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Using traditional editable poly tools within Graphite


3ds Max 2011 Essential Training

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Using traditional editable poly tools within Graphite

Graphite is a super-set of the tools available in the traditional Editable Poly. So, that means that Editable Poly has a lot of really cool options, and you can do great work and many people have done great work for a lot of years using Editable Poly. But now we have Graphite, which extends the Editable Poly toolset, and in some ways makes it easier and better. So, let's take a look at what we can do here with both the traditional Modify panel and the Graphite ribbon.
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  1. 3m 19s
    1. Welcome
    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
    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

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Watch the Online Video Course 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
3D + Animation
3ds Max
Aaron F. Ross

Using traditional editable poly tools within Graphite

Graphite is a super-set of the tools available in the traditional Editable Poly. So, that means that Editable Poly has a lot of really cool options, and you can do great work and many people have done great work for a lot of years using Editable Poly. But now we have Graphite, which extends the Editable Poly toolset, and in some ways makes it easier and better. So, let's take a look at what we can do here with both the traditional Modify panel and the Graphite ribbon.

So the most basic thing is to select sub-objects. So currently, I've hit the Q key, so I just got the Select Tool active. I can go into sub-object modes, like, for example, Polygon. I can click to select polygons, or I can drag a selection rectangle. Very good! I can do the same sub-object selection modes from within Graphite. So you'll see on the left-hand side of the ribbon, I've got all of the sub-object modes. So, for example, I can select Edges and click on edges to select them, or vertices.

Okay, so that's pretty straightforward. Next, we'll look at edge loop selection. So an edge loop is a series of connected edges that are joined end to end. So we can do that either from the Modify panel or from Graphite ribbon. So I can go into Edge mode, and what I want to do is I want to select all of these edges here so that I can manipulate them. So, I'll click on one of these edges and then in the Modify panel, I can click the Loop button. Now, I've selected all of those.

I can hit the R key to use my Scale Tool, and I can shape that. This is in preparation for creating an extrusion. I'm going to want to actually create a cylindrical shape that sort of pops out from here. In order to do that, I need to have the edge loop set to the proper size. So, that's using the loop selection in Editable Poly. Graphite makes it even easier to do so. So, if I go over to Graphite, I'm in Edge mode, currently, and if I click on an edge, hit the Q key, so we're not distracted by that Scale Tool.

So, I've got an edge selected, and I've got a Loop button here, and that behaves the same as the Loop button over here. I can go back to scaling with the R key. Very good! Go back to the Q key, which is Select. But even better, Graphite has a Loop Selection mode. So, all you have to do is click once on an edge, and the entire loop will be selected automatically. That's found here. So I'll enter Loop mode.

I'm still in Edge sub-object. Click on any one of these edges, and then the entire loop is selected. Pretty cool! So I can do that over here as well. I've got a loop selected. Very good! Then I can go back to scaling or adjusting however I want. So, I'll use the R key. Scale that up or down. Great! So, now let's look at using some of the topology modification tools, such as Extrude.

So, if I want to pull this area up here and generate new polygons, I can use Extrude to do that. Extrude works best in Polygon sub-object mode. I want to select all the polygons here in the center, and I could go and select them in various ways, but I'm going to do it kind of a clever way, which is I can just select that center vertex, and then convert that selection to polygons. So, I can choose Vertex and click that center vertex.

Hit the Q key so we're just looking at the Select Tool. This is not quite a hidden or obscure command, but it's one that's not immediately obvious. And that is if you hold down the Ctrl key while you change sub-object modes, you'll convert the current selection to another sub-object type. What that's going to do, in this case, is going to select all the polygons that are touching this vertex. So, I'll hold down the Ctrl key and click on polygon, and boom! I've just selected all of those polygons. Pretty cool! The same thing works over here in Graphite.

I've got a single vertex selected. Hold down the Ctrl key and enter Polygon sub-object mode. Then I've got all those poly selected. Now I'm going to do the Extrude. I can do that, once again, either from the traditional Modify panel or from Graphite. So, you'll see there's an Extrude command here under Edit Polygons. I've got two different ways of doing it. I can click the Extrude button. Then I'm in a purely, sort of intuitive interactive mode. I'll just click and drag to extrude that.

That's all there is to it. In this case, I don't have any bells and whistles, like I can't set a specific height for the extrusion and so on. So, if I want to have more control, I can use the settings or options. So, I'll hit Ctrl+Z to undo that Extrude command. You noticed, in the Modify panel, some of these buttons have little Settings buttons next door to them. If you click on one of those, then you'll get this so-called caddy. So the caddy is a replacement for an old traditional options box.

This is intended to be more immediate in the interface. So, here I have the ability to set the height by dragging on this parameter here, left or right, or I could type in a value, like if I wanted to be exactly 1 foot, I type in 12, because I'm currently working in inches. Press the Enter key, and now I've got a 1-foot extrusion. If I like what I have here, I can click the OK button, the little check box. If I don't want to execute this, I can click Cancel. So, go ahead and hit OK.

So, it's a simple extrusion from within the Editable Poly, Modify panel. We'll do this, once again, also from Graphite. So, I'll hit Ctrl+Z to undo that. Up in Graphite, you'll see, okay, once I'm in Polygon sub-object mode, I've got a Polygons section here to work with and up in the upper left-hand corner of that is the Extrude button. So, once again, I have two modes. I can activate the Extrude Tool and just drag that up, Ctrl+Z to undo.

If I want to get at that caddy, I can hold down the Shift key and click on the Extrude button, and I'm back at adjusting it. With numerical values, I can hit 12, press Enter, and I've got an extrusion of 12 inches. Additionally, within the caddy, you'll notice that there's a little Plus sign, which is Apply and Continue. What that will allow you to do is to execute the command and then see a preview of the next command. So, if I press this Plus sign, the first extrusion has been executed, and now I'm seeing a preview of the second extrude.

Now, this is dependent upon my current selection. So if I change the selection, different polygons will be extruded, or if nothing is selected, nothing will be extruded. So, for example, if I click off the object, then I don't see any preview, because nothing is selected. If I go around and select individual polygons, you'll see we're getting an immediate feedback on what we're going to extrude. So, if I hold down Ctrl, I could go through the motions here and select all of those.

There's one other little thing I'd like to show you what this is if you want to do a selection, sometimes it's helpful to use different selection modes in 3ds Max. This isn't just a Graphite thing. This applies across the board. I can move my Graphite panel out of the way a little bit so I can get at my main toolbar. Your Selection Region up here on the main toolbar has got a flyout. So, you've got a lot of options in here. You can select by Rectangle or by Circle. You can draw a fence. You can draw a rubber band or a paint selection.

So, we can do a Circle Selection. I'll Alt+middle-mouse to tumble here a little bit and middle mouse to drag, and I'm using the Circular Selection Region. I can draw this out. I've got this polygon selected. But you'll notice that it's also selected some stuff back here that I didn't want to select, and that's a common thing that will tend to happen. You can avoid that by activating Ignore Backfacing here in Graphite. So, if that's on, then when you create a selection, it's only going to select things that are facing towards you, in this case, polygons that are facing towards my current view.

You will notice, of course, though that it selected these here, because they were actually facing towards my current view. So, Ignore Backfacing doesn't know anything about whether a polygon is hiding behind another polygon. All it knows is whether a polygon is facing me or not. I can also use the Paint Selection Tool, which looks like a little aerosol can. That's kind of cool, because I can just click and drag to select things.

So with Paint Selection, I've still got the same issue, where it's selecting things that are facing towards me. So I can use the Alt key to deselect those. So, that's Paint Selection, pretty helpful! Cool! So, I've got another extrude here, and I could just hit OK here to execute that. Then finally, there is another variation on Extrude, which is called Bevel, which gives me the ability to outline the edge here.

So, I've got an edge loop surrounding the selected polygons and Bevel will allow me to outline that, or not really scale it, but change the shape so that we can get a tapered extrusion, or a beveled extrusion. So, that's up here, directly below Extrude. Once again, I'm going to hold down Shift and click on that, so I can get the caddy up. I've got the Height of the Bevel, and then the Outline Amount here.

Again, I'm seeing a preview. Again, I can hold down the Alt key to get a slower movement to the adjustment here. I can hold down Ctrl to have a faster adjustment. So, if I don't hold down any keyboard keys, then it's sort of like the default speed of adjustment. Alt is finer adjust or slower and Ctrl is a grosser adjustment or faster.

So that Alt key does come in handy a lot because you want to do these fine-tune adjustments. Okay, so if I'm happy with that, I'll go ahead and click the check box to execute that. That's just a little bit of an introduction to how you can use traditional Editable Poly tools within Graphite.

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