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Next Gen Character Chapter 1

By Joseph Harford
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Date Added: 1st August 2012
Software used:
3ds Max, ZBrush

Part 1b - 3ds Max

Optimisation and topology are vitally important in real-time character creation. Whether it's for video games, the web, or interactive media, polygon count and topology should be high on your priority list. If you have a budget of 10,000 tris for a character (most game studios work with tri count as opposed to poly count), plus clothes and accessories, there are a number of considerations to decide on while building. Things like: How am I going to spend those tris wisely? Which areas should have the most tris? How can I go about creating animation-friendly topology with as few tris as possible and how can I keep the silhouette as smooth and edge-free as possible with the minimum amount of tris? These questions are vital, and should be asked all throughout the process of modelling a character. They should be considered at each stage and should be present in all your decisions during this part.

I am using 3ds Max 2009, but older and newer versions will not be too different. On the left of the screenshot I have a modelling toolbar with very useful scripts and features by a genius Maxscript artist, Remus Juncu (http://313designstudio.com/rappatools) (Fig.00). Common selection shortcuts, view shortcuts, edge loop tools, wire colouring and much more are all part of this absolutely free toolset, and I find them extremely useful while modelling or retopologising models. Feel free to go and try them out and see if they can improve your workflow. I won't be using any of the functions during the tutorial except the view and selection shortcuts, so don't worry if you haven't got them installed.

1489_tid_Fig00.jpg
Fig. 00

1. We'll start off by importing the model into 3ds Max. Open 3ds Max and go to File > Import. In the File Type dialogue, find Wavefront OBJ, and select the exported model that we created in Part 1A (Fig.01).

1489_tid_Fig01.3DSMax-Part1b_01.jpg
Fig. 01

2. When I import with the default options the model application is flipped 180 degrees, upside down. In the co-ordinates boxes at the bottom of the screen, enter 180 into the Y box so the model will rotate right-side up (Fig.02).

1489_tid_Fig02.3DSMax-Part1b_02.jpg
Fig. 02


3. Now it's important to convert our model from editable mesh to editable poly. There are a few reasons for doing this: editable poly is a newer and more complete modelling solution, providing us with access to the newer 3ds Max modelling tools; It also eliminates the possibility of double-sided polys and extruded edges, which in most game and real-time engines will cause errors or fail to export. Right-click over our viewport and click Convert To > Convert to Editable Poly (Fig.03).

1489_tid_Fig03.3DSMax-Part1b_03.jpg
Fig. 03





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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 174916, pid: 0) Mobin-hi on Sat, 05 January 2013 5:47pm
Hi!!!! this is an amazing tutorial!!! im w8ing for the chapter 2 ! i was looking for somthing like this but i didnt find it untill now :D tnx man when will you write the chapter 2?? i really need it man please write it :D srry for my bad english :D
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