Tutorials: Animation - Autodesk | 3ds Max Design, Engineering
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FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE REGARDING THESE MATERIALS. 4
Here you can learn the fundamentals of creating animation with 3ds Max.
Features Covered in This Section
■ Auto Key animation
■ Dummy objects and animation
■ Track View – Dope Sheet
■ Looping animation
■ Weighted list controllers
■ Set Key Animation
■ Path constraint and Path deform animation methods
■ Schematic View Improvements
■ Animation control through List Controllers
■ Wiring and expressions
■ Sound track editing
473 Animating with Auto Key: Bouncing a Ball
A bouncing ball is a common first project for new animators. This classic
example is an excellent tool for explaining basic animation processes in 3ds
In this tutorial, you will learn how to:
■ Create animation using transforms.
■ Cop keys in the track bar.
■ Use ghosting to visualize in-betweens.
■ Use tangent handles in the Function Curve Editor to control in-betweens.
■ Create looping animation using Parameter Out-of-Range Types.
■ Animate using dummy objects.
■ Use Layout mode.
■ Apply Multiplier curves.
■ Work with the Dope Sheet Editor to speed up animation and reverse time.
474 | Chapter 4 Animation Tutorials ■ Animate using Set Key mode.
Skill level: Beginner
Time to complete: 1 hour 45 minutes
Creating Animation Using Auto Key
In this lesson, you'll start learning how to animate in 3ds Max.
Animate the ball using the Move transform:
1 On the Quick Access toolbar, click the Open File button, navigate
to the animation\auto_key folder and open bounce_start.max.
NOTE The following illustrations display the grid differently than you will see
in your viewports. For ease of use, press G on the keyboard to hide the display
of your grid.
Creating Animation Using Auto Key | 475 Perspective viewport: bounce_start.max
This file has the Perspective viewport displayed on the lower left. This is
not the standard viewport layout; the layout has been customized for
2 Click Auto Key to turn on this feature.
The Auto Key button and the time slider background turn red
to indicate that you are in animation mode. The viewport is outlined in
red, as well. Now, when you move, rotate, or scale an object, you create
476 | Chapter 4 Animation Tutorials Time Slider background turns red
3 Click to select the ball in the Perspective viewport.
It is displayed within white selection brackets, indicating that it’s selected.
4 Right-click the ball and choose Move from the Transform quadrant of
the quad menu.
Creating Animation Using Auto Key | 477 The Transform gizmo appears in the viewport. The Transform gizmo lets
you easily perform constrained movements. As you move your cursor
over the Transform gizmo, the different axes and their labels turn yellow.
478 | Chapter 4 Animation Tutorials 5 Position the mouse cursor over the Z axis, and when it turns yellow, click
and drag upward to raise up the ball in the air.
As you move the ball up in the air, notice the Z value changing in the
Coordinate Display below the track bar.
The ball's position at frame 0 is now fixed above the box.
A Position key is created when you do this. The key is displayed on the
The track bar displays the keys for whatever is selected in the viewport.
The track bar is found directly beneath the time slider and above the
Creating Animation Using Auto Key | 479 Keyframe created in Auto Key Mode
6 Move the time slider to frame 15.
To move the ball precisely down to the table surface, put your cursor in
the Coordinate display Z field, and change the value to 0.
Coordinate Display type-in for precision animation.
The box is built off the world origin, so a Z position value of 0 will set
the ball directly in contact with the box.
NOTE The World Origin, (0,0,0) in XYZ coordinates, is shown by the
intersection of the dark lines on the Home grid.
480 | Chapter 4 Animation Tutorials
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