CAD data comes in many forms. Although STEP files are the preferred format for basic geometry import and procedural materials, other formats can be imported directly into 3ds Max for use in your projects.
- [Instructor] CAD data comes in many formats. Although I find STEP files to be the best. Specifically, they work great for basic geometry and procedural materials that we'll be using in design visualization. There are other formats, including IGES, OBJ, FBX, and AutoCAD data, which can be imported directly into 3ds Max for use in your projects. So let's go through the import process and talk a little bit about the different mesh densities that you can create using the import process inside 3D Studio Max.
So go ahead up to File, and click on Import, and then select Import here as well. File, Import, Import. And this will take us to our import folder, and go ahead and select LOCO.STEP. We'll click on Open. Let's set the Mesh Resolution to minus 10. This is the lowest density mesh resolution available. It'll help us to be able to see the difference in the mesh densities as we import these.
Very important. Also, you're going to go ahead and leave this on Convert to Mesh. That's a good way to import your STEP files. Z-Up is fine. So go ahead and click on Import. And there is our device right there. If I press F4, you can see the mesh tessellation here very easily, and you'll notice that if we zoom in here a little bit, around the edges, they're kind of segmented, and this is not going to be great for the highest fidelity look, so minus 10 definitely can be used if you're going to be away, far away like this from the object, and in this case, this is not a very big object, so that might be okay for you, but for higher fidelity objects, we need to zoom in a little bit closer.
We're going to want to have a much denser mesh, so I'm going to go ahead and rename this minus 10, and let's go ahead and import again. File, Import, Import, and the same STEP file, Open, and this one, we're going to set it at zero for the mesh density. Go ahead and select Import. And if you get an Import Name Conflict, then it just means that the previous mesh that we brought in has a name that's conflicting, so go ahead and select Rename all, and click on OK, and that'll bring in your new mesh.
I'm going to go ahead and move that over, and again, hit F4. So now you can see the mesh density much more dense. Hit F4 again, and you can see that these edges now aren't as segmented. So let's do it one more time, and show the highest mesh density. Let's select this one. I'm going to name this ZERO. And go to File, Import, Import.
Same file, Open. And this is, we'll set this up to 10. Import. And again, Rename all. Click OK. And there's our file. So now if we press F4, and we zoom in here, you can see, holy cow, mesh density is way up there, and this will be an appropriate density for something that you're going to see very close up and in a render.
So you've got three options here. Low, medium, and very, very high. These are the options you have for Import, and determining which one you want to use is going to be based on how close you are going to be to it, and that'll determine the fidelity of your renderers as well. CAD data specifically used to manufacture the part that's not necessarily the best mesh tesselation for optimal use in Max, especially when you need to modify the geometry. In the next video, we'll look at several ways to do that, to change the geometry according what your client needs, and to create the imagery that you need for your project.
- Importing and using CAD data
- Modifying asset geometry
- Asset and scene organization
- Creating and sharing screen shots of your work
- Using reference images for color and texture development
- Creating and using procedural materials
- Setting up scene lighting
- Compositing and output