October 26, 2008

Making of Halloween pumpkin with 3ds Max – Part 1: The basics

Halloween is coming so it is time to model some pumpkins!

1. To make one you should first create a simple Sphere. In a Modifier panel change its radius to 50 and Segments to 32. Make it a nice orange color (252, 160, 0). You can Scale it a bit, so it doesn’t look like a ball.

2. Go to a Modifier list and choose Edit Poly: Vetex Sub-Object.
3. In a Front View choose the upper and the bottom vertexes and scale them inside – as shown on the image. Repeat it twice.

4. Now on the Top View choose every forth Edge and Loop them (ALT+L). Then go to scaling and pull these Edges inside.

5. Now chose Edges as shown on image and Scale them outside.

6. Make a copy of this model and scale it to be a bit smaller. Move it aside for a while.

7. Choose upper Polygons of the Bigger form and extrude them up to make a pumpkin steam. If it's too straight, connect Edges and move some Vertexes.

8. Press M on your keyboard and choose an empty slot. In a Material/Map browser choose Multi/Sub-object.
9. Change Set Numbers to 3 since you will use 3 colors – orange (255, 132, 0), green (0, 98, 12) and black (0, 0, 0). You will notice that each color has it's ID - we will use it soon.
10. Apply materials to your pumpkin - orange body and green steam. If there is some mixture in colors go back to Modifier panel and scroll down to Polygon Properties. Choose separately body polygons and set the Material ID's accordingly to the Material settings ID.

11. In a Modifier panel choose TurboSmooth to make our pumpkin smoother.
12. Change the background to white (8 on Keyboard) and Hit Render (F9).

The Basic pumpkin is ready.

Hope you found this tutorial useful.
If you have any question regarding it - feel free to ask.

October 15, 2008

VRay for 3ds Max: What is it and how it works.

VRay is the engine that makes your scene looks realistic. It is the magic that makes it look really great. It is the final touch of your amazing render.

But in order to make this magic work – it, of course, must be mastered.

While I was looking for ways to make my renders to look better, I mostly ran into the "read and do" tutorials. They guide you through the settings step by step but don't really explain what each of the settings and buttons actually do. Now don't get me wrong, these tutorials are great and usually work for me, but at times I felt really frustrated for not getting a more detailed explanation about how things work on a deeper level.

So I kept digging and searching for something to give me a true knowledge about this engine.
And you know what? I found what I was looking for.

I found two sites that give you a full explanation about how the VRay engine works.
The first one is VRayElite where Joe Pizzini gives an overview on all the settings. If you click the images you will find an official VRay manual with ALL the theoretical info.

Another site is Aversis where everything is explained in a very simple and understandable language. The writer also gives you some useful tips for the effective usage of these.

On both of these sites you will find some wonderful "read and do" tutorials.

Don't skip them.

October 07, 2008

Making of a Christmas Tree

Christmas is coming soon so I decided to create a simple, a bit abstract, but a very cool Christmas tree.

1. To create a Christmas tree we must first create its base which will be made of a Helix and a Circle.
To do that go to a Creation panel: Shapes and create a Helix in a Top view.

2. In a modify panel change its parameters as shown on the image to get this result. (50,1,90,5)

3. Go back to Creation panel: Shapes to create a circle in a front view.
In a modify panel change go to Parameters to change its radius to 2 and its Interpolation Steps to 20 to make it smoother.

4. Change its parameters in status bar also.

Now we're going to put these two together.

5. Choose Circle; go to Geometry - Compound objects and choose Loft.

6. Next choose Get path and then – back to choose the helix.

7. You can see that our base is a little bit edgy. To make it smoother choose the tree base again and go to a Modify list. Choose Skin Parameters menu and change Shape steps to 10 and Path steps to 20.

The base for our Christmas tree is ready.You can move Helix and circle aside so they won't make be a distraction.

And now the fun part begins because we're going to add some spikes to it.

8. Change the base color to dark green.
9. Choose your tree, go to a Modify Panel and choose a Hair and Fur from the modifier list – or press H on your keyboard.
10. On a dropdown menu Choose General parameters and start changing them. You can change the hair number with Count - 20000, its length with Scale - 25, its thickness with its Root - 4 and Tip Thick - 2.
11. To make the tree green go to Material Parameters menu and change a tip color to light green and root color to dark green.

12. Press 8 on your keyboard to change a Background Color to white.
13. Hit F9 to render. It might take some time – so be patient.

Any changes you wish to make - from Helix and Circle to Hair and fur parameters – you can. Any change will instantly appear.

That’s it for the tree part.
Hope you found this tutorial useful.

If you have any questions regarding this tutorial - don't hesitate to ask here.