned by the Axis “Z”. It means if you click the mountain the tree will not stay below the ground. If new trees are so big you can manipulate the values which is marked with “3” cyan color.

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I put the stones with the same tools. I copied some clouds to the sky and added some details like the river, rainbow and stuff.

2D Character Animation With Adobe After Effects

This is a very short part of the video teaser of Şekermeker – Sugarmugar which is a game going to be released soon for Android and IOS. The game will be published by Codemodeon Game Studio which is I’am currently working as an art director. I will explain you how I created the teaser video with basic tools in After Effects.
creating the bodyThe characters in the video are exactly the same images as the one in the game. I started with seperating the joints and moveable parts of the characters such as legs, arms, eyes, eyebrow, head. Then I exported them to After Effects layer by layer.

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After I get my images in the project panel next step is to create a new composition. I used the values below.

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Next, drag and drop the images that insinde the project panel to composition panel below. The images will be over and over not accurately. So I needed to move the individual parts to the actual places.

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The woman doesn’t have a mouth as you see above. That because the mouth needs to be created in After Effects as a vector. So we can move the control points to animate it look like she is speaking.

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I created the mouth like above by using Pen tool. I made only 4 control point, so it is a very simple mouth. Pen tool must be used after creating a new shape layer. Otherwise it will react as if a mask.

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To create motion I made a tween for the Shape Layer 1>Contents>Shape1>Path1. Its a very long path but easy when you familiar to it. After Effects works with keyframes. I presume that you alredy know how it works so I will not explain it.

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To animate joints, I used puppet tool. It is a very usefull tool in After Effects. It lets us define joints and move them by click an release.

A usefull tip: you can Ctrl+click to a joint to make a realtime animation. If you click ctrl while you already clicked to puppet tool you will realize the cursor will be a clock. So it is ready to animate. Animation starts from the current time until the end of the composition time.

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If you dont have a character, you can experience it with simple objects like boxes etc. Puppet tool is great for cartoon animations. It is simple but the result satisfies.