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In 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training, author Aaron F. Ross demonstrates how to use this top-tier application for digital content creation, widely used in diverse industries such as architecture, industrial design, motion pictures, games and virtual worlds. This course covers modeling with polygons, curves, and subdivision surfaces, defining surface properties with materials and maps, setting up cameras and lights, animating objects, and final output rendering. Exercise files accompany the course.
Having added a Push Modifier with various volume selections to bubble out those cushions a little bit, I want to also make this look more lived in by adding randomness. And 3ds Max makes it easy to do that with the Noise Modifier. Modifiers can be applied to single objects, but they can also be applied to multiple objects at the same time. So that's what I'm going to do here. I'm going to go around and select each one of these with the Ctrl key. Select all of my cushions, and I can add a Noise Modifier to all of them.
You'll see I have eight objects selected listed in the Modify panel. Go to Modifier List, I'm looking for Noise. Scrolling down. There is Noise. I've got an orange Gizmo surrounding the objects that indicates the extent of the Noise Modifier. In the Modifier Stack, you'll see the word Noise is in Italics. That indicates that this Modifier is instanced across more than one object. In other words, an identical effect is being applied to more than one object.
If I select a single object, you'll see its full stack. And you'll also see Noise up there at the top in italics. So if I make changes to this panel here, it'll affect all of the objects that have that Noise Modifier applied. So in order to see an effect with Noise, I'll need to increase the Strength. So I'm going to choose a fairly extreme value here of 30.0 centimeters, pressing Tab, and giving it 30.0 centimeters of deviation in X, Y and Z.
Well right now, it's a pretty subtle effect. You can sort of see that the Noise Gizmo is a little bit wavy. But what we need here is we need to adjust the Scale parameter to change the wavelength of the Noise. So lower values to Scale mean tighter waves or smaller wavelength. So as I reduce the Scale, you'll start to see we're getting quite an extreme effect to this Noise.
So Scale is very important. If I bring the Scale all the way down to nearly 0, what we're going to get is a pretty crazy effect here. So you need to find the happy medium there. Of course, I also want to adjust the Strength of the Noise. So I don't want this to be quite so extreme. So I might set the Scale to something like around 20 or so, and then reduce the Strength down to something reasonable, like maybe 5.0 centimeters in each dimension.
Even that might be too much, as you can see. So I might bring that even down further to something like 3. So I've added a random Noise effect. But it's a consistent noise that's across more than one object. So the objects are kind of flowing into one another. So I might opt to instead apply the Noise to each object separately, especially on these ones that are near each other. So I can do that. I can actually copy and paste modifiers.
I can select an object and I've got Noise up here. I can go up here and actually right- click and Cut, and that'll remove the Modifier from that object. Then I can actually go back and Paste it again. The interesting thing here now is that it's no longer an instance. You'll see it's not in italics any longer. I can play around with this independently of the other Noise effect, as you can see. All right. So I'm going to undo that, Ctrl+Z. All I really want to do is go down here and change the Phase, which is going to alter the shape a little bit.
This is going to give us slightly different random effect so it doesn't look the same as all the others. So that's how you can work with Noise, and choose whether you want a Modifier to be instanced across multiple objects or to have unique modifiers. So we go back up to this one again and delete that Noise, remove from the Stack. And I can paste the noise that I previously copied, because that's still in my Copy buffer or my Clipboard. The other thing I can do is I can open the Noise Modifier up and move the Gizmo around, and that'll change the pattern as well.
To finish my model, I'm going to want to convert it to editable mesh. But before I do that, I should save it in this state. So I just want to play around just a couple more minutes. I want to reduce the amount of deviation here so it's not quite so extreme. Go ahead and Save As, and I'm going to save this out as number 12_sofaProcedural. So in case I ever need to go back to change any of those parameters, I'll have a backup copy of it.
Then I'll select all parts and convert them to Editable Mesh. That's my final process for output for this model. So I'll right-click, Convert To: > Convert to Editable Mesh. And now, each one of these has been converted to a separate Editable Mesh object including the frame. Finally, I'll just select everything and put it in a group. Group > Group. And I call this SofaGroup and Save that as number 12_sofaMesh.
That's how we can construct a sofa in 3ds Max using Procedural Polygon modeling.
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