You must think of your Furniture Animation and Avatar Animation as two totally separate entities that will be pieced together later in a Create Mode Editor. Even if your Avatar Animates along with your Furniture item in MAX it does not mean that it will automatically show up in the Editor. You will have to Export that Avatar Animation separately.
You need to position the IMVU-made Sitting Animation to the Couch.
There are two Actions that come standard in the IMVU Avatars: Standing and Sitting. Positioning these Standing and Sitting Seat Nodes should be pretty easy because IMVU supplies those positions for you in the example chair , example couch and example room files.
With the Rigged Avatar Animation file open, merge in your already built Furniture item along with its Root Node (and all Bones you feel could help). For the purposes of the easy portion of this tutorial, we will be adding a Sitting Animation to a Couch.
With the Couch in place, position your Avatar so that it is sitting exactly where you would want it to sit.
Now that you know where the Avatar ought to be positioned in order for it to sit on your Couch, you need to create a new Seat Bone and add it to the Couch's Skeleton.
Now Align that Bone to the Avatar's Root Node. The Root Node is the Bone at the top of the Avatar hierarchy. It is called: Female03MasterRoot
With your new Seat Bone merged into your Furniture file, delete the BLERGEN (made up temporary name) Bone.
Now that the Dummy Node has been put in the correct place, it is time to rename it as a Seat Node. Name it seat01.Sitting . To learn more about the Seat Node Naming, consult the Seat Naming Convention Tutorial.
Your seat01>Sitting node is now in the right spot in your Avatar Animation file. However, your Furniture file does not contain this information yet. It needs to contain a properly Parented and named Seat Bone when it is Exported or the Seat will simply not show up in IMVU.
This section covers some edge cases and tips that will help you create great Avatar/Furniture Animations.
Sometimes, you will want to make the location of the Avatar's Hands move with a piece of Furniture. For example, if you wanted the Avatar to lift Weights on a Bench Press. To do this, you need to have two separate Animations: one for the Avatar and one for the Furniture item. To learn more about the Avatar portion of Pos/Ori, please consult the osition & Orientation tutorial. If you want the Avatar and the Furniture to move in unison, you would apply the same theory.
In the case of the Bench Press, you will need to create three new Dummy Nodes that will become part of the Furniture Skeleton. Two Bones will be for each of the Avatar Wrists that you want to move with the Bar. We'll call these LeftBar and RightBar. One more Bone will be to drive the movement of the Bar itself. We'll call that Bone BarBONE.
Link LeftBar and RightBar to BarBONE. To learn how to Link Bones to other Bones, please consult the Bone Parenting tutorial. Now, you can move BarBONE and the other two will move with it.
Its time to lock the Pos/Ori of the Avatar Wrists to the LeftBar and RightBar Bones.
In the case of the Bench Press Animation described above, you ought to utilize a feature in IMVU called Prop Action.
Once you have your Avatar Animation complete, Export it as usual. To learn how to Export an Avatar Animation, please consult the Avatar Animation Export Tutorial.
Now that your Avatar Animation exists, it is time to get your Furniture file in order.
With a Furniture Skeleton and Mesh built, PosOri enhancements resolved, an Avatar Animation Exported, *and* and Avatar Statue merged into your Furniture file...you are now ready to Export your Furniture Skeleton as usual.The Avatar Animation you Exported earlier will not just show up in the Furniture item, though. You have to add it to the Furniture product while using the Create Mode Editor. However, since you now have a Seat Node just waiting to accept an Avatar Action, adding yours will be a cinch. Create Mode - to add your Exported Avatar Animation to your Furniture product, you will need to open an Editor from Create Mode. It is recommended that you create your Furniture product without Actions so that you don't lose any work. To learn more about adding Avatar Animations to Furniture products in a Create Mode Editor, consult the Avatar Actions Tutorial and the Actions Tab Tutorial.