Importing an .fbx animation to the skeleton

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Once you have an animation in .fbx format, you will need to retarget it to the Max skeleton.

1) First, import the file in to Max. Go to File > Import and select the .fbx file. It will get imported as a skeleton made with regular bone objects (as opposed to the Character Studio Biped).

2) Once it is imported, select all the bones and then go to File > Save Animation... and save the animation as an .xaf file. The .xaf file is simply an XML file that contains the animation keyframe data. (xaf = XML Animation File) Image:FBXimport_02.jpg

3) Then, open up a copy of the skeleton file. Double click on the root bone (Bip01) to select the whole hierarchy. Image:FBXimport_03.jpg

4) Go to File > Load Animation and select the .xaf file.

5) Under Motion Mapping/Retargeting, click “Get Mapping”. Image:FBXimport_04.jpg

6) Select the female_0000.xmm mapping file.

7) If you do not have this file, you can create your own mapping file. Click on “Edit Mapping”.

8) Here, you will map the bone in the “current” list to it's respective bone in the “incoming” list. The Bip01_Pelvis bone should not be mapped to anything and left blank. For the rest of the bones, double click on the bone in the “Current” column and then the one with the same name in the “Incoming” column, and then click on the arrow pointing left to add the mapping. Click the other arrow to remove a mapping in case you make a mistake. Click on “Load Motion” when you're done and the animation data will get retargeted to the Biped skeleton. It is a slow process and for large animations (over 100 frames) it can take upwards of 5 to 10 minutes. Max may appear to crash or stop responding, but is most likely still importing the animation. Image:FBXimport_05.jpg

9) Once the animation has imported, you can test it by scrubbing up and down the time slider. Locator_Locomotion will not have any keyframes on it, so by default it may move around with the figure. If this is the case, you will need to zero out Locator_Locomotion at [0,0,0] and set a keyframe at the first frame. Make sure Position Space and Rotation Space is set to World as well.

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