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In 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training, author Aaron F. Ross demonstrates how to use this top-tier application for digital content creation, widely used in diverse industries such as architecture, industrial design, motion pictures, games and virtual worlds. This course covers modeling with polygons, curves, and subdivision surfaces, defining surface properties with materials and maps, setting up cameras and lights, animating objects, and final output rendering. Exercise files accompany the course.
In preparation for animating an articulated assembly of objects we need to understand a little bit about animation hierarchies. So I've got this robot arm built up here, and it's already been constructed and all the parts have been connected together. So as you see if I select an object and use the Rotate tool, it's rotating and other parts are rotating with it. So let me tumble around here in orbit so you can kind of see.
If I rotate his base, the whole arm will swivel, because this is made out of separate parts that have all been connected together. So this is a classic example of an animation hierarchy. And the term hierarchy is interchangeable with a couple of other terms that you may see. For example, link and parent. So these are all kind of mean the same thing. So what are the basic concepts around an animation hierarchy? Well, the number one thing is that objects are linked together in parent-child relationships.
And the child object inherits the transforms of its parent. So by transforms of course, we mean Position, Rotation and Scale. So if I select a parent object and rotate it, then its child is going to rotate as well. Same thing applies here. If I select this robot shoulder object and rotate it, its child is also going to rotate. So you've got this elbow object here and it's also following along.
So the first rule of thumb here is that child objects inherit the transforms of their parents. So I can show this also with the Move tool. If I hit the G key we can see the grid. If I grab the Move tool and move his base, all the children follow along with it. So again, a child object inherits the transforms of its parent. The second rule about hierarchies is that a child may have exactly 1 parent. So it's not like biology where a child has two parents.
Here a child is only allowed to have one parent. So, for example, when I select this elbow here, its parent is the shoulder. And the shoulder has a parent, which is this turntable object. And that turntable has a parent, which is the base. So this is a linked chain going from child to parent, to parent, to parent. So a child can only have one parent. However, a parent may have multiple children. So if we look at the claws here, there are two little claws, and they're both linked or parented to this wrist object.
So that when I manipulate these parts you'll see that everything is following along, and these two objects are following as well. So those are the basic three rules of thumb around a hierarchy. Child inherits transforms of parent. A child may have one parent, but a parent may have multiple children.
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