3ds Max Modeling Techniques - Part 1 - Renderable Splines

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

3ds Max Modeling Techniques - Part 1 - Renderable Splines

In this first tutorial, learn how to leverage Renderable Splines to model wrought-irons designs for your architectural components.


Notes

  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2011
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2011 or higher.

Transcript

00:00:00 --> 00:00:06
Modeling architectural metal is not difficult but requires different
approaches based on the component you are trying to model.

00:00:07 --> 00:00:11
Creating an I-Beam structure has a different workflow
than creating a wrought-iron gate.

00:00:12 --> 00:00:18
In this movie, you will start with the easiest technique available,
i.e. using renderable splines.

00:00:19 --> 00:00:27
Renderable splines are useful to create metal components
that have a cross-section based on a circle, or a rectangle.

00:00:28 --> 00:00:32
You will use renderable splines to reproduce the mural in this scene.

00:00:33 --> 00:00:39
These include the shapes that simulate growing plants,
and the decorations in the L-shaped frame.

00:00:40 --> 00:00:46
In the bottom-right viewport, display the Camera004 view
to get a closer shot.

00:00:46 --> 00:00:52
Select the mural and hide it, or simply delete it altogether
as you will be recreating it.

00:00:53 --> 00:00:57
To create the mural on the wall, you could use the AutoGrid function.

00:00:58 --> 00:01:03
This ensures any shapes or objects you create align themselves
to the normals of the wall.

00:01:03 --> 00:01:11
However, the AutoGrid feature works well with new objects
but doesn't work so well when you're operating at a sub-object level.

00:01:11 --> 00:01:18
Instead, it is better to create a custom working grid
so that all operations are confined to a space you specify.

00:01:19 --> 00:01:22
From the Helpers panel, choose Grid.

00:01:23 --> 00:01:29
With AutoKey enabled, draw a grid of any size on the wall
where you want to build the mural.

00:01:30 --> 00:01:34
At this time you can disable AutoGrid as you won't need it anymore.

00:01:35 --> 00:01:41
Right-click and choose Activate Grid to enable it.
This becomes your new construction space.

00:01:41 --> 00:01:47
You can move the grid along the surface of the wall
as the construction plane extends to infinity.

00:01:47 --> 00:01:49
You can now start building the mural.

00:01:50 --> 00:01:55
Start with an L-Shape. Use the Line command and click three points
that form the letter L.

00:01:56 --> 00:02:01
To keep the lines straight, hold the Shift key
as you click the second and third points.

00:02:01 --> 00:02:04
Right-click to finish the command.

00:02:05 --> 00:02:08
In the Modify panel, go to Spline mode.

00:02:08 --> 00:02:14
Enable the Outline tool. Click and drag the spline to turn
the two segments into a closed contour.

00:02:15 --> 00:02:22
Still in the Modify panel, choose the Create Line command.
This creates a line that is part of the current spline.

00:02:23 --> 00:02:31
Using simple clicks, create three or four extensions
to simulate growing or climbing plants.

00:02:35 --> 00:02:38
Right-click to end the Create Line process.

00:02:39 --> 00:02:44
Go to vertex sub-object mode. Select all the vertices that simulate
the growing plants.

00:02:45 --> 00:02:48
With a right-click, turn these vertices into Bezier mode.

00:02:49 --> 00:02:53
Use the right-click again to reset all the Bezier tangents.

00:02:54 --> 00:02:59
Feel free to make adjustments to the vertices until you get a design
you like.

00:03:04 --> 00:03:07
Next you create the decorative elements that go in the frame.

00:03:09 --> 00:03:12
These spiraling elements are quite recurrent in wrought-iron designs.

00:03:13 --> 00:03:18
You could try creating them with the Line tool but an easier method
would be using the Helix shape.

00:03:19 --> 00:03:24
A helix is a 3D shape but can be used in 2D if its height is set to 0.

00:03:24 --> 00:03:28
You build a helix by specifying an inner radius with a click and drag.

00:03:29 --> 00:03:34
Another Move/Click specifies the height, and another specifies
the outer radius.

00:03:34 --> 00:03:40
You don't need to be too accurate as you create the helix.
You can always change its parameters later.

00:03:40 --> 00:03:46
In the Modify panel, ensure the height is set to 0,
so that it is in the same plane as the wall.

00:03:47 --> 00:03:53
Adjust the radii and the number of turns so that it looks similar
to what is shown here.

00:03:57 --> 00:04:05
Once done, use the Front view and mirror/copy the shape
on the XY Mirror Axis.

00:04:07 --> 00:04:10
Reposition the clone in the frame.

00:04:14 --> 00:04:17
Next you connect the two spirals.

00:04:19 --> 00:04:25
Select the mural object and in the Modify panel, use the Attach tool
to attach the two spirals.

00:04:25 --> 00:04:33
Using Create Line, enable 3D snap. Right-click the Snap button
and ensure only the Endpoint option is enabled.

00:04:34 --> 00:04:41
Connect the two spirals endpoint to endpoint. Right-click to finish
the Create Line process.

00:04:43 --> 00:04:47
Turn off snap mode and go into vertex mode.

00:04:47 --> 00:04:56
Using region select, select the vertices where the line meets a spiral.
These are in effect two vertices sharing the same spot.

00:04:57 --> 00:05:00
Click Weld to weld the two vertices into one.

00:05:01 --> 00:05:04
Repeat the procedure with the other spiral.

00:05:04 --> 00:05:10
You can adjust vertices, or even delete a few that do not seem necessary.

00:05:16 --> 00:05:22
One last note, helixes are made of linear segments and that should be fine
when seen from a distance.

00:05:22 --> 00:05:27
If you need to turn helixes into curves,
then you can do so at the Spline level.

00:05:28 --> 00:05:33
Select the spline combo, right-click and choose Curve from the quad menu.

00:05:34 --> 00:05:40
Double-check to see if some Bezier handles are not out of shape
and adjust where necessary.

00:05:43 --> 00:05:47
You can change individual vertex types. Not all of them have to be Bezier.

00:05:54 --> 00:06:00
From this point on, you can make the necessary mirror/copies to duplicate
the spirals.

00:06:02 --> 00:06:08
This can be done using Mirror/Copy, or by using Shift+Rotate and Shift+Move.

00:06:29 --> 00:06:33
And so the mural is created but at this time, it cannot be rendered just yet.

00:06:34 --> 00:06:37
To render a spline, first you need to give it volume.

00:06:43 --> 00:06:47
With the mural selected, expand the rendering rollout.

00:06:47 --> 00:06:52
Enable both checkmarks, Enable in Renderer and Enable in Viewport.

00:06:52 --> 00:06:57
By default, the cross-sections are circular. Set the Thickness to about 1"

00:06:58 --> 00:07:01
Now the mural appears at render time.

00:07:04 --> 00:07:10
If you wish, go to the Material Editor and apply the existing
Blue Metal material to the mural.

00:07:20 --> 00:07:25
Other than the circular cross-section, you can also give the spline
a rectangular cross-section.

00:07:35 --> 00:07:42
Finally, you can set the Interpolation to Adaptive
so that curved areas have more sub-divisions.

00:07:51 --> 00:07:56
Before you move on, you'd better reset the construction plane
to the Home Grid.

00:07:56 --> 00:08:03
This is done by selecting the custom grid, right-click it,
and then choose Activate HomeGrid.

00:08:04 --> 00:08:10
If you need cross-sections other than circular or rectangular,
then you need a different workflow than renderable splines.

00:08:11 --> 00:08:17
In the next movie, you look at a technique that starts with splines,
but that can use any type of cross-section you might need.
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Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Modeling
  • 2011
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