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Grouping objects


3ds Max 2011 Essential Training

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Grouping objects

Before I group all these parts together, I need to finish the construction process. I know that the entire height of the shelf unit is going to be 79 inches, so I can use a 3ds Max Helper Object to measure out in my scene. Make it little bit easier to tell how big I want this to be and exactly how I am going to move things around. So I am going to go to the front view and dolly back a little bit with the mouse wheel, until I can see the whole scene here, and I am going to go to the Create panel, and I am looking for Helpers.
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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

Grouping objects

Before I group all these parts together, I need to finish the construction process. I know that the entire height of the shelf unit is going to be 79 inches, so I can use a 3ds Max Helper Object to measure out in my scene. Make it little bit easier to tell how big I want this to be and exactly how I am going to move things around. So I am going to go to the front view and dolly back a little bit with the mouse wheel, until I can see the whole scene here, and I am going to go to the Create panel, and I am looking for Helpers.

Here you go, Helpers. It's a special object class, type of object, and the one I'm going for here is a Tape Helper. Before I create that Tape Helper, however, I do want to turn on Snaps, just so that it will be lined up nice and clean. So I will select 3-d Snaps, and I will also right-click just to verify that Grid Points is the only option active. Okay, so I will hit Alt+W to make my front view bigger, and I will create my Tape Measure.

So I will click once down here at the z value of zero, and that will be the beginning of my Tape Measure, and drag out and snapping to the Grid, and then release the mouse button, and then finally right-click to complete the creation, and now I've got a Tape Helper. I can turn off snapping now, so that it doesn't distract me. So what have I got here? I have got a Tape Target and the Tape Head. And if I select the Modified panel, and the Tape Head is actively selected, you'll see a Length displayed here.

Well, I can actually move the target around and see what the Tape Helper is doing, but unfortunately I can't see, in the Modified panel, what my value is. So I am going to hit Ctrl+Z to undo, and I want to show you if you select an object in the Modified panel, you can actually pin the Modified Stack, so it will be stuck to this display no matter what you do. So if I select the Tape Head and press Pin Stack, now when I move the target around you can see it's showing me the Length.

It's reading out the Length in feet and inches. Ctrl+Z to undo. That's pretty cool, and even cooler, I can specify the Length. I know that the total height is going to be 79 inches. So I can just go and select Specify Length and type in 79 and press Enter, and so now 6'7.0" is just here, at the very top. So that's my reference for how tall I want the entire assembly to be.

Very good, so then I can select these parts, and I can move them up, turn on snapping once again. In 3ds Max 2011, there's now a new feature for snapping. You'll see there's a little handle here in the center of the Move tool, and I can use that as a handy way of snapping the entire piece here. So I am just kind of guestimating here. I don't know exactly how high I want this to be, but I do know that the bottom section is to be a little bit taller than the top section.

So that looks about right now. Cool. So I can make a couple of more duplicates. I need another shelf at the top. So can select that, and I can hold down the Shift key and move that up. And if it's not snapping exactly where I want it to be, it's just because I need to zoom in closer in my view port. As soon as I release the mouse button, I get a Clone Options dialog, and again I want to choose Instance, so I will say OK, and I'll just move this up little bit.

And if the snaps are giving me trouble, you know I can just turn them off. So that's pretty good. The next thing I need to do is just complete the sides here. So I can select these two objects. Actually, I will just select the 1, and I will Shift drag and move that down and actually just want to position that at 0 in Z. This time I want this to be a copy so it won't have any relationship to the other objects, so I will just say OK, and position it as Z value of 0, and then just adjust the height until it's essentially where I want it.

Getting a little bit closer. It's okay if there's a little bit of a gap there. No one is ever going to see that. In fact, actually I want there to be one more piece here at the bottom, so I am going to move this up by an inch or so and then reduce the Height. And I will make yet another duplicate here because it exactly has wooden parts and actually a little metal part as well. So I am going to hold down Shift and drag that out, and make that a copy once again and will set the Height to be 1", and then these two pieces I can duplicate to the other side.

So I can just hold down Shift and drag that out and make Instances once again. And again Instances are great because I can change any of these parameters, and they'll be reflected in all of the objects. So if I decided that I wanted the Thickness of the side panels to be greater, I can select any one of those side panels and increase the Width, and you can see because I used Instances throughout, they are all changing, but what I had originally was fine.

So I am going to hit Ctrl+Z to undo. Back up to the top. You just need to make a couple of more Duplicates here. Hold down Shift+drag to make a copy. Reduce the Height, get a little bit closer there. Once again, hold down Shift. Make a Duplicate. I will make that only an inch tall, so we Copy once again, and the Height will be 1", and finally I will duplicate these to the other side, and actually there is a fun way I can do this.

I can duplicate them in Z2 kind of right where they are, and then I can move them over just by typing in reverse sign and the x value, and that's possible because I have everything centered on the x axis. So what I will do here is I will go to Edit > Clone. You can use Ctrl+V to do that. So I am going to do a Clone of those two objects, and make them Instances once again and say OK, and then all I have to do to move these is to select one of them with the Move tool, and you will see the X value down here.

I can just reverse the sign of that. Instead of -2' 3," I can give it a positive 2'3," likewise with this one. I will just remove that negative sign. So I have got my bookshelf built up. I will hit Alt+W, and go out to the Perspective view, check my work, orbit around, make sure there's nothing funky going on, and finally I'm ready to group all the pieces together. So I don't need my Tape Measure anymore, so I can select that and Delete it.

I can just go around and double check and make sure everything has got a proper name. These are all called Side panels, and these are all called Shelves, and that's all good, and I'll just select everybody and put them into a group. Group > Group, and I'm prompted to give a name to the group, and I do advise that you use the word Group in the name of the group so that you will know that it's not just any ordinary object. So I am going to call this one, BookshelfGroup and hit Enter, and now you'll see in the Modified panel that the name is in Bold, and that's an indicator that this is a group we are dealing with.

And if I Press the J key, you'll see the brackets, and if I press F4, it will turn off those Edged Faces, so we can get a better sense of what we are working with here. Very good, so that's a group and if I select any member of the group, I can move, rotate or scale the entire group as a unit. I can hit Ctrl+Z to undo. And this is definitely what you want to do when you're constructing a bunch of pieces that are then going to get merged into a master scene. You want to group all the parts together in this way.

It will make it a lot easier for you to merge things together. One last thing about groups is that you can do lots of things with them. For example, you can destroy the group, or you can just temporarily open it so when the Group is selected I can go to the Group menu and choose Open. And if my selection brackets are visible, they will be displayed in this Pink color, and this is an indicator that I've got a group. And if I then Click on an individual member of the group, it will have selection brackets in White, so I can actually move individual parts around, or adjust their parameters, or whatever.

Ctrl+Z to undo those operations. And if I select the Group Bracket up here, I can actually work with it as a unit. Ctrl+Z to undo. So it just depends upon whether you select an individual member of the group or if you Click on the group selection bracket, whether you want to work with it as a unit or as individual parts. I will go ahead and Close the Group, and that's it for our Bookshelf.

We finished Simple Polygon modeling with Chamfer Boxes, the Array Tool and grouped all the parts together.

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