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3ds Max 2011 Essential Training
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Surveying different modeling methods


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3ds Max 2011 Essential Training

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Surveying different modeling methods

Before we go too deep into modeling in 3ds Max, I'd like to spend a moment talking about the different types of models and why you would choose one technique or modality over another. In this scene, you'll see three pieces of furniture. Each was modeled using a different technique. On the left is a polygon model, and you'll see it's made out of all straight lines and it's very boxy and very rectilinear. In the middle you'll see a curve-based model. Let me zoom in a little bit on that with Ctrl+Alt+Middle mouse button, and then move with just the middle mouse button, so we can see that a little bit more closely.
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  1. 3m 19s
    1. Welcome
      57s
    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
      46s
    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
      27s

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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
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
3ds Max
Author:
Aaron F. Ross

Surveying different modeling methods

Before we go too deep into modeling in 3ds Max, I'd like to spend a moment talking about the different types of models and why you would choose one technique or modality over another. In this scene, you'll see three pieces of furniture. Each was modeled using a different technique. On the left is a polygon model, and you'll see it's made out of all straight lines and it's very boxy and very rectilinear. In the middle you'll see a curve-based model. Let me zoom in a little bit on that with Ctrl+Alt+Middle mouse button, and then move with just the middle mouse button, so we can see that a little bit more closely.

This is a curve-based model and specifically it's actually using two different types of curves. It's using a standard Spline curve for the top of this cocktail table. It's using something called NURBS for the base. These are both curve-based modeling techniques. On the right, we middle mouse, move over there, and Alt+Middle mouse to orbit a little bit. This barstool seat is modeled using something called subdivision surfaces, which sort of combines the best of polygon modeling and curve-based modeling.

So these are the three different types of modeling that you're going to use in 3ds Max. Take a quick look at each one of these in turn. I'm going back to the Polygon model. Polygons lend themselves to straight lines, because in fact they are made out of all straight lines. If I select an object here and zoom in a little bit, you'll see although we've got a little bit of a beveled edge here, it's got a little bit of a bevel there, it's still made out of all straight lines.

That really is the hallmark of polygon models. Polygons are best for objects that are not going to change shape and that are generally made out of, as I said, these straight surfaces or flat surfaces. Each line on the polygon model is called an edge and the area that is surrounded by edges is known as a polygon or a face. Moving on to the second type, curve- based models, this is called a NURBS model. If I select it, you'll see the word NURBS. That's an acronym.

NURBS are curve-based and they're mathematically precise. So, NURBS are used for modeling industrial design. The cool thing about NURBS is that you can change the level of detail, which you can't really do with polygons, at least not easily. So, if I'm not happy with the definition on this, I can dial it up or down. So curve-based modeling, specifically NURBS, are a way to achieve flowing curves on hard surfaces.

In other words, this is a surface that's not going to deform. So we don't care if it's going to bend very well. So we don't really need to have a very particular structure that would be designed to deform, but we still want to get these nice, smooth-flowing curves. So again, NURBS is good for man-made objects, but NURBS is not so good for character or creature work, because we don't have much control over the way that these edges here are being built.

Finally, the third method here is called subdivision surfaces. This barstool is modeled using Sub-Ds, and subdivision surfaces combine the best of both worlds. It gives us the freedom to work with polygons and the advanced feature sets that are available with polygons, but we also have the ability to have these nice, flowing curves. So, Sub-Ds are used almost exclusively for nearly all character and creature modeling in 3D.

To show you the defining characteristic of a Sub-D model, I'm going to press F4 to hide these edges and I'm going to go down into the modifier stack. I'm going to enter Editable Poly > Vertex. We'll be looking more at this later, but when I've entered this mode, now if I have this Show end result option turned on, then I can see the final result after all of the aspects of the modifier stack have been calculated. The defining characteristic of a Sub- D model is that we have a low fidelity control cage or control mesh shown here in orange.

That is a method whereby I can adjust the shape of the resulting or underlying smoothed, subdivided surface. So I can move these, the three points, around and kind of have a very high level control over this Sub-D surface, so that I don't have to go in and select every single little point on here. So I've got a very high level control. So, those are the three modeling modalities that you're going to use in 3ds Max. Once again, polygon modeling, which is good for non-deforming, hard-edged objects, curve-based modeling, such as NURBS, which is good for hard surfaces that have flowing curves, and then finally, Sub-D or subdivision surface models, which is good for character and creature work and in this case also came in handy for modeling this barstool.

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