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Modelling and a Little More

By Nikola Drincic
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:
3ds Max, Softimage, LightWave, Maya, CINEMA 4D, MODO, Blender, ZBrush


Every 3d animation or still making process will start with modeling. This section will be oriented mainly on 3dStudioMax, but some parts can be used in general.
When modeling I use Editable Mesh or Editable Poly. These are great for starters. They allow you to easily figure out how the modeling works. And I have to mention modeling with Nurbs, but you will probable use it less. Nurbs are very useful in industrial design.
There are two main types of modeling with Editable Mesh or Poly. Box modeling and Poly-by-poly.

First let's get familiar with Box modeling. Imagine that you have a box of clay. Now push here, pull there and at the end you'll get your model. Simple :)

Start by creating a box. Yes, just a plain-old-simple box
Add segments to the box

Now convert a box to Editable Mesh or Poly, and the modeling starts
Most of the time you'll spend in Sub-objects mode, adjusting vertexes, edges, faces

Now let me explain Poly-by-poly type of modeling. In the beginning you will have one (or more) polys and by cloning parts of this poly the mesh will start grooving, and you will get your model.

On the image above you see two faces that form a polygon. Face is a triangle, and Poly has 4 corners (it does not have to be a square)
Start this type of modeling by creating a plane (I think this is the fastest way to start poly-by-poly modeling). Convert this plane to Editable Mesh or Poly

From here on, everything will happen in Sub-objects mode. This is a part where you clone part of one poly and get new poly. On the image above an edge was selected and by pressing shift and moving that edge a new poly was born.
Another way to create a new poly is to clone a vertex. Now you have 2 edges (3 vertexes) and one vertex. Turn on Create button in Polygon Sub-object mode. Select one by one vertex in circular motion. New Poly has been created (see image below left)

This is what you can get in just a couple of minutes

You have seen basics of Box and Poly-by-poly modeling techniques. It's up to you to decide which ones to use. The best thing would be to use them both. I start with Box modeling and use Poly-by-poly in some parts. Poly is a bit difficult because you have to imagine in advance what the model should look like. In Box modeling you will always have some rought shape that needs to be a little bit remodeled to get the final thing.

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 84325, pid: 0) Bag on Sun, 05 February 2012 1:03pm
Interesting point of view to 3d tutorials - I think about begining and the end of that tutorial, u r right that it is very important to take some break and care of our health too. I totally agree with that, good job at all
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