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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 on Polygon modeling, we will be creating a couple of pieces of furniture based upon items from the real world, and the first one will be this modern bookshelf. You can see that it's made out of simple, primitive objects, so it's a good example for learning how to do basic polygon modeling. It's also been placed into a group. I will be showing you how to group objects so that you can work with them separately or as a unit. So the first thing I will do is I will reset the program. I am not saving my changes, and I will set up my units in grid.
So quickly I will go to the Customize menu > Units Setup, and I will be using Imperial Units so that means feet with decimal inches, and for my default units I will choose Inches, so that 3ds Max will know when I type in 16, I mean 16 inches and not 16 feet. Then of course, I will go into the Grid and Snap settings by right-clicking on any one of the magnet icons on the main toolbar, and I want to go to the Home Grid tab in this dialog, and I want to set this up, once again, for imperial units.
So the Grid Spacing, I will make that 1 -inch for Grid Line, Major Lines every 12-inches and the Perspective View, I will make that let's say 48 inches. Now I have got my Grid and Snap settings, and let's take a look at the dimensions of this object. So these are dimensions of the bookshelf, the total, width, depth and height and also the vertical spacing of the shelves and the width of the panels. So just for a sanity check, I might want to build a reference box just to make sure that, once again, I don't get lost in scale, so I am going to create a simple box as a sanity check.
For some reason, I am getting a black box here, so I am going to quickly go in and change the color of that because that's not going to help me. There we go, and I will just say 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches, just type in a 12 and press tab each time. There you go. Now I know, basically the size of my scene and I am ready to start modeling.
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