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In this course, we're going to simulate a real production in which we receive a computer aided design or CAD model from a mechanical engineer or product designer. And what we have here is a watch that was designed by Gabriel Corbett in the program SolidWorks, for the lynda.com course SolidWorks rendering with PhotoView 360. And Mr. Corbett was kind enough to convert this SolidWorks document into a file format that 3ds Max can load. So let's go ahead and open up 3ds Max, and import that model.
We'll go into the application menu and choose Import > Import. And it needs to be an import command because this is not a 3ds Max file, it's a non-native file. And we're taken directly to the exercise files folder, which is the current project. And the import folder within that. And you'll see this document with a step extension. Step stands for standard for the exchange of product model data, and it's a universal CAD format. Go ahead and select that and click Open.
3ds Max will take a moment to translate all of that data. It's actually preserving the procedural nature of that CAD model. And once that's finished, we can go ahead and close this dialog. And we can just take a look at the model using the standard 3ds Max viewport shortcuts. Remember, middle mouse is track or pan. Alt and middle mouse is orbit or arc rotate, also known as tumble. And we can dolly forward and back using Ctrl+Alt+Middle Mouse. Or just simply the mouse wheel. All right, let's take a look at the scene in the scene explorer so we can see the hierarchy.
Go into the Tools menu and choose New Scene Explorer. And you can see that there are a lot of helper objects. That's what all these tape measure icons are. And we don't really need all of that. This is pretty common. You will see this a lot when you open up a CAD document is that it is not structured in a convenient manner for a program like 3ds Max. There's a whole bunch of extra stuff in there that we don't need. So we can actually just delete all of that. We can select all of these helper objects, so I'll click to deselect everything. And then just dolly back a little bit and select all of these helpers.
And press the Delete key on the keyboard. And now we're left with just the models. This is going to be a lot easier for us to work with. Okay, so let's take a look at this in different viewport modes. If we press the F3 key on our keyboard, we will see the object in wire frame. But this is a special kind of model. This is not the ordinary type of polygon model that you're used to from 3ds Max. This is something called a 3ds Max body object. And it's a direct translation of the procedural solid model. And because of that, the display is different here.
And what we're seeing instead of the normal wire frames, are actually curves. If we select any one of these objects, it doesn't highlight, because it's actually a curve, and the default behavior of 3ds Max is that curves do not highlight. And what we need to do is we need to actually see the selections, and to do that we can go into the viewport configuration dialogue. Press the plus sign and go to Configure Viewports. And within here we want to enable selection brackets.
And that way when we select one of these curves we'll be able to know what we've selected. And there's a little bit of a quirk in 3ds Max, which is that we have to enable this switch that says Shade Selected Objects. If we don't, then the selection brackets won't work with the body objects. It's just a bit of a quirk. And you won't actually see shading in a wire frame view like we normally would with polygon objects. So the objects here will still display as wires, but we will get the selection bracket so we will know what we selected.
Go ahead and click OK. And now when I click on something here, we see the selection brackets as we expect. And now we know what we're going to get when we select something, we know what we selected. Additionally if we dolly forward and back we will notice that the viewport maybe clips off a little bit too easily. So I'll press F3 and go back to a shaded view, and go forward a little bit and you can see were getting some strong effects here when we get in really close on the model, and that's just because the viewport clipping plane is set. And we want to just adjust that, so we can go back into our Configure dialogue > Configure Viewports, and we want to also enable Viewport Clipping down here.
And now we have these two little arrows on the right side of the viewport. And this is the near clip plane, and that's the far clip plane here. So we just want to move that near clip plane lower on the viewport, and that way the clipping plane will be closer to the camera and we won't see the model get chopped off like that when we get in really close. Okay, so we've set up our display options so we can deal with this 3ds Max body object.
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