Clone objects in spatial patterns by duplicating objects with Array in 3ds Max 2017.
- [Voiceover] Now that we've got the preliminaries out of the way, we can go ahead and start modeling something. I'm going to make an apartment loft that needs a staircase, and that'll be a good example to illustrate a tool called Array, which allows us to build multiple objects in a spatial pattern. Let's set up the scene first. I'm going to model this staircase using feet and inches, so let's go into Customize, and then Unit Setup, set this to US Standard, and I want feet and decimal inches, and for the default units, I'll choose inches, which means if I type in a 12, then 3ds Max will interpret that 12 as 12 inches.
Click OK, we need to also set up the grid. Right click on any one of the magnet icons, go to the home grid tab, set the grid spacing to one inch. I'll just type in a 1, and then press the Tab key, and then I want a major grid line every 12 inches, so I'll type in 12, and then the perspective view grid extent, which is the size of the grid here in the perspective view, we'll set that to be 36 inches. Now I've got our grid set up, we can close, and as we dolly forward and back with the mouse wheel, we will see that those inch lines may disappear.
The way that we know that we are at our smallest possible grid is actually to zoom in as close as we can. All right so we know that each one of those squares is actually an inch currently. Now I'm gonna make a single stair step, and I'm gonna use something called a chamfer box to do that. The chamfer box is useful because it'll give us some angled edges. Instead of having a box where each side meets at exactly 90 degrees, we'll have a little bit of bevel or chamfer on each edge, and that'll catch the light better.
Chamfer objects are gonna be found in the create panel under geometry, extended primitives, and we have chamfer box. We want to draw this out in the top viewport. Click on Chamfer Box, and we don't really care about the size right now, we just want to get the box existing in the scene. Click and drag to create the footprint, release the mouse, and then drag upward to set some height, click again, and then drag left to right, or up and down, to set the chamfer amount.
Then click again to finish that object. We've got our chamfer box, it's still selected, we can go over to the modify panel, and enter in some of these values here. I'm gonna give it a length of four feet, and then a width of 18 inches. Just type in 18, and then the height, we'll give it two inches, type in a 2. Then the fillet, which is the size of that chamfer, I'm gonna set that to only a quarter-inch.
Type in a 0.25, and press Enter. Let's get in really close on this in the perspective view, so we can see what we've got. What we're seeing here is this selection bracket here, and that's a bit distracting, especially since we also have the selection highlighting. Let's turn the selection bracket off, and that's the J key on your keyboard. We don't really need that. In order to see that chamfer better, we want to also turn on edged faces, which is F4 on your keyboard.
Now we can see exactly what we're dealing with. We have fillet segments here which is the detail of that fillet or chamfer. We want to have just one segment there. Then smoothing is on, and so we're getting kind of a mushy effect here. We want to turn smoothing off, and so we can see the angle very clearly on each one of these sides. All right, there's our single stair step. We just want to center it in the world. Choose the move tool, and then type in zeroes for X, Y, and Z down here in the transform typing area.
0, Tab, 0, Tab, 0. We've got our chamfer box, we want to rename it. Go up to the name field here. In each one of these panels at the top, you'll see a name field and that's the name of the object. I'm gonna type in stair step 001 and press Enter. Now we're all set to do our array. We can make a whole bunch of stairs that climb up and go up to the second floor of our building.
Let's find that array tool. It's gonna be under Tools, Array. Within here, we can cumulatively move, rotate, and scale multiple duplicate objects, and to see what we're doing, we want to have the preview button on, so let's enable that, and I want to move each copy of the chamfer box up by nine inches. That would be a Z position of 9. Under move, Z, I'll type in 9, and press the Tab key, and now I've got a whole bunch of these chamfer boxes.
In fact I've got 10 of them as you can see where it says Total in Array. Then if we want more of these, we can enter in a value here. Let's make it 17 steps. Type in a 17, and then press the Tab key, now we've got 17 of them. We also want to shift them over, so they're not all directly on top of one another. We're gonna move these in X. I want to move them in the negative X direction, so they'll stretch in this direction here. For X, I'll put in negative one foot, or I could put in negative 12 inches, either way, but I can put in a foot symbol here, which is just the apostrophe, and then press the Tab key and that'll actually take effect, and we can see what our stairs are gonna look like.
If we are happy with that, then we can go ahead and click OK to commit to this. All right, that's how we make an array, pretty simple.
AuthorAaron F. Ross
Learn how to get around the 3ds Max interface and customize it to suit your production pipeline. Discover how to model different objects using splines, NURBS, polygons, subdivision surfaces, and tools such as Paint Deform. Then find out how to construct hierarchies, add cameras and lights to a scene, and animate with keyframes. Author Aaron F. Ross also takes an-depth look at materials and texture mapping as well as the rendering options in 3ds Max 2017, including the new Autodesk Raytracer (ART) renderer.
- Customizing and configuring the interface
- Selecting, duplicating, and editing objects
- Working with sub-objects in the modifier stack
- Performing polygonal and subdivision surface modeling
- Freeform modeling and sculpting
- Modeling with splines and NURBS
- Linking objects in hierarchies
- Framing shots with cameras
- Creating and editing keyframes
- Controlling lights and shadows
- Building materials
- Mapping textures
- Rendering sequences
Skill Level Intermediate
1. Getting Started
2. 3ds Max Interface
3. Manipulating Objects
4. Using the Modifier Stack
5. Spline Modeling
6. Polygon Modeling
7. Sub-Object Polygon Editing
8. Subdivision Surface Modeling
Baking subdivisions3m 27s
9. Freeform Modeling
11. Layout and Camera
12. Keyframe Animation
15. Mapping Textures
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