Atomic Perception

To get the plugin, download the Mesh Foot Windows installer. Aprox. 2.9Mb

The Poser To Max Remedy

Mesh Foot is a 3DS Max plugin that allows you to seamlessly integrate exported .3DS or .OBJ mesh sequences into existing scenes without re-animating, re-boning, or re-skinning anything.

This unique concept allows you to treat an imported mesh sequence as if it were video footage, simplifying the integration of Poser mesh exports into 3DS Max. Each Mesh Foot object has it's own Out-Of-Range Setting, Scale and Time Stretch updating within the scene as you scrub the timeline.

Replication vs. Cloning

If you are familiar with 3DS Max or most other 3D software packages, you may have heard of instancing, copy and reference. These are different ways to make a copy of an existing object.

Mesh Foot introduces another way to copy a mesh, Replication. Because the meshes we want to make copies of are managed meshes, there is no direct way to make a copy of them in 3DS Max. To resolve this issue, Mesh Foot implements a replication system. At the system level, all replicated meshes are copies of the original. This is different from cloning which creates instances of a source.

Replication also attempts to make the new copy different from the source by altering it's Frame Offset, Time Multiplier, and Scale Multiplier. The frame offset is randomly chosen based upon the Footage Length of the source. It is possible that a newly replicated mesh can have the same exact Frame Offset as the source that created it. The Variance parameter is a plus or minus random number in the range of the Variance value. If set to 0.3 then the Variance is +-0.3 from 1.0, or 0.97 to 1.03.

Enough technical mumbo jumbo, the result is that as the scale goes up, the time slows down. This effectively mimics what we see in nature with a smaller animal or person requiring more steps to keep up with a larger animal or person.

1.) Reset Max

2.) Create a Mesh Foot Parent by clicking on the Create TAB then the Helper icon.

3.) Browse to the horse footage located in the Meshes folder of the 3DS Max root. Select the first frame in the mesh sequence.

Advance time to the next frame and you should see something like this.

4.) Select the Mesh Foot Parent and then click the Modify TAB.

5.) Click the Replicate button and observe the message.

This message is reminding you that you have to 'pick' a locator before you can Replicate.

6.) Click the Pick button and it turns yellow.

7.) Select the Mesh Foot Locator by list or directly in the viewport. The name of the 'picked' locator appears above the Pick button the Mesh Foot Parent rollout.

8.) Click the Replicate button and four new locators appear in the viewports.

Advance time to the next frame to see your replicants.

The variation in frame offset and scale are readily apparent.

Go ahead and render your scene to get a glimpse of the amazing amount of quality animation you can milk out of a 24 frame sequence.

If you had assigned a circular path to the locator before replication, you would get something like this. Twenty meshes managed by five locators.