ParaBones & MetaBones

ParaBones

ParaBones are special objects that are used to add additional control over mesh deformations. Any mesh object can be turned into a ParaBone by applying the corresponding modifier. ParaBones serve as actual physical resistance for the surface of the mesh that is deformed by BonesPro. You can use ParaBones to add muscle bulges or more definition for mesh bends in areas like shoulders, elbows and kneecaps by positioning appropriately formed objects under the skin mesh and have it stretch over them. A ParaBone object must either be linked to a bone that has been assigned to the BonesPro modifier or explicitely selected in the Pick Objects dialog of the main BonesPro rollout, otherwise it will be ignored. Please note that ParaBone effects are only applied when the ParaBones/MetaBones checkbox in the BonesPro modifier’s main dialog is activated.

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Disabled - This checkbox defines whether the ParaBone is active or not. You can use it to deactivate the deformation effect of some ParaBones without having to deactivate the global option in the BonesPro main rollout.

Bounding Box Center - When this checkbox is active, the bounding box center of the ParaBone object is used as the center for the deformation created by the ParaBone. When inactive, the pivot point center is used.

Direction - These radio buttons enable you to define the direction in which the deformations are active. A good way to think of this is as a sphere. If you enabled the Up radio button, the top hemisphere of the sphere is active in deforming the mesh. The rest of the sphere is ignored. The default here is Omni.

Blend - This spinner enables you to adjust the amount of blending around the area of the mesh being deformed by the ParaBone. If the deformation caused by the ParaBone is extreme, you can add more blending between the deformed section of the mesh and the original mesh to avoid too hard edges.

Paint - Toggles the interactive paint mode. While the paint mode is active a paint brish gizmo will be attached to the mouse cursor and this ParaBone’s influence on associated meshes can be modified by painting over them. See below for details.

About - Provides general information about BonesPro.

MetaBones

MetaBones are a geometric primitive that works like a ParaBone. They have the shape of a sphere and are used the same way as a normal sphere with an attached ParaBone modifier would be. They are provided as a convenient alternative to normal ParaBones since spheres are the most commonly used ParaBone type and due to their fixed shape MetaBones are optimized for higher performance. A MetaBone object must be linked to a bone that has been assigned to the BonesPro modifier or explicitely selected in the Pick Objects dialog of the main BonesPro rollout, otherwise it will be ignored. Please note that MetaBone effects are only applied when the ParaBones/MetaBones checkbox in the BonesPro modifier’s main dialog is activated.

_images/ui-meta.png

Disabled - This checkbox defines whether the MetaBone is active or not. You can use it to deactivate the deformation effect of some MetaBones without having to deactivate the global option in the BonesPro main rollout.

Renderable - This checkbox tells 3ds Max whether the MetaBone is going to be visible in renders. By default, this is unchecked since normally the MetaBones are just used to deform the mesh but should not be visible.

Segments - Defines the number of segments in the sphere. This has only visual relevance in the viewport, the actual deformation calculation always considers the exact shape depending on the length, width and height parameters and the deformed mesh will look the same when the MetaBone has 4 segments or 400.

Size - These three spinners define the size of the MetaBone in the scene. Unlike a normal sphere primitive you can define the radius for each axis individually without having to scale the object.

Direction - These radio buttons enable you to define the direction in which the deformations are active. If you enabled the Up radio button, the top hemisphere of the sphere is active in deforming the mesh. The rest of the sphere is deleted. The default here is Omni. There are six radio buttons, one for each direction that is available. When a radio button is active, other than Omni, the MetaBone is drawn as a hemisphere.

Blend - This spinner enables you to adjust the amount of blending around the area of the mesh being deformed by the ParaBone. If the deformation caused by the MetaBone is extreme, you can add more blending between the deformed section of the mesh and the original mesh to avoid too hard edges.

Paint - Toggles the interactive paint mode. While the paint mode is active a paint brish gizmo will be attached to the mouse cursor and this MetaBone’s influence on associated meshes can be modified by painting over them. See below for details.

About - Provides general information about BonesPro.

Influence Painting

ParaBones and MetaBones affect all vertices of associated meshes by default. In some cases it becomes useful to exclude certain areas of a mesh from being deformed by these objects. With the influence paint option you can specify which areas of meshes are less or not at all affected by ParaBones and MetaBones. This works individually for each ParaBone and MetaBone. So you can selectively limit the influence of one object while having another one work normally. Influences are adjusted with 3ds Max paint tools to change the influence between 1.0 (fully affected, the default) and 0.0 (ignored by these vertices).

Keyboard shortcuts can be used in the same way as with BonesPro’s skinning weight painting:

  • ALT - While ALT is pressed the brush will decrease the influence for the affected bone/vertex pairs instead of increasing it.
  • SHIFT - While SHIFT is pressed the brush will even out influence differences between vertices within its paint radius. You can use this to smooth the influence transition between adjacent vertices.
  • CTRL+SHIFT - Allows you to interactively adjust the brush radius without accessing the options window.
  • ALT+SHIFT - Allows you to interactively adjust the brush strength without accessing the options window.