Welcome to the 'Animators Tool Kit' Help
  • General
    • Installation
    • Introduction
    • Contact
  • Main UI
    • Dialog Controls
    • Prism
  • Devices
    • Copy
    • Key Effects
    • Key Utilities
    • Object Selection
    • Transform
    • MAXScript
  • Treasure Chest
    • Bake Down PRS
    • Coach
    • Cross Ditto
    • Ditto
    • Kronos
    • Mixer
  • Additional Help
    • Presets
    • Sources
    • Samples
    • Community
    • Frequently Asked

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Installation CLICK TO EXPAND
Installation of ATK is very simple. Upon downloading ATK from the website you want to drag and drop the .mzp overtop the 3ds Max viewport. From there you just follow the instructions for completling installation.
Introduction CLICK TO EXPAND
It is a compact suite of modular tools to rig, copy and manipulate animation in a few clicks, without plug-in dependency. There is no need for extra licenses because ATK uses methods native to 3DS Max, so it can easily fit into any production pipeline.

ATK originated from the popular KeyTransfer mxs, which was released back in 2009. Since that day of release two friends from film & interactive backgrounds who share the same excitement for making cool stuff, joined forces and began work on ATK. John Martini, a CG/VFX supervisor at Ingenuity Engine, and Andru Phoenix, a veteran freelance animator, combined their powers to bring to you "ATK (Animators Tool Kit".
Contact CLICK TO EXPAND
For anyone who may have a question, conern, comment, or suggested improvement, or feature they would like to see added to ATK feel free to Contact us. We look forwrad to hearing from you.
Dialog Controls CLICK TO EXPAND
The main ATK interface is divided into two views 'Library' & 'Sequencer'.

Library displays a list of all available devices for quick access. Hilighting device names will open their instances on the side of the UI, and in the order of selection. Clicking the big button below will run all open devices, and clicking the button next to it will send open devices to the Sequencer view.

The Sequencer offers a greater level of control in the order of device execution and a "canvas" to save & load presets. You can add, duplicate, remove or arrange devices in the sequencer using the controls on the left. Clicking the big button below will run all open devices in the order of which they appear in the list, optionally you can run & view all devices in the list by clicking the "run all" button.

Devices can be sent to library view by clicking the button on the bottom left. Up top, you can collapse & expand the main interface by clicking the button on the left. At the far right is a button that opens the "treasure chest"

The 'Treasure chest', akin to the "bonus features" on a dvd, contains a trove of bonus scripts to help with animation.

"Options" displays a menu from which you can save, load and access recent presets, as well as reset ATK.
"View" displays a menu where you can choose which side of ATK the devices will appear and if they are condensed in size.
"Update" displays a menu from which you can check updates and toggle auto updating.

Lastly you can check your license status from the "About ATK" dialog found under "Help". Furthemore, ATK will remember it's screen position across sessions, and device settings with each session.

Prism CLICK TO EXPAND
Prism is a parametric system that adds a greater degree of control over device parameters.

In many devices beside spinner inputs are buttons that have a diamond icon, these parameters are prism capable. Clicking this button opens a dialog which displays the name of the parameter and two buttons that toggle between constant & parametric modes.

By default constant is selected, clicking the other icon enables prism and displays the controls below. "Start" and "End" define the range of parameter values, which are interpolated in steps by object order and a curve. The default order is "object selection", which means the parameter of the first object selected will have the value of the "Start" input and the last object selected will have that of the "END" input, and all objects in between will have interpolated values.

There are several order methods that work similiar and optionally in relation to a reference object, as listed below:
Alphabetical - by the order of object name
Bounding Box - by bounding box dimensions
Hierarchy - by parented order
Position - by distance
Volume - by geometry volume
Color - by wirecolor intensity
Spline - by distance from a reference spline

The default curve is linear, which means interpolation values will be equadistant, with no bias. There are 30 curve presets to choose from and a custom curve editor.

The default step mode is smooth, which means each object will have an interpolated value. Setting the step mode to "band" will interpolate the values by the number of groups defined.

The reverse button flips the order.

The preview button colors the selected objects wirecolor by an order heatmap.

Clicking "OK" saves and commits changes, "Cancel" reverts back to the last state. Lastly, clicking "Run" while prism is open will use current values from the open dialog.

Copy CLICK TO EXPAND

Copy Keys

Copy Keys transfers keys from one object to selected objects.

Example:
First click the pick button from the interface, then select the object that you want to copy keys from. In this case I'll select the animated cylinder. After picking your object you'll see the animated tracks appear in the listbox. From here you can turn copying on & off for the selected tracks.

The dot next to the track means it'll be copied.

From here selecting objects and clicking run will copy the keys.
Paste is the default copy method, which means the keys will be copied in place on the timeline. There are several copy methods, I'll go over those soon. Next to the method dropdown, I can toggle between relative or absolute key values.

Relative means the new keys will be copied in respect to existing values. You can flip the polarity below.
Absolute means the keys will be copied as is.
Checking the select button adds the copied keys to the key selection which can be used with other devices in a sequence.

Copy methods:
Replace deletes existing animation on each track before pasting keys into place.
Append inserts keys behind existing animation on the object.
Append track level inserts keys behind existing animation on the tracks.
Prepend inserts keys before existing animation on the object.
Prepend track level inserts keys before existing animation on the tracks.



Copy Keys To Script

Copy Keys to script uses and manages script controllers to drive animation on selected objects.

Example:
Click the pick button from the UI.
Pick an object you want to copy keys from.
I'll select and animate this torus.
The animated tracks will appear in the listbox.
Selecting objects and clicking run will setup the scripts.
Below the listbox you'll find parameters that control the animation.

Jitter is the percentage in which key values are randomly offset.
Delay is the amount of frames the animation will be delayed.
Delay Jitter is the frame range in which the animation will be randomly offset.
Weight is the amount of influence the scripted animation has.
Polarity controls whether the values animate towards or away from the original.

The weight gizmo controls the influence of the scripted animation by a sphere gizmo.
Right clicking the pick gizmo button will create and set a new gizmo automatically.
As I move this sphere around you can see how the animation behaves.
Below are custom attributes that control the intensity and fall off of the effect.
The sphere gizmo essentially acts as a mask on the animation.

Clicking 'Bake' will convert the scripted animation to key frames.
Clicking 'Clear' while the objects are selected will remove the scripts. To overwrite only single parameters, you can control-click the update button next to the parameter to solo it out.



Copy Keys To Transform

Copy Keys to transform offers at-a-glance copying of transform keys and a unique copy method. It also offers a simpler interface for copying keys and includes a unique copy method.

Click the pick button from the UI. Pick an object you want to copy keys from. I'll animate this box. You should see the track buttons light up. You can toggle the copying of tracks by clicking the track checkbuttons. The checkboxes next to them toggle point3/compound tracks.

Paste is the default copy method, which means the keys will be copied in place on the timeline.
Replace deletes existing animation on each track before pasting keys into place.
Append inserts keys behind existing animation on the object.
Append track level inserts keys behind existing animation on the tracks.
Prepend inserts keys before existing animation on the object.
Prepend track level inserts keys before existing animation on the tracks.


Coordinate Types:
Offset which means the new keys will be copied in respect to existing values.
Absolute means the key values will be copied as is.
Unique to copy keys to transform is 'Local' which means keys will be translated into the selected object's coodinates, no parenting required.

Caveat Emptor, since nothing is parented, the way max interpolates the rotational animation may produce unexpected results.
Polarity controls whether animation starts or ends at the selected object's initial transform



Copy Materials

Copy Materials clones a material from one object to selected objects.
Click the pick button from the UI.
Select a reference object with a material.
Select the objects you want to copy materials to.
Click run to copy materials as unique.



Copy Modifiers

Copy Modifiers clones modifiers from one object to selected objects.

First click the pick button from the interface. Then select the object that you want to copy modifiers from. You'll see the modifiers appear in the listbox. The dot next to the modifier means it'll be copied. From here selecting objects and clicking 'Run' will copy the modifiers.

There are four copy methods :
Add & Replace - Replaces modifiers of the same type and adds them to stack if they dont exist.
Add - Adds modifiers to the object stack.
Replace - Replaces the modifier stack entirely.
Find & Sync - Replaces modifiers of the same type only if they already exist .



Key Effects CLICK TO EXPAND

Amplify

Amplify multiplies the values of selected keys on selected objects.


There are two methods :

'Value' - mulitplies the key values by a single value.

'Random' - multiplies the key values by a random range.


Furthermore you can modify what keys are affected by toggling buttons at the bottom.



Reverse

Reverse flips the time of selected keys on objects

There are 5 levels of reverse
Group - which reverses objects by their extents together
Object - reverses objects by their extents individually
Track - reverses tracks seperately
Active Time Segment - reverses by the active time range
Custom which reverse by a custom time range. Clicking the buttons next to the inputs sets their values to the slidertime
Group - which reverses All objects together

Scale

Scale adjusts the animation speed of selected keyframe. In my test setup I have a cascade of extruded star shapes with the second radius animating after the first.

There are 2 methods
Value scales the animation by a single input
Random scales the animation within a random range

There are 3 levels
Group scales objects together as one timeline
Object scales each object seperately
Track scales each track seperately

You can scale from left, center or right of the animation using these checkbuttons Below you can also ommit the first, middle or last keys from scaling

Shift

Shift moves selected keyframes.

There are several methods
End to End lays animation from one end of an object to the beginning of another
With this option active the controls below it allow users to set the amount of spacing and the direction of alignment.

Frame snaps the keyframes to a specific frame.
With this option active the controls below allow users to move keys at the levels of key, track, object or selection.

Gizmo Collision moves keys to the frame of collision with a sphere gizmo.
With this option active controls for adjusting the range which defines the frames between which the collision test will occur. Sampling is the amount of collision tests per frame.

Mesh Collision works like the latter method, only it offers the flexibility of using geometry instead of a gizmo.

Random scatters the keys within a range.
With this option active the control below allow users to define the range of the wiggle, level of operation, and toggle the rounding of whole keys.

Push walks animation along the timeline.
With this option active a control labeld 'Frame' is available, which defints the stepping amount. You can toggle incremental stepping below.

Time Slider snaps keys to the time slider position. Below you can set the level of operation.
With this option active the control labeld 'Align' is avaialable. This control toggles whether the selection starts or ends at the timeslider.

Key Utilities CLICK TO EXPAND

Remove All Keys

Remove All Keys strips all keys from selected objects.

Select objects & click "Run" to remove keys.



Remove Selected Keys

Remove Selected Keys strips selected keys from selected objects.

Select Keys from the timeline & click "Run" to remove keys.



Select Tracks

Select Tracks searches selected objects for queued tracks from a reference object.

First click the pick button from the interface.

Then select the reference object.

The animated tracks will appear in the listbox below.

The dot next to the track means it will be selected if found.

Toggling additive selection will add or replace the current key selection.

From here selecting objects and clicking 'Run' will select keys.



Object Selection CLICK TO EXPAND

Deselect All Objects

Deselect all objects clears the object selection.



Deselect Zebra

Deselect Zebra removes every other object from the selection.

Skip Amount defines the skip interval.

Below you can toggle skipping the 1st object and previewing the selection.



Selection Order

Selection order modifies the current selection order in relation to a reference object, to be used with other devices.
There are 13 sort methods:
Alphabetical sorts by object name.
Bounding Box Size by bracket dimensions.
Distance by the spaces in between objects.
Hierarchy by links between objects.
Position by distance along an axis.
Radar by circular distance.
Spline by distance from a shape object.
By default the distance is set to the shape radius, Alternatively, setting it to 'custom' allows variable radiuses from start to end of the shape.
Volume sorts by the total space occupied
Wirecolor, the RGB intensity of wire colors.

Reverse flips the selection order.
Preview toggles a color coded preview of the sorted result.


Select By Color

Select By Color filters objects by wirecolor.
To set the reference wirecolor, select the object you want to sample and then click select button. If multiple objects are selected the average result will be sampled.

There are 3 Levels of selection:
Similiar selects objects with wirecolors within the threshold to the right.
Lighter selects objects with wirecolors that are brighter.
Darker selects objects with wirecolors that are darker

Alternatively you can select objects with wirecolors that are darker or lighter. By default the current object selection will be filtered, setting the search to scene will filter all objects in the scene.

Select By Gizmo

Select By Gizmo filters objects by collision with a sphere gizmo.

Click the pick gizmo button, then pick a sphere gizmo to set it as the reference object.

Right clicking the pick gizmo button generates one automatically.

Frames defines the frame range between which the collision test will occur.

Sampling is the amount of collision tests per frame. If the gizmo is moving too fast and misses your objects, you may want to increase the number of samples.

By default the current object selection will be filtered, setting the search to scene will filter all objects in the scene.



Select By List

Select By List filters objects by a list.

Select objects and click the add button to add them to the list below.

Alternatively, clicking this button brings up the select objects dialog.

Remove objects from the list by hiliting them and clicking the remove button.

By default the current object selection will be filtered, setting the search to scene will filter all objects in the scene.



Select By Mesh

Select By Mesh filters objects by collision with a mesh object.

Click the pick geometry button, then a mesh to set it as the reference object.

Frames defines the frame range between which the collision test will occur.

Sampling is the amount of collision tests per frame. If the gizmo is moving too fast and misses your objects, you may want to increase the number of samples.

By default the current object selection will be filtered, setting the search to scene will filter all objects in the scene.



Select By Name

Select by Name filters objects by name.

Enter a full or part of a name into the text field. | Name defines the search string, this can be a full or part of a name.

By default the current object selection will be filtered, setting the search to scene will filter all objects in the scene.



Select By %

Select by Percent filters objects randomly by a defined percentage.

Volume defines the amount.

By default the current object selection will be filtered, setting the search to scene will filter all objects in the scene.



Transform CLICK TO EXPAND

Align Pivot Rotation

This changes the pivot of selected objects.


There are 3 methods:


'Normals Align' - calculates the average normal direction.

Below you can define the axis.


'Target Align' - points the pivot at a reference object.

Below you can define the axis and set the reference object.


'Incremental' - offsets the rotation by custom amount.

The step amounts per axis are define below.



Align Rotation To Object

This aligns the rotation of selected objects to point at a reference object.


Select objects and click "Run" to align objects.



Point Parenter

Point Parenter parents selected objects to generated point helpers.

Inside of the name input, 'Wrapper' is the default helper name.
Beside that are controls to change the helper color, toggle the post selection of the helpers, and inhibit creation of new helpers if the object is already parented. Below you can set the helper size and toggle adding helpers to a layer.

By default Point Parenter creates one helper per object, by changing Level to 'Selection' one helper will be created for the entire selection, aligned to the first selected object.

When the level is set to "Object" there is an option to transplant the keys from the original objects to the helpers, additionally there is an option to create spring controllers, for delayed elastic effects. Below there are controls to quickly fine tune the springs. Furthermore color, point size and spring parameters can be updated after the helpers have been created.

Transform Carbonite

Transform Carbonite saves and loads transforms from selected objects to channels.

To add objects to the queue below and save their transforms to a new channel, click the Add Channel button.

The default channel is 1, which has now been change to 2.

Next to it, the Save button updates the active channel, the preview button offers a glimpse using point helpers, and the delete button removes the active channel.

Below is the queue of objects that will have their transforms saved or loaded to the active channel. Use the buttons below to add, remove or clear objects from the queue.

You can specify which transforms you want to save or load below.

The default mode is set to 'load', changing it to 'save' will save objects when clicking run.

Transform Manipulator

Transform Manipulator modifies transforms of selected objects.

There are 3 modes:
Position, Rotation, Scale

You can specify the values of the axis' to the right.
On each axis you can toggle between incremental or absolute values.
The controls that appear below allow you to control key creation. If enabled key creation will place a new keyframe at the timeslider when clicking run.

MAXScript CLICK TO EXPAND

MAXScript

Maxscript executes user defined script.

The default mode is snippet which will execute the code from the entry box below.

Alternatively you can specify an external script to execute by clicking the File button.



Presets CLICK TO EXPAND
...coming soon
Sources CLICK TO EXPAND
...coming soon
Samples CLICK TO EXPAND
...coming soon
Community CLICK TO EXPAND
...coming soon
Frequently Asked CLICK TO EXPAND
...coming soon
Bake Down PRS CLICK TO EXPAND
Bake down PRS is a utility that allows users to quickly selected an animation object and convert any animated or heirarchy driven animation, into baked keyframes. Users are given the controls to specify which controller tracks and framerange to be baked. This tool is very useful for child objects whose animation is driven by a parent object. You can run this bake tool on the child objects which removes any dependecy from it's parent. Allowing the parent to either be removed from the scene entirely or manipulated without affecting the animation of its children objects.
Coach CLICK TO EXPAND
Coach gives users the ability to quickly manipulate and adjust the interpolation of keyframe/keyframes. Currently in 3ds Max users are required to open the curve editor in order to manipulate the keyframe interpolation of any desired keys. Now with the implementation of Coach, users can quickly select the keyframe in the timeline and select the tangent type in the Coach Dialog, then hit 'Run'. Done! It's that simple and quick. The other controls in the dialog allow for more advanced control. The "previous" and "next" buttons allow users to make key selections in the timeline, much easier than using the marquee selection. The plus sign indicates whether the currently selected keys will be 'replaced' or added' to the new selection. The '< >' buttons allow users to specify which end of each keyframes tangent will be affected.

In order from left to right are the spcific descriptions of each button
"<" - the out tangent of the key previous to first selected key
">" - the in tangent of each selected key
"<" - the out tangent of each selected key
">" - the in tangent of the key following the last selected key
Cross Ditto CLICK TO EXPAND
Cross Ditto is a one of a kind animation transfering tool. This tool allows users to transfer animation from one instance of max to another. Whether the user is running two instances of max or a single instance, you can transfer Position, Rotation, and Scale.

At the moment, users can only transfer animation, one object at a time. There are additional controls to specify whether users want the copied animation to be relative or local upon pasting the animation onto the target objects.
Ditto CLICK TO EXPAND
Ditto will be come one of many commonly used tools when it comes to animating in 3ds max. This tool allows users to quickly copy and paste animation on a mass level. The list on the left gets populated with the animated objects users wish to copy animation from. The list on the right then gets populated with the objects users which to copy the animation to. The trick with this tool is the ordering and number count. The tool copies animation from object to object in the order of the list.

For example, object number one in the 'Animated Objects' list will be copied onto object number one in the 'Static Objects' list. Object number two in the 'Animated Objects' list will be copied onto object number two in the 'Static Objects' list and so on. The key note here is to make sure that the number of objects in each list are the same, otherwise it will not execute. The controls below the object lists further enhance the manipulation of key transfering from one object to another.
Kronos CLICK TO EXPAND
Kronos is a compact script for nudging, scaling & adding keys

There are two modes:
Move
Nudge keys by 1 frame
Nudge keys by an input amount
Right clicking nudge keys snaps tracks to time slider

Scale Scales keys from time slider
checkbutton applies the effects to selection or all keys
right clicking brings up key selection
Button that generates hide/unhide visibility keys
set key easing in/out to input amount
timeslider bookmarks
right click to set
left click to jump to the time


Mixer CLICK TO EXPAND
Mixer allows users to calculate an average transform based on one or more objects, then apply that new transform to a specified object. The main bonus to this tools is the added benefit of it working over the course of time.

You can use this tool to calcualte a blended animation from multiple objects, controlling it's weighted control when applying the averaged animated transform to an object.

This tool is handy for blending multiple cameras into one. This also works well for taking a simulated object and an aniamted object, then blending the animation from the two of them and applying it to an object.