Hero Animation Tools

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Icon 3dsMax.png

Contents


This Additional Tool for 3ds Max is provided as a bonus to help automate and simplify the operations within 3ds Max as they apply to HeroEngine.

Overview

Normally, 3ds Max allows for only a single animation in a given Max file. This can be very inconvenient, especially as you try and maintain consistency or manage skeletal changes. The "Animation Tools" window, however, lets you keep track of any number of animations in a single Max file. An example of this would be instead of having 30 attack animation files to manage and merge back and forth, we now have one file with 30 sequences. These Sequences can be batch exported as well, making the tool that much more powerful. Sequences are stored in the custom file properties with the scene. Animation tags are also used as a secondary convenience for navigating the time line. Internally each sequence is just a range of keys in the animation timeline. So there is still, really, only one animation in the file. But by using this tool, the keyframe ranges can be managed and exported as separate animations. This tool is not blocking you from overlapping animations and mixing up your keyframes. So as a user you must stay conscious of where each sequence is it. A lot has been done to give you that information, but the tool will not stop you from poor organization. In our pipeline, we use this tool to break down all like animation sets into files. For example, all the following sets will have their own max file: all normal turns, all combat turns, all normal idles, combat idles, all attacks, all spell cast, all locomotion, and any special animations such falls, impact, etc, will typically go together. So we are reducing the need to have 60+ animation files down to about 8 on an average character. You can organize things however fits your pipeline. Be aware that some tools in max, such as certain IK chains, start to break down after so many frames. Please reference MAXScript help for any of max's shortcomings in frame length. Animation Tools itself, does not care how many frames your file is however.

So it is recommended that you experiment with it and understand it well before you go full on with it.

AnimationTools v89.png


Sequences


Frame Range


Animation Compression


Animation Notes
See also: Animation Notes

This section is used for managing the animation notes on a character in a given scene. There is no need to create a note track on the character. The tool will add one automatically if one is not present, or use the current one if one is present. When a file is loaded the Note List scans the Note track and adds any unique notes to the list to be used later.


Export
BatchExport Anims v89.png


See also

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