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Modeling the Cactus Body

Brian C. Morris - American College of Thessaloniki tutorial

 

In this tutorial you will model a low polygon Cactus using Editable Poly. A reference template is provided as a guide and a “modeling” material with varying opacity will allow you to quickly “see thru” you model. You will apply a Symmetry modifier so you can model on side and have 3dsMax model the other side for you. Finally you will use Subdivision Surfaces to smooth out and add more detail to your model.

 

First check your Project Settings:

o       Display Unit Scale= centimeters

o       System Unit Setup = centimeters

o       Frame Rate is Pal

The Body

1.      Open 3dsmax and load the following file: cactus buildcustom_Starter00.max

This file has a template object, a modeling material and an animation range of 3 frames (0 to 2)

 

2.      Create a simple box first

·        Activate the Top Viewport  (Right click),

·        Create a box in the Top viewport. Go to the Modify Command Panel and adjust the parameters as follows:

 

Length = 41cm, Width = 31cm, Height = 200cm

L Segments= 1,   Width Segments= 2,   Height Segments= 7,

 

·        Position the box at 0, 0, 0

·        Rename the box “cactus_body01

 

3.      Add Modeling Material

Here you apply a material to make the modeling process easier

·        Make sure the cactus_body01 is selected

·        Now open the Material editor. Keyboard M key, or click this icon on the main toolbar

·        Apply the material.

(1)First select the material preview swatch

(2)Now assign material to selection

 

·        You can now go to frame1, or 2 to see through your model to make matching edges and vertices easier.

·        Save(as) your work

 

4.      Convert to Editable Poly and prepare for the Symmetry modifier

·        With cactus_body01 still selected right click over it and in the Quad Menu select, Convert to:àConvert to Editable Poly

·        Go to sub-object Polygon level (use the Quad Menu, modifier stack, etc..)

·        Select all the polygons on the right hand side and make sure you include the top-Right and bottom-Right polygons. See image

 

·        Hit the Delete key to delete the selected polygons.

 

5.      Add Symmetry modifier

·        Go to the Top level of your model (exit sub object polygon level)

·        From the Modifier list apply a Symmetry Modifier and select the following parameters: 

Mirror X

Flip

Slice along seams, 

Weld Seam

 

6.      Edit Edges and Vertices in Front View

Important: You will be using region selection a lot from now on. Using region selection is important so you select edges, vertices, etc.., on the side and back as well so you can edit them all together. For instance...in the Front viewport you click on a edge you will only select the one edge but what you need to do is select all the edges on the side and back as well so you can move them all at once and keep them aligned. So you need to toggle the window/crossing selection method to window (see below), click the select tool and then click and drag a region box around the edge(s) you want to select.

 

·        Go to sub-object Edge level

·        Make sure the Front viewport is active and in shaded mode(F3) with edges visible(F4).

·        Toggle on window selection and click the select tool

 

·        In the Front View port region select the first row of edges

 

·         Activate the select and move tool.  

·        In the Front Viewport move the selected edges up on the Y axis until they match the edge on the reference template (also see Figure 2 below).

Check in the Perspective Viewport and make sure you moved the whole row of edges, see the correct and incorrect images (Figure1).

Figure 1

 

 

Figure 2

 

·        Region select and move the second row, third row, etc.., until you have matched up all six rows as pictured above (Fig.02).

 

 

·        Now Go to Sub-object Vertex level and in the Front View region select each set of vertices and move them on the X axis to match the positions on the reference template.

 

 

7.      Add Slices at Neck and Foot in Front View

Now you are going to use the Slice tool to add so more detail.

·        Go to sub object  Edge level

·        Region select all the edges

·        Click the Slice Plane button (Under the Edit Geometry Rollout). Select the Y axis of the Slice Plane and move it up and down and notice that you can see the intended slice in the Perspective view port which should be slicing thru the polygons.

 

·        In the Front view move the Slice Plane at the first position for the new edge (see image below) and then click Slice. Now the new slice is applied.

 

·        In the Front view move the Slice Plane at the second position for the new edge (see image below) and then click Slice. Now the new slice is applied.

 

·        In the Front view move the Slice Plane at the third position for the new edge (see image below) and then click Slice. Now the new slice is applied.

 

8.      Edit new vertices in Front View

·        Now Go to Sub-object Vertex level and in the Front View region select each set of vertices and move them on the X axis to match the positions on the reference template.

 

·        Save(as) your work and continue

 

9.      Edit vertices to match outside profile in Left Viewport

Now you will be region selecting rows of vertices and matching the profile in the Left viewport.

·        In Sub-object Vertex level and in the Left Viewport region select each set of vertices and move them to match the outside Profile of the reference template.

 

·        Save(as) your work

 

 

 

 

10.  Edit vertices to match inside profile in Left View

Now you will be region selecting in the Front viewport and in the Left viewport moving the vertices at the outside corners to match the inside profile of the reference template

 

·        You should still be at Sub-object Vertex level

·        To make sure you don’t move the vertices on the seam select in the Front Viewport, then activate the Left Viewport(right click) and move/scale the vertices into position.

 

 

·        Do a save(as)

 

The Arms

Now you will model the arm with a series of Polygon bevels and Vertex edits

 

11.  Do Bevels 1 and 2

 

·        Go to sub-object Polygon level, and select the polygon on the side towards the middle

·        and Click the Bevel Settings button

 

 

 

·        Input the following parameter values:

Height = 10 cm

Outline Amount = -1.cm

 

·        Click “Apply

 

·        Input the following parameter values:

Height = 20.5 cm

Outline Amount = -2.cm

 

·        Click “Ok

 

 

12.  Edit new vertices from bevel 1 and 2 using the Front and Top Viewports

 

·        Go to sub-object Vertex level

·        Advance to frame 1, or 2

·        Arrange your Top and Front viewports so you can concentrate on the arm, as follows:

 

·        Region Select and move the vertices to match the reference template as follows:

 

Notice that I also touched-up the vertices at the top of the head in the Top View

 

·        Save(as)

 

13.  Do Bevel 3, 4, 5

·        Go to sub-object Polygon level, the polygon at the end of the arm should be selected, if not select it.

·        Click the Bevel Settings button (like in step 11)

·        Input the following parameter values:

Height = 4 cm

Outline Amount = -0. 5 cm

 

·        Click “Apply

 

·        Click “Apply” again

 

·        Now Click “Ok

 

14.  Edit vertices from bevel 3, 4 and 5 using the Front Viewport

·        Go to sub-object Vertex level

·        Arrange your Front viewport so you can concentrate on the new vertices.

·        In the Front viewport region select and move the vertices to match the reference template as follows:

     

 

·        Do I have to say it? Do a Save(as)

 

15.  Bevel 6 and 7

·        Go to sub-object Polygon level, the polygon at the end of the arm should be selected, if not select it.

·        Click the Bevel Settings button (like in step 11)

·        Input the following parameter values:

Height = 29.73 cm

Outline Amount = -0. 5 cm

 

·        Click “Apply

 

·        Input the following parameter values:

Height = 7.7 cm

Outline Amount = -0. 5 cm

 

·        Click “Ok

 

16.  Edit the new vertices from bevel 6 and 7 using Front Viewport

·        Go to sub-object Vertex level

·        Arrange your Front viewport so you can concentrate on the new vertices.

·        In the Front viewport region select and move the vertices to match the reference template as follows:

       

·        Save(as)

The Final Touches

17.  Add extra slices and edit Vertices as needed

·        Now use what your have learn to add 4 slices at the joints on the leg as follows:

(Remember you need to make a sub-object selection before clicking the Slice Plane button)

   

 

18.  Turn on Subdivision Surface, Move up the modifier to the Symmetry modifier to see the final model

 

·        Turn on Subdivision Surface, with these settings:

 

 

·        Go to the Top Level of the Editable Poly (exit sub-object level…)

·        Click the Symmetry modifier in the Modifier Stack, to go to the top of the modifier stack and see the result of the Symmetry modifier.

·        Do a render, (click the teapot icon or hit the F9 key) and you did it!

 

·        Save your final max file as: CactusBody_build.max,

Remember to include your student name or ID


© Tutorial by: Brian C. Morris