The lesson begins by stating that objects in 3DS Max are made of sub-objects. You can work with the sub-objects of an object, but you cannot modify the entire object while you are modifying one of its sub-objects. It is a matter of focus: you are either working at the object level or the sub-object level at any given time.
The lesson introduces the concept of box modeling, which can be applied to other primitive objects as well as boxes. The idea is to start with a general shape, then modify parts of it to match your needs. To do this, you must edit the details of an object, its sub-objects. You can add a modifier to allow this, or you can convert the object to an editable poly object. (Poly refers to polygon and polyhedron.) The book also says you can make the object an editable mesh, but that this is an older tool with fewer features.
Exercise Notes and Questions
Note: You get it by now, right? Do the exercises.
Exercise 1: This exercise starts with a scene that includes a sphere. You are instructed to add an Edit Poly modifier to the sphere. You are also told to use the Convert To command from the Quad menu for the sphere to change it to an Editable Poly object.
The lesson continues with a summary of the kinds of sub-object editing you can do on an editable poly object:
Exercise 2: Exercise 2 works with a model of an engine, showing you how to use the sub-object tools listed above. Note that you can select a tool from a list of sub-objects of the Editable Poly, (shown on the right, in the Modifier List ), or you can click the associated graphic on the Selection rollout (sub-panel).
Exercise 3: This exercise lets you add more features to the engine model.
Exercise 4: Exercise 4 shows us the Bend tool. In step 23, you are directed to use the Chamfer button.
Exercise 5: Exercise 5 shows us the Cap command.
Exercise 6: Exercise 6 uses an unfinished model to show that we can use Smoothing Groups to smooth the rough edges of a new element added to a model.
Exercise 7: Exercise 7 uses a modifier to smooth the unfinished model.