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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.
Once we have converted a shape or a parametric spline to an editable spline, then we can go into sub-object modes and move things around. So Editable Spline has three sub-object modes: Vertex, Segment, and Spline. And once again, just as with Editable Poly, we can choose a sub-object mode either from the list here or from the icons. So Vertex is a control vertex or a control point. Let me zoom in a little bit here with Ctrl+Alt+Middle mouse, and then middle mouse to move, and I can select a vertex and I can use the Move tool to adjust the shape.
Now, I have still got Snapping turned on, so I probably want to turn it off at this point. And by the way, you can use the shortcut key to turn off Snaps, and that's S. S for Snaps. So now I can move this around and fine-tune the shape or customize the shape of the object. You will notice that this has got so- called tangent handles or sometimes called vector handles on either end of the point. So when I select this point, you will see the point itself is highlighted in red, and then on either side of it you will see a little green box and these are so-called tangent handles or vector handles.
You might be familiar with this from a program like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and most computer graphic programs, whether they be 2D or 3D, have a similar implementation of what are called Bezier splines. So this is a Bezier spline, and we know that because it's got these adjustable tangent handles. NURBS, on the other hand, don't have those handles. So that's one type of sub- object in an Editable Spline.
That's sub-object type Vertex. Next we have got segment. Segment is the part of the curve between two points. So if you want to move a segment, you will see the segment itself is going to stay the same shape, but the segments on either side of it are going to have to adjust their shape accordingly. Finally, you have also got Spline sub-object, and that is a series of connected segments.
And it's very possible that your Editable Spline may have more than one Spline sub-object to it. This star primitive or what was original a star primitive only has one Spline sub-object, but if you create a text, you would see multiple Spline sub-objects. So these are the different types of sub-objects within an Editable Spline. You will notice, by the way, that we have got sub-object mode on here, which means that we won't be able to select any other object in the scene.
So I can click on these things all day long and nothing is going to happen until I exit out of sub-object mode. It's probably one of the most significant distinctions in 3ds Max is whether you are in sub-object mode or object mode. And again, if I am in sub-object mode, I can't select any other objects. I am kind of stuck inside this object. So I will need to exit out of that, and then I will be able to select other objects. You will also notice that the line that we created earlier has panels here that look exactly the same as the converted Editable Spline.
So I have got my line that I made by hand, and then I have got my star shape that I converted and in fact they have the exact same tools, and in fact they are the exact same object type. So it's just a little bit confusing in the interface, because this says Editable Spline here and this says Line, but in fact they are the same thing. So it's just two different names for the same thing. The only difference is that we made the line from scratch and the star was converted.
So that's a little bit about sub-object types. And then in a moment we are going to finally look at the different types of vertices within an Editable Spline.
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