Outside the Box:
By Paul "Villam" Steed
Another tip I discovered on my own recently but haven’t really seen or heard others talk about is the benefits of using the ‘Other-Faceted’ viewport mode…
The reason why this mode works so well is due to better volume representation. Kenneth Scott and I were talking the other day (KS is rapidly turning into a VERY good modeler, BTW). I mentioned to him that the two most important things to me in making a good model is every vertex in a mesh HAS to count, and the model has to have VOLUME. Models that are well done take up space, cast shadows and seem like they can knock or get knocked around. Fortunately if the former is true, the latter usually is, too.
Working in a faceted mode allows you to tweak vertices and find goofy edges that need to be turned or divided and tweaked because the default lighting of Max gives your mesh a better appearance of mass in this shading/viewing mode. Combined with ‘Edged Faces’, the ‘Faceted’ mode is near unstoppable as the best way to massage that mesh into perfection. Compare the following…
You may not see much difference and you’ll ALWAYS go back to wireframe mode frequently, but when you’re doing low-poly meshes where every face and every vertex counts then the pretty, a smoothed-out representation of your mesh is worthless. You need to see the faceted, low-poly representation of that mesh for you to effectively tweak it/build it.
Now compare the following solid-shaded modes with ‘Edged Faces’ on…
The ‘Smooth + Highlights’ mode is nice and very…supple-looking but completely useless if you want to make sure all those vertices, edges and faces are in the right place. Faceted is the way to go in my book (or in this case, ‘my column’).
But the problem with ‘Edged Faces’ is that it’s deceiving with the actual representation of where vertices and edges really are on the mesh. So I just dump the add-on and use only the ‘Faceted’ mode. Pushing and pulling vertices and turning edges for mesh integrity to make those minute adjustments is so ideal in the faceted mode, I just feel like being a redundant painintheass about saying it (faceted, faceted, f-a-c-e-t-e-d). Check this out…
Nice butt, huh. Now look at it in faceted mode…
No way. Looks like Kelly’s got a little hail damage back there via edges turned the wrong way. Easy enough to fix by turning them so the geometry stays convex and round…
Credits: Thinking Outside the Box logo illustrated and is © 1999 Dan Zalkus. Thinking Outside the Box is © 1999 Paul Steed. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't even try it. We've got really big guns, and we're ripped, baby.