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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.
We've created a loft, and we are ready to start adjusting its parameters and shaping it up. The first thing I want to point out to you is that the transforms of these shapes and the path curve do not affect the loft. So unlike in some other programs, 3ds Max doesn't care where these are. It doesn't have any influence over the shape of the loft. So I'm going to move that path curve out of the way, because I have got the loft where I want it. But the path curve is actually still inside here and just to simplify my life I am going to move it.
So I'll hit F3 and I want to click here a couple of times,. Maybe I'll tumble or orbit around. I am trying to select the point, the line inside there. It is selected, but it's kind of hard to tell sometimes, but it is currently selected and you can tell that because its name is displayed here and its object type is displayed if you have the Modify panel visible. So I am just going to move that line out of the way, so that my loft object is left at the origin and the component parts over here can just be placed wherever is convenient. Okay.
So if I go back to Shaded mode and press F4 to see Edged Faces, then you can see the structure of this a little bit better. I can play around with the Skin Parameters to get different levels of detail here. So I am going to go into the Skin Parameters in my Modify panel, open that up. And you will see things here like Capping. Well, that's the first thing I want to do. This is going to be a vase. So I want a cap at the start, which was at the bottom, but I don't need a cap at the top.
So I am going to disable the cap at the end, and now I've got an open hole there. Then I can play around with level of detail, and that's done through these Steps parameters. So the Shape Steps is the level of detail for the shapes. So getting closer here, so as I increase that, you're seeing more and more lines being drawn North-South if you will, because that's the detail for the shape. So I can reduce the detail in the shape.
If I go down to 0, I'm getting a very rough blocky shape. Then I have got the Path Steps, and that's a level of detail in the other direction. So if I increase or decrease that, you'll see we're getting more or fewer parallel lines going East-West if you will. We can also play around with there's this Adaptive Path Steps option, and that is on by default.
What that's going to do is it's going to try to fill in the blanks so that it's going to look good, but it's not going to necessarily be regular. So if you look at this a little bit more closely, you can see that these polygons here are little bit smaller than these ones here. I can turn off Adaptive Path Steps and what that's going to do is it's going to give me a consistent level of detail. So each one of these is going to be the same height. That's just an option, so I can increase the number of Path Steps.
And if I have Adaptive turned off, it's just a little bit easier for me to control. So those are the main parameters for a Loft skin. I can also optimize shapes and that's going to try to draw straight lines where we don't need extra detail. But as you can see here, it doesn't always give us good results. So I don't want to have Optimize Shapes turned on this time. This model may end up being a little bit heavier than I might want, but that's a better option than what we saw a moment ago where it was actually crumpling the mesh.
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