Skip to content

Creating Stretchy Bones in 3DS Max

January 31, 2011


I’ve recently become interested in trying to emulate the Elastigirl rig in 3DS Max as a personal challenge and my first hurdling block was to create stretchy bones. I figured out method two by reading the help files and I was told about method one by someone at work. I’m not sure yet if there is much of a difference but I’ve listed both here. Hopefully it will be helpful because I was searching Google for way too long to find these.

Method 1 – Dummy Object
– Create a bone with a stub.
– Create a helper Dummy object.
– Align the Helper Dummy to the stub with both its position and orientation.
– Select the Nub.
– Animation -> Constraints -> Position Constraint
If you move the Dummy now you’ll notice it breaking off of the nub.
– Select the main bone.
– Animation -> Constraints -> Orientation LookAt Constraint and click on the Dummy object.
Selecting the Dummy now should result in the main bone stretching.

Method 2 – Plain Bones

– Draw a bone with a stub.
– Animations -> Bone Tools…
– Select the main bone.
– In the Bone Tools dialog at the bottom un-check the Freeze Length button.

IK Stretchy Bones
As I’m trying to recreate stretchy arms, I went ahead and threw an IK Solver on it. It appears that all paths end up in the same place. The IK works if you grab the IK handle, and the stretching works exactly the same in all three depending on what you move. It doesn’t look like I can get Max to create a stretchy IK arm in the way that I want without Max Script becoming involved in some way. Unless perhaps someone has a suggestion relating to wiring specific parameters together, I’m not sure. For now it looks like I’ll have to keep experimenting.


From → 3d, Misc. Tech

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: