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Creating shapes

From: 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training

Video: Creating shapes

Over the course of the next two chapters we are going to look at the basics of modeling with splines in 3ds Max, and also creating a new object type called a Loft. So this is the end result at the end of these two chapters. I've designed this cute art glass vase, and it's made up of just these three curves. I got a star here, and if we go to the Modify panel we can see it's got some parameters. I've got a circle primitive, and I've got a freeform line, and these three objects go together to create this lofted shape.

Creating shapes

Over the course of the next two chapters we are going to look at the basics of modeling with splines in 3ds Max, and also creating a new object type called a Loft. So this is the end result at the end of these two chapters. I've designed this cute art glass vase, and it's made up of just these three curves. I got a star here, and if we go to the Modify panel we can see it's got some parameters. I've got a circle primitive, and I've got a freeform line, and these three objects go together to create this lofted shape.

So now that we've seen what we're headed towards, let's go ahead and go there. So I am going to reset 3ds Max. I'm not saving any changes and I'm resetting to a blank slate. The first thing I need to do is set up my units of measurement, as always. This object is only going to be a foot or two tall, so I want to set up my units and grid appropriately. I'll go to the Customize menu > Units Setup, Feet with Decimal Inches, except this time I'll choose Inches as my default.

So if I type in 18, 3ds Max will know that I mean 18 inches, not 18 feet. Click OK and then next, of course, I am going to go into the grid settings. So I'll right-click on any one of these Snap icons. And in the Grid and Snap Settings dialog, go to Home Grid. And here I want to choose different settings than the last time, because this object is going to be a lot smaller. So I want a grid line every 1 inches. So I'll type in a 1, press Tab, and I want a major grid line every 12 inches, so I'll put in 12 and press Tab.

So now I'll get a minor grid line every 1 inch and a major grid line every 12 inches or every 1 foot. And finally my Perspective view, I'll set that to be 24 inches from center to edge, pressing Tab, and that enters it, and I can go ahead and close the dialog. So now I have got my grid setup. But I do want to make sure I do a reality check here, a sanity check to make sure that my viewports are generally in the right size.

So this is my little trick I like to do is just make a box that's 1 foot on a side, 1, 1, 1. Whoops! I want to do 12 inches, so it's 12, 12, 12. There we go. And I just want to zoom in, in my views with the wheel to approximately the right scale. So now each one of these minor grid lines represents an inch, and the major grid lines represent feet. Okay, so now I've got that there and I'm zoomed in to the right scale, so I don't need my box anymore.

So I just go ahead and hit Delete to delete that. Now I am going to create a couple of spline primitives. So these are shapes in 3ds Max parlance. In the language of this program shapes are curves. So I am going to go to the Create menu and Shapes and the simplest is the Circle. I want to create this in the Top viewport and in 3ds Max it actually matters which viewport you create things in. So in order to make sure that everything lines up the way that I wanted to, I am going to create this circle in the Top viewport.

So I just click and drag. And you'll see I've got in my Create panel, I've got the Radius. As long as I haven't clicked off anything, I can still set the radius here. So I can set it to maybe like 2 inches and press Enter. If I have clicked off and I need to get back to that, of course I can go to the Modify panel and select it and I can change the Radius once again. Okay, so that's the circle and then second I am going to create a star primitive for the top of that flower design.

So here we go, star primitive. Now once again I am going to create it in the Top viewport. I am going to click and drag and that's going to define the first radius. And when I release the mouse I need to drag some more in order to define the second radius. When I've got that the way I want, I can click and I've completed the star. So let me do that for you again, just in case you miss it the first time. Click-and-drag to set the first radius, release and drag to set the second radius, and click and then I can right -click to exit out of star creation.

Once I've done it, I can go into the Modify panel and play around with its parameters like the radius. And also the number of points, let's give this 5 points. And I've also got a fillet here. So a fillet is a curve where two lines meet, or where two surfaces meet. So let me zoom in on this a little bit here in the Top view, middle mouse, and Ctrl+Alt+Middle mouse to zoom in so you can see it more clearly. Fillet Radius 1. Let me increase that and what that's doing is creating a rounded corner at the point of the star.

And then Fillet Radius 2 is a rounded corner inside the star. So that's what I've done. I've created a couple of shapes and adjusted their parameters. Next we'll make a line and we'll join those parts together using a loft.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training
3ds Max 2011 Essential Training

150 video lessons · 14994 viewers

Aaron F. Ross
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 19s
    1. Welcome
      57s
    2. Prerequisites
      1m 18s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
  2. 7m 33s
    1. Using the Custom UI and Defaults Switcher
      1m 35s
    2. Setting local file paths to relative
      1m 27s
    3. Using project folders
      4m 31s
  3. 36m 35s
    1. Getting familiar with the interface
      4m 5s
    2. Touring the command panels
      1m 44s
    3. Creating primitives
      3m 5s
    4. Navigating the viewports
      3m 57s
    5. Using hotkeys
      3m 18s
    6. Choosing shading modes
      3m 6s
    7. Configuring the viewports
      3m 29s
    8. Transforming objects
      4m 32s
    9. Using the toolbars
      3m 33s
    10. Using the Modify panel
      5m 46s
  4. 36m 11s
    1. Surveying different modeling methods
      5m 18s
    2. Setting units
      5m 8s
    3. Setting home grid dimensions
      3m 37s
    4. Understanding the Level of Detail utility
      3m 34s
    5. Working with the Modifier Stack
      3m 51s
    6. Understanding dependencies
      5m 9s
    7. Collapsing the Modifier Stack
      4m 53s
    8. Working with sub-objects
      4m 41s
  5. 18m 32s
    1. Creating shapes
      5m 17s
    2. Creating lines
      2m 56s
    3. Converting a shape to an editable spline
      2m 20s
    4. Transforming editable spline sub-objects
      4m 20s
    5. Using different types of vertices
      3m 39s
  6. 35m 30s
    1. Lofting a vase
      3m 59s
    2. Setting loft parameters
      3m 49s
    3. Editing the path and shapes
      5m 18s
    4. Manipulating loft sub-objects
      3m 55s
    5. Adding a scale deformation
      5m 47s
    6. Adding a shell modifier
      3m 50s
    7. Smoothing polygon edges
      8m 52s
  7. 26m 20s
    1. Setting up the project and scene layout
      2m 34s
    2. Creating a backdrop profile line
      1m 19s
    3. Using Editable Spline Fillet
      1m 24s
    4. Extruding shapes
      2m 36s
    5. Creating text
      1m 21s
    6. Applying a bevel modifier
      3m 57s
    7. Choosing bevel parameters
      2m 33s
    8. Using Display All Triangle Edges
      1m 56s
    9. Adjusting spline interpolation
      2m 22s
    10. Deforming beveled objects
      1m 17s
    11. Exporting paths from Adobe Illustrator
      2m 39s
    12. Importing Illustrator paths to 3ds Max
      2m 22s
  8. 55m 55s
    1. Setting up the scene
      2m 8s
    2. Creating chamfer boxes
      4m 44s
    3. Smoothing edges
      1m 16s
    4. Using the Array tool
      5m 31s
    5. Grouping objects
      10m 18s
    6. Modeling lines
      11m 17s
    7. Using the Sweep Modifier
      3m 0s
    8. Soft-selecting sub-objects with Volume Select
      5m 40s
    9. Removing polygons with Delete Mesh
      2m 37s
    10. Clearing a sub-object selection with Mesh Select
      3m 37s
    11. Adding randomness with the Noise Modifier
      5m 47s
  9. 33m 2s
    1. Understanding subdivision surfaces
      2m 46s
    2. Creating a box and converting to editable poly format
      3m 54s
    3. Using the Symmetry Modifier
      1m 44s
    4. Working with TurboSmooth
      3m 3s
    5. Extruding polygons
      1m 54s
    6. Editing edge loops
      8m 15s
    7. Shaping the model
      4m 57s
    8. Baking subdivisions
      3m 45s
    9. Optimizing polygon Level of Detail
      2m 44s
  10. 38m 45s
    1. Understanding the graphite tools within Editable Poly
      2m 40s
    2. Using the Graphite Ribbon interface
      3m 26s
    3. Using traditional editable poly tools within Graphite
      11m 30s
    4. Adjusting detail with Remove and Cut
      4m 44s
    5. Using SwitfLoop
      2m 46s
    6. Constraining sub-object transforms
      2m 23s
    7. Attaching polygon meshes to a single object
      5m 33s
    8. Bridging parts of a mesh
      5m 43s
  11. 25m 24s
    1. Understanding NURBS
      2m 35s
    2. Creating NURBS curves
      7m 27s
    3. Creating a U-loft surface
      5m 52s
    4. Editing curves and surfaces
      3m 9s
    5. Setting surface approximation
      6m 21s
  12. 1h 0m
    1. Using the Material Editor
      7m 8s
    2. Choosing a material type
      3m 3s
    3. Choosing a shader type
      2m 12s
    4. Adjusting specular parameters
      3m 6s
    5. Setting opacity
      3m 5s
    6. Understanding procedural Maps and bitmaps
      4m 11s
    7. Using bitmaps
      5m 21s
    8. Navigating shader trees
      2m 27s
    9. Tracking scene assets
      4m 40s
    10. Creating simple UVW mapping
      7m 52s
    11. Adding reflections with a Raytrace map
      4m 32s
    12. Creating an environment
      5m 27s
    13. Mapping a bump channel
      7m 13s
  13. 27m 4s
    1. Creating cameras
      4m 1s
    2. Understanding target and free cameras
      4m 39s
    3. Using Camera Pan, Truck, and Dolly
      4m 8s
    4. Adjusting the field of view
      4m 59s
    5. Understanding aspect ratio
      2m 6s
    6. Showing safe frames
      3m 12s
    7. Choosing render output size
      3m 59s
  14. 43m 36s
    1. Understanding CG lighting
      5m 56s
    2. Understanding standard and photometric lights
      1m 48s
    3. Creating a target spotlight
      2m 3s
    4. Enabling viewport hardware shading
      2m 10s
    5. Previewing renderings with ActiveShade
      3m 6s
    6. Adjusting intensity and color
      2m 27s
    7. Controlling contrast and highlights
      2m 52s
    8. Setting spotlight hotspot and falloff radius
      4m 59s
    9. Choosing a shadow type
      3m 56s
    10. Optimizing shadow maps
      5m 46s
    11. Using area shadows
      3m 57s
    12. Creating omni lights
      4m 36s
  15. 43m 33s
    1. Understanding keyframes
      1m 41s
    2. Setting time configuration
      3m 48s
    3. Choosing set key filters
      1m 27s
    4. Using Set Key mode
      2m 39s
    5. Editing keyframes in the Timeline
      2m 43s
    6. Using Auto Key mode
      5m 44s
    7. Creating animation in passes
      2m 40s
    8. Animating modifier parameters
      3m 53s
    9. Working in the dope sheet
      7m 47s
    10. Editing function curves
      5m 28s
    11. Looping animation
      5m 43s
  16. 43m 54s
    1. Understanding hierarchies
      3m 16s
    2. Understanding reference coordinate systems
      5m 51s
    3. Editing pivot points
      4m 40s
    4. Linking objects
      3m 20s
    5. Using the Schematic view
      1m 59s
    6. Preventing problems with scale
      7m 50s
    7. Animating a hierarchy
      10m 11s
    8. Fine-tuning the animation
      6m 47s
  17. 20m 53s
    1. Understanding controllers
      3m 55s
    2. Applying path constraints
      4m 55s
    3. Assigning a link constraint
      2m 27s
    4. Using the Motion panel
      2m 48s
    5. Animating constrained objects
      6m 48s
  18. 28m 29s
    1. Understanding particle systems
      2m 24s
    2. Emitting particles from an object with PArray
      2m 18s
    3. Adjusting particle parameters
      5m 33s
    4. Binding particles to a gravitational force
      2m 51s
    5. Colliding particles with a POmniFlector
      6m 4s
    6. Creating a particle material
      3m 23s
    7. Mapping opacity with a gradient
      2m 1s
    8. Assigning a material ID G-Buffer channel
      46s
    9. Creating a lens effect glow
      3m 9s
  19. 18m 50s
    1. Understanding image sequences
      5m 40s
    2. Setting render options
      7m 53s
    3. Compressing an image sequence to a movie
      5m 17s
  20. 27s
    1. Goodbye
      27s

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