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Pinbox: Part 1 - Modeling

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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In this two part tutorial on creating a pinbox model, I will show you how to go about modeling the main item from the frame to the pins, then I will conclude with showing you all how to animate it in part two. So let's get down to it.

1. Okay, start off by creating a rectangle, with length: 34.5, width: 24 and corner radius: 2.6.  Move it to XYZ: 0,0,8.5. Change the rectangle's Interpolation to 12, put an Extrude Modifier on the rectangle and set it to Height: 2. Convert to an Editable Poly, and name this object "Plastic Lid" (Fig.01).

2. Select the top and bottom polygon, and use the Inset tool with a value of .5.  Now delete the large remaining polygon.  Create an Arc with the two endpoints being the ends of the curved edge of the plastic lid, and increase the radius so it's out away from the geometry.  Rename the arc "Corner Center Point".  This will be used for selection purposes in a minute (Fig.02).Now the next several steps are about creating the geometry for the hole that the corner posts will make in the plastic.  You can just have the corner posts penetrate the Plastic Lid object, but if you want to be super picky and see the interaction of the surfaces correctly in the render then go on to Step 3.  If it's not that big a deal, don't delete the polygons after you inset, and skip to Step 17.  Really, this is a very tiny detail and will only be noticeable if you are looking really closely at the render.  If you skip to Step 17 you will notice that your plastic lid lacks a lot of the geometry shown in the example, but don't worry about it.

Fig. 01
Fig. 02

3. Go to the Reference Coordinate System (RCS), which is located on the main toolbar just to the right of the Scale tool.  Drop down from View to Pick. With your activated mouse cursor, pick the Corner Center Point and now you'll see that name in the RCS Window on the Main Toolbar (Fig.03).

Fig. 03

4. Select the edges of the inset curved edge and choose your Scale tool. Set the RCS to "Corner Center Point", click and hold down the icon just to the right of the RCS, and choose "Use Transform Coordinate Center" which is the one at the bottom.  Your Transform Tripod in the Viewport should not jump to the centre point of the Arc you created earlier.  Grab the XY plane of the Scale Tool, and hold Shift + Scale, then extrude these edges to a Scale of 50% (Fig.04).

Fig. 04

5. Right click and "Convert to Face" to select all the geometry you just created, then go to the "Named Selection Sets" window and type "Corner Faces".  Now choose the Rotate tool.  Again set the RCS to Corner Center Point, and "Use Transform Coordinate Center".  Shift + Rotate 90 degrees counterclockwise (Fig.05).

Fig. 05

6. Select one of the outer edges of the geometry you just created and hit the Loop tool to select all the outer edges.  Shift + Move along the X axis to create new geometry.  Now switch to your left viewport, hit "View Align" and go back to your perspective viewport (Fig.06).

Fig. 06

7. With the edges still selected, choose the Align tool, and click on the Plastic Lid object.  Uncheck the Y and Z axis, and set the Target Object to "Center" (Fig.07).

Fig. 07

8. Switch from edge selection to polygon, go to the Named Selection Sets and drop down to Corner Faces.  Set the RCS like we have before, and this time Shift + Rotate 90 degrees clockwise (Fig.08).

Fig. 08

9. Repeat the actions in Steps 6 and 7.  But when using View Align, go to Front Viewport instead of Left. And when you align the edges, use the Y axis instead of the X (Fig.09).

10. Go back to the polygon selection, and choose "Corner Faces" again, set the RCS, and Shift + Rotate 180 degrees (Fig.10).

Fig. 09
Fig. 10

11. Choose "Corner Faces" again, and switch from polygon to element sub-object mode.  Hold down Ctrl and click on the other areas you just created to select them.  With all of this selected, hit detach (Fig.11).

12. With Object01 selected, choose the Mirror tool, set to X axis, and select Clone Selection to Copy.  Repeat to get all four corners (Fig.12).

Fig. 11
Fig. 12

continued on next page >

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