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Autodesk 3ds Max is a popular and powerful tool used by game developers, visual effects artists, and graphic designers for 3D modeling, animation, and rendering. In this course, educators Dariush and Randi Derakhshani introduce you to this multifaceted software, starting with the interface and how to navigate it. Once you're comfortable getting around 3ds Max, you'll learn how to use its many tools to make models with 3D objects, edit polygonal meshes, create surfaces and models with 2D shapes and splines, and more. All of this is presented in the context of a hands-on project where you create a model of an alarm clock.
Lofting is another method for 3D object creation. Starting with a shape that serves as a path, then adding any number of cross section shapes that form a complex complete 3D object. In this video we'll look at lofting to create the handle of this old alarm clock. In itself, the handle is fairly simple. But this area here has a totally different shape than the area up towards where your hand goes.
So this area down here underneath these bolts is flat, where this area up here is round. I'm going to switch over here to a perspective view and unhide some splines that I created. This spline here follows the shape seen from the front view of the handle and these two shapes represent the different cross sections that the loft will have. The rounded portion for this part and the area that's slightly squished, sorry that's not a very technical term, but it'll do. And that's the area that's going to come down here. When you begin a loft, you start with the path, the object that represents the path.
Move up to the menu bar. Create panel > Compound > Loft. It converts the Path into a Loft Object. In the Parameters to the right, you'll see under the Creation Method Roll Out Get Path, Get Shape. We already had the path selected when we went into the loft, now we just have to add shapes. I'm going to click on the first shape which is the one that's more squashed. Squash circle.
When I add that, you can see that it's extruded that shape along that path. Now we only really want that shape to go to about here and then it, for it to transition into the circular shape. So now we're going to move to the Modify panel. In the Modify panel, we're going to focus on these Path Parameters.
I'm going to switch my view port to a wider frame so I can see now towards the end of this. I don't know if you see that right there, it's a yellow x. Then if I move this value here where it says path that x starts to move. I'm going to visually line up that little x so that it goes somewhere about right here. Sometimes it's hard to know the exact number to move this path parameter.
looks like its about eight units. Then I am going to click Get Path again under creation method and I am going to add that ellipse. We're not going to see any significant change but what it does it is just sets up that between those two shapes that I've added. It's going to have that ellipse shape. In order for us to be able to see this a little bit better, I'm going to turn out, turn down how many subdivisions under skin parameters. See, this is shape steps and pass steps.
I'm going to turn the shape steps down a little bit. That's too low. That means our shape is going to be a little bit choppy looking. But we can turn it up later when we're done with the creation part. I'm going to turn the path down slightly, just so we can see things a little bit better. So there's the x. Now I'm going to move that x so it's up here to that point. Back into the Path Parameters, I pretty much know its about 50% along the path. because 0% along the path is this end, a 100% is here and were looking at about half way.
Actually it's like 50.5. I'm going to click get shape again and this time I'm going to click the blue shape which is a circular shape. Now, let's go back into solid mode. I hit F3 and you can see it's transitioning from the ellipse or squished circle into the circle. Let's change that to shaded, so that we don't get that.
Now it makes me think that I need to have a circle shape a little lower along a cross section, a little lower so it stays more thick in this area. So I'm going to move back down, let's go to like, 20. Get Shape and click on the circle again. And you can see that how it's done that. Now, I can actually edit the location of the shapes that are already On, by going into Loft>shape. That allows me to be able to select the shape, and move up and down, along the path.
Now one thing I am noticing here is that part is looking a little strange. If I hit F4 to turn on my edged faces you'll notice there is a little bit of twisting going on here. It's another thing that we are able to do in shape mode, as I'm able to select a shape and rotate it. Now again, you see how these lines are starting to twist? I'm going to get that shape with my rotate tool and rotate the shape until we don't have that twisting going on. A little bit more, there we go.
And then I can edit and move that, you know, up or down until it looks appropriate. I can even go in and delete shapes. Let's say I decide that shape there, I either don't like it's location or I just don't like it, I can hit delete. And it'll delete it. I actually think it looks better without it. Now, what I would do now is go in and repeat the same thing on the other side.
I would go down. There we go. Go to the other side. I just moved in the wrong direction. Let's get that back in play. There we go. So, the final result of this will look like this. In this video we looked at lofting as a method for creating a 3D object.
We used the handle of the old fashion alarm clock to build, using the path and the cross sections, a complex shape, that matches almost perfectly, with the real object.
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