View Full Version : Symmetry move in Max?

08-11-2011, 08:54 AM
Hey all,

I've received a bunch of models I gotta tweak, and they're all OBJs.
I'm originally coming from a maya background, but now I'm trying to get myself used to working in Max.

I gotta change proportions, make some models more fat, some more skinny, etc.
Also I should keep them symmetrical...
They're already skinned, too.

In Maya there's an option to reflect a selection, which works like symmetry. Whatever I do on one side, will be done on the other side symmetrically.
In Max, I've been working with the symmetry modifier to accomplish such things, which works much better than Maya's solution - but now that I got a model that's already symmetrical and collapsed, and rigged and all, I need something like Maya's solution - and I couldn't find it in Max.

Does anyone know of such a feature? or can suggest a solution for me?

Much appreciated,

08-11-2011, 08:59 AM
not exactly what you're after, but you could use symmetry then project the weights from the old onto the new model.

Mark Dygert
08-11-2011, 09:25 AM
but now that I got a model that's already symmetrical and collapsed, and rigged and all, I need something like Maya's solution - and I couldn't find it in Max.

err... what? At which stage of the model are you at?

Modeling/materials (need to work symmetrically in real time)The problem might be that when you go down to the base level of any object show end result toggles off.
Apply symmetry on top of Editable Poly, go back down to editable poly and Turn on Show End Result (button below the modifier stack, to the right of the pin)
Or skip Show End Result and apply Edit Poly on top of Editable Poly, apply symmetry on top of that and go back down to edit poly and make your changes.

Rigging (created an arm bone chain and need to create a mirror copy)Main Menu > Animation > Bone Tools

Skinning (assigning bone weights to the opposite side)Inside the skin modifier > Mirror Parameters

Animation (you need a select and manipulate opposite bone method) Many ways to handle this, it depends on how the skeleton was created.

08-11-2011, 10:00 AM
I'll try to be more specific:

The company I'm working for purchased models from a site.
The models are textured, rigged, skinned and animated.
They would like me to take these models, and tweak them to fit the proportions of their own character designs a bit more.

So basically, I need to take a game-ready model, and just tweak proportions without harming UVs too much. That's ok - but in Max, I can't tweak the right hand, and have the left hand tweaked at the same way. In Maya it's possible, by turning on reflection in the tool options.

That's more or less what I'm looking for.

BTW Thanks perna, but if that's the case it would be simpler to work in maya for this specific job. I just think there has to be a way to do it in Max...

08-11-2011, 10:03 AM
if you're using a new-ish version of max, you can use a couple graphite tools for symmetrical edits if you are just changing the shape and not the vertex order. There's something called 'symmetry tools' under polygon modeling (which works great for me) or there are tools under the 'freeform' section for making mesh shape changes and you can turn on x mirroring, etc.

Mark Dygert
08-11-2011, 10:27 AM
Oh... that is a bit of pickle. Making grad sweeping changes to a mesh or the proportions after its rigged and skinned, that is generally a call to reposition the joints and re-skin.

IF you're not going to make any mesh edits, add/remove geometry and only plan to push/pull existing geometry around then you can....

Bake and save out the skin weights, then remove skin.
Create a copy of the mesh, and apply symmetry.
Skin wrap (modifier) the original mesh to one that is symmetrical and as you push/pull on one side of the symmetrical mesh the final mesh is pushed around in both places.
When you're finished re-align the joints, apply skin and load in the previously saved skin weights.

If you make mesh edits that reorder the vert numbering or add or remove faces you're screwed the vert weights won't load and you're stuck re-skinning it.

You could also try applying edit poly and symmetry on top of the skin modifier and see how it exports... my guess it won't depending on the engine and the exporter, but that could be a simple fix.

08-14-2011, 09:50 AM
Thanks m8, very thorough.

I'm gonna give it a try. I'll have to try out Maya's tools for that one too - just to see how it works. It seems like Maya has a much simpler method to do this sort of work.

The tweaks are fairly minor - inflating certain body parts, moving verts slightly.. I was hoping it won't do much, but I'm really no rigging expert. It'll have to be up to the employer if they want to re-rig the characters or not, I guess.

I'll come back with a report soon, hope things will work out.
Thanks again. :)

08-14-2011, 12:49 PM
Hope it will help

Eric Chadwick
08-15-2011, 05:50 PM
Yes, Transmographier is definitely the best bet. No need to remove the Skin modifier, just place it in the modifier stack below the Skin.

I would bake the weights into the verts first, if you expect to move things out of their original Skin envelopes.

08-19-2011, 02:10 PM
Sorry for the late reply.

That looks like a nice solution, I'll give that a try.
I noticed it's only fit for max 2010 though, would it be a problem if I used 2012?

Eric Chadwick
08-20-2011, 04:51 AM
I'm still using 2009 & 2010 here. Try it out and see!

08-21-2011, 04:12 AM
Sadly it doesn't work on neither 2011 nor 2012. :(
I guess I'll have to look for other options.

Thanks though, it did look promising. :)

I played around in Maya right now, and it works pretty well. Just using reflection in the tool options... I'm not changing limb lengths or position, just changing their girth. Mainly making changes to match facial structure better (there's no facial animation), making them seem like they're the same weight, etc...

It's really odd that Max doesn't have an option such as reflection. I've been bumping into a load of great tools that don't exist in Maya, but not many that Maya has and Max doesn't - at least when it comes to modeling.

Eric Chadwick
08-21-2011, 07:46 AM
I think you should simply contact Grant, and ask for a recompile. He's a really nice guy, should be able to turn it around quickly. Transmographier is a really great tool.

Mark Dygert
08-21-2011, 11:10 AM
I use Transmographier in 2011 on an almost daily basis to make facial morph targets, but it doesn't work in 2012 as with most plug-ins Autodesk required a complete recompile, its annoying. I think I might of talked to Grant and he sent me a separate version that was compatible with 2011, or the 2010 version just worked... Either way the year plug-in mating dance is kind of annoying...

The other issue you will run into with transmographier is that meshes need to be PERFECTLY symmetrical down to the last vert. There isn't much wiggle room, zero actually. So unless the models where built that way with a perfect center line and every vert has a sister vert in the exact opposite position, it probably wouldn't work as expected but it was a really good idea and worth a shot.

I think running symmetry on a copy, and skin wrapping to that copy would work to push and pull things around in a symmetrical way but wouldn't allow you to edit geo.