3ds Max and Revit Interoperability – Part 18 – Animating Pedestrians

3ds Max and Revit Interoperability – Part 18 – Animating Pedestrians


Continue working on your file from the last movie or use the provided file named Museum_populate.max As a final touch and before you attempt rendering, you will place and animate various pedestrians using the Populate tool. Populate has already been covered in other tutorials on this channel, so it may already feel familiar to you. Maximize the camera view (you can use Alt+W for that) and in fact, press P to turn the view into a Free Perspective. This will make it easier to orbit around. You can go back to the camera view for rendering later. Before you start working with Populate, you can make the viewport easier to navigate by hiding objects you don’t need. Hiding the surrounding buildings and animated cars will make it easier to see around the museum plaza. In the Scene Explorer, type the name: “baked” and press Enter. All surrounding building names start with that prefix. With these objects selected, right-click and choose Hide Selected. Do the same for all objects starting with the prefix “VHC”. You can even hide all trees by hiding all Foliage objects. That’ll work; you’re ready to use Populate. Expand the ribbon and choose the Populate tab. Globally, there are two methods: walking pedestrians and idle pedestrians. There are also some variations to each, especially starting with 3ds Max 2015, such as running and sitting options. Moving pedestrians (walking and running) are created by first placing a flow, a sort of corridor where they will be moving. When you click on Create Flow and you hover over a surface, a circular brush appears. The size of the brush determines the number of pedestrians lanes. Bring the size down to about 15 for this example. Also keep in mind that Populate works in AutoGrid mode, so it’s important to place the cursor on the appropriate surface. Go ahead and click about six times to create a flow outside the plaza area. Let’s do a couple more flows inside the plaza area. Reduce the flow size to 10 and create a straight flow along the building. There are some restrictions to flows, for example, you cannot yet have pedestrians walking up and down staircases or steps. However, you can create ramps. Create a flow with a turn towards the existing concrete ramp. At this point, the whole flow is on the same Z-level. To add a slope, zoom in on the area of interest, and go into Edit Flow mode. Select the flow where you want to introduce a ramp and click in the middle of that segment. With the segment selected, click the Create Ramp button. You might find it helpful to work in wireframe mode, so keep a finger close to the F3 button toggle. Two extra divisions appear on that segment. Now select the segment to the right, the one supposed to higher, and set its Z-height to 6″, which is the level of the sidewalk. Now adjust the segments for the ramp’s beginning and end points. You may want to revert back to a shaded view for that. Flow intersections can sometimes offer a change in flow direction, but it can be touchy to get just right. It has to do with segment lengths and angles. You’d need to edit how the flows are intersecting, until you see arrows appear. Ultimately, each flow can be adjusted for Density, motion speed and gender, among other parameters. Idle areas are a lot easier to deal with. Most often, you use rectangular or circular areas. Press Ctrl+D to deselect all objects. This seems to reset Autogrid when working with the Populate tool. Use the circular idle area option, and place a few pedestrians where you need them. Press Ctrl+D again, and then use the rectangular idle area to place a few people on the museum terrace. Adjust by using move and rotate as you see fit. So far, you’ve only placed flows but you haven’t run any simulations yet. By default, the Populate simulations run for 300 frames but your current animation goes to 600. Set the Populate simulation to 600 frames and click the Simulate button. Animated 3D characters appear once the simulation is calculated. Scrub the animation to see people moving. However, go to frame 600 and notice that walking people disappear from view. That’s because your current animation is in fact 601 frames ranging from 0 to 600. Change the simulation number of frames to 601 and try again. This time, it works better. If you feel like experimenting with the parameters of the individual flows, go right ahead, and run the simulation again. When you are happy with the results, there is one last option you may want to consider: Zoom in on the end (or beginning) of a walking flow. Scrub the animation and notice how some people are popping in and out of the scene. This can be quite disconcerting in an animation, if the characters are directly in the shot. The easiest way to get rid of that problem is to select the offending pedestrians, And simply delete them from the flow and from the scene. Repeat for every animated pedestrian that may have the same behavior. You’re almost ready to render the scene but one last check remains to be done: There are some hidden components that might come in conflict with the pedestrians paths. Right-click and choose Unhide by Name. Type in “UDC” to select all objects starting with that prefix and unhide them. Move or delete problematic objects. When you’re done, hide the UDC components again, and in fact, bring back the cars and the buildings to view. Switch the viewport to view the camera you want to render. Don’t forget the trees, although they’d still render even if hidden from view. When you’re ready, use the Render dialog to specify a Time Output, a folder and a Render Output file. 3ds Max doesn’t let you to render to an .mp4 format but you can render to .avi and convert it using third-party software. You can also view the rendered files that are part of the downloadable assets. In this tutorial, you learned a great many things about Revit to 3ds Max Interoperability: You learned to do prep work in Revit so that your work in 3ds Max is minimized at import time. You learned to import and link the file to 3ds Max using FBX workflow. You learned to create your own Import and Link presets so that you filter the information in a way that works for you. You learned to import and link a file separately, or into an existing 3ds Max scene. You learned to place and adjust the Revit model and fine-tune any adjustments directly in 3ds Max. Finally, you learned to bring the scene to life by animating cars, cameras and people to embellish your Revit model. We hope you have enjoyed this series and hope to talk to you again very soon. This is Amer Yassine, signing off.

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