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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.
To have full control over editable spline vertices, you are going to want to convert between the four different types of vertices. So on my star here, I am going to select Vertex mode, and if I click around on these, you can see that they all have Bezier tangent handles and I can use the Move tool and adjust those. But I have got other options too. If I want sharp corners, I might want to use a corner vertex instead.
So, for example, let's say I select these vertices up here and I can right-click to get the quad menu and up in the upper-left quadrant I have got some options for these different types of vertices. You will see there's a check box next to Bezier, meaning that that's the state of the currently selected vertices. So I can choose Corner, for example, and now I have got sharp corners. And you will notice if there are two corner vertices next to each other then the segment between them will be a perfectly straight line.
What else do we have? We have also got Smooth. So a smooth point, as the name implies, is a smooth curve. It's nice and soft and sweet, but it doesn't have any adjustable tangent handles. So as I move this around you can see I am able to change the shape and I am getting a nice smooth curve through there, but I don't have that level of customization that I have with the Bezier point. You will also notice as I move this around that it's having an adverse effect on nearby segments.
So it's kind of an unexpected result is when I move a smooth point, it's actually going to have an effect on segments that are at least one hop away. So smooth points are okay for sort of getting a basic shape, but if you want to have finer control, you are going to want to convert to Bezier. So I am going to select these points and right-click and convert them back to Bezier, and I can we are back where we were.
Finally, you may want to have independent control of the two tangent handles. So if I click here and move this one, you will see the other one is moving too. So I can have independent control of these by using a Bezier corner vertex. So I will right-click and go to Bezier Corner, and now you will see I have got independent control of the two sides of this vertex. I can also create Bezier xorner points by selecting a tangent handle with the Shift key.
So I will hold down Shift+Click+ Drag and that breaks the tangency. So I have got two independent handles now and that's converted that point into a Bezier corner point. And if I right-click and convert back to Bezier, that will restore the two handles so that they will be tangent. Notice when I do this that the two handles are different lengths and sometimes this can be a problem. You might end up with a situation where one of the handles is much longer than the other and making it difficult for you to control.
There is a trick to this, which is you can convert it back to Smooth, and then after you have converted it to Smooth, convert it to Bezier again, and that will restore the two handles so that they are the same length once again. So that's the basics of how you can work with the different points within a 3ds Max editable spline.
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