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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.
In this chapter, we're going to look at modeling for motion graphics, specifically creating 3D beveled text. I've got a little movie to share with you here, what this looks like in motion. So, as you can see, it's text that's got a nice, clean bevel on it. It's also got some looping animation. In this chapter, we're just going to look at the modeling aspect of this. But I've also got a rendered movie here that I can share with you. This is what it looks like when it's got materials and lighting on it. So this is where we're headed.
I'll start by resetting 3ds Max, and I do want to double check my project folder. So, you remember, if you hover your mouse over the project folder icon, it will tell you where your current project folder is. I'm currently using the Exercise Files from the course. If you are not referencing that project at this time, you do want to set that up in advance. Just make sure that you're referencing the Exercise Files. So you can click the button and navigate to wherever those files are on your hard drive.
Make sure once again that you're selecting the top level and not any of these sub-folders. Next, I'll set up my scene. I want to set up a unit of measurement for this project. You might think that it's not important to worry about scale for motion graphics. In some regard that's true, because what really matters is screen space, not so much world space. In other words, we're not trying to match our motion graphics text up to any architectural reality in the real world. But when you get into the nitty- gritty of things, it turns out that scale actually does matter, specifically when we look at our Bevel modifier later.
We'll have better results if our Bevel amount is, let's say, an inch rather than 0.001 inches. So, in other words, size does matter. I do need to build my logo pretty large in order to have good control over it. So, I'll start by going to the Customize > Units Setup and I'm setting that to US Standard Feet with Decimal Inches. I'll use Inches as my default units of entry. Once again, I'll right-click on the Snaps and go to the Home Grid tab in that Grid and Snap Settings dialog, and I'll set my grid spacing up.
I'll have a grid line every 12 inches. I'll type in 12. It translates to a foot. Major grid lines every 10 feet. That's fine. I'll set the Perspective View Grid to 50 feet from center to edge. So, I've got a project set up and I've got my units set up and I'm ready to go.
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