How to create jiggle bones using 3DS Max?

The ART toolkit in Maya has jiggle bones built in. Can someone guide me on how to set that up in 3DS Max please? I’m using CAT for my character animation. Or maybe I can add a Blueprint to the bone(s) that I would like to jiggle.


I don’t know how the Maya stuff is set up but Max has a spring controller that can be used for jiggle, it’s part of the position controllers.

So the setup would be 2 dummies, a base and another one linked to it as a child. On the child dummy you can add the spring controller. So this will make it react as if it’s on a spring when you move the base. So the base would sit where your bone pivot is that you want to jiggle. You can use that with a look at constraint on the bone that you want to act as a jiggle bone to look at the dummy child that’s acting like a spring. So this makes the bone react as if it’s a spring, essentially.

It’s kind of a cheap way in Max to get that movement. It’s not live, meaning it won’t spring while you move something, but it will spring in real time if you play back an animation. To be honest, I don’t know for sure how that export. If you have to bake it first. I can think though that it would just export. Max is generally quite good at exporting exactly what you get in the view port without having to bake things out or anything like that. But that’s easy to test, so not a problem.

I think UE4 has a built in spring control as well in the animation blueprint. I’ve never used it so not sure how it works, but generally those things are easy to set up, so shouldn’t be a problem if you rather want to check that out.

Thanks for the suggestion. I’m looking for a solution that is more “real-time”, rather than baked into the animation. I’d also like to be able to control the amount of jiggle via a variable too.

AdamZ -

You generally wouldn’t do this in 3DS Max, you’d do it in UE4, specifically in PhAT. What you do is add bones in 3DS Max (or whatever program you use). When you import it, have it create a physic asset for you - it will create the physic assets for a ragdoll. You’ll then need to add colliders and constraints to the jiggle bones and set them to be not kinematic.

Thanks. I’ll experiment with that.

3ds Max has a spring controller that you can apply as a constraint to add secondary motion but will not react in real time in UE4. As mentioned it’s best to do secondary motion in UE4.


Real time physics can become rather expensive based on how much you use it where absolute animation is cheaper in comparison so for the hero stuff physics where making stuff on a belt move around baking it in Max gives you a lot more “predictable” control.

As an opinion RagDoll is RagDoll and easy to spot as such.

I have my character exported from Max and have the PHAT asset setup. What Im looking to achieve is for a belly jiggle based on movement. Im using U4’s 3rd person template as a test, so I’d like to see jiggle when my character is running forward and stops abruptly after taking my finger off the forward arrow key. I have a bone created for the belly, and it’s skinned appropriately.

I’ve been playing around with the ‘bone mode’ settings on that bone with little avail. Can someone give me some tips as to what needs to be changed on that bone?


I just realized that Epic has an entire video section on PHAT. I’ll check that out and post more here if I still can’t figure it out.

Just make sure that your character is built using the appropriate units system. You should probably make sure 1 unit = 1 cm in 3ds Max. If the root bone ends up scaled at any point, the rig won’t work well with PHAT. I learned this the hard way. I’ll either have to rebuild all of my characters or give up on physics-controlled bones until this oversight is fixed, but we don’t know when that will be.

Thanks for the tip.

I’m having a bit of a problem when I select that bone, choose “Selected Simulation”, and Simulate. The bone gets all jittery and bounces around significantly. If I lock all the angular limits it just falls a bit due to gravity (even if I dont have gravity checked), and jitters. I also can’t shift and right-click to move it around. I thought it was because of it’s mass but that didn’t help when I played around with that setting. I have a bone extending from spine01 to the stomach area, and those vertices are weighted. Any thoughts on how to fix that?

Also how do I enable that bone physics when I play my map?

I realized now that it’s because the two capsules intersect one another when starting the simulation.

Did you got it working ? I was using spiring bones but its stretching too much.

I briefly played around with it but I had to make some changes to my model. I should be experimenting with it shortly. Once I get some decent results I’ll let you know how I set it up.

Try this:

If you need something extra in 3D Studio look through scripts on the web.