Loading and saving biped animation clips in 3D max

In addition to creating an animation, you can simply load an existing animation using the Load File button in the Biped rollout. This button opens a file dialog box where you can select the .bip file to load. A preview of the selected biped animation sequence is displayed in the Open dialog box, and you can select to restructure the biped to match the file.

Animation sequences can also be saved using the Save File button. All biped animations are saved using the .bip file extension, and you can select to save any Max objects and List Controllers along with the file.

Using Motion Flow Mode

The Motion Flow Mode button in the Biped rollout opens a rollout of options that let you cre- ate a graphical flow of animation sequences that flow together to create a large animation sequence.

With the Motion Flow Mode button enabled, click the Show Graph button in the Motion Flow rollout. This opens the Motion Flow Graph dialog box, shown in Figure 36-13.

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Figure 36-13: The Motion Flow Graph interface displays each motion  clip as a separate node.

Using the Create Clips button, you can add a node to the graph window. Right-clicking the node lets you open a .bip file. The name of the clip file appears in the node. The Create Transition button can be used to define transitions between nodes, which are represented by arrowed lines. After a transition is defined between two nodes, clicking the Create All Transitions button causes transitions to be created for each defined transition that ensures smooth motion between the various motion clips.

After the nodes of the motion are established, you can use these same nodes to create a motion script that creates the keys needed to view the animation in the viewports. To creat a script, click the Define Script button in the Motion Flow rollout and then select the nodes the order that you want them to appear. Each selected node is added to the rollout list, and dragging the Time Slider displays the biped’s motion in the viewports.

Scripts can be saved and loaded using the Load and Save buttons in the Motion Flow rollout The Motion Flow Graph interface also includes buttons for optimizing, randomizing, and checking all motion clips and their transitions.

Previewing a biped animation

After a biped has been animated using footsteps of Freeform keys, you can preview the ani- mation in the viewport using the Biped Playback button found in the Biped rollout. This ani mates the biped as a stick figure moving through the various keys and is useful for understanding the timing of the biped’s motion.

Moving a biped with its footsteps

When footsteps are created, the biped and its footsteps can be moved independent of one another. The Move All Mode button lets you select and move a biped along with all its foot- steps all together to a new location.


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