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

Vol. 2, Issue 13 
February 23, 2000 

The yin to Divide’s yang is Turn.  Activate edge Turn and turn the edges you just created like so…

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Now we can do a little vertex manipulation.  First we’ll use Vertex/Weld/Selected.  Change your Weld Thresh to 10.  Select these two vertices and hit selected…

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

You may wonder why I divided the edge and welded the vertices instead of simply lowering them.  It’s pure convenience.  Plenty of times I find myself dividing-turning-dividing-turning until I get the proper edge length I need to form a shape.  By dividing the edge and welding the vertices I keep the vertices along the plane of the edge of the mesh.  It’s basically a cheap way of moving vertices and has nothing to do with edges, really.  It’s just a type of modeling I’ve grown to like and sometimes I do push the vertices in a case like this to break out of the routine of dividing-turning-welding.

Now lets tweak the shape of the shoulder by scaling the vertices along the bottom edge.  Select the two vertices along the bottom edge of the shoulder.  Right-click over the object and choose Scale from the transforms.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

We want to do a Non-Uniform Scale so change to that type…

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Make sure the Y axis is active and scale the two vertices by 150%.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Next we’ll work on the upper arm.  First we need to do some edge dividing…

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

…then some vertex welding…

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

…and turn an edge. 

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

See the pattern here?  Divide…weld…turn.  Live it, learn it, love it.  Let’s finish up by scaling the vertices of the inner top part of the upper arm by 130%.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Now move down to the wrist and weld the vertices at the bottom of the forearm…

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

…and the top of the hand …

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Turn the edges of the forearm and hand since they’re pretty deformed from the merges…

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

…and scale the wrist are in along the Y axis to make the area look…more wrist-like.

click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

So that almost finishes up the arm but now is the time to discuss a little modeling/design philosophy.  In low-poly modeling the limitations of making cool models in the least amount of faces possible embeds an approach of minimalism deep inside your brain.  One manifestation for me is the use of progressively smaller cross sections for limbs.

 

- Paul Steed is a 3D artist for id Software.

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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.