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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.
Up to this point, we have only animated Transforms, in other words, position and rotation. But in fact, in 3ds Max, almost anything can be animated, including Modifier Parameters. So if I wanted to, for example, make this object kind of squash and stretch a little bit, kind of cartoony, I can add a Stretch Modifier and animate its parameters. So I will go ahead and select it, and in my Modifier list I will add a Stretch Modifier. And I will play around with the Stretch Parameter here.
I want to change it to a different Stretch Axis. I have got X, Y, and Z. Let's see what these do. So that's not what I want. I think I want the X axis. There we go. That's what I am trying to achieve. Very cool! So what I am going to do is I am going to Set a key for the Stretch Parameter at, let's say, a little bit before it starts tumbling, so kind of like, it will come in and kind of squish a little bit. Somewhere around the point where it stops, I will set the first keyframe for the stretch.
So how about, let's say, at 0:1:21 Frames. I will keyframe the stretch to have a value of 0. All I have to do here is turn on Auto Key, and the little trick you want to do here is tick this spinner up, and that creates a keyframe there. And I know that because the spinner arrows are highlighted in red. I will take it back down again so that now I have got a Stretch value of 0 at this point in time.
So I will go a few frames forward. I can use the Next Frame button to go a few frames forward. 1, 2, 3, 4. Let's say 5 frames forward. And I will adjust the Stretch amount. Let's make it kind of extreme so we can see the result here. So Stretch value of -0.3, and since I have Auto Key turned on, all I do is adjust that parameter and a new keyframe is created. Very cool! So I will go a few frames forward now, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or so.
Maybe I will set this to a positive instead of negative, and I can just type it in. Let's put in 0.2 and press Enter, and another keyframe has been created. I will go a few Frames later, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or so, I give this a -0.2, -0.2, press Enter, and just lather, rinse, repeat here to add a little bit of squash and stretch to the animation. So I am here, with Auto Key still on, set my Stretch factor to 0.1.
A few more Frames later, let's try -0.1. And finally, back to 0. And since Auto Key was on that entire time, every time I change this value a new keyframe was created. So let's turn off Auto Key and rewind and see what we get. So you are getting a little bit of wobble there.
I will rewind that and Play that back. So it's a bit exaggerated, but I have made it intentionally exaggerated so that you would be able to see the effect. If I select this, by the way, and go into the Timeline, you will see that there are a bunch of gray keyframes, and gray is an indicator that there is some non-Transform parameter keyed at that point in time.
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