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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.
So we got a piece of 2D text in here. It's just some naked splines. We want to make this solid and 3D, and we also want to give it those nice interesting angled or beveled edges. So I am going to maximize my Perspective view with Alt+W. I'll just move that forward a little bit so you can see that it's not renderable because it's just a text primitive that's a spline. So I could put an Extrude modifier on here, and that would create 3D text, but it wouldn't give me those angled edges.
So for that I can use that Bevel modifier instead. So I have got my text selected. I've gone to the Modify panel and in the Modifier List, I have got up near the top Bevel. I will add that. And as soon as I have done that, you can see okay it's shading now, but it doesn't look like much. So we are going to play around with this a little bit. First of all, the Bevel values need to be adjusted. First thing I am going to do is I am going to give it some thickness. So this Height field here is what I want to play around with. And my advice is the best thing to do is actually to use negative values for the Height.
That way it looks extruded backward into the scene. So if I adjust this Height downward or negative, you'll see we are starting to get that text have some thickness. I will press F4 so we can see the wires, and I will press Z to zoom in a little bit. So that's the same as if we'd added an Extrude modifier and adjusted the Extrude amount. What I want to do is I want to actually create some bevels. So I'll need to play around with these different parameters here. And now this is not the most intuitive thing in the world. You are going to have to play around with this a little bit in order to get a feel for it.
But basically what I want to do is I want to create a 45 degrees angle here and that's accomplished by adjusting these outline values. So if I increase or decrease the outline, you'll see basically we have got a copy of the spline over here that's thicker than the original because I've got a positive outline value. So I don't want something quite that extreme. If I want a 45 degrees angle here, it would be more like a Height of -1 inch and then an Outline value of 1 inch.
So I have got an angle there, but it's very thin. Then I want to add another level to this. So I will activate Level 2 and I'll give it a Height, which is again a negative height. So it will extrude back into the scene. I don't know how much I want there, maybe, I don't know, -24. So now you see I have got some thickness to it. And if I want to have a on the backside as well, okay then I will need to activate Level 3 over here and I can give that a Height of -1. And I also want a smaller outline.
So I want the outline in fact to be -1 inches as well. So these values are relative and some of them are absolute. So the height is absolute. We know that the distance from here to here is actually exactly 2 feet. But these outline amounts are relative to the outline above it. So in other words, if I start with an Outline of 0, then Level 1 here is going to have a positive outline, meaning it's going to be thicker. Level 2 has no outline, so it's going to still be the same amount.
So it's going to be still an outline of 1, even though it says 0 here. So in other words, this is additive, cumulative. And then when we get to outline Level 3, we want to go back down again so we give it -1, and we arrive back at an outline of 0, which was what we had here at the start. So again, that's not necessarily the most obvious way of doing things, but that is how you have to do it with the bevel. And if I have the same value here for Height and Outline, that's going to result in a 45 degrees angle to my bevel.
You can also use the Bevel modifier for modeling all sorts of stuff, tables and whatnot. In this case we are just using it for motion graphics.
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