An awesome collection of tools aimed to improve modelling, rigging, and animation in Autodesk’s 3ds Max. Most of them have been created to reduce time consuming and to improve the production pipeline.
The tool Animanager gives assistance for animation control and rigging. It is made of several sub-components.
1. Controllers Manager
A feature needed to handle a high number of generic animation controllers, useful to:
- store/restore controller’s setup for usage in future sessions
- freeze controllers’ transforms
- restore frozen controllers’ transforms
- bake animation keys for one or all controllers
2. Advanced Rigger
A feature for partial rigging of skeleton sub-systems. This sub-tool is useful to rig entire generic characters, not only humanoid. Advanced Rigger includes:
- IK/FK rigging for a generic bones chain, with ready switching between IK and FK and vice versa; also, it is possible to set up single IK or FK controls and include the swivel angle control for IK configurations.
- Fingers rig for animation control of phalanges.
- Paws rig for the control of every movement of feets such as heel/tip lift, rolling and pitching.
- Spine rig for automated spline controlling of generic bones chain, with customizable number of knots.
- Twist bones rig for the fragmentation of a single bone (such as radius/ulna or fibula/tibia) into multiple segments to simulate longitudinal rotation.
3. Facial Rigger
Automatic implementation of the so-called “dorito effect” specifically for facial rig. Given a generic polygon and an its arbitrary set of faces of the same polygon, the tool creates ready-to-animate controller points, beside weighted skinning. Those controllers allow to manipulate the main geometry, but also remain stuck to it if morph animation or other rigging is used.
This “finger snap” feature allows to reduce dramatically the time consuming during this rigging stage.
Tool for the boosting of spline modelling. It helps to create topology-aware geometry, basing on 2D references such as blueprints or sketches. The strength of Blaster lies in the fact that the orthographic references don’t have to be aligned during the modelling process, the artist has to pick the key-points and the tool will solve the third dimension.
Blaster also creates automatically topology splines and connecting bridges.
This tool allows to manage complex transform animations with few clicks. Essentially it concatenates isomorphic geometries representing partial movements, allowing to control the timing of the overall animation. Obviously, the anti-transform is also managed.
Armature MK is a powerful tool to rig universal humanoid characters. Its algorithm is based on reference locators placed in particular points of the character (e.g. knees, elbows, ankles, wrists, neck…) to setup a fully rigged armature skeleton.
This can be very useful to rig secondary or extra characters.
An implementation of the Motorcycle Graphs as presented by the Walt Disney Animation Studios for the partitioning of canonical quad mesh.
This script allows to partitioning semi-regular quadrilateral meshes into structured submeshes
See here the original publication from WDAS.