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Character Studio is a set of tools within Autodesk’s 3DS Max. It was originally sold separately as a separate add-on product (complete with its own separate packaging, installation media, manual, etc.), then included on the 3ds max installation media in trial version form that could be fully activated by paying extra for a separate license in subsequent versions, and is now included in fully functional form at no extra cost with more recent versions starting with 3DS Max 7 and including all versions numbered by year.
Character studio provides professional tools for animating 3D characters. It is an environment in which animators can quickly and easily build skeletons and then animate them, thus creating motion sequences. The animated skeletons are used to drive the movement of 3ds Max geometry, thus creating virtual characters. Crowds of these characters can be generated using character studio, and animated using a system of delegates and procedural behaviors.
Character studio is composed of three components: Biped, Physique, and Crowd.
Biped builds and animates skeletal armatures, ready for character animation. You can combine different animations into sequential or overlapping motion scripts, or layer them together. You can also use Biped to edit motion capture files.
Note: Biped does not create character mesh objects. You should create your character mesh before using Biped to create a skeleton for it.
Physique uses the biped armatures to animate the actual character mesh, simulating how the mesh flexes and bulges with the movement of the underlying skeleton.
Note: You can use Physique with other hierarchies beside the biped skeleton.
Crowd animates groups of 3D objects and characters using a system of delegates and behaviors. You can create crowds with highly complex behaviors.