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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.
Now we are going to create a freeform line in 3ds Max. So a line is an editable spline or a curved line that doesn't have any parameters. So it doesn't have a radius like the circle, and it doesn't have fillet like the star or anything like that. So it's just drawling on the screen. So that's using the Line tool. Now, before I start drawing, I probably want to snap to my grid so at least I will start out with a straight line and then I can bend it around and do fun things to it, but I will start with a straight line.
In order to do that, I want to snap to the grid. So I will go up here to my Snaps, and I will turn on Snaps in 3D. So will click the button that has a little 3 on it and a magnet. You will notice, by the way, that there are a couple of other flavors of snapping. I want to be snapping in three-dimensions. I also want to right-click on any one of these to once again go into the Grid and Snap Settings and to verify that the only option I have chosen is Grid Points.
This means that when I move my cursor, it will snap to intersections of grid lines and nothing else. So now I am ready to go. I am going to create my line. I will click the Line button and as I move the cursor around, you will see I am getting snapping as I get close to a grid intersection. The yellow grid marker is going to snap. I will just click once to create the first point and then I will go up here to about approximately 18 inches and click again to create the second point.
And that's all I need right now. So I have got two points and then I can right-click in order to complete this line. So I am not going to left-click because that would create another point on my line. But if I right-click, then I have just said I want to complete this line. If I right-click again, I will exit the Line tool. I want to point out though, you want to make sure when you do this that you are just clicking and not clicking and dragging. So to illustrate, let me just show you quickly, if you click and hold the mouse button down, you will see what's happening here is I am getting a curved line.
Click and hold to get that curve. But that's not what we want here in this case. We just want to click and that will create straight line segments. So now we have understood how to create the line and how not to create the line. This is what we should end up with. Go out to the Perspective view. I have got a line that's about 18 inches. I have got a circle and I have got a star, and now we will be able to convert these into editable, so we can make them a little bit more interesting.
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