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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.
Now, I am ready to actually make this into a sub-division surface model, and in 3ds Max actually there are several modifiers that can accomplish this. The one that you usually want to choose is called TurboSmooth, and the reason it's called TurboSmooth is because it's very fast. You will get very good performance in your Viewports with TurboSmooth. There are a couple of other flavors of sub-D. There is something called MeshSmooth, and there is something called HSDS. You don't really need to worry about those. We will just use TurboSmooth. And I will go ahead and add that now, and you will see, I have added it above the symmetry modifier, and I have done that so that the smoothing will occur across the seam, so in other words, I have got let's go down here and turn off Show end result.
I have got half of a box. Then it's being mirrored, and then it's being smoothed. In that way, I will get a nice, smooth transition across the seam. If I had Turbosmoothed it below the symmetry, I'd get a different result, and I might end up with some creasing around that seam, so I want to try to avoid that. All right, so I have got my TurboSmooth added now, and the most significant thing within Turbo Smooth is the number of iterations. Iterations means number of repeats of an operation. So currently what this is doing is it's doing one iteration.
It's taking my original box object and each polygon of that is being divided into four new polygons. If I increase the number of iterations, then those new polygons will in turn be divided into four new polygons again. So with iterations of two, I am getting a much rounder box. Now if you hit the 7 key on your keyboard, you will see a display of the polygon count in your Viewport. What I want to do actually is I want to customize this a little bit, so I can see the polygon count just for their currently selected object.
So to do this, I am going to go into the Viewport Configuration dialog, Configure, and under Statistics, in that Statistics tab, I want to enable an option that says Total + Selection. This way I can see a polygon count for the selected object instead of just for the entire scene, click OK. Now, here you will see for this box, it's telling me that I have got about 2,000 polygons on this object. If I reduce the number of iterations down to 1, refresh my view here, I have only got about 500 polygons.
If I bring it back down to 0, I am actually looking at my original box shape now, and it's 132 polygons. So each time you increase the number of iterations, you're multiplying your polygon count by 4. So 2 is a good value while you are working. When you are finished with your model, you might increase it up to 3 before you do your final output. But I wouldn't ever increase the number of iterations beyond 3 because that's just overkill. If you need to take it up past 3, it probably means that you need to add more detail on your original Polygon Mesh, so bring that back down to 2 while I am working.
Since I have illustrated how to use the Statistics here, I am going to press the 7 key once again to turn them back off.
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