Monday, 13 April 2009

Edit spline 101

Over the past few days I have been asked to help a few people out with tricky shapes in Max.

Now normally I am an edit Poly man, (use to be edit mesh till Richie C showed me the way forward back in the day) however every now and again you come up against a shape that just can not be made with edit poly.

There are many ways to model in Max, and splines can get you out of sticky problems.
Last year I started to model the 101 DMU (yes I know soon I promise) I left it on a shelf due to real world stuff.

As you can see it is pretty messy around the top corner. The main problem was I did not understand the shape till I went on a research trip. It became clear that I totally got it wrong, though most would not notice once it was in game and textured up.

Things like this bug me so once I got a few hours spare I set about remodelling it using splines.

I used my old model as an example and made simple lines in max around the shell.

I made all the corners Bezier corners and tweaked the handles in the front/side and top views so that my curves are exactly how I wanted them. I then added a surface modifier. (Like throwing a blanket over a wire mesh)

Now, something odd happened at this point. For some reason the surface would not render, it seems like my model was too small, I scaled it up by a factor of ten and all was good. (I shrunk it down once I was finished but I need to get to the bottom of that!)

As you can see the polys are a bit 'fluid' but the shape is correct. I wanted a rounded corner from the front to the roof so I chamfered the leading edge once at 3cm then the 2 new edges at 1cm.

Once I was happy with my shape I straightened up polys. I did this by using the slice tool and deleting the old edges and verts.

I boolean'd the windows. Normally boolean is bad, but if you use cut instead of intersection it normally works out fine, (well better than it use to!)
Much still to do but at least I am happy with the foundations.




Danny said...

That's quite useful stuff to know as a novice modeller like myself. Thanks!

Darren said...

It does look excellent Derek, as Danny has said, there could be something useful for me to refer to in the future too.

Shawn Driscoll said...

I'm afraid to use booleans. Glad they have worked for you. Yes, booleans are better than they used to be.