In order to turn Balthier into an animating character it was necessary to fix a biped structure inside of Balthier, turning the model of Balthier into a skin for the biped skeleton.
To begin this process I first begun by placing a biped structure onto the scene, this biped structure is the standard one found within 3d studio max. Due to the design of my character it wasn’t necessary to create or use an alternative biped.
Once the biped had been placed onto the scene I then imported my character. I had to ensure that the biped was the same size and scale as the model of my character. This would make the rigging process much simpler and ensure that when animating my character that no polygons would be left behind.
Once the models were of the same size I could now move the biped into the model of my character. With all elements of my character selected and using the ‘physique’ tool I could now attach the biped to my model, turning my model into the skin of the biped. This process is known as skinning or rigging.
Applying the Physique modifier and rigging
To ensure that all of the polygons of the skin were being picked up by the biped, I had to adjust the envelope settings. This process adjusted the settings for which part of the biped would be responsible for selective polygons on the skin of my model.
This process can often be time consuming ensuring that all of the biped skin is being controlled by the correct part of the biped structure.
Once this process was completed my model of Balthier can now move like a human being and will now have any of the movements that a human can perform.