Create shape primitives and lines.
- [Instructor] In this chapter, we'll look at spline modeling, and spline is just a fancy word for line or a curved line, and there are three types of splines in 3DS Max: shape primitives such as a circle or a rectangle, editable splines which are basically bezier curves, you might be familiar with those from a program like Illustrator, and finally 3DS Max has NURBS or non-uniform rational basis splines. That's kind of an antique workflow we're not going to be covering in this version of 3DS Max essential training although NURBS is still a very powerful workflow, especially in mechanical engineering and product design applications.
In 3DS Max, you're going to want to stay with the splines or bezier curves because they are actually much easier to work with, they give better results, and they're still under active development. We'll begin by creating some simple shapes, and then we will extrude them into a surface called a loft. I've got a scene prepared with my unit and grid already set up, let's take a look at that in the customized menu, unit setup, I'm using centimeters.
And in the grid and snap settings, I can right click on any one of these. I'm snapping to grid points. Under options, I'm going to enable axis constraints because that's my preference. The home grid is set up to a one centimeter spacing. Let's create some shapes. Go over to the create panel, and we have different categories of objects we can create. Geometry is the default. Let's go to shapes.
And these are 2D splines, and the first category is splines and there are a bunch of primitives here. Let's create these in the front viewport. We're going to be creating a simple computer monitor, and we want to snap to the grid points so enable the 3D snaps and get in closer in the front viewport with mouse wheel, click in that view, and then zoom in with the mouse wheel, and keep zooming in until the grid does not subdivide any longer and now we know we're at a one centimeter grid because there are no internal grid divisions.
So I'll zoom back out a little bit there. So I know that this is 10 centimeters across here even though there are no numbers on the grid. And we'll begin by creating a rectangle primitive. Click on rectangle and drag it out in the front viewport and just try to make it so that the pivot point as you see there, the red axis tripod, just try to make that pivot point land in the middle, right, the origin. Release the mouse and then right click to complete that rectangle.
With it still selected, go to the modify panel. I've got some values I want to plug in here. In the rectangle parameters, we have the length and width here. We'll set the length to 41 centimeters, press tab, and set the width to 72 centimeters, press tab once again, and we have the corner radius. Let's take a look at that. I'll navigate around in the front view with the middle mouse. Get in closer on that corner with the mouse wheel.
Drag that corner radius spinner around and see we're creating a rounded corner. Set that to a low value of 0.5 centimeters, 0.5, and press enter. Alright, that's going to be the monitor chasse, and we also want to interpolate that shape with another shape. In the back of my monitor I want it to have a round profile. So I'll create a circle. Go back to the create panel and we have a circle primitive.
Maybe get in a little bit closer in the front view. Click and drag at the origin to create that circle. And with snaps turned on, as long as I'm snapping to the X axis there, I'll get whole numbers for the radius. And I can see the radius in the parameters at the bottom of the create panel there. I want a six centimeter radius. Release the mouse and right click to exit that tool. If I need to, I can go back to the modify panel and change that radius parameter. So these are going to be the profile curves.
We also need a path curve for this loft we're going to be creating. And that's going to be a simple line, an open shape, that's just a straight line. And we'll do that in the top view. Get in closer here, maybe select that circle and then right click in the top view, and press the Z key to zoom in. And if you're not sure where that circle is, you can just move it around a little bit because in fact, the position of these does not matter for the purposes of building the loft surface.
So I can just move that around to wherever is convenient. Move it out of the way. Now I want to create a line that is also six centimeters in length and so I want to count out six grid subdivisions here, maybe zoom back just a little bit, and back in the create panel under splines, we have a line button. Click that button, and we just need two points to create a perfectly straight line. And when you click to create these points, don't click and drag because if you click and drag, you'll be creating a curved line.
We want a straight line with corner vertices. So we're just going to click once at the origin and then go up six centimeters and click again. And that's the second point. Right click to exit that line, and right click again to exit the line tool. We can go back to the prospective view, click in there, and press the Z key to zoom out. And we've got all the elements needed for our loft.
We have two shape primitives, a rectangle with a beveled corner, a circle, and also a line, and that will be the path for our loft. That's the basics of creating shapes.
AuthorAaron F. Ross
Learn how to get around the 3ds Max interface and customize it to suit your preferences. Discover how to model different objects using splines, polygons, subdivision surfaces, and freeform sculpting. Then, learn to construct hierarchies, add cameras and lights, and animate with keyframes. Author Aaron F. Ross also takes an in-depth look at materials and texture mapping, as well as options for rendering engines such as Arnold and ART.
- Customizing the interface
- Selecting, duplicating, and editing objects
- Modeling with splines
- Parametric modeling with the Modifier Stack
- Polygon and subdivision surface modeling
- Freeform sculpting
- Framing shots with cameras
- Lighting with photometrics and daylight
- Building materials
- Mapping textures
- Linking objects in hierarchies
- Creating and editing keyframes
- Rendering an image sequence
Skill Level Appropriate for all
3ds Max 2018 Essential Trainingwith Aaron F. Ross10h 10m Beginner
3ds Max: Advanced Lighting (2017)with Aaron F. Ross2h 52m Advanced
3ds Max: Advanced Materials (2017)with Aaron F. Ross2h 34m Intermediate
2. 3ds Max Interface
3. Scene Layout
4. Spline Modeling
5. Parametric Modeling with Modifiers
6. Polygon Modeling
7. Subdivision Surface Modeling
8. Freeform Modeling
9. Camera Techniques
12. Mapping Textures
14. Keyframe Animation
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