Join Adam Crespi for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding legs and skirt boards to the table, part of Game Prop Creation in 3ds Max.
I've started to build up my table, and I've got one leg and the rough top in. I'm going to add some more detail and make sure I've got the smoothing groups working and then start making the skirts. I'll pick the leg and do a little optimizing first. I'll press Z to zoom in on it and F3 for a wire so I can see what I'm doing. You may find that after a while you don't need to switch back and forth. I'm going to delete the top and bottom polygons. I know they're there, so working in a shaded view is okay. I can tell what I'm selecting. I'll click on polygon or press 4, and select that top polygon on the leg and press Delete.
I'll do the same on the bottom. Unless we're going to pick up this table and throw it, we don't need that poly. I'll press 6 to go back to the whole object, T for Top View, and F3 for wire in this case. I'll zoom in and I'm going to mirror this over. I'll click on my Mirror tool and I'm going to mirror this on the Y axis as an instance. Now I can use an offset in here, and if this works nicely, it's a great tool. Will this always work is the question? Well I'm going to scroll this out and see how close I can get.
And it looks like if I offset this by 31.25, it will work. How am I getting that number? Because it looks like the same distance from here to here and I know it's an inch in. If the Offset doesn't work, you can always mirror it, snap it into place, and move it back. I'll click OK, and there's my other leg. Remember, I'm copying as an instance, so that way when I unwrap I do one and the others follow. I'll repeat this mirroring to the other side, clicking on the Mirror tool, and in this case, mirroring on the X as an instance.
I'll try an Offset of -68 and see how close that gets. It's pretty good and really I'm not inclined to mess with the numbers. I'll click OK and zoom in on it. I'll press Spacebar for Selection Lock and constrain on the X axis. I'll zoom down to one of the legs, register on that corner, and snap it onto the bounding box. Then on my offset world transform, I'll put in 1 on the X. That's why I chose that number, because it's an easy one. I'll zoom back, and there's the legs on my table.
Now I'm ready for smoothing and then the skirts. I'll pick any one of the legs, and I'll go into the Polygon menu. What I'm going to do is select all the polygons and scroll down to the Smoothing Groups. For this, I'll clear them all. The reason to do this is that I've got a straight section of the leg and then it tapers down, and I want this to be a hard joint instead of trying to interpolate a very small curve over that, and looking bubbly and odd. The big deal when you're modeling furniture like this is that your modeling should replicate a woodworking process.
Woodworking tends to be a linear process. We take wood and we pass it along a saw or a planer or something similar, or we do something to it in a linear fashion, cutting with a hand saw as an example. And so our woodwork for our table should mimic that; that the pieces are made in long elements or large planer elements instead of trying to take a giant block and carve a table out of it. Now I'm going to make a skirt board. I'll press F for Front View. I had already said that looking at the reference, it looks like the skirts are identical from ends to sides.
So if I make one, I can stretch it around. I'll check my reference one more time. What I can see in the reference is that the skirt boards are basically straight and have some kind of a lip at the bottom. I'm going to make this out of a box and then extrude out that lip. I'll hold Ctrl and right-click and choose Box. I'm going to snap a box in first. I'll click on the top of the leg and drag down right to where that facet occurs. I'll drag up for the height. At the moment the height is not really important. The big deal though is I'll go to the Modifier panel and put the Width that, well, 1 looks good.
Now I know I've got the height right and my skirt board is snapped under the top of the table, so it's like tight. Now here's how I'll handle the modeling on that lip. I'm going to make sure I reduce those Height Segments down. I right-clicked on the spinner to reset that value. Now I'll spin over and there's that skirt board. I'll work in a Shaded view so I can see it a little better. First, I'm going to convert this to a poly. I'll right-click and choose Convert to Editable Poly. Then I'll take the polys off the ends, picking one, hitting Delete, and picking the other side.
I'm going to connect across these edges, and I don't want a connection to ring around this. I'll press 2 for edge and pick one edge and then the other. I'll right-click and choose Connect off my quad menu. Connect gives me another edge, and there are more tools up here in the Graphite Modeling tools if you need, although that's fairly quick to just right-click and connect. I'm going to turn off my Snap by hitting S, and I'll pull this edge down. I could move this in precisely, but I'm okay with placing it roughly.
Now I'll switch to polygon, pressing 4, taking that polygon and right-clicking and extruding it out. I'll pull it out to make that lip, making sure it doesn't come to the edge of the leg. I'll right-click and stop extruding. Then I'll make sure I delete those end polygons. Always go through and clean up your meshes after you make them. Finally, I'll look in the underside of my skirt. I'll press 2 for edge and pick that extra edge. Any time we've got something like this where there are coplanar polygons, we should look to optimize that polygon count.
What I'll do is a clean remove, scrolling down to the Edit Edges section, holding Ctrl, and clicking Remove. Now the edges and their vertices are gone. Now I'm going to take this skirt and simply stretch it between all the legs. I'll do this in the Left View first. Z for Zoom Extents on it, and F3 for a wire in this case. As a side note, don't be afraid to change around colors to make it easier to see. The legs are whatever pink color they are, and maybe it's a little difficult. I'm going to pick them, and I'm going to make them over here in the Object Color, light blue. That works nicely.
Now I'm going to pick that skirt and turn on my 2.5D snap. I'm already on my X axis; I'll press Spacebar for Selection Lock and register that snap. I'll pull it over to inside that leg and press 1 for vertex. I'll release the Selection Lock with the Spacebar, grab the vertices, press the Spacebar again for Selection Lock, and make sure I'm moving on the X axis. I'll snap this right inside that leg. Now when I spin over and press F3 for a Shaded view, I've got one part of the skirt on the table, and it would be very easy for me to just rotate, clone and keep snapping this in.
I may want to raise this a little bit. It looks a little deep. I'll grab these bottom vertices and down here on that Offset Transform Type-In, I'll put in a Z of 1.5. There's the skirt. I'll right-click and choose Top-level and I'm going to clone the skirts around and then make the stretcher out of boxes snapped in the same way. Then I'll come back and deal with the top and the unwrap.
Note: A familiarity of basic modeling and unwrapping techniques in 3ds Max and a working knowledge of Photoshop will help you get the most out of this course.
- Laying out the overall form
- Planning for modular textures and models
- Adding the framing components
- Laying out the UV coordinates
- Creating bump maps
- Painting diffuse textures
- Setting up a library of textures
- Converting bump maps to normal maps
- Testing maps
- Laying out a texture sheet for multiple tools
- Using a high poly to low poly workflow
- Baking out normals and ambient occlusion for rusty and dirty surfaces
- Modeling furniture