3ds Max gives you a variety of different ways to create animation, and a wealth of tools for managing and editing animation.

A spacefighter model is animated by following a path.

See Also
  • Animation Concepts and Methods

    With 3ds Max, you can create 3D computer animation for a variety of applications. You can animate characters and vehicles for computer games and produce special effects for film and broadcast. Additional applications include medical illustration and forensic presentation in the courtroom. Whatever reasons you have for producing animation, you'll find 3ds Max a capable environment for achieving your goals.

  • Working with Controllers

    Everything you animate in 3ds Max is handled by a controller. A controller is a plug-in that handles the storage and interpolation of all animated values.

  • Animation Controllers

    Controllers, like Animation Constraints, handle the animation tasks in a scene. They store animation key values and procedural animation settings, and they interpolate between animation key values.

  • Animation Constraints

    An animation constraint is a special type of controller that can help you automate the animation process. You can use constraints to control an object’s position, rotation, or scale through a binding relationship with another object.

  • Wire Parameters

    Wire Parameters lets you link parameters from one object to another in the viewport, so that adjusting one parameter changes the other automatically. This enables you to set up one- and two-way connections between specified object parameters, or to control one or more objects with a dummy object containing the desired parameters. By wiring parameters, you can set up custom constraints directly without having to go to Track View and assign controllers.

  • Hierarchies and Kinematics

    When you animate characters (whether humanoid or otherwise), mechanical assemblies, or complex motion, you can simplify the process by linking objects together to form a hierarchy or chain. In a linked chain, the animation of one member can affect some or all of the others, making it possible to animate a number of objects or bones at once.

  • Track View

    Track View provides two different graph-based editors for viewing and modifying animation data in your scene. You can also use it to assign animation controllers to interpolate or control all the keys and parameters for the objects in your scene.

  • Motion Mixer

    The Motion Mixer allows you to combine motion data for biped and non-biped objects.

  • Saving and Loading Animation

    You can save and load animation data for any number of objects separately from the actual scene via Load Animation and Save Animation commands available on the Animation menu.

  • Animation Utilities

    3ds Max provides a number of utilities, available from the Utilities panel, to assist in animating scenes.