MODO 501 Essential Training
Illustration by Petra Stefankova

Extending polygons


MODO 501 Essential Training

with Dan Ablan

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Video: Extending polygons

Throughout the last set of videos, you have seen how just taking simple shapes, editing their edges, using the Move tool, Shear, and Bend can create a pretty nice-looking object. But what about creating something a little more organic, like a hose? How would you extend those polygons? I am working with version 6, and then we saved it incrementally to 001. So you can load that up. And then I'm going to save this incrementally again as version 2, and this is the one we are going to be editing right now. What I want to do is create a hose coming out from this piece right here that we created, that we used the Bend tool for.
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  1. 2m 21s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 26s
  2. 42m 37s
    1. Understanding the interface
      4m 30s
    2. Understanding the workplane
      5m 7s
    3. Understanding Action Centers
      4m 12s
    4. Working with the modeling tools
      5m 10s
    5. Understanding surfaces
      7m 12s
    6. Selecting elements
      7m 33s
    7. Understanding the elements of a 3D model
      4m 3s
    8. Understanding symmetry
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Building a model
      8m 56s
    2. Editing geometry
      10m 39s
    3. Controlling geometry
      10m 31s
    4. Bending geometry
      6m 42s
    5. Adding detail with edges
      5m 37s
    6. Editing polygons
      10m 27s
    7. Extending polygons
      9m 34s
  4. 42m 53s
    1. Understanding subdivisions
      3m 49s
    2. Understanding Pixar-based subdivisions
      2m 48s
    3. Creating a basic model
      7m 51s
    4. Beveling with subdivisions
      6m 6s
    5. Adding detail to models
      8m 54s
    6. Deforming and shaping objects
      7m 48s
    7. Cloning
      5m 37s
  5. 49m 32s
    1. Creating with Radial Sweep
      4m 44s
    2. Working with text
      8m 40s
    3. Understanding replicators
      7m 22s
    4. Instancing objects
      7m 0s
    5. Working with Curve Clone
      4m 36s
    6. Working with Curve Extrude
      2m 25s
    7. Modeling with Array
      8m 50s
    8. Understanding Mesh Paint
      5m 55s
  6. 1h 4m
    1. Introducing the Shader Tree
      4m 32s
    2. Exploring layer-based shading
      4m 29s
    3. Creating surfaces for polygons
      7m 41s
    4. Editing surfaces
      7m 4s
    5. Applying procedural textures
      7m 38s
    6. Applying image-mapped textures
      6m 2s
    7. Working with transparent images
      5m 48s
    8. Adding bump maps for realism
      8m 49s
    9. Enhancing surfaces with specularity and glossiness maps
      3m 25s
    10. Creating a reflective surface
      3m 27s
    11. Working in glass
      5m 28s
  7. 39m 9s
    1. Building 3D scenes
      2m 49s
    2. Working with different light types
      8m 26s
    3. Lighting a 3D scene
      12m 51s
    4. Reflecting light
      5m 23s
    5. Lighting environments for realism
      4m 18s
    6. Blending light sources
      5m 22s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Understanding the MODO 501 camera
      5m 39s
    2. Setting up a camera
      5m 42s
    3. Placing multiple cameras
      7m 11s
    4. Animating cameras
      2m 29s
  9. 29m 58s
    1. Understanding the timeline
      7m 16s
    2. Adding and controlling keyframes
      3m 22s
    3. Fine-tuning keyframes in the Graph Editor
      6m 17s
    4. Animating nontraditional elements
      4m 31s
    5. Animating colors
      4m 39s
    6. Animating displacement maps
      3m 53s
  10. 13m 57s
    1. Working with Hair Guides
      3m 18s
    2. Creating human hair
      4m 7s
    3. Creating the hair's surface
      1m 30s
    4. Generating animal hair
      1m 48s
    5. Building enhanced hair textures
      3m 14s
  11. 26m 21s
    1. Working with the painting tools
      6m 14s
    2. Painting on multiple layers
      9m 37s
    3. Sculpting models
      5m 45s
    4. Tweaking and finishing with the sculpting tools
      4m 45s
  12. 25m 56s
    1. Working with the Schematic interface
      1m 20s
    2. Understanding channels
      4m 9s
    3. Building a channel-based animation
      5m 51s
    4. Creating a schematic network
      6m 26s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    6. Adding the finishing touches on schematic rigs
      3m 41s
  13. 26m 47s
    1. Understanding resolutions and rendering
      12m 43s
    2. Setting up a render project
      4m 51s
    3. Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences
      9m 13s
  14. 3m 23s
    1. Exporting an object
      1m 2s
    2. Exporting a full scene for backup
      2m 21s
  15. 2m 2s
    1. Next steps
      2m 2s

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Watch the Online Video Course MODO 501 Essential Training
7h 32m Beginner Sep 16, 2011

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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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding surfaces and symmetry
  • Editing polygons
  • Shaping, deforming, and cloning objects
  • Working with text
  • Instancing objects
  • Applying procedural and image-mapped textures
  • Adding bump maps
  • Creating reflections
  • Working with different light types
  • Blending light sources
  • Setting up and animating cameras
  • Adding and controlling keyframes
  • Creating hair textures
  • Working with the painting and sculpting tools
  • Setting up inverse kinematics
  • Exporting a full scene
3D + Animation
Dan Ablan

Extending polygons

Throughout the last set of videos, you have seen how just taking simple shapes, editing their edges, using the Move tool, Shear, and Bend can create a pretty nice-looking object. But what about creating something a little more organic, like a hose? How would you extend those polygons? I am working with version 6, and then we saved it incrementally to 001. So you can load that up. And then I'm going to save this incrementally again as version 2, and this is the one we are going to be editing right now. What I want to do is create a hose coming out from this piece right here that we created, that we used the Bend tool for.

So how would I do that? Well, I'm going to use first the Curve Extrude, and what I want to do is select that polygon. So let's go to the CenterHose, select that polygon, and then we are going to choose Curve Extrude. In order to keep this exactly where we want, we are going to go to a front view. So Ctrl+Spacebar, get to a front view. And then I am going to click right on that polygon, and you will see a little yellow dot appear. And I am going to pull up the properties, so you see what's happening.

Notice that we have got a Curve Path and a Path Generator. Don't worry too much about those properties for the moment. I am simply going to just click out here, and what's happening is an extrusion based on this curve that I am creating, and it allows me to generate the shape I need. And I am just going to come down here like this, and we will flip out the bottom. It's good, but it looks a little chunky though. So look down here in the Curve Path tab.

You can see mode is set to Add, which is what we just did. Now we can go to Edit, but as we do that, I want to note that you can very easily go into edit without actually choosing Edit mode. The only thing is you have to be very careful because if you click too far, you end up making another point. That's where Edit mode is actually more of a safety, where you can accidentally click outside and make another point. So what I can do with then is simply come in and edit. But I might feel that, well, one is too much.

Back to the mode, I will choose Delete, and I can click right on one of these little curve points and delete as needed. Perhaps this one too. And then I can come back to Edit mode and then shape this a little bit. It's important to understand that the amount of geometry you have will also help determine how the shape is. Also, if I pull this base point where I started, I can move this a little bit. So we want it to be right against this side of the base, and I want this a little straighter here and a little more curved here. And I will pull this down just so that it straightens out a bit and then pull this one.

It works pretty well. To determine the amount of geometry, come over here to the Path Generator, and we have Steps of 24. You can click on Automatic and see what happens, and notice that it puts less geometry in the length and a little more on the curve, and for most cases that works pretty well. If you are creating a very large set of tubes or pipes or cables, you are going to want that Automatic on, because it's going to help limit the unnecessary geometry. You can also just turn that off and punch in an exact number.

So we will double this to 48, and you will have a lot more geometry to work with. If you want to go straight like that, you want to bend it. You can work with those and try that out. I am going to go to Automatic. I think that's all we need for this, and I am just going to get the shape going. Once you play with this, you realize you're actually probably having a little too much fun making these shapes. I have actually made cords that lay on desks, mouse cords, things like that, because you can Ctrl+Spacebar to a perspective view, and if you are building this with something else, you can very easily move these points to a different aspect ratio, and to a different axis.

Like, let's say we take this one and we push it this way. You can move it to any place you want. It doesn't have to be flat. And that's where you are going to work with the Path Generators just a little bit more. That's going to go it for this one. We are going to click on that Curve Extrude to turn it off. And notice that the bottom polygon is still selected. That's because we started with the selection upfront, and we have extruded it all the way through. So with this bottom one selected, I am just going to press Ctrl+X to delete it, because we want this hose to be open; otherwise the chemical inside the fire extinguisher can't do its job.

But we have no material; we need to thicken this up. So how we do that? With the Thicken tool, and that's under Polygon. Let's go to the Polygon tab, choose Thicken, click once to activate, and you can very easily just grab these handles and go like that. Very, very nice tool! And that way we have got a nice thick handle and hose to work with. And I'll just make sure that the top is not too extruded. Good. You have to be carefully using Thicken, a lot of times the polygons can overlap each other. What might happen if you are free-forming it, you will get kind of this look, see, at the bottom here.

So just be really careful with this, and that's why I like just pulling directly on these tools. This is the Offset, and the red is the Scale. So we just need to Offset it just a little bit--not even that much. Then, just like we have done before, we can go to the Edge mode and I can double-click to select the entire loop, hold the Shift key to select that entire loop, press B for bevel, and let's just bevel that edge just a little bit. And then spacebar turns off the bevel, and click to deselect and you have just made a nicer little shape there.

Just like that, we have created a nice hose for this, but there is one more thing we can do to help spice this up, and that's creating sort of a metal brace here. So first thing, notice that there is an asterisk at the very end of this scene file; it means we've made changes not yet saved. So Command+S or Ctrl+S to save. Then I am going to take this edge first, and we are going to choose Geometry and Slide. This is a tool we have used earlier. And we are going to click and drag, and we are going to slide that edge down. Give ourselves just a little more control.

Then we will click to deselect. We are going to double-click this edge and Shift+Double Click this edge, and then we will choose, under Edge tab, Remove, and click OK. And that gives us a nice section to work with. You can also press the Backspace key on your keyboard; that will also remove. So now I am going to select a couple of polygons like this and press the L key for Loop. Then we are going to bevel these. We are going to press the B key. But we don't want to ungroup these, so you don't want this.

That's not what we are doing. We want to make sure that Group Polygons is on in the Bevel properties. And I am going to click to activate the bevel, and I am literally just going to shift it out--we don't even want to inset it--just like that. This is going to be that little metal brace that's going to hold the hose. As I do this, I want to be thinking about the surfaces that we are going to put on here, because as you get your geometry more complex, it's going to be a little harder to select those particular polygons and make them set to a specific material. So let me undo real quick. And I am going to press the M key and we are going to call this HoseClamp. And we will just click OK, and that will create a different surface for those polygons.

Then we will activate the bevel, and we are going to just shift those out. Spacebar to deselect and then click, and then we will come back to Edges, kind of the same thing, and I am going to double-click that edge, Shift+Double Click this edge, and we are going to press the B key, and we are going to bevel this just a little bit. I don't want to bevel this inside edge, because what will happen is that will make it look like it's attached, kind of like we did with the base here, like it's molded in; instead we want this to look like it's holding.

We want that clamp to be all the way around it. Next, we will go back to Polygon mode, select these two, and press the L key. You are going to move your mouse up. We are going to bevel these. Click again, but this time we are not going to use the Shift; we are going to actually Inset. Then we are going to press the spacebar to turn off the bevel, and now we are going to bevel again by pressing B. So we turned it off, and we turned it on to reset it. This time turn off Group Polygons, and what that means is when we click to activate the bevel, we can actually use both our Inset and our Shift.

I am going to Inset these down about 9 millimeters, and I am looking at my values right here. Then to reactivate the bevel, you can turn it off or on, or hold the Shift key and click. And this time just grab the blue handle and shift these out a bit, and then you can also inset them if you like, like that. Spacebar turns off the bevel and then click to deselect. And so what you've created is a nice little metallic little ring there. Very, very simple, but all based on that exact same polygon that we had pulled out and made the hose with.

Later when we get to surfacing, we will use the same model and I will show you how we can put black plastic on the hose, but then we can put metal around that clamp. But for now, this model is finished, so I am going to make sure I save it. So we have now created an average-looking fire extinguisher, but we've used very basic geometric shapes: We have used a box and a cylinder, that's it, to create this whole thing. And using a combination of modo tools, from Curve Extrude, to Edge Bevels, to Booleans, we have created a nice shape that I think is relatively recognizable.

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