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Old 06-27-2007, 07:17 PM   #1
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Default 3D Studio Max Basic Modeling - Novice - 3D Art

Lets begin with getting familar with the 3D Studio environment:

You can switch between multiple view and a single view with the Min/Max toggle button:

When creating a new object its best to use multiple view to get the right position, if creating it manually.

So, lets create an object. CLick on the create buttion.

Then select the Geometry tab

Lets create a box, click the box button.

And we'll set some basic parameters.

Now, pick a view to create the box in, best to use top or front at first.

And then look at the side view for the depth.

Now, lets adjust its position in regards to the centre (the thick black lines).

We'll want to see the edges of our polygons for editing the shape, so right click in the top left of a view pint and select 'Edged faces'.

And we can clearly see the lines that make up each poly.

Now, lets play with the scale tool.

Ensure you have the Axis gizmo on show (view > Show Transform Gizmo) for manual editing.

Hover the mouse over a line of the axis on the gizmo and click&drag.

Now, we want to play around with the shape in more detail, so click on the Modify tab.

Right click in the window where it says box (the name of your shape) and select convert to poly).

Now you can edit the parts of your object. Expand the poly menu for your object.

And select vertex.

Select some vertices to edit.

Then, using the scale tool, move them together.

Admire your results in the perspective view.

To save time foe the basic shaping, we can mirror our shape, halving the work. First, select and delete the side, or half of the object.

So you have half a shape.

Select the modifier drop down box.

Find and select symmetry.

Expand your new modifer menu.

Select 'Mirror' and play with the paramateres (axis and flip) until you have a mirrored mesh on the open side of your shape.

Then you can move the mirrored half about until the sides meet. they should click together. You can edit the join threshold.

On your modifier menu, select the show all button so that you can watch both halves.

Now, play around with your shape by moving some vertices and polygons around and see how both halves are affected.

Lets make a shoulder. Select polygon in your editer menu.

Select a suitable polygon and then click on bevel in the righ hand menu (scroll down to find it).

Click drag the selected polygon to pull it forth. Extrude simply pulls out the shape, but bevel lets you scale it after its extruded. Both tools work just as well in this case.

Now select two edges (any number of edges, polys or vertices).

And find the collape button. This simple draws the selected parts into a single vertex. handy for optimising and joining parts.

Now, grab a single edge and lets use the chamfer tool to reshape the underarm and give us more faces to manipulate.

I got something like this.

Use these basic tools to shape and form a humanoid torso like so!

My Wargame

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Old 07-05-2007, 08:53 AM   #2
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I must mention that nGons (polygons with more than 4 edges, like the one on the upper arm here) are to be avoided as much as possible. The reason for that is that when you smooth out your mesh (make all polygons have the same smoothing group), the ngons will triangulate randomly and most likely in a way you won't like and you can't control. So it's better in this case here for example to divide that ngon into a quad (4-edged polygon) and a triangle, so you have more control over the smoothing.
I'll give you an example from my own mistakes (a very very old example), back when I was still learning:
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See how horrible that guitar (and everything for that matter) looks? The guitar would have looked way better if I didn't use smoothing at all, but I was a noob back then. The rest is just garbage.

However, it it's a flat surface with no smoothing applied, you can mess up with the topology all you want, 'cause in the end it won't matter (like in buildings for example).

Oh, and also be careful not to have many edges intersect in one vertex. About 4 or 5 would be the limit.
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