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Making Of 'Compass and Paperclip'

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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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Hi everybody, I am Volkan Kacar. I am glad to share the development process of my latest work, 'Compass and Paperclip' - I hope you like it!


First of all, I would like to explain why I have chosen this particular scene to model, and why I have used Modo for the task. I had seen so many compasses in my life, thanks to my grandfather, and I have always thought about modelling a compass; however, because of my work I tended to forget about it, or I simply didn't have the time to do it. One day, one of my good friends, Cem Tezcan told me about Modo, with its advanced modelling tools. So I have now started studying Modo for modelling; its interface never bores the user whilst modelling, and its shortcut keys are all in fitting. I have been a 3ds Max user for 7 years now and yet decided to make this particular scene with Modo, rather than 3ds Max. My 'Compass & Paperclip' work became the first serious work that I have made with Modo. But on the other hand, I haven't abandoned the very powerful 3ds Max - I want to use both 3ds Max and Modo in my future works.

Now, you may understand why I didn't use any reference images for this piece because, as I mentioned before, I have seen so many compasses in my lifetime that I really didn't need to search for any reference photos, and I believe that was more like improvisation for me.
Right, so let's get on to the work now!

Modelling The Compass

I didn't use any reference images in my work; I simply started by adding a cylinder with a low number of segments into scene - I'll smooth the mesh later. This is the reason for using a cylinder with a low number of segments, as cylinders with a high number of segments can slow down the software unnecessarily (Fig01).

Fig. 01

I then switched to Poly mode and modelled easily using the Bevel function (the keyboard shortcut for Bevel is "B"). The shortcuts in Modo are what make it a much stronger programme (Fig02).

Fig. 02

Afterwards, I made my model smoother by using the Smooth tool (the shortcut for this is the Tab key). Some edges however should be sharper than others, and there are a few ways to achieve this. I sharpened the edges that I wanted to sharpen with the Edge Weight tool (Fig03).

Fig. 03

While modelling the metal accessory in front of the camera, I switched to Poly mode, selected the front faces, then copied them onto a new layer as a different object using the Ctrl + C shortcut (Fig04).

Fig. 04

I then bent the model using Bend Deform and finished the accessory using Bevel plus Subdivision (Fig05).

Fig. 05

At this point, the compass object was complete, but I also needed a compass with its lid closed. To do this, I used the Duplicate Clone function and fixed it with Rotate - this way I had a compass with a closed lid (Fig06).

Fig. 06

continued on next page >

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