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Tutorial - Muscle Flex Rigging by Athey Tutorial - Muscle Flex Rigging by Athey
Go here --> [link] <-- for the tutorial.

A really quick and sloppy tutorial on making muscles bulge automatically, with 3dsmax.


I thought I would mention that the whole reaction manager driven morph target thing in here is useful for a LOT more then just a muscle bulge.

In this tutorial, I make a morph target for the arm where the bicep is enlarged, and when the bone bends, the morph comes on.

This can be used for any kind of adjustment/fix to the rig, not just muscles.

You could make a morph for a skirt to deform better when legs are bent.

You could make a morph for wrinkles on clothes to bunch up when an arm is bent.

you could make a morph for... Well, any specific change you need to happen, when something bends, that doesn't happen automatically as apart of the skin.

Another option is to use the modifier Skin Morph, however I'm not terribly fond of it, because I don't feel I have nearly enough control with it.

There are LOTS of things that you can apply these techniques towards.

In this example, the value of the ExposeTM's bone's local rotate value is the controller - the Driver, or the Master.

The value of the morph target is the driven or the Slave. But anything can be the slave, not just a morph target.

If you have a very dense mesh (lots of geometry) instead of a morph target, you could control the opacity of a displacement map.
Then the black-and-white displacement map, will create geometry displacement when the opacity is turned up.

Lots of things can be done with this sort of technique.
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3Rton Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Could you give me couple of tips or pointers on how to integrate Zbrush sculpted morphs to this kind of appliance? 
I'm currently studying game design and we are going over skinning, rigging and morphs at the moment. I read the article on CGI Society sometime ago about how the facial fidelity in Last of Us was achieved by complimenting the rigged expression with sculpted morph.... but I'm uncertain of how to achieve this kind of things in Max. Would I go about it by first making the base expression in Max, then taking it to Zbrush for sculpt, then bring the normal map to the base mesh and use that for the morph or should I try to just morph the textures? 

Any insight you could give on this would be valuable! 

Vashey Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2012
there is a rig technique which consists on creating muscle bones implemented into arm bones I don't know if you know about it.

I find morpher very annoying.
StoneKeeper Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Link is dead :<
Athey Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
JustinMs66 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
FredrikH Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2008
nice tutorial.
however there is a modifier in max for doing just this without all that messing around with links and separate models for morph targets called skin morph but its still nice to see that you can do it without that :D
Athey Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, I know. But skin morph irritates me because I never feel like I have enough control. And I never get consistent results (although that's probably mostly related to not knowing how to use it well enough)
FredrikH Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008
havn't used it much myself mostly cause i usaly don't even rig my characters ;)
now i guess theres another thing that this might be better for it might just be easier to export this for say games well if the game is written to support it ofcourse :D
i know that accessing that information in the skin morph modifier was quite tricky when i tried and failed the last time so i might give this a try if i go back to coding my own game engine again sometime
TLund Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, thx very much . . . i was waiting for this tutorial.

I`m gonna try ASP, it`s look pretty simple i hope i don`t hit a wall on this.

Ifckdyogurlfrend Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2008
good tutorial. i do mine differently, but this seems like the quickest
Athey Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Yup. I can think of at least 3 other ways to get similar effects, but this is a pretty quick and straight forward way to do it.
Ti-toine Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2008
Ho wow , I supposed such thing was possible but I've never saw it donne before.

good tutorial
tyokio Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2008
awsome tutorial c: I saw something on a video for maya which has a muscle tool that looks like it would be really fun to try out some time.. not got that version of maya though :C
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October 10, 2008
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