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- [Narrator] In chapter 12, we're looking at basic keyframe animation in 3ds Max. Maybe you'll want to create an architectural walkthrough, cause a camera to move through the space, or maybe just pan to take in different regions of the space, and to do that we will use keyframe animation. The first step of keyframe animation is to set up your time configuration parameters. What's your frame rate going to be? How many frames do you want to render, and so on. That's done from a button down here in the lower right corner of the interface.
It's got a little clock and a gear. Time configuration. Click on that, and the dialog opens up. The first thing to look at is the frame rate. We can actually change the frame rate in 3ds Max after the animation has been done, which is pretty incredible, because internally, 3ds Max doesn't calculate in frames. It calculates in something called ticks, which are 1/4800 of a second. So, it slices time down into tiny tiny little increments of a second, and that gives us the ability to, for example, create an animation at, let's say, 30 frames per second, and then change the frame rate, and then render our animation at, say, 25 frames per second.
3D programs are very very smart about this. What are our options for frame rate? The default is labeled NTSC. That is the National Television Standards Committee. It's actually a kind of archaic acronym for the analog television standard in the United States. It's 30 frames per second. Well actually, more precisely, I don't want to get too deep into this, but the real frame rate of video in the United States is not 30 frames per second. It's 29.97 frames per second.
But, 3ds Max doesn't support 29.97. You can only render at 30. And, you can see with NTSC selected under FPS, or frames per second, it says 30. If I change it to PAL, which is the European standard, or Phase Alternating Line, unfortunately, this FPS field doesn't update. That's kind of misleading, because now we're actually working at 25 frames per second. And, you can see in the timeline down here when I switch to NTSC, which is 30, I have 100 frames down here.
When I switch to PAL, which is 25, it cropped off one of those frames. And, down here in our start and end times things have changed. It says 83 frames. Alright, so that's just indicating the difference between NTSC and PAL frame rates. If you choose film, that's very USA-centric. It's assuming a frame rate of 24 frames per second. But in Europe, film runs at 25 frames per second. This is again kind of misleading.
If you're not sure what all this stuff is, and you want to be absolutely certain what your frame rate is, then just bypass all this and go to custom and just type it in here. If I wanted 25, I'd type in 25. If I wanted 30, I would type in 30, and so on. That's my recommendation if you're ever confused about all this junk. Just choose custom and type it in there. Next, down here we've got playback. We do usually want real time playback, especially for something like a camera walkthrough in which we don't have heavy animation of deforming characters and so on.
Leave it at real time, and then the motion you see in the viewport will pretty much correspond to what you'll see when you finally render. We have the ability to update animation only in the active view or in all the views. By default it's only going to update animation in the active view. Then, you got looping. It's going to actually play through your timeline and then start back on frame zero. Then, down here we have the animation parameters. What's the duration of the timeline proper here? 3ds Max is set up to start on frame zero, which is kind of unorthodox for animation.
Usually, animation starts on frame one, so that if you go from frame one to frame 30 you have 30 frames. But in Max, if you go from frame zero to frame 30 you've actually got 31 frames total. A lot of people like to actually start on frame one, so you might want to change that. And then additionally, it's kind of a cool thing people do sometimes is they will set up, for example, a character rig on frame zero and then start the animation on frame one.
Then, they can go back to frame zero and see what the rig looked like before it was animated. But here, all we really want to do is start on frame one, and then we've got our end time. Unfortunately, we don't get to see the actual time duration here. This is not telling us how many seconds and frames we're going to get. We'll actually have to kind of do the math. If I wanted five seconds of animation, then I would need at 30 frames per second, I would need 30 times five, and that would be 150 frames.
I could set my end time here to 150. Just type that in, 150. And then, what you'll see here is kind of some unorthodox readouts. We have length and frame count, and those are two different things. Frame count is the number of frames, which makes perfect sense here. We're going from frame one to frame 150. And, length is the duration of time that does not include the duration of the last frame.
Kind of weird. I would ignore this length thing, because that really makes no sense. If you render this out, and you get 150 frames, and you bring that into an editing program, you will actually get five seconds of animation. So, this is a fake out. Alright, cool. Now, if you really needed to, you could scale time for the entire scene after you've done your animation, and that's what this button is. But really, when you're just starting out, all you need to do is set your frame rate and your start and end time and then click OK, and you're good to go.
I'm ready to do five seconds of animation.
AuthorAaron F. Ross
Learn how to get around the 3ds Max interface and customize it to suit your production pipeline. Discover how to model different objects using splines, NURBS, polygons, subdivision surfaces, and tools such as Paint Deform. Then, find out how to construct hierarchies, add cameras and lights to a scene, and animate with keyframes. Author Aaron F. Ross also takes an in-depth look at materials and texture mapping as well as the rendering options, including an introduction to Arnold, the new production renderer.
- Customizing and configuring the interface
- Selecting, duplicating, and editing objects
- Working with sub-objects in the modifier stack
- Performing polygonal and subdivision surface modeling
- Freeform modeling and sculpting
- Modeling with splines and NURBS
- Linking objects in hierarchies
- Framing shots with cameras
- Creating and editing keyframes
- Controlling lights and shadows
- Building materials
- Mapping textures
- Rendering sequences
Skill Level Beginner
1. Getting Started
2. 3ds Max Interface
3. Manipulating Objects
4. Using the Modifier Stack
5. Spline Modeling
6. Polygon Modeling
7. Sub-Object Polygon Editing
8. Subdivision Surface Modeling
Baking subdivisions3m 27s
9. Freeform Modeling
11. Layout and Modeling
12. Keyframe Animation
15. Mapping Textures
Next steps2m 11s
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