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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 that I've created my U-Loft Surface, I can edit that shape by editing the Sub-Objects, such as Curve. So you go to Curve Sub-Object mode and select a Curve and transform it, move or rotate. Now as you'll see, as I'm moving that around, my Surface disappears. So if you want to be able to see what you're doing when you're editing a Surface, in this way, then what you want to do is go back up to Object Level, so exit out of any Sub-Object level you may be in and disable this option that says Transform Degrade, because what that's going to do is try to give you a little bit better performance in the Viewport by degrading the quality of the display while you're transforming a Sub-Object.
So in order to see what I'm doing I need to turn this off. Go back to Curve mode and move that around. You can see I'm getting a much better result. And I can select multiple curves as well, could select these two. And it's a little bit hard to see here that this one is actually selected, but you can tell in the Wireframe Views that that curve down there is selected. I can move those both at once, or I can use the Scale Tool, shrink those down, and edit the shape of my NURBS Surface by manipulating the curves.
I can also manipulate Curves CVs if I need to fine-tune things. So I can go into Curve CV mode, and I can select a CV on any one of these curves and move that. Maybe I want a straighter line there. I've got more CVs here on these different curves, and I can select those and do some fine-tuning here. Now finally, I also want to have some thickness here at the bottom because currently, as you can see in my Front View, this is sloping down and then just kind of ending at this sort of infinitely thin surface here, and what I need is just a little bit of an extrusion coming down.
So I can create an Extrude Surface to do that. Once again, to create surfaces you need to be in Object mode, not Sub-Object mode, and you'll click on whichever type of surface you want to create, in this case it's Extrude. And then click and drag on a curve to extrude it. So I'll click and drag in there. I'm creating an extrusion. When I'm done making that Extrude I can right-click, and then if I want to change the size of the extrusion I can go to Surface Sub-Object mode, select the Extrude Surface, and you'll see I've got parameters here.
So, for example, I've got the amount of extrudes, so if I only wanted 1 centimeter I could give this a value of -1. That extrudes it downward by 1 centimeter, very nice! So that's a basic introduction to how you can use NURBS to create smooth-flowing curves, and then finally we're going to adjust these surface approximation so we can get different levels of detail.
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