In part three of my scorpion rig series, I went into some detail of how I make a spline IK stretchy. The approach is something I’ve used for a while and I’ve made a Python script a while back to automate the process. Today, I wish to share that script with the world! How it works is that it takes the specified Spline IK,  builds the nodes, and connects the network together to make a stretchy system. You can download it here; give it a try, and feel free to post any feedback!

Download sasStretchySpline

Tips & Tricks: More memory for 3ds Max

here’s a bitmap error that comes up in 3ds Max when using exceedingly large texture files or fairly long image sequences in the scene. The error usually brings up this window:

I ran into this error recently with a rig that’s using more memory than 3ds Max’s current threshold. I did some poking around the Autodesk forums and came across a solution that seemed to work. Continue reading

Tips & Tricks: Animated Texture in 3ds Max

3ds Max is relatively new to me and I’m very much used to the way maya does a lot of things. To get an animated texture to work in Maya, you simply make a material and assign an image sequence or movie to it. Max also does this but there is a snag.

When importing an animated texture in either package, the default is to sync the texture’s animation with the scene’s time slider. For the particular project I’m working on, I need to to have the frames of the  texture controlled by a control in the rig so the animator can play with it (the texture in this case being the pupil of a cartoon eye). Max’s bitmap has no way of reconnecting the active frame of the texture. There was once a plug-in to achieve this feature, but it’s not compatible with 2008. Running out of time, I came up with a ghetto solution that still does the trick.

Continue reading