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Thinking Outside the Box:
3DS Tutorial #1: CyberGuy

Vol. 2, Issue 13 
February 23, 2000 

Press Attach and now all the shapes are merged into one.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Now for some trickery.  Change your viewport to wireframe mode, go to the Modify panel, click on Sub-Object/Spline.  Select all the splines in the front view.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Shift drag the splines over to the right and click on Detach.  Click OK at the prompt.  Don’t worry about the name unless you want to name it something. 

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

As you’ve noticed by now I don’t normally name everything I make since I do a lot of attaching, merging and consolidating of shapes and objects.  If things get tricky and hard to follow then I resort to naming conventions for the shapes and objects.  Otherwise I save the naming for the end as a finishing move for the mesh parts.

Select the new object and go up to Tools/Mirror. 

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Make sure the Mirror dialog box has the X axis and No Clone areas checked and hit OK.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Next turn the viewport back to Smooth + Highlights and slide the mirrored shape over to the right position.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Attach the mirrored shape to the first shape and close the open lines by using Modify/Sub-Object/Vertex/Connect…

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Once you connect the hips shape go ahead and detach that spline and rename it to hips.  While we’re at it let’s go ahead and detach the head and side splines naming them ‘head’, ‘chest’, ‘calf’, and ‘foot respectively.  We’ll do the other body parts as well, but for now we’ll just do these.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Now we can start clearing up the workspace a little bit as we turn the shapes into meshes.  Select the shape we’ve been working on, go over to the Display tab and click on Hide Unselected.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Hit P and Zoom Extents, centering the scene in the perspective window.  Rotate the view so you’re looking obliquely at the shape and lose the grid if it pops up.  Go to the Modify tab and click on the Extrude modifier.  Enter a value of 6 for the extrusion and keep the segments to 1.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Next add an Edit Mesh modifier, go to Sub-Object/Face and with the Element icon selected, drag select the left arm structure.  Go down near the bottom of the menu and click on Detach.  Call the new object ‘arm’.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Turn the Sub-Object button off, go to the Display panel, uncheck the Edges Only box and hit Hide Selected to isolate the arm. 

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Hide Unselected and Hide Selected are both useful and I can’t really say I use one more than the other.  Although since I have alt-H bound to Hide Selected I probably use it slightly more than the other.

Before we start working on the arm, let’s make it easier to see the changes we make.  Go to your viewport name (Perspective) and right-click to change the view to Other: Facets.  Check the Edged Faces as well.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Once I begin my mesh with either a primitive or extrusion, my next most crucial technique is Edge manipulation.  I use edge divide and edge turn literally hundreds of times during the course of creating and optimizing a model.  The ease with which Max allows you to manipulate edges is a major reason why I use it as my modeling tool. 

So, let’s begin the arm by starting with the shoulder.  With the arm selected go to the modify panel and go to Sub-Object/Edge and activate Divide near the bottom.  Once you do divide these edges here, here and here…

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

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Credits: Illustration © 2000 Dan Zalkus. Thinking Outside the Box is © 2000 Paul Steed. All other content is © 2000 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited, bitch.