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Understanding forces and character motion

From: Character Animation Fundamentals in 3ds Max

Video: Understanding forces and character motion

When you start animating characters, the most important thing you need to understand is the concept of force. Characters move because of force, and there are two basic types of forces acting upon your character. One is external forces: those things outside the character. The force of gravity bringing your character down, wind pushing your character back, the force of an object striking your character; really anything outside of the character would be classified as an external force.

Understanding forces and character motion

When you start animating characters, the most important thing you need to understand is the concept of force. Characters move because of force, and there are two basic types of forces acting upon your character. One is external forces: those things outside the character. The force of gravity bringing your character down, wind pushing your character back, the force of an object striking your character; really anything outside of the character would be classified as an external force.

Internal forces would be those created by the character themselves. In other words, forces created by the character's muscles, and these would be the leg muscles, standing up against the force of gravity, the character lifting his hand, or lifting an object. So anything that the character creates is an internal force, and any animation that you do is going to have a balance between internal and external forces. So in order to illustrate this, we're going to do a simple animation here of a moving platform, or a character on a moving platform.

So I have this box here, and it's basically just animating back and forth, so let's attach our character to that box, and then we'll have some forces with which to work with. So what I need to do is attach this character to that box, So the first thing I need to do is just do a select a link, so I'm going to go ahead and move my timeline back to zero, select that ring around the character; it'll be called Character Root. It may be hard to get that but let's go ahead and select that, and then just click and drag that to the box.

And once we do that, the character is now linked to that box, and he should move along with it. So now that we have this set up, let's go ahead and start animating the character responding to force.

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This video is part of

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Character Animation Fundamentals in 3ds Max

64 video lessons · 4860 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 8m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
    3. Character rig overview: a simple character
      1m 53s
    4. Character rig overview: a full character
      1m 54s
    5. Using screen drawing tools
      2m 28s
  2. 22m 48s
    1. Creating strong poses
      3m 27s
    2. Using Selection Sets to help pose characters
      2m 43s
    3. Using layers to select characters
      1m 16s
    4. Learning the basics of posing characters
      10m 23s
    5. Creating stock poses
      4m 59s
  3. 25m 45s
    1. Understanding forces and character motion
      1m 59s
    2. Understanding drag
      6m 43s
    3. Working with secondary motion
      5m 35s
    4. Bringing the character to life
      4m 51s
    5. Refining the animation
      6m 37s
  4. 33m 57s
    1. Keyframing initial poses
      6m 12s
    2. Creating the blocking pass
      6m 53s
    3. Moving holds
      4m 38s
    4. Animating weight shift
      3m 13s
    5. Animating pose-to-pose transitions
      7m 8s
    6. Animating a wave
      5m 53s
  5. 45m 51s
    1. Analyzing a walk
      4m 13s
    2. Setting up a character for a basic walk
      1m 46s
    3. Animating a walk: the feet
      9m 5s
    4. Animating a walk: the lower body
      8m 9s
    5. Animating a walk: making the cycle symmetrical
      4m 45s
    6. Animating a walk: working with the spine
      6m 26s
    7. Animating a walk: arm motion
      7m 42s
    8. Animating a walk: the head
      3m 45s
  6. 26m 28s
    1. Changing a walk using poses
      4m 52s
    2. Changing a walk using foot placement
      4m 52s
    3. Exaggerating a walk: the extended position
      6m 22s
    4. Exaggerating a walk: the passing position
      4m 18s
    5. Exaggerating a walk: the cushion position
      6m 4s
  7. 42m 49s
    1. A run in four poses
      2m 22s
    2. Animating a run: the passing pose
      3m 26s
    3. Animating a run: the extended pose
      5m 19s
    4. Animating a run: mirroring the basic poses
      10m 23s
    5. Animating a run: adding weight
      5m 21s
    6. Animating a run: the spine
      6m 5s
    7. Animating a run: left arm motion
      4m 49s
    8. Animating a run: right arm motion
      5m 4s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. Animating blinks
      6m 33s
    2. Animating changes in eye direction
      6m 1s
    3. Animating a head turn
      4m 49s
    4. Working with audio
      3m 33s
    5. Overview of the mouth controls
      1m 58s
    6. Animating vowels: A, E, and I
      13m 16s
    7. Animating vowels: O, U, and Y
      10m 11s
    8. Animating consonants: B, D, and G
      12m 25s
    9. Animating consonants: F, M, and S
      10m 11s
    10. Animating lip sync: assigning phonemes
      10m 9s
    11. Animating lip sync: head motion
      7m 18s
    12. Animating lip sync: the eyes
      7m 31s
    13. Animating lip sync: the body
      5m 46s
  9. 50m 28s
    1. Creating the main poses
      4m 2s
    2. Blocking poses to dialogue
      5m 31s
    3. Animating moving holds
      6m 51s
    4. Creating weight
      7m 33s
    5. Adding secondary motion
      8m 56s
    6. Animating dialogue
      6m 40s
    7. Adjusting head motion
      5m 10s
    8. Adding blinks
      5m 45s
  10. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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