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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.
In all the years that I've been using modo, a lot of people that I've worked with never think of it as something you can create 3D text with, but you can. And if you look up in the Basic tab, there is a Text button. And when you click that, it allows you to create 3D text in modo. So what we're going to do, I'm going to show you a little bit of a pitfall in creating 3D text. And this is any program, but a lot of people kind of have hit this roadblock when they are working, and I'm going to show you how to fix what I'm talking about. I am going to type in 3D, and we're going to use more of a scripty font, like Times New Roman. And when you click this button, any of the fonts on your system will appear.
So I'm just choosing very simple, Times Roman. You can change the Size, and when you click right in the interface after you've laid down that text, you'll see it right in your interface. And let me just rotate around here. And I'm in a wireframe view, so I'm going to change to Advanced OpenGL. And on a side note, if you do not see Advanced OpenGL, if that is ghosted, it's only because your video card might be a little bit older and modo can't work with that. And if that's the case, you just choose Shaded Texture; it's very, very similar.
So with some of these tools, the Location of the text will be Bottom, Middle, Top, and so on, and what that means is the orientation, like here the top is the top zero axis. We're going to do Bottom, more standard, Left Justified. If you went Right, it would be opposite of that zero axis. And Split by Line, Word, or Character, this is really important. If you're building more of a string of text and you want to edit it or work with it, you have to determine when you build this text, do I want to be able work with it entirely as one line of text, or work with the individual words, or work with the individual characters? So in this case I'm going to work with the individual characters, and I'll show you why.
The axis is down to Z. You can see the Z axis back there. And Flip, which we don't need to do--the polygons actually look like they are doing okay. And with that, I will click on the Text tool to turn that off, and we have our 3D text. Now the reason I chose this to be built with the Character preference is that when I go to Polygon mode, I'm be able to select right on that one polygon. If I had chosen Word or Line, what would happen is when I click and select, it would select both of these, and I wouldn't be able to edit them individually. And the reason I want it as a character is that I can select that D, press the W key for my Move tool, grab the red handle for the X axis, and just move that over.
When you're doing 3D text, really pay attention to the kerning, the space in between all of these letters. For instance, an A and an N will have a very big space in between them, as well this 3. And the reason is, computers-- whether it's 3D or whether it's a Word program--have a bounding box. The computer sees just an invisible box around each of these letters, and as such, it just puts them together. So an A, of course, tilts in, and an N tilts in the other way, or V, and that's why you often see that large space in between those letters.
Spend a little bit of time and make that look nice. So I'll move that in. The next thing with these is when we want to extrude them and bevel them, and this is why I chose this font. So what we're going to do is we're going to select these two flat letters. Then we're going to go to our Duplicate tools, and what we can do is extrude them, and then we'll click to activate the tool. So Shift+X is our Extrude. And then we'll grab the blue handle, and we'll just pull these out.
And then I'll hit spacebar to turn off Extrude and then click a blank area to deselect. So now you have 3D text front and back. So far so good. Well, part of doing 3D Text is also creating a really nice bevel, because, well, it is not 1985 anymore, and our computers can go a little bit further then doing just blocky text. So what I want to do is select just the face of these objects. Hit the B key for bevel--it's up here in the Basic tab. And I'm going to click to activate my tool and very carefully, I'm going to pull these out, and then I'm going to inset them.
Now I can leave it like that, but I want to show you a little bit of a problem that can happen on thin fonts like this. I'm going to move my mouse over this bottom corner here and press the G key to center my mouse and then zoom in using the wheel on my mouse. And if I drag my mouse to the left or right, watch what happens. They start acting a little odd. Let's say I want a nice big bevel. Well, that's what happens. The size of the bevel looks good, but now I've got an issue.
So I'm going to hit spacebar to turn off the bevel, click to deselect, and when I pull out, it's kind of messy. All right, and the reason is is that tight little space, that bevel, crossed over itself. It just turned it inside out. So I'm going to show you how to fix that. Let's jump to wireframe mode, hold the Alt key, and then I'm going to go to Vertices mode, and I'm going to select these two points here.
And then I'll go down to the Vertex tab and hit Join. And I can choose Average, which means it's going to join them on an average space in between. If I don't select Average, it will join to the last selected. And it says, two points, "2 vertices joined." And then we'll come down to the other side, and we'll just work our way up. And also you're seeing all that extra geometry, because when I extruded, I had some sides selected.
You don't need to put all those sides on. So we'll select these two points, hit Join, click OK. And some of these here that have crossed over, select those, press your W for Transform, and just move them down. I'll do one more here. And then we will zoom out, and let's see if we got them all. Now I didn't do the 3 yet, but let's jump back to OpenGL. And that looks like there is some right here, so put your mouse down towards the bottom, press the G key, zoom in, and then let's jump to a wireframe, so we can see what's happening.
And it looks like we've got a little bit of a crossover right here, so we'll select these points and let's move them over. And I'm going to just turn on the Advanced OpenGL. And you can see that's exactly what's happening with these. And right inside there, it looks like there is a little bit of an extra polygon. So we'll go to Polygon mode, select this one and hit the Backspace key to remove, and it suddenly fills up that hole.
This last hole right here, if you look, it's not that it's flipped, because there is not a polygon on the inside. So all we need to do is back to Vertices, I am selecting these three points, and then pressing the P key to make a polygon, and we filled that hole. And now our object is not flipped inside out. So, that's all it is. It's not a lot of work to create 3D text and it's not a lot of work to fix them either, but one thing you're going to see is that this odd kind of smoothing going on.
The reason you see that is because the object is too smooth. Now we haven't talk much about smoothing yet, and we'll do that when we get to our Shader Tree. But on a simple level, if I select the base material and I go down to Smoothing and I bring that back down, you'll see the object fix itself. And what's happening is, you need the sides to be smooth, but the front is not. It should be flat. So the computer is doing its best job to actually smooth that out. And in a sense it's actually folding it, and it doesn't want to fold it, so it's giving you those odd creases.
So it's something to really be careful with. But now we have a very nice-looking 3D text with a very nice bevel. And then of course, we can surface that, render it out, and fly your camera up through it, and do some really great-looking animations right in modo. So 3D text in modo works just as well as creating any other kind of object in modo; you just have to watch out for a few of the pitfalls when you're working with designer fonts.
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