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Technical Paper:

Maxine was originaly named Brom Girl as the design insperation for Erin Nicholsons came from the artist Brom. The direction changed and the name changed with it to reflect the client which was Autodesk.

The full character rig of Maxine ships on the Max 8 samples disk so any one that is interested can rip her apart to see how it was all done.

The character was hoped to be taken further using Hair and Cloth in Max 8 but time ran short and it just never happened

The control panel for Maxine was an early test version of ones to come after it. Animation keying and pose mirroring was added with the ability to swap different resolutions of the mesh and turn on and off the dynamics.

Maxine uses both a bone based skinning as well as dynamic muscle based skinning to drive the final mesh.

This approch uses a layered system where a low resolution mesh is skinned to the bones and wrapped to the muscles. A final high res mesh is then wrapped to the low res. A final pass with joint morphing corrects any areas that are not producing the results desired with skinning.

The skinning for the characters was done in multiple levels. Skin was first used to skin a low resolution base mesh (on the left) to the bones system. The high resolution body mesh (on the right) was then skin wrapped to the low res mesh and to the muscle bones. This allowed us to have vertex deformation on the muscle bones that would affect the Skin. The clothing was then Skin Wrapped in the same manner.

On the right is the low resolution mesh that was cut up from the original and parented back to the bones.

A switch in the UI allows the user to turn the high resolution mesh to be turned off and the cut up low resolution mesh to be turned on so the character is very fast in the viewport for animating.

Wire frame of the character shows what the base low resolution mesh looks like prior to TurboSmooth being applied as well as some of the joint corrections in the skinning.