CAP 201a - Computer Animation I
Lesson 2 - Chapter 4, Modeling (Part I)
This lesson continues the introduction to the software used for the
course. Objectives important to this lesson:
- Planning models
- Using modifiers
- Mesh modifier or convert to mesh
- Poly modifier or convert to poly
- Modeling tools
- Modeling project: chest of drawers/dresser
The chapter begins with a discussion about planning
before creating a model. The authors makes a good point, that some objects
that are included in a scene are not prominently featured
in it. They appear only in the distance, or they are
never manipulated in the scene, which makes it a waste
of time to include a lot of detail or moving
parts. Objects that are seen close up do need
more detail to be convincing to a viewer. Objects that are manipulated
in a scene do need moving parts, more flexibility, or
other details that support their use.
Why not go for total quality (more detail) in every object in the scene?
In a perfect world, you would. In the real world, you eliminate as many
polygons (parts of objects) from a scene as you can to
make the scene render and display faster,
and to make the eventual movie created from the scene a smaller
There is another reason, discussed very well in an article on thinking like an artist by Stephen Worth, director of the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive. You should read that article, and many others on that web site. For now, the point is that an artist need not include every possible detail in a scene to give the viewer the desired experience of that scene. Learn to use sufficient detail for your purpose.
The illustration on page 109 shows that the sphere the authors have made
has several component parts. The sphere is constructed of lots of polygons
(flat, closed shapes with a fixed number of sides). Since these are four-sided
polygons, they each have four vertices (points that define
the shape of the object). (Vertex is singular, vertices
is plural.) A vertex may or may not seem to be a corner. A curved line has
vertices, but it doesn't seem to have corners. This is an illusion.
The reality is that it actually has corners. Let's define a corner as
a point where the line segments change direction.
Vertices are connected by line segments, which are just called segments
in 3DS Max. The segments are the edges of the object.
It will be apparent from the illustration that adjacent objects share
edges and vertices.
An area enclosed by the edges of one of the four-sided
objects in our example is called a surface. In the case of these four-sided
objects, each of the surfaces can also be broken down into two faces.
A face is a triangular surface defined by three vertices. The illustration
on page 109 shows one face of one polygon shaded darker than the rest
of the figure. Polygons with more than four vertices will have more than
two faces. (Number of faces = number of vertices - 2.) More on faces below.
The text explains that models are constructed from basic shapes that
are combined and modified. Page 111 shows two sets of shapes that the
text calls primitives and extended primitives.
(Personally, I do not think that a teapot belongs in
the primitive group, being much more complex than a box, a sphere, or
any of the other shapes on that side of the page.)
To discuss modifying a shape, the text introduces the
idea of turning a shape into a mesh. Mesh objects have
sub-objects (e.g. vertices, edges, polygons) that you
can modify. If this were network administration, I would tell you that
a mesh is a network of redundantly connected points. This is similar to
the spirit of what the text means, in that a mesh object allows us to
modify its vertices, edges, polygons, etc. in a way that dynamically
adds new connections where they are logically needed, as though those
connections had always been there. If you move a segment, new connecting
segments and vertices will appear if they are needed to avoid a break
in the object's surface. (Unless you want a break. More on that later.)
To turn an object into a mesh, you have two options:
- add an Edit Mesh modifier to the object
- convert the object to an Editable Mesh
(with its quad menu)
If you add a modifier to an object, you can still change
the properties of the original object.
If you convert an object to a mesh, you no longer
have access to the original object's properties. If you
add a modifier to an object, the file for the scene gets bigger and takes
more memory to render than if you convert to a mesh (or a poly).
Exercise 1: Sphere with mesh modifier
This exercise starts on page 112. Create the sphere in a new scene and
add the mesh modifier as indicated. Note: you can add the Edit
Mesh modifier through the Modifier list on the
Modify panel instead of using the menu option given in
Question 1: Step 5 of the exercise tells you
to select the icon to edit vertex sub-objects of the selected object. What is the selected object? (Note: you could have selected
the named sub-object type from the list of sub-objects in the Modifier
list instead of clicking the icon indicated.)
Question 2: What tool does step
6 tell you to use to modify vertices?
Exercise 2: Applying modifiers to a box
On page 115, you start an exercise that demonstrates the importance of
the order in which modifiers are added to a stack. Note that the authors
continue to add modifiers through the menu system. You may find that it
easier to use the modifier list than to recall the menu commands. (I think it's easier to find it in an alphabetical list, rather than try to remember what category the Autodesk people think it belongs in.)
Question 3: What is the effect in
step 6 of adding more height segments to the box?
Information about the stack continues through page 120.
Question 4: In what order does 3DS
Max evaluate a modifier stack?
The text goes on to explain that you can choose between the Edit
Mesh modifier and the Editable Mesh conversion,
but you can also choose between the Edit Poly modifier
and the Editable Poly conversion. The authors' preference
is to use the Poly choices, because they are the more
recently developed pair, and they offer manipulation tools that the authors
prefer. Another difference is listed on page 124: meshes
have faces as described above, but polys
are composed of multi-sided polygons instead of faces.
The authors like the fact that without faces, there isn't an unintended
hinge in the middle of the polygons that form many objects.
text introduces you to sub-objects that are commonly
available in a mesh or a poly (converted or not). Note the three illustrations
on page 123 showing tools for a sphere with an Edit Mesh
modifier, Editable Mesh conversion, and Edit
Poly modifier, respectively. The all show common sub-object icons
that also appear in the image on the right, taken from a box converted
to an Editable Poly (its nature changed when it was converted, but its name did not) :
- vertex - all the points you see in wireframe view (selection
icon is three dots)
- edge - any line connecting two vertices is an edge (selection
icon is a triangle)
- border - borders are sets of edges that surround open holes
in an object, like the rim of an empty can (selection icon is a kidney
- polygon - a polygon is a surface bounded by edges; with this
tool you can select multiple surfaces on the object (selection icon
is a square)
- element - an element is a series of connected polygons (selection
icon is a cube)
Once you make a selection of one of these types, you can modify the
selection with the options described on page 126:
- Ignore backfacing - when this is turned off (default setting),
you can select a sub-object that is not facing toward you; when it is
turned on, you can only select sub-objects that are facing you. That
is the theory. In the project that ends this section of the chapter,
you may find that this setting does not really matter.
- Shrink - once you have made a selection that includes several
sub-objects, the shrink command will systematically eliminate
sub-objects from the selection set (the set of
all sub-objects currently selected) to make the selected set smaller. Selected sub-objects farthest from the center of the selection set are removed from the selection set each time shrink is clicked.
- Grow - this is the opposite of shrink: the grow command adds
the next nearest sub-objects to your selection set
- Loop - this is like grow, but more specific: the loop command
will expand a selection set of edges to include all the contiguous edges
that loop around the object in the same direction, forming a single
In the image above, I have created a box like the one in the illustrations in this part of the text. I gave it a number of sections to correspond to the image in the text, then converted it to an Editable Poly. I set the Perspective viewport to show Edged Faces. I have clicked on the Edge sub-object type, and selected one edge with the Select and Move tool. Note that the selected edge is shown in red, and the Move gizmo is shown with the proper colors for its three handles: RGB = XYZ.
In the image above, I have clicked the Loop button. Note that the selection set, shown as red edges, has been extended
to include the edges that form a single line running around the circumference of the Editable Poly.
- Ring - this is like loop, but at 90 degrees: the ring command
extends a set of selected edges to include all parallel edges that make
a ring that runs at 90 degrees to the set that a loop would form. A loop forms a continuous line, but a ring does not.
In the image on the right, I clicked Undo (to undo the Loop command), then clicked the
Ring button. Note that the only edge the two selection sets in these images have in common is the original selected edge. Although it looks like polygons are selected, they are not. Only a set of edges are selected.
Page 128 illustrates the difference between a soft selection and
a hard selection. The authors created two spheres. They selected
one vertex on the first sphere and extended it with a hard
selection. This resulted in one point being moved away from the curve
of the sphere, with polygons forming a steep slope back to the
sphere. They selected a singe vertex on the second sphere, and
extended it away from the sphere using settings on the Soft Selection
rollout. This resulted in the point again being moved away from the
body of the sphere, but this time the polygons leading back to the sphere
formed a gentle, smooth slope. Note the use of the word falloff
in this discussion. In general, this term means the area surrounding an
effect that is partially changed by the effect. In this case, it means the extent
of the effect over such a surrounding area.
The text continues, describing selection buttons that will extend your
sub-object selection in useful ways. An exercise begins on page 128 that
demonstrates several of them.
Exercise: Edit (Sub-object) Rollout
This exercise begins with a new sphere, as most of them do in this chapter,
this time converted to an Editable Poly. In step 2, the authors tell you
to select a poly. It will not matter much which one you choose.
Question 5: Steps 4 and 5 tell you how to
use the Extrude tool with a selected polygon.
a. What is the difference in the result if you drag your mouse up the
b. What about if you drag it down the screen?
On page 131, the text illustrates the use of some tools with a series
of short exercises:
- Extrude - The text asks you to make a new sphere and to convert
it to an Editable Poly. This time, choose the vertex sub-object,
then choose the Edit Vertices rollout, and find the Settings
button next to the Extrude button. That's the trick: there are separate
Settings buttons for Extrude, Weld, and Chamfer on that rollout, and
NONE of them are labeled. Each of those buttons looks like a
decoration to the right of the button it provides settings for. Unless
you know to look for them, those buttons may avoid your attention. Now
you know. Try it out to practice finer control over an extrude operation.
- Chamfer - For this exercise, you choose three vertices in a
line, then apply a Chamfer effect to them. The text explains that the
Chamfer command adds new faces around selected sub-objects. In
this case, each of the selected points becomes four points arranged
around the location where each original point was.The general effect
to is to smooth sharp edges.
- Weld - This tool fuses the chosen vertices
at a point between them. The text asks you to weld two vertices on a
sphere into one. The edges that led to the original vertices all change
to connect to the new vertex. A more useful example will be seen later.
- Bevel - This tool can work like the extrude tool, but it can
also modify the edges of shapes that connect to whatever you
- Outline - This tool lets you resize a polygon
without changing its relative shape. It can also be used to add thickness
to a spline.
- Inset - The text explains that this tool lets you shrink a
polygon, while maintaining its shape and position.
- Hinge from Edge - This exercise will show you how
to do part of an extrusion: you pick one edge of a polygon that will
stay stationary, acting like a hinge, while the rest move.
- Cap - The Cap tool covers an indicated
hole or gap in a model. Be aware that the cap the is formed will be
flat, regardless of the curvature of the surrounding material.
- Extrude Along Spline - This is the last exercise
before the first project for this chapter. The concept is fairly simple.
First there must be an object in your scene that you
will extrude a surface from. Second, there must be
a spline, a line that may or may not be curved, that
will act as a pattern for the extrusion. The command
lets you create an extrusion that copies the shape
of the spline. It does not necessarily flow along the
spline. Note the example illustration on page 139 which shows the extrusion
flowing beside the indicated spline. I suppose Extrusion
That Mimics the Path of a Reference Spline would have been
more accurate, but would also have been too long to use as a name.
The chapter turns to a modeling project:
construction of a model chest of drawers. The text also
calls the chest of drawers a dresser. Call it whichever
you like. I will warn you that there are some errors in the instructions
for this project. Most textbooks suffer from this problem, perhaps because
proofreaders do not actually use the programs that authors describe.
The project begins with an echo about planning your
model. Before you begin work in 3DS Max, you should know
as much about the object you will be modeling as you can know. Reference
photos, sketches, physical models,
and measurements would all be sensible things to accumulate
Quick test: study the reference picture of a chest of drawers on page
140 for 30 seconds. I will wait here.
a. How many drawer rows are in the chest?
b. How many drawers are in the chest?
c. How many knobs are on the chest and what do they look like?
d. What does the top of of the chest look like?
This is to show you that one look may not be enough, and one reference
photo is unlikely to be enough. You will do better modeling if you have
multiple references to work from, and if you continue to use your references
while you are modeling. For this project, I will expect some approximation,
but this is a good time to become more precise.
In all of the exercises that follow (for the rest of your life), watch for decimal points, and for negative signs. Missing either of those things when setting a value will create a huge difference in your results.
Project Exercise 1: Top of the dresser
- In step 1, the text says to begin a new scene with File, New,
New All. Be aware that you can also start a new scene with
File, Reset. This may not seem like a sensible command
to start your scene over, but that's what it does.
Toggle the Edged Faces view for the Perspective Viewport
as instructed. This will give you a better view of the object and sub-objects
in this project. Open the Create panel, Geometry
heading, and select Box.
- In step 2, make sure you use the Keyboard Entry rollout,
not the Parameters rollout. They are similar, but there is no Create
button on the Parameters rollout, which is used in this step to create
your preconfigured box at the default location in the scene.
Question 7: Where is the default
location in a scene?
- Use the Modify panel to set the height segments
of the box to 6. Remember to always use the Modify panel, not the Create
panel, to change an object.
- The instruction in this step is wrong. Add an Edit Poly modifier
to the box, not an "Editable Poly modifier". There is no such
thing as an Editable Poly Modifier. Remember, when you add a modifier
to an object, you can use the menu system or choose it from the Modifier
- Step 5 says to press 4 on the keyboard to go to the Polygon sub-object
mode. This did not work for me, but I was not disappointed.
I think it is easier to use the visual cues in front
of us than it is to remember hot keys like this. (4 stands for polygon
mode? Why? Under what conditions?)
Both actions accomplish the same thing.
- Instead of pressing 4, click the Square icon
for polygon sub-objects in the Selection rollout, as illustrated
in the image above.
- If that is not mnemonic for you, open the Edit Poly object
in the Modifier stack, and choose its Polygon
After you have done this, click the polygon on
top of the box, as instructed.
- Step 6 is not wrong, but it is less clear than it might be. As I have
pointed out above, you will see many unlabelled Settings buttons
in 3DS Max. This time, you want to click the Settings button
to the right of the Bevel button.
This will open a dialog screen that you will use to
add a series of bevels to the box.
- Enter the Height and Outline Amount
values given. Click Apply, which applies the action,
but keeps the dialog box open.
- Enter the Height and Outline Amount
values given. Click Apply, which applies the action,
but keeps the dialog box open.
- Step 9 is confusing, because it contains the settings for five bevels.
It might be good to write them all down so you don't miss any. Let's
make a list, starting with the two you set back in steps 7 and 8.
Bevel Settings for Top of Chest
Enter the Height and Outline Amount
values given. Click Apply, for each bevel layer until
the last one, then click OK . Your
work should look a lot like the illustration on page 144. Zoom and pan
as needed to check it.
If anything goes wrong Undo is your friend. Remember
the Undo button on the tool bar?
Project Exercise 2: Bottom of the dresser
Save your project before you begin this portion of it.
(Yes, really. Do it now.)
You will need to relax and concentrate since the authors do not tell you
how to do some things you will need to do. I'll try to
DISCLAIMER: The instructions below were written for 3DS Max 2009. The interface for 2010 is a bit different. If I tell you to right-click something, you may need to left-click instead in our newer version of the program. Proceed carefully, and make notes for yourself for reference.
- In step 1, the authors tell you to select the polygon on the bottom
of the box. They do not tell you how to get a view
like the one shown on page 145. For this step, you just need to see
the bottom of the chest. Right-click the Left
viewport to select it. Right-click that viewport's
name and select Bottom. (This in one of the differences noted above. In the 2010 interface, you just left-click the viewport name and choose the new view.) Use Pan and
Zoom controls, if needed, to get a nice view. After you change a view with Pan (and sometimes, Zoom), you will have to click the tool you need to use in order to continue working.
- Make sure the polygon sub-object is selected on the
Selection rollout of the Modify panel.
If it is not open, open the Edit Polygon rollout.
Note: the authors tend to write "poly" even if the
screen says "polygon". This is not helpful to
me, nor to you, I suspect. Let's be aware of it and recall that this
is what they do.
Click the Settings button to the right of the Extrude
button on the Edit Polygon rollout. This time you have
one action to perform, so set the Height to 2.5
and click OK. As the text notes, a new segment is added
to the box.
- The polygon you just extruded should be the only
one selected. If not, select only that one. Click the Settings
button for the Inset button on the Edit
Polygon rollout. Set the Amount to .6
as instructed and click OK. The polygon will appear
- Click the Settings button for the Extrude
button again. Set the Height value to -2.0,
which will cause the polygon to move toward the top of the chest.
This is a good place to pause and save again. Remember
to save your file with a new, incremental name, so you
have more than one place to go when you need to go back in time.
Project Exercise 3: Bottom detail
The text starts a new set of steps on page 149 to carve
away sections of the extruded material, so the model will look
more like the chest detail on page 146. To do this, you will need to be
able to rotate the model in space, and you will need
to be able to select and deselect separate
polygons in the model.
Standard Windows skills will help: when you want to select more
than one thing, hold down a Ctrl key while you
click each new item. When you want to deselect an item
already selected, use Ctrl-click for that as well.
Go back to chapter 3 for a moment, and look at the last three icons illustrated
on page 85.
- Arc Rotate - gives you a gizmo to rotate the current
viewport around the center of the viewport
- Arc Rotate Selected - gives you a gizmo to rotate
the current viewport around the currently selected object
- Arc Rotate Subobject - gives you a gizmo to rotate
the current viewport around the currently selected sub-object
These tools will give you a way to spin the viewport
around so you can see whatever you need to see in the following steps.
(If you are using 3DS Max 2008 or later, you can also use the gizmo built
into each viewport.) You will also want to use pan and zoom functions.
Again, when you switch away from a tool to use rotate, pan, or zoom, you
will have to switch back to that tool to use it again. This will become
clear as you work on this exercise.
- Step1 on page 149 tells you to select all the polygons that make up
the front and back lip on the bottom of the chest. Look at the illustration
on page 149.
Think of the bottom of the chest as being constructed of four
boards. For reference, let's call the boards the front,
back, left, and right
baseboards of the chest.
You want to select six polygons at this stage. They
are the front, back, and bottom
polygons of the front and back
baseboards. You can see that the front and bottom polygons of the front
and back boards in the picture have already been selected. You do not
have to select the top polygons of the baseboards, because they do not
need to be cut. That is because you will be collapsing surfaces, not
actually removing them.
The trick to make this work is to rotate the chest
so that you can select all six polygons, and only those six polygons,
in the same selection set. Why do you have to rotate the chest? You
have to be able to see a polygon to select
it, and you must not click it in a way that will deselect
another polygon that you want selected as well.
This is not a minor acrobatic skill. You will have to practice this
action to get it right. I recommend that you save incrementally
when all six polygons are properly selected (or maybe even sooner).
Also, follow the instruction at the end of step 1 to lock the selection
with the Lock button near the center of the bottom
of the 3DS Max interface.
- Now that you have performed your first miracle, follow the instructions
in step 2 to set up the Slice Plane tool. You will
use this to make a series of cuts in the selected polygons. The great
thing about the tool is that it will not cut any polygon that is not
selected. That could also be a problem if you have not selected everything
you want to cut.
- Turn off Shaded Edge mode as instructed by pressing
F2. As the text explains, you need to do this so you
can see the new edges that you will cut in the existing polygons. If
the polygons were still red on their selected faces, you would not see
the new lines you are about to make.
- In step 4, make sure you have selected the Slice
Plane tool before you right-click it to show its quad menu.
Go to the Transforms section of the quad menu and click
- Step 5 tells you to rotate the Slice Plane tool on
its y-axis. As you may have noticed, it is very difficult to rotate
an exact number of degrees by dragging a gizmo. Use
the Transform type-in box instead to change the y-axis
value to 90. (There is a type-in box for each axis.)
- Click the Move tool on the tool bar, which will affect
the Slice Plane tool. You want to make cuts at several spots on the
six polygons that are selected. I will suggest that you should use the
Transform type-in box again, this time using the box for the x-axis.
For the cuts in this step, change the x-axis value to -12 before the
first cut, then to 12 for the second cut. As noted in the text, make
the cuts with the Slice button, not
the Slice Plane button, which would turn off the cutter.
- In step 7, you make more cuts. Use the method I described
above to move the Slice Plane tool for each of these
Cuts to Make in Step 7
You could make cuts at different locations, but they should be symmetrical
from one side to the other, or the chest will not look very good. I
have color coded the rows above to make it clear that the cuts are being
made in pairs. I will point out, as well, that you are cutting the front
and back baseboards of the chest at the same time.
- In step 8, the text says to press the spacebar to
unlock the selected polygon set. This did not work
when I tried it, so I will point out that you should click the
padlock icon to unlock the selection set instead. When you
do so, the highlight behind the padlock icon will go away.
The text continues, telling you to select the "relevant
polygons" and use the Move tool to approach
the scalloped effect seen on page 153. By relevant polygons, they mean
the ones along the bottom of the boards you cut, so
selecting them from the Bottom viewport would be fine.
You may want to experiment with this step. As should be instinctive
by now, save first.
Question 8: Describe the method
you used to scallop the front and back baseboards of the chest, starting
are step 8.
The authors instruct us at the end of step 8 to repeat
these steps as needed to scallop the right and left baseboards
of the chest as well. Let's leave that for another assignment and move
on the the drawers.
Project Exercise 4: Drawers
Again, examine the reference material for this step.
A detail photo of the reference chest appears on page 154.
- Step 1 begins with a statement that sounds like an instruction. It
is not. The authors are telling you their plan for several steps: to
make a gap around the drawers. This is not actually
a gap. It represents the edges of the side, top, and
bottom boards of the chest. Start this exercise in the Front
or Perspective viewport. Select the
six polygons that represent the drawers of the chest as instructed.
- Open the Modify panel, Edit Polygons rollout.
Click the Settings Button beside the Inset
button. Set the Amount to .6 as indicated.
This time, it is important to make sure that Group
is selected for Inset Type, because you want the entire
set of six drawers inset as one group,
with one ring running around them all.
- Step 3 seems to think that the drawers will look more natural if
they are extruded into the chest slightly. This is
why the Extrusion Height value used is a negative
number (into the object): -.5.
- Step 4 tells us that you are going split the top drawer into two drawers.
This matches the reference. The text cautions you to press F2
if needed, so that the selected polygons are shown as red outlines
instead of solid red. You are doing this for the same reason you did
it in the cutting exercise above.
- Select the polygon for the face
of the top drawer. You will not have to cut any other polygons for this
drawer, since the drawers in this model will not move.
Select the Slice Plane tool again. You will probably
see it appear right where you left it. If not, rotate it as needed and
move it into place to cut the selected polygon into
two pieces, as indicated in the illustration on page 157. Click Slice
to make the cut, and click Slice Plane to turn off
- In step 6, you apply an Inset to the two new polygons
(they were one), as instructed. Make the Inset Amount .25,
and this time, make sure to select By Polygon for the
Inset Type value. The text says to compare your work
to the image in figure 4.64. At this stage, it should look more like
the image at the top of page 159.
- Repeat the instructions in step 6,
this time for each of the remaining drawers in the chest.
- In step 3, you extruded all the drawers into the chest. This was really
for the supporting wood around the drawers. Now, select
all of the drawer polygons on the front of the chest.
Click the Settings button to the right of the Extrude
button on the Edit Polygons rollout. Make the Extrusion
Amount .7, and make the Extrusion Type By Polygon.
This will move each of the drawers a bit out from the
front of the chest.
Save again. There is only one exercise left, but it
seems to have been broken into three. Get ready to learn more new skills.
Project Exercise 5: Creating knobs
Page 167 shows a reference image of a knob that is like the ones you
want to put on the model. The text introduces you to several skills needed
to create such a knob.
- Step 1 reminds you to place the knobs on the drawers. To that
end, you are told to start in the Left viewport, where you can
draw an outline for a knob. If you look carefully at the picture
on page 162, you will see that you only have to draw half of the knob.
The half drawing will be rotated with the Lathe tool to generate
a 3D shape from your 2D drawing.
- On the Create panel, choose Shapes, Line. (You
will draw a spline outline for the knob.) Note that the authors
want you to set the Drag Type for your line as Bezier.
This is a kind of control point for a line that lets you affect how
the line curves into and out of that point.
- Back in the viewport, you will click along an imagined line,
similar to the pattern on page 163. It may be easier to
pan and zoom first, to give yourself enough room to work. Also,
remember that you can maximize the current viewport by pressing
Alt-W. (It does not really matter if you draw the knob attached
to the drawer, since you can move and rotate it once it has been created.)
- Step 4 tells you that you can either:
The authors tell you that you can edit the curve of your spline,
but they do not tell you how. As I mentioned above, bezier points
are used to affect the way the line curves. You should save, then
experiment with this idea.
- make the spline a closed figure (as shown on page 163) by
clicking your first point again, or
- you can leave the spline as an open figure by making your
last click anywhere short of the first point, and right-clicking
to end the spline creation
- In the modifier stack for the project, find the object for
your line, and open it as instructed on page 163. Note the sub-objects
listed: vertex, segment, and spline.
For some reason, the authors break from the exercise here
and start a new series of numbered steps. This seems unnecessary.
Assume that step 1 below follows step 5 just above.
- Choose the vertex sub-object. Click the Select and Move
tool, and use it to move a vertex in a direction that will make
the line more like the reference image.
- When the line is acceptable, select the line object again.
Then, add the Lathe modifier by either of the two methods
described on page 165.
- The text is convinced that you can adjust the resulting shape of the
Lathed line by clicking Max or Min button on the Align
section of the Parameters rollout. You may find that it is
more useful to click the axis buttons under the Direction
section to control which axis the Lathe rotates the
- Use the Weld Core option to remove the extra vertices
that were caused by Lathe rotation.
Finally, the last page in this part of the chapter. The text realizes
that you must make copies of your knob, so instructions are on
page 166. 3DS Max can do three kinds of copying, but the
generic term it uses is not "copy", it's "clone".
- Use the Move and Rotate tools as needed to place the
knob on one of the top drawers. (If the knob is too big, you
may need to check the Help system for information about using the Scale
- With the only knob selected, start the clone procedure by clicking
the menu option Edit, Clone. There are three choices
in the clone dialog box that produce different results:
- copy - copies of an object are independent of each other
and independent of the original object
- instance - instances are linked objects; changing one instance
will affect all other linked instances
- reference - reference objects link down: you can change the
base object (the original one) and affect all the references, or you
can change just a reference, affecting none of the other references
or the original
This time, the text says to make instance clones.
Position the new instance in the correct place on the other
Follow the directions to make the rest of the knobs. I will
show you a better way in class.
Save your project again and show me the sequence of saves on your computer.