Lately we have been working with morph targets for our characters. We usually use progressive morph targets in max to create accurate in between morph targets for animations with a flexible setup.
Unfortunately real time engines/FBX do not support this setup as is from 3d applications (in our case Max). So things like morphing eye blinks, jaw movements and other such facial animations cannot be possible without resorting to extra setups.
We created this Maxscript to help with this process.
For those who are not familiar with progressive morph’s definition, you can find some quick info at the bottom of this page.
Progressive morphing performs a tension-based interpolation, similar to the TCB animation controller, that creates smooth interpolation through each intermediary targets. This means that you can’t just take the similar number of targets (usually 3) and apply them on the usual channels of a morpher and go through them in turn and expect to see same results, instead the motion would be wobbly and
inaccurate due to the intermediary blending not using the same method of interpolation.
This is why you need to have more in between blend shapes or morph targets in order to more accurately match the progressive one in addition to many extra channels created vs one channel control for all targets, which could be a big hassle to animate without some custom controls and scripts.
Regarding this script:
Hopefully the image below explains what it does.
Internally it creates a usual progressive morph setup from your 3 targets and does the extra in-betweens for you (5 or 6 depending on the setting you choose), it sets them up on the morph channels of your target mesh and more importantly creates a wire setup exposed by a helper object in the scene with a single spinner that goes through all the channels for you. This way you can have your custom UI linked to this one spinner in order to animate all morphs automatically.
The file comes with a simple example scene to test it out.
This was made according to our requirements and is provided as is hoping it will help some of you guys if you need it, some of the limitations are:
1 - Only works with three morph targets for the progressive.
2 - Creates 5 or 6 in final targets (not less not more).
3 - Has not been tested on max 2015 and below but should be fine.