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3D Help: Tutorials, Doc's and Files

   About 3D Help:   

This page is created for 3D users of all software. You may find this page useful if you do 3D modeling, texturing, lighting, or animation. Share and Enjoy!

Please choose from one of the following sections:

[ Tutorials]       [ More Help]       [ Files ]      [ MAX Scripts ]      [ Maya MEL Scripts ]     

   Programming and Reference Tutorials:   

MayaAPI Help Page
This is my own help page for people who want to write C++ plugin for Maya. It has some basic info to help people who already know C+ and are familiar with the Maya SDK, but want some sample code or an easy place to find basic samples from.

CArray.h - Template C++ Class for Maya Arrays
If you are a C++ plug-in programmer for Maya, you may find this template class useful. It has a generic implementation of a dynamic array class that has the same function calls and usage as the regular Maya array classes. This lets you create array classes of your own types or of types that Maya doesn't provide for like MMatrixArrays and so on.

   Animation and Setup Tutorials:   

Character Animation: Principles and Practice
If you are at all interested in CHARACTER animation, read this. It covers the basic principles of animation, in addition to some "extra" principles or facets, that people on the CG-Char mailing list helped put together.

Animation Process: A Case Study
This document shows one of my animation tests at various stages of completion from start to finish. It describes how I go about my animations, the stages and process I use, and how things look as I progress.

Cartoony Eye Setup for 3DSMAX
This is an article that shows how to setup Squash and Stretch cartoony eyes in MAX. It covers some simple eye modeling, and then how to rig. This is valid even for earlier version of MAX before version 4, except for some of the advanced topics discussed at the end.

Lip Sync - Making Character Speak
Includes sample images of phonemes, morph targets, as well as an actual run through of how to do track analysis. This is a general guide and article on how to create and animate Lip Sync in most packages.

3D Studio MAX - IK Setup
How to create a working IK leg setup with FK and IK feet. ***NOTE This is specifically for 3D Studio MAX 3.1. Max 4 has a much better IK setup that simplifies most of what has to be done here. See also, a new MAX 4 sample file below in the files area that shows how to setup cartoony "stretchy" legs.

CG Character Animation FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
This is the FAQ document for the CG-Char Mailing List, at http://www.cg-char.com/ If you are at all into character animation, you should definitely check out this mailing list and read this document.

   Modeling and Texturing Tutorials:   

Facial Modeling - Spline Modeling Heads
How I created my anime head that is used for the facial animation tutorial above. This specfically shows 3D Studio MAX, but could be used for anyother spline based approach, such as Hash Animation Master.

Facial Modeling - Modeling a Head with Polys in 3DSMAX
This tutorial shows the steps used to create a Mesh/Poly model head instead of a spline version. It goes along well with the Body Modeling tutorial below.

Body Modeling - Modeling with Meshsmooth
How I created the body for my anime character, as well as a little more information on the hair creation as well. This uses basic polygon/box modeling techniques, and so is useful for a variety of packages. WARNING: Contains nudity, not suitable for those under 18.

3D Hair Tutorial
How I created the hair for my anime model. Full size texture map files are shown inline!

Mapping Technqiues with MAX
This describes how to properly apply mapping on the stack of your model so that it "sticks" when the model is animated. It also discusses the proper order for getting both skinning with bones, as well as morphing to work together.

   General 3D Help and Information:   

About Me & How I Got Started In 3D Graphics
This explains how I got started in the 3D field since I get that question a lot in E-Mail.

More 3D/Art Questions? Need More Help?
Try this list of questions and answers here BEFORE you E-Mail me. This includes general information about the tutorials here, things like what schools are good, or should you go to school, and more.

   Files (3D Studio MAX Files):   

Stretchy IK Leg files - 122,000 bytes ZIPPED
This is a ZIP of 4 New HI-IK setup leg files for MAX 4.0. It shows a basic IK structure, with how to setup "stretchy" legs via maxscript and wiring. This is what was used in the full rig above.

I now have a "charRigger" script below which will AUTOCREATE an entire rig like this off of placed pointHelpers. Check it out below!

MAX IK Leg Setup files - 46,633 bytes ZIPPED
This is a ZIP of 2 New IK setup files. One with an FK foot which detaches from the ankle if pulled too far, the other a full seamless IK setup. Note these are from of 7/17/99 and feature MAX 3.1's method of controlling the knee.
Finally, there is now an online IK setup tutorial under my 3D Docs section. ***Note: MAX 4's newer IK setup outdates this file and the old tutorial.