Skinning is a technique to deform a mesh in real time using a skeleton hierarchy. This technique usually is used to simulate objects that have soft surface like animals and characters.
In Awakening, skinning is achieved by two parts: Skin Mesh and Bones Animation ( skeleton). Skin Mesh can be loaded from a .tri file. Bones Animation can be loaded from a .ani file. Also, you can import Skin Mesh & Bones Animation from a D3D X file.
Currently, Awakening provide two plugins for 3DSMAX, let you export Skin and Physique data; to do this, first apply Skin/Physique Modifier on a mesh in 3DSMAX, then edit bones animation; first turn off Skin/Physique modifier before exporting, then select "File > Export Selected" from menu; in the Export File Dialog, select file type "winds3d tri file (.tri)" and "winds3d animation file (.ani)" respectively.
When select a skin mesh, you should find the panel below in the "Mesh" page of Properties Panel.
The top long button let you select Bones
Animation(BA) for the skin mesh; Time Amp is the Amplifier
The square button in "Synch" group indicates which Shot is synchronous with the BA; 'synchronous' means BA and shot start at same time. If no shot be assigned, BA is synchronous with the global frame time. To change synch shot, first select a shot in Shot Panel, then press this square button.