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3ds Max® 2009 Bible by Kelly L. Murdock

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Chapter 32. Using Animation Modifiers

Modifiers can be used to deform and otherwise alter the geometry of objects, but they also can be used to affect other aspects of an object, including animated changes. Once such important animation modifier is the Point Cache modifier. This modifier lets the movement of each vertex in the scene be saved to a cached file for immediate recall and for animating multiple objects simultaneously.

The Modifiers menu also includes an Animation submenu that contains many such modifiers. These modifiers are unique in that each of them changes with time. They can be useful as an alternate to controllers, but their resulting effects are very specific. Included with this submenu are modifiers such as Morpher, which allows an object to move through several different preset shapes, and Flex, which is used to add soft-body dynamics to your scene. Other animation modifiers include Melt and PathDeform.

Baking Animation Keys with the Point Cache Modifier

When you add keys to an object to control its animation using modifiers, the modifiers remain with the object and can be revisited and altered as needed. However, if you have multiple objects that follow the same set of keys, such as for a crowd scene, then including a set of modifiers for each object can increase the overhead many times ...

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