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Author Topic: Basic Max Familirazation  (Read 2711 times)
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Winding Night Hooligan
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« on: February 13, 2006, 11:40:47 AM »

Before we do anything we need to familiarize ourselves with the 3d Studio Max Layout, of course this will differ slightly between versions, however the layout is essentially the same. So to do this, were going to make a really simple object, i know its not exactly a complex model, but the idea is that if your new to max the best way is to start small, rather than diving in the deep end and trying to build a high poly car. The best way to learn is allways to experiment, and of course the first time you see something you've created allways gives you a sense of acheivement.
The Main Toolbar   
 This is one of the essential parts of the interface which you will be using, and is located at the top left of the screen   
 1. The Undo and Redo shortcuts   
 2. The selection pointer (to select individual objects or a group)   
 3. Move   
 4. Rotate   
 5. Scale

The View Port Control Panel   
The first window is found by right clicking in the top left hand corner of any view port, from here you can select whether or not the view port is visible, wire frame mode, views etc...   

The Second image, is of the bottom right hand corner, located there are a group of icons that are used for moving around world space within the view ports and are handy for checking the model for errors   
 1. The zoom function   
 2. Zoom all   
 3. Zoom Extents ( will zoom to the edges of the entire model)   
 4. Zoom Extents All   
 5. Zoom Selection...particularity useful if you have a small part that you want to fix   
 6. Move   
 7. Rotate   
 8. Full view (with this you can select a single view port to expand to full screen, by selecting it again the view ports return to their normal state

.. so with these few things, it time to make a simple object... in this case a gun, (not exactly a car, but its not too complex to start with)

Firstly we need to get out reference picture into max, there are several methods to do this, the simplest being setting it as a background image which we can trace around   
 To do this we select views on the menu bar, and select background image from the rollout   

Clicking on that we will be give the following dialogue box   
For background source, we click files, this will bring up a second box, we then select the image we want to use and press okay   
That done we now go to the aspect ration radio button, and select MATCH BITMAP and LOCK ZOOM/PAN opposite, this will allow us to move the view port around, but will keep the background image in the same position as the model       
Your Max Screen should now look like this....       

 To start modelling we will need to create a basic structure, this will be done by tracing the image and extruding the path...while not perfect it is an ideal way to get confident with the Zen of modelling....and with time, you will have your own ways...   
 To do this we got to the menu on the right, on the modelling tab, you will find 5 icons select the second one from the left, this will give you a spline selection menu   
 We select line, and from the line options we pick CORNER for both (why? well although bezier will give you some nice smooth curves....the curves will be broken down automatically into more points, increasing your final polycount by a whole lot.   

 Time to get to the real grunt work, we go back to the main window and click left click, this will create the first point on the spline. Trace around the background picture using as few points as possible.
Once you have gone all the way around click on the first point and the following dialogue will appear, click yes....and hooray you got the first part done.
 While not perfect your gun will look like this, the basic outline is there, and is recognizable enough for most purposes. Split your gun into sections...slide, grip and where applicable slide. (we'll get onto attachments later.   
So what now what...   
well we now have basic shape of the gun the next step is to make it 3 dimensional...this is done by one of two options...extruding or on the other hand bevelling, select one of the splines and click on the modifier panel (located on the right next to the modelling panel, by clicking on more the rollout to the left will appear   
1. By selecting this you can move individual points around, this is useful if you want to correct any errors that your tracing might have   
2. Bevel Profile, this will create a 3d version of the tracing with bevelled edges   
3. Face extrude, this will create a 3d version of the tracing with sharp edges. ( the two methods are identical however with this one, you have to select each edge that you wish to bevel....this way is simpler and will give you faster results, i will cover using this method of bevelling in the next tutorial   

since we are dealling with the basic shape lets click on bevel profile   
yo will now have a list of more options on the modifier panel, leave everything as it is.. on the bevel values by changing the outline values we will get a variety of effects.. try using the ones i have.   
Now view the model in the perspective view port, move the camera around using the view port rotate function selected from the view port controls...a little to wide mabye, the thing to remember is this is a model if the gun were sliced down the middle, you will mirror the other half later... so play around with the settings until you are content with how the model will look (just double the width on your mind)...   
repeat this a few times....and we got a gun (of sorts)
well its not to bad....now all you have to do is select each part...mirror it and you have a whole gun.   
do this by selecting each part and the selecting mirror from the menu at the top. Alternatively you can hit the mirror icon on the tool bar   
Depending on the view port you are in select the correct axis, you will be able to preview the results in the view port windows. Make sure you have COPY selected, in this case. If you are making an object where you do wish to have an identical side, then you hit the first option no clone.. the other two options are pretty handy, Instance allows you to modify either half of the mirroed object, and the mirrored part will be updated however you modify it, i.e. by attaching extra bits, or doing other functions. Reference works the same way, but only one half the object effects the other half. Both these functions are particularily useful since you can model both sides of the car at the same time without having to re mirror every time you want to check on your progress.  
The Result   
 You now have the basic model...and it should look something like this, sure its not going to win any awards...but its a start, you will improve with the next model, and so forth...

« Last Edit: February 13, 2006, 11:53:58 AM by endo » Logged

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