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Modeling a Character in 3ds Max with Ryan Kittleson covers the process of designing and building a 3D human character that can be used for feature film, broadcast, and games. The course begins with an overview of the 3ds Max tools and techniques used in character modeling, and how human anatomy is represented using 3D geometry. Once this foundation is in place, the rest of the course goes step by step through the actual process used to model a simple human character from the ground up, including facial features, musculature, and details such as hair and clothing.
Now that the basic geometry for the hair is created, we need to sculpt it and form it into an appealing shape. This will be another great chance to practice some of the options available in the Paint Deform tool. So we've got a bunch of crude hair clumps. Before we can start really shaping them, we've got to convert them to editable polys. So I'm just going to Drag+Select over all of them and right-click, Convert To > Editable Poly. I'm also going to attach all the clumps into one object, so that I don't have to switch objects every time I want to edit a different clump.
You can always detach the clumps if you need to edit them separately later on. So the way I'm going to do that is just select one of these, and let's go down to Attach and now just start clicking every single clump. It looks like I got them all, and right-click to lock it in. Let's also see what this is going to look like smooth.
Let's give it 2 Iterations and turn on Isoline Display to make it easier to look at, and back down to Editable Poly, and make sure we can see the end result. I also don't need the body to be see-through anymore, so let's turn that off. It will be easier to see if the hair is stuck inside the head if the body is opaque. So first I need to Unfreeze All and right-click on the body and then go to Object Properties and turn off See-Through.
Okay, let's start paint-deforming the hair. Go ahead and click on it and make sure you're in Editable Poly mode, and let's go up to Freeform and click Paint Deform. I want to shape the clumps so that they're bigger at the base and then taper off to a point at the tips. This is really easy to do with Paint Deform; simply use the Pull settings and the geometry expands. So I want to select Pull here, and it looks like this brush might be about the right size. Let's see. Let's bring the Strength down, and let's just test to see how this works.
Okay, so I'm just brushing, and it expands the clumps of hair. That's looking pretty good. Now if you're in the Push/Pull brush and you hold down Shift, the brush temporarily gets set to Relax. And when geometry is low detail like this, Relax actually acts kind of like a shrink ray. So let's see how that works. I'm holding down Shift now, and now when I stroke on the hair clumps, they kind of shrink up.
It really makes a nice effect, kind of bring these to a little point at the tips. It looks pretty appealing. So I'm just going to go through here and shrink up some of these tips. Okay, that's good enough for now. We can always go back and edit it later. You could also use the Push/Pull brush instead of Relax to do this, by holding down Alt, and it will actually push. And so let me show you how that works. I'm just going to hold down Alt. One problem now is that sometimes the geometry can push through itself and get larger on the other side, and it looks kind of weird.
So I usually prefer to use Relax by holding down Shift. All right, that's enough Paint Deform for now. I'm going to right-click to lock that in and show you something else you can do. I am going to go into Vertex mode and turn on Soft Selection. So now I can click on a single vertex and turn on Soft Select. Let's bring the Falloff down somewhat. By default, Soft Select is going to select any vertex on the object that is within the falloff distance.
This can be great if you want to nudge around the hair as a whole, like this. But if you only want to affect a single clump at a time, this is less than helpful. Let's say that I want to move some of these clumps around individually. So what I do is turn on Edge Distance mode. This makes the falloff happen over the surface of the object. Since the different clumps don't share the same surface, the falloff will never cross over the space between them. Now I can move, rotate, and scale these clumps separately in order to edit them more precisely.
So let's see what happens if I increase the Falloff a little bit here, and let's see. Yeah, now I can move this clump individually. You may find that you've got bald spots where you want to add some more hair clumps. You can go to Element mode and select a single clump. So let me get out of Vertex mode, go into Element mode. Now I'll select a single clump. Actually, let me select one of these back here. Now I'm going to hold down Shift while I move it.
Now I've just made a copy of it. I want to clone it to an element so that it stays part of the same object. Now I can just kind of rotate this a little bit so it's different and not quite so recognizable as being a copy of that original one. By copying clumps, you can fill in some bald areas. You could also go through the steps of creating curves and sweeping them again to fill in more hair. From here on out, it's really about using your artistic judgments to style the hair the way you think it looks best.
When you're happy with the hair, go ahead and mesh-smooth it once and remove the TurboSmooth. So I'm going to get out of Element mode here, and let's go up to TurboSmooth. Let's turn off Isoline Display and turn Iterations down to 1. Now I'll just right-click on the hair, go to Convert To > Editable Poly, and lock in the TurboSmooth. Styling the hair is time consuming, and it will probably take a while to get it looking right. With patience, you'll get more comfortable with the tools and techniques. Keep in mind that there are a million different approaches to making hair and that this is far from the only option.
In your own projects, you may have to experiment with several different methods before you find the one that looks right and fits your design.
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