3ds Max 2011 Essential Training
Illustration by Maria ReƱdon

Editing edge loops


3ds Max 2011 Essential Training

with Aaron F. Ross

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Video: Editing edge loops

Now I have got the essential topology of this model down. In other words, I have got the sort of macro structure and what I am ready to do now is to start actually really shaping it up and one way I can do that is by using Edge Loops. So I can select Edge Sub-object mode and select an edge here and click the Loop button to select all of the edges in a line here, or all the edges connected end-to-end. That's an Edge Loop. What I want to do is I want to move these edges around in order to essentially deboxify this model.
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  1. 3m 19s
    1. Welcome
    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
    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

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Watch the Online Video Course 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training
10h 4m Beginner May 26, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Getting familiar with the 3ds Max interface
  • Creating shapes and splines
  • Modeling Loft objects
  • Creating motion graphics
  • Modeling with polygons and subdivisions
  • Modeling with NURBS
  • Shading objects with materials and maps
  • Setting up camera and scene layout
  • Lighting basic scenes
  • Animating objects with keyframes
  • Editing keyframes in the Curve Editor
  • Constructing and animating hierarchies
  • Using animation Constraints
  • Animating particle systems
  • Rendering animations to disk
3D + Animation
3ds Max
Aaron F. Ross

Editing edge loops

Now I have got the essential topology of this model down. In other words, I have got the sort of macro structure and what I am ready to do now is to start actually really shaping it up and one way I can do that is by using Edge Loops. So I can select Edge Sub-object mode and select an edge here and click the Loop button to select all of the edges in a line here, or all the edges connected end-to-end. That's an Edge Loop. What I want to do is I want to move these edges around in order to essentially deboxify this model.

In other words, I want it to be round. I don't want it to be square. So I am going to go to the Top View, and I can move that Edge Loop, and you can see, it's shaping up my model. Basically, I want it to be round. So I will go over here to this other Edge Loop in the front and click the Loop button and then move that in the Front View. It's handy that I have my laved base here, which happens to be circular. It makes it easier for me to try to approximate that circular shape in the Sub-D model.

Now, you will never get it to be perfectly circular, and that's something you need to really understand about Sub-Ds. It's never really going to give you a perfect circle or a perfect sphere. You can get kind of close, but it will never be right on the money, but it'll usually be close enough that most people won't notice. So I can go to this one here, select that edge and click Loop, and you'll see this time unfortunately it's selected a loop all the way around. So I may not be able to use the Loop button on this. So you do have to pay attention to make sure that you're selecting what you think you're selecting.

So this time I'll just go around and select it with the Ctrl key, select those three edges, and then try to shape this up in my view, do the same here, select those three edges, right-click in my Top View. Basically, I am just going to move these around until I get an approximation of roundness. Right-click, and then these are the back ones, Ctrl+Click on those. On these edges that are at the seam, I want to make sure that I'm not moving them in the X axis because I will create a split in my model, Ctrl+Z to undo.

So I am only moving that one in the Y axis. So I am using the Sub-D tools to try to approximate this sort of cylindrical shape. Right-click to go to the Top View without losing the selection. I have got more or less the shape that I want there. Then I can start working on tapering this down so that it will have that nice shape that we saw in the first model that I showed you, the completed version.

And additionally you know what? I probably don't need these polygons at the bottom here. So in fact, I can actually go in there and search and destroy those. Just Ctrl+Select all those, press the Delete key, and I've got a nice, clean border down there, and I can select that entire Edge Loop by choosing my Edge mode, select and click the Loop button, and it may not select the entire Edge Loop. Sometimes it will kind of get stuck, and it won't actually select the whole thing, but I got lucky this time. What I want to do here is to scale this Edge Loop down basically to shrink this down so that we'll get a tapered affect here.

If you go to the Scale tool and you try to scale this let's say in all three axes, then what you'll see is it's going to split your model in half, and that's no good. I will press the G key to turn off the grid. So that's not any good, right? So I will hit Ctrl+Z to undo that. We might try scaling it in X. Also, no good. We need to try to maintain the integrity of this so that this point here does not move away from the X axis. So this leads us into a little bit more of how to use the 3ds Max Transform tools.

Up here in the top you will see I have got the Scale tool active. What I want to do is actually I want to scale relative to the world's X axis, not the selection's X axis. So I selected all of these edges, and they're scaling around their common center. What I want to do is I want to move this Scale Gizmo to the center of the world, or something along those lines. I want it to scale along this axis here. So what I will do is I will go up to the Reference Coordinate system, and I'll choose World.

So now, World is my reference when I scale. So that's part of the equation. The other part is here there is a button that by default says, Use Pivot Point Center. If you hold this button down, it's a flyout and gives you different options for where your Transform Gizmo is going to be placed. So I've got Use Pivot Point. I have got Use Selection Center and most interestingly and importantly here, I've got Use Transform Coordinate Center is the third one in the list.

So when I release my mouse on that, my Scale Gizmo is now sent to the origin of the World. There it is. So now if I scale in X, you'll see that I'm maintaining the integrity of that Edge Loop, and it's not actually splitting apart. Additionally, I can scale in X and Y simultaneously so that it'll stay round. So this is important technique in 3ds Max is understanding how to use the coordinate centers, and this is sticky, by the way, for each one of the transforms.

So if I go back to the Move tool, it's going to remember my coordinate system and my transform center, and if I go back to Scale, it remembers that I was using the World Coordinate System, and the Transform Coordinate Center, cool! Okay. So I can go around to my other Edge Loops. I can select this edge and then click Loop, and again scale it, try to shape that up. Once again, up here, clicking Loop, right -clicking in my Perspective View to not lose my selection, and I can scale it in X and Y.

So I probably want to spend some more time shaping this up, but I'm just quickly showing you what I can do. We can also of course move the Edge Loop up and down, go back to Scaling, right-click so I don't lose my selection, make that a little bit bigger. I don't want it to be smaller than this piece of hardware here for the footrest. I can select polygons and do the same thing too. I can go up and select these polygons up top and we drag a big box around that, and I can scale those as well.

Maybe I'll just scale it in X and Y to make that bigger. I might need more detail. So I probably want to add an Edge Loop, too. So I can do that in a couple of different ways. If I want to do that from the traditional Editable Poly tools, what I'd do is I would select edges. And sometimes, you'll notice that the Subdivision Surface is displayed on top of the Control Cage shown here in Orange, and that makes it hard for you to select things. So you might need to actually exit out of Show end result, turn that off, and hit the F4 key so you can see your edges.

What I want to do is create a new Edge Loop here, and I can do that by selecting these edges, and using the Connect tool. So here is Connect, and if I just click it once I'll create a single Edge Loop there. Then I can turn Show end result back on again, and I can hit F4, so I can see the Sub-divided surface a little bit better, and then use the W key to move that Edge Loop around. So if Edge loops are really close to one another, we will see a sharper transition in the curvature. So to show you that, I'll turn Show end result off again and F4 once again.

So you see where these two Edge Loops are close together, we are going to get a sharper transition in the curve. But if the Edge Loops were far apart, we would have a more gradual and a softer transition. So that's the basics of working with Edge Loops with Sub-division surfaces.

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