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Modeling lines


3ds Max 2011 Essential Training

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Modeling lines

In our next Polygon modeling exercise, we are going to build this fancy sofa, and it's made out of basically two different modeling methods. Number one, we have some chamfer boxes that have couple of bells and whistles applied to them to make them look more realistic. Specifically, we are using a Volume Select Modifier and a push in order to make these bubble outward a little bit, and we are also going to use a Noise Modifier to kind of randomize the surface to make it more believable. The frame is constructed from splines that have a Sweep Modifier applied to them, so we can get this uniform box shape constructed to that metal frame.
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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

Modeling lines

In our next Polygon modeling exercise, we are going to build this fancy sofa, and it's made out of basically two different modeling methods. Number one, we have some chamfer boxes that have couple of bells and whistles applied to them to make them look more realistic. Specifically, we are using a Volume Select Modifier and a push in order to make these bubble outward a little bit, and we are also going to use a Noise Modifier to kind of randomize the surface to make it more believable. The frame is constructed from splines that have a Sweep Modifier applied to them, so we can get this uniform box shape constructed to that metal frame.

So without further ado, let's go ahead and reset the program. This is a European design, so it's actually in metric. So I want to set up my units of measurement for metric. I will go to the Customize menu > Units Setup, and I have already got it set to Metric here, and it's in Meters. I could also choose Centimeters. I might do that because it's probably going to make my life a little bit easier. It's a bit simpler and easier to understand when we are reading out in Centimeters in this case. So I will go ahead and click OK.

And I also want to go into the Snaps. Right-click on there so that I can get to my Home Grid options, and I want my grid to be spaced out, let's say one line every 10 centimeters, type in a 10, and then Major Grid Lines every 10 times 10, or 100 centimeters, or once every meter. And then for the Perspective View, let's give this a value of 20. Press Tab. So now what I have got is I have got a stage that's 200 centimeters from center to edge, because that's 20 times 10.

So in other words, I have got 2 meters from center to edge. So once again, minor lines every 10 centimeter, major lines every 10 times 10, or 100 centimeters or 1 meter, and the Perspective View Grid Extent, 10 times 20, or 200 centimeters, or 2 meters from center to edge. Remember, again that when you are working in 3ds Max that the grid is adaptive. So as you zoom in and out in the top or front or left, you can't really tell what scale you are at.

So I do like to construct a box as a point of reference. Interestingly, I have got a black box here, but I will fix that in a second. So I will just make this 100 centimeters on a side. So that's 1 meter, approximately 3 feet, and I will just go into the colors here, and I will choose a lighter color. Press OK. So now I know that when I am looking in my top view, or any of the other ortho views, that these grid lines represent, this is a meter.

Good. So I will move that out of the way. So it's not going to distract me. I will start by building the frame, and I will use a rectangle primitive to do that. To make it neat and clean, I want to snap to the grid. So I will go over and activate 3D Snaps, and I will right-click once again just to make sure that Grid Points is the only thing I am snapping to. I will maximize the top Viewport with Alt+W, and I am going to go to the Create panel to Shapes, and I have got a Rectangle primitive.

So I am going to draw this out. I know that the thickness of this frame is going to be about a meter, and then the width in this dimension is going to be about 2.5 or so meters. So I don't need to make those dimensions right now, but I do just want to make sure that my rectangle is aligned in the x axis. So I will just move this out until my gizmo in the center there snaps to the center in the x axis. I will release the mouse, and then immediately go to the Modify panel.

So I have got a length which is the depth or thickness here of a meter, and I have got a width currently of 260. It's actually going to need to be a little bit less than that, based upon the dimensions of the couch that I am trying to model. It's going to be more like around 236 or so, or maybe about let's give it to 232. So it's approximately the right proportion for the rectangle. You will notice that the Rectangle primitive also has a Corner Radius parameter.

I don't want a Corner Radius in this case, but I am just showing you that it exists. I don't need to fill it there, so I will set that Corner to 0, very good. So then I will go to Alt+W to my Perspective View, and kind of tumble around and look at this. So far so good. For the frame of this, I am going to need another rectangle that's elevated above this one a little bit. So I can make it duplicate. I will just hold down the Shift key and move that up. And you will notice that I am having a little bit of trouble with my Snaps here, and that is a common thing that will happen.

You may actually have to turn off Snaps while you are trying to move things. So I am going to turn off the Snaps and hold down Shift and move that up. And it only needs to move up by probably about 6-8 centimeters. I will make it an Instance, so if I need to change either one of them, they will both change. I will get a little bit closer here. So that's about 10 centimeters actually. So that's probably about right.

If I need to put it at an exact elevation, of course, I can just, with the Move Tool active, I can just type in a value. Let's make it 10 centimeters, cool! So Alt+W to zoom out again, and I have got 2 rectangles, and they are identical, and I can make any final adjustments to the dimensions and because they are instances, they will both change. I think I was fine with what I had so I am going to hit Ctrl+Z to undo that, and what I want to do here is I want to apply a Sweep Modifier, but first I need to attach the parts together and join up the frames so that it's actually solid.

So to attach splines together, what you need to do is select one or the other of them, I will select the bottom one in this case, and convert it to editable spline. So I will right-click and get my Quad menu > Convert To: > Convert to Editable Spline. Once it's been converted to Editable, then I can attach other splines to it, so it will be a single object. So you will see, in the Geometry Rollout of Editable Spline, an Attach button. Click Attach, and then click on the other object in the scene, and then I can right-click to exit the Attach Tool.

So now this is a single Editable Spline object. It was originally two separate rectangles, but now it's a single monolithic spline. To make it a little bit easier to see, once again I am going to press that J key to hide those selection rectangles, or I can also hit F3, which is going to display in wireframe. So I think I will do F3 this time, and what I need to do is I need to make a couple of support braces here at the corners and a couple here in the center. This is done by creating a new line within the existing line.

So I have got Editable Spline active, and you will see I have got a Create Line Tool. Well, to do it most effectively, I want to snap to the existing points, and the existing vertices. So I will go back into my Snap tools, select 3D Snap and then right-click, and what I want to do is turn off Grid Points, and turn on Vertex so that now when I snap, I will be snapping to points on an object rather than grid intersections. So there you go, snap to Vertex.

And I will choose Create Line, and you will see when I get close to one of these corner points, my yellow Snap Tool lights up. So all I need to do is click, and click, and then right-click to complete that. Remember, with drawing out splines, you don't want to, in this case, draw a curved line. So don't hold down the mouse when you are drawing. Just do single clicks. Click, click, and right-click. Click, click, and right-click.

Click, click, and right-click. And that looks like a box, but it's actually a spline. I will right-click to exit Create Line just so that I can show you. If I hit F3 again, that's a spline. It's not a solid object. Cool! Now I do need to make a couple of other splines here for the support braces here. I don't have anything to snap to here. If you go to Vertex mode, you will see there is no Vertex here. There are no points, no Vertices to snap to.

So what I will do is I will just duplicate this new line that I have created. So I can duplicate sub-objects as well as objects, and it's done in the same manner, by Shift+Dragging. So I will go back to F3, which is wireframe, and I want to select By Segment or By Spline. Either one is fine here because these happen to be both. That's a segment and a spline, or more precisely, it's a spline sub-object that has exactly one segment to it.

To be more precise, I am going to do this in the Front View. So I will hit Alt+W, go to the Front View, Alt+W again, position my view, and all I need to do is Shift+Drag to make a duplicate of this sub-object. Now I don't need to snap anymore so I am going to turn off Snapping, holding down Shift and dragging this out and releasing the mouse, and I have just made a duplicate. And I don't get promoted for anything.

I want to double-check that that's actually good, so I'll hit Alt+W again, and you will see I've got a new spline, very good! So I will make another one, Alt+W, hold down Shift and drag that out, and now I have got two splines in the front. I will repeat that process in the back. Alt+W, select the spline in the back, and I can't really see it here because it's hiding behind the front line.

Hold down Shift and drag, line that you up, release the mouse, Alt+W to check my work again, looks good. Right-click in the Front View so I don't lose my selection, hold down Shift once again and move that fourth spline out. There you go. I have made the frame. I can exit out of Editable Spline. And next we will add some thickness to this with the Sweep Modifier.

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