3ds Max Modeling Techniques - Part 1 - Modeling with Splines

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Industry
  • Design Visualization
Subject
  • Modeling
  • 2011
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
Duration
6 min

3ds Max Modeling Techniques - Part 1 - Modeling with Splines

In this first tutorial, learn how to draw splines and edit them into customizable shapes. You will start by taking a 2D shape and transforming them into 3D objects with the help of modifiers.


Notes
  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2010
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2010 or higher.

Transcript

00:00:00 --> 00:00:05
Instead of always starting with a 3D volume, it is sometimes easier
to model a 3D object from a 2D shape.

00:00:06 --> 00:00:13
2D shapes, or splines in 3ds Max terminology, are simple geometric
shapes that you typically draw in an orthographic view.

00:00:13 --> 00:00:16
There are many splines to choose from, starting with the Line command.

00:00:17 --> 00:00:21
The Creation Method options are different based on the version
of 3ds Max you are using,

00:00:21 --> 00:00:27
The Drag Type option defaults to Bezier in 3ds Max while it is set
to corner in 3ds Max Design.

00:00:29 --> 00:00:35
This is also true when you load Max or Design Initial Settings using
the Custom UI & Defaults switcher.

00:00:38 --> 00:00:47
In Corner/Bezier mode, you create linear segments with a single click
in the viewport, and curve segments with a click and drag.

00:00:52 --> 00:00:55
A right-click exits the command.

00:00:59 --> 00:01:05
This method can be difficult to control at creation time. It is usually
easier to start simple and build in detail later.

00:01:06 --> 00:01:13
To build the simple profile of a wine glass for example, you can use
the Corner method for both Initial and Drag types.

00:01:18 --> 00:01:22
Keep in mind that holding the Shift key constrains your movement
in orthogonal mode.

00:01:22 --> 00:01:26
Five points (4 segments) is all you need to start.

00:01:27 --> 00:01:38
In the Modify panel, you can access the sub-elements of the 2D shape
you created; Vertex, Segment and Spline.

00:01:41 --> 00:01:46
In Vertex mode, you can easily relocate one or more vertices using
the Move tool.

00:01:52 --> 00:01:58
More importantly, you can convert a vertex type from the default Corner
type to other types using the Quad menu.

00:01:58 --> 00:02:03
In Smooth mode, you are presented with a curvature that you can only
control by moving the vertex.

00:02:04 --> 00:02:10
In Bezier mode handles appear, which give you more control over
the curvature.

00:02:14 --> 00:02:22
As you zoom in, you'll notice that the edges are not so smooth.
This can be controlled by increasing the number of steps
in the Interpolation rollout.

00:02:24 --> 00:02:28
The Adaptive option provides another smoothing method.

00:02:31 --> 00:02:37
This method increases the number of steps when the segments are curved
and decreases them when the segments are linear.

00:02:37 --> 00:02:42
The Bezier Corner method breaks the handles so you can control each one
independently.

00:02:46 --> 00:02:50
If you need more vertices to control the shape, you can use the Refine
tool.

00:02:50 --> 00:02:55
This tool inserts a vertex at the point on the shape where you click
with your mouse.

00:03:00 --> 00:03:04
Segment mode lets you edit segments between vertices.

00:03:09 --> 00:03:13
You can easily edit segments by moving or rotating them.

00:03:24 --> 00:03:29
More importantly, you can divide a segment into different sections.

00:03:34 --> 00:03:41
This inserts equidistant vertices so you do not have to estimate their
location using the Refine tool.

00:03:53 --> 00:03:56
In Spline mode, you edit the shape globally.

00:04:04 --> 00:04:11
One useful tool in Spline mode is the Outline tool. This creates
a double line out of a single shape.

00:04:12 --> 00:04:19
You can select the spline, then specify the value in the edit box,
or use the Outline button and click & drag the spline.

00:04:25 --> 00:04:29
This created some hard edges. You can adjust them back at the vertex level.

00:04:29 --> 00:04:33
You can use commands such Chamfer and Fillet to edit vertices.

00:04:33 --> 00:04:38
Chamfer creates "cut" corners, and Fillet creates round corners.

00:04:49 --> 00:04:53
When two or more vertices are close together,
you can weld them into one vertex.

00:04:54 --> 00:04:58
This is done by selecting two or more vertices, then clicking
the Weld tool.

00:04:59 --> 00:05:05
For this command to work, the selected vertices must be within
the distance specified in the Weld threshold.

00:05:17 --> 00:05:22
Keep in mind that only the Line command gives you direct access
to sub-components.

00:05:24 --> 00:05:32
Other shapes are parametric, and you can only access their sub-objects
after converting them to an Editable Spline or by adding
an Edit Spline modifier.

00:05:32 --> 00:05:37
For example, a simple tabletop can be created using the Rectangle tool.

00:06:02 --> 00:06:08
Once converted into an Editable Spline, you can access sub-components,

00:06:16 --> 00:06:18
divide segments,

00:06:22 --> 00:06:27
transform vertices, and so on.

00:06:50 --> 00:06:56
When you create multiple shapes, you can attach them to one spline
and perform Boolean operations to clean them up.

00:07:00 --> 00:07:05
For example, you can create the cross-section for a table leg using circles.

00:07:35 --> 00:07:40
If these shapes are parametric, you need to turn one of them into
an Editable Spline first.

00:07:42 --> 00:07:47
Once that is done, you can use the Attach tool to make the other
splines part of the original.

00:07:50 --> 00:07:53
Remember to exit the Attach tool when you are done.

00:07:53 --> 00:07:58
Notice that the rest of the parametric shapes didn't need to be converted
into editable splines to be attached to the original shape.

00:07:59 --> 00:08:03
To use Boolean operations on splines, they must intersect one another.

00:08:03 --> 00:08:08
With the original spline selected, make sure the Union method
is selected, and then click the Boolean button.

00:08:09 --> 00:08:11
Pick the splines you wish to union.

00:08:12 --> 00:08:17
Switch to a different mode such as Subtraction if you want to remove
a spline from the result.

00:08:18 --> 00:08:21
This created a nice cross-section of a table leg.

00:08:27 --> 00:08:33
If you need to scale a 2D shape, always perform a scale
at the sub-object level to retain its integrity.
Posted By
Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Modeling
  • 2011
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