Animating Text in 3ds Max - Part 2 - Using Audio Files

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Industry
  • Games
  • Design Visualization
Subject
  • Animation
  • 2012
  • Action
  • Audio
  • Motion Graphics
  • Workflow
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
Duration
8 min

Animating Text in 3ds Max - Part 2 - Using Audio Files

In this tutorial, you create text to simulate musical instruments such as a trumpet and two congas. You will use FFD modifiers to shape the text into form. You will also learn about the Reset XForm Utility to reset local orientation.


Notes
  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2012
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2012 or higher.

Transcript

00:00:00 --> 00:00:06
Now that you have laid down the basics, it is time to create the text simulating the musical instruments.

00:00:06 --> 00:00:07
You will start with the trumpet.

00:00:08 --> 00:00:14
In the Front view, create a line of text that reads TRUMPET in capital letters.

00:00:18 --> 00:00:24
Zoom back a bit and move it a bit to the left and up, about 400 units in each direction.

00:00:29 --> 00:00:34
Change the font to one you like. In this movie, We're using Bauhaus 93.

00:00:35 --> 00:00:38
Extrude the text about 60 units.

00:00:42 --> 00:00:47
Incidentally, be careful which font you use as some do not extrude very well.

00:00:48 --> 00:00:56
Notice for example how the Berlin Sans FB Bold font displays a weird behavior when extruded.

00:01:04 --> 00:01:09
In order to shape the text to look like a trumpet, you need to sub-divide it.

00:01:09 --> 00:01:18
Add a Quadrify Mesh modifier and leave the Quad Size % value to 4. You can always decrease it later if you need more detail

00:01:19 --> 00:01:22
With the added detail to the text, you are now ready to deform it.

00:01:23 --> 00:01:29
Add an FFD(box) modifier. FFD stands for Free Form Deformation.

00:01:30 --> 00:01:34
Change the number of points to 3x4x3.

00:01:38 --> 00:01:46
Expand the modifier and select Control Points. As you move the FFD control points, you deform the text.

00:01:47 --> 00:01:55
In the Left view, select the middle vertical column of control points and scale it vertically to curve the text.

00:01:56 --> 00:02:01
Next select the middle horizontal row and scale it horizontally.

00:02:02 --> 00:02:11
In the Front view, select the vertical columns one at a time and use 3D scale to shape the text into a trumpet.

00:02:16 --> 00:02:19
Keep on fine-tuning your work until you get a shape that you like.

00:02:23 --> 00:02:30
Go to the Slate Material Editor and create a Standard material based on a gold Diffuse color.

00:02:34 --> 00:02:38
Adjust the Specular Level and Glossiness to make it shiny.

00:02:43 --> 00:02:47
Connect the golden lake image as a reflection map.

00:02:49 --> 00:02:55
Bring down the Reflection level a bit and apply the new material to the object in the scene.

00:03:03 --> 00:03:05
Test render the perspective view.

00:03:06 --> 00:03:12
If you feel the resolution is jagged, reduce the Quadrify % value to about 2%.

00:03:12 --> 00:03:16
Be aware that this affects computer performance and rendering time.

00:03:17 --> 00:03:24
Once done, you need to relocate the object's pivot point as it will help you with the animation later.

00:03:25 --> 00:03:29
In the hierarchy panel, click the Affect Pivot Only button.

00:03:30 --> 00:03:37
Start by centering the pivot to the object and then move it to the left closer to the mouth piece (the first letter).

00:03:38 --> 00:03:40
Exit Affect Pivot Only mode.

00:03:41 --> 00:03:48
At this time, notice that the object's local orientation is not aligned with the World Coordinate System.

00:03:48 --> 00:03:51
This is mostly because the text was created in the front view.

00:03:52 --> 00:03:57
It is usually good practice to reset objects after transforming and modifying them.

00:03:57 --> 00:04:02
This way, you ensure they're oriented the same way before you start animating them.

00:04:02 --> 00:04:09
The safest way to reorient an object to the World Coordinate System is to use the Reset XForm utility.

00:04:10 --> 00:04:16
This utility adds an XForm modifier to the stack and reorients the objects' local axes.

00:04:18 --> 00:04:24
Once you are done with shaping the trumpet, and once you are absolutely sure no more changes are required,

00:04:24 --> 00:04:27
you can collapse the object to an editable poly.

00:04:28 --> 00:04:37
This way, 3ds Max wouldn't need to evaluate the Extrude, Quadrify, FFD or XForm modifiers and needs only to deal with a simple mesh.

00:04:37 --> 00:04:43
You can of course save your file to keep a working version of the trumpet in case you need to fall back on it later.

00:04:44 --> 00:04:50
Now that the trumpet is in place, let's model the other instruments starting with the congas.

00:04:50 --> 00:04:55
Create text that reads HI CONGA in capital letters,

00:04:58 --> 00:05:02
and set it to the Snap ITC font.

00:05:06 --> 00:05:09
Set the size to about 50,

00:05:12 --> 00:05:16
and rotate the text so that it is standing up.

00:05:20 --> 00:05:23
Extrude the text about 30 units.

00:05:30 --> 00:05:40
If you want, add the small letter "l" before and after HI CONGA to provide the drum with upper and lower horizontal platforms.

00:05:40 --> 00:05:44
From this point on, the technique is similar to what you did earlier.

00:05:45 --> 00:05:50
Namely, you need to add a Quadrify Mesh modifier to the top of the stack,

00:05:51 --> 00:05:58
and an FFD(box) modifier, although in this case, you can use the preset FFD(3x3x3).

00:05:59 --> 00:06:04
This time, you will round up the instrument using the top view,

00:06:05 --> 00:06:10
and then shape it a bit more by inflating its mid-section, and slightly the top.

00:06:15 --> 00:06:21
Use the Reset XForm utility to reset the object's local axes.

00:06:21 --> 00:06:26
Add a UVW Map modifier in Box mode,

00:06:29 --> 00:06:34
and create a material for it based on the provided bitmap.

00:06:45 --> 00:06:50
Finally, relocate the pivot point as you did earlier so that it is at the base of the drum.

00:07:00 --> 00:07:07
Before you collapse the stack as you did earlier, make a copy of the hi conga drum to create the lo conga twin.

00:07:08 --> 00:07:13
Actually, a low conga is slightly fatter and has a lower pitch sound,

00:07:14 --> 00:07:22
so in addition to changing the text to read LO CONGA, adjust the FFD control points to make for a slightly larger drum.

00:07:22 --> 00:07:29
You'll notice an unexpected 90-degree rotation of the FFD gizmo, that's due to the applied XForm modifier.

00:07:30 --> 00:07:32
You're still able to deform the mesh however.

00:07:41 --> 00:07:48
Collapse both congas to individual Editable Poly objects. This will help with computer performance.

00:07:48 --> 00:07:53
In the next movie, you will build the last instrument,the double bass.
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Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Animation
  • 2012
  • Action
  • Audio
  • Motion Graphics
  • Workflow
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