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In this course, author Dan Ablan walks through the process of understanding the MODO workflow while learning to create 3D models and animations. The course teaches fundamental tasks, such as modeling polygons and applying materials with the Shader Tree, while exploring scene building in depth through advanced lighting, camera, and animation techniques. The course also covers MODO's schematic tools and shows how to render animations for various playback media.
A lot of times when you're creating models in modo you are not actually thinking about the surfaces as you create; you should, because if you have more complex objects, it's a lot easier to build those materials into your models as you are going. But it's also very easy to select and add them later, which is what we are going to do now. So from the Chapter 5 exercise files, I have this blankapple.lxo file loaded up, and you can see in the Shader Tree that this has no surfaces applied. It's your basic default material Base Shader, Final Output, and Alpha Output.
So how can we create some surfaces for this? Well, it's pretty easy. We want to select the polygons that we want to create a surface for. So in this case, I'm in Polygon, and I am going to double-click the apple. And when I do that, the apple become selected, as well as the stem. Well, I want the stem to have its own material. So if I created a material right now for these selected polygons, it would also create for the stem. It would be the same material. So we don't want that. So instead, what we are going to do is rotate around and hold the Alt or the Option key.
We are going to just select the bottom and use the Shift+Up Arrow to select just the apple. And then you hold the Alt key and Click+Drag to rotate around. Shift+Up Arrow and go right into the center. You can even zoom in if you need to see it. And just before it goes up into the stem--and if you go too far, hit your Shift+Down Arrow--and now just the apple itself is selected. And what I am going to do now is press the M key on my keyboard. This creates the material group that I need in the Shader Tree to put all my materials on, so we will call this Apple.
And you don't need to set a color here, but I often do, just to get myself a clue that I've created a material and kind of help the flow of the model itself. Once that's done, Diffuse is 80%. Diffuse tells the surface how much light to take from scene. The light diffuses into that surface, so 80% is about standard for Moto, Specular, how shiny it is, and is it going to be smoothing? And you can also say this is my default, so any new geometry I create will be created with this material. We are not going to turn that one on.
So now in the Shader Tree, I've got a Material group. That's that little green with a red dot, and you can see it says Material right next to it. Open that up, and there is material that I just created for the Apple. Easy enough. For the leaf I can just double- click on that. Again, press the M key. This is leaf. And that will give this its own unique little surface, and we will click OK and then click a blank area deselect, and in the Shader Tree you should see we have a leaf with a material. And lastly is our stem.
Now even though the Apple has its own surface, I still can't double-click on the stem to select it, and the reason is when I double-click on an object, if that object is connected to other polygons, such as the stem--how its just built right into the apple-- it selects everything connected to it. So we are going to select it the same way we did with the apple. Go to the end here, and we can just Shift key with the up arrow key all the way down, and that selects just so what we need. And then press the M key again, and this is stem, easy enough.
So you can see how important it is to actually create these as you're building your model. It's a lot more work coming down later and selecting every one of these polygons and trying to remember where they connected and where they didn't. So now that I have this set, we should often save this. So we are going to save this as basicapple in chapter 5, and you are welcome to load this and work from here. I am not going to worry about the stem or the leaf at this point. And then often what happens is people get confused by this other material that's in here.
Well, think about this. We had a default material that was included with our Shader Tree when we started up. I have now selected polygons and created a material for the apple, the leaf, and the stem. That means this base material is not being used, and it's not affecting anything either. So, it keep things neat and organized. I would like to right- click on this and delete it. Then we'll open up the apple, hit Material, and what can we do from here? Well, if we have an image of apple, we can wrap it around. If we have any kind of organic textures we want to put, we could do that. But let's keep things simple right now and simply work through our properties.
So the red, let's give this a little better color. And I am going to make this just kind of like this greenish color, I think, instead of a red apple, a little more organic, like that. Then Specular amount, how shiny it is. Well, you know these days there's a lot of computer animation around, so a little more work for you make it look not so computer generated. Now we don't want it super shiny, because that wouldn't be too realistic, so I am just going to keep it about 30%. The Fresnel effect, now you don't often need the Fresnel effect, but the way to explain this is, think if you are standing outside and you are looking straight on at a car.
You're looking right in that window. You can see through it. But as you walk to the side, that window picks up reflections, making it harder to see through. That's the Fresnel effect. Same thing like with water on a pond or lake. If you are standing on the edge and you're looking across that water, it's hard to see into it. If you walk up and look directly down, you can see right through it. Well, in this case, the Specular, that means it will be little more shiny based on our glancing angle then it would on the sides where we are not seeing it--not really necessary for the apple. The Specular amount, we don't want it white.
It should be a tint of the color of the surface. And a good example of this would be a plastic ball. If you have got a big red plastic ball and you have a really bright white hot spot, it wouldn't be so realistic. That plastic would actually be a shade lighter when it came to the Specular, or the highlight, color, and that's what that does. The Roughness is the gloss. For the Apple, we are actually going to increase the gloss a bit. The Anisotropic feature, that's going to be a little bit more metal, and what that is, when you have a round hot spot like this, if you looked at a metal hub cap it would have more of a streaked hotspot.
That's what that feature will do right there. For Reflection, well, an apple is really not reflective, but sometimes it's fun to put those on. Perhaps you are making a golden apple for your teacher, and you want to make more of an illustration. You could do that. And if you have that on, you could put Reflection color on. Lastly, down at the bottom-- let's close up the Shader-- you have the Bump Amplitude, the Displacement Distance, and Smoothing. We have not applied any bump maps yet or displacement maps, so we don't need those. But the Smoothing, if I turn this off, not a whole lot happens, and let's open up F8, which is our Preview render.
You seen that the smoothing is still pretty good on this apple, so we don't need much. But every once in a while you'll see the facets of the polygons on a model and that's where the Smoothing comes in, more of a Phong shading, more of a mathematical shading, rather than a geometry shading. So we will just leave that at its default and very simply, you've created a material. You can then right-click on this and copy it, and if you wanted, go to the leaf, right-click, and paste it down. I do that often when I have very similar surfaces, and then all I have to do is go in and change a color, and all the other properties are then applied--save some time.
So creating materials is really very easy. A lot of times people get overwhelmed with all the buttons and layers, and they're opening and closing, and they are getting a little turned off by how confusing it can be, but if you just work with each polygon group, each surface group, and each material one step at a time, it's very easy to build materials in modo.
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