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Making Of 'Shark' - Animation

By Nikola Drincic
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:
3ds Max
Many of you wrote me an E-mail asking when the shark animation tutorial is going to be. So here it is. It's not state of the art animation but you will see some basic things about animation that can help you build your animation skill. To tell you the truth this is just a simple animation that needs a lot of addition work to make it for a showoff. So anyone who make something that looks good with this shark, send me a link, I would like to see what you done.

So lets start.

Like always before entering the software you need to do your homework on what you will be animating. We are lucky, this time it's a shark so turn on discovery channel and in a few days you are shark movement expert. Shark always go straight forward. There is not much movement. Just the tail going left to right and when turning the whole body bends so it looks like the front part of the shark is bending in turning direction..... so we are going do animate the shark by moving tail and front part of the body. Movement should look like this. Shark is going straight to camera and when its close turns away from it. Look at this like the shark wanted to attack the camera but change the mine in last second.

Here you can download shark model max 4.0 or 3ds.

This is the shark model seeing from Right view. This view is most suitable for starting to build skeleton (bones).

We will create bones and connect each bone to some part of the body (mesh). And when you move a bone part of the body attached to that bone is moving with it. Simple, right.

How to create bones?

Go to the Animation/Create Bones or Systems under Create panel and click on Bones button.

Now click in viewport and one part of the bone is placed in place, now click to finish the bone. Next bone is starting automatically from the end of previous one. To stop creating bones just right click. When you stop creating bones a small rectangle like bone is placed at the end. Sometimes you will need this end bone, but now you can select it and delete.

Try to experiment with Bone Parameters. Select the bone and change its width, dimension of fins.... So know every bone can have a shape of its own.

Above you saw some basics. Now to make our skeleton. Make first bone like the picture is showing and right click to stop.And at the end delete that small bone.

Now create 4 more. Starting at the start of first one. Try to mach same connection points like on the image, and at the end you can delete that small one or not. And add one more bone to the lower part of the tail. That bone should start at start of last bone.

Bones are automatically linked to one another. You can use link tool to link bone manually. We will do this a little bit latter.

This is how the skeleton looks like so far.

In Top viewport create two bones inside fins. Use a picture as reference.

The bones are created in horizontal lane. We need to adjust vertical bones position. You can not move bone like every other element. Select the second bone. Go to the Hierarchy panel and check Affect Pivot Only. Now use move tool and move that pivot vertically so the first bone and start of second mesh the fin. Do this for a small end bone and you will have bones inside the fin.

See those two pictures below.


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