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Next Gen Character Chapter 1

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Date Added: 1st August 2012
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4. Unlike clay or wood sculpting, 3D artists have the luxury of symmetry modelling, with one side automatically updating as we work. To do this in 3ds Max we need to remove one side of the model and apply a symmetry modifier. Select half of the mesh after switching to the front view (default hotkey [F]). Make sure that the Ignore Backfacing option is turned off. Selecting half of the model by using a rectangular selection will select both the polygons facing and not facing our camera (Fig.04a - Fig.04b).

Fig. 04a

Fig. 04b

5. On the right of our Max screen we have the modifier stack. This is a collection of all the modifiers that can be applied to our currently selected object. Click on the down arrow to open the dropdown box, and select Symmetry. You can also drop down the box and start typing the name of the modifier to quickly select it. The modifier is applied to the object and we can adjust the settings.

In the settings for the symmetry modifier, the correct axis to use is X, as we want the model to be mirrored in the X plane. We want Weld Seam to be enabled, as this will weld each vertex along the symmetry plane together. The threshold setting decides the distance a vert has to be from its mirrored version to be welded together: a too high threshold results in collapsing of too many verts together; a too low setting results in un-welded vertices. Reduce this number to zero, and while holding Alt, drag the spinner upwards until you notice all the vertices have been welded (holding Alt while manipulating a spinner in Max gives you a finer control of the increments adjusted) (Fig.05).

Fig. 05

6. Click Editable Poly underneath the newly added modifier. We will work underneath the symmetry modifier for the remainder of this section, collapsing again when ready to export, with no asymmetry being put into the model pre-high poly.

We can move onto cleaning our model now, ready for adding and modifying the topology. The area I always start with is underneath the arms. I want all areas of the mesh to be visible, with no intersecting polygons. Go ahead and enter Vertex sub-selection mode [1] and select vertices in the arm region. Select all that are intersecting, plus a few more in the surrounding area to ensure a smooth transition (Fig.06).

Fig. 06

7. Now, as we did in the earlier step, find the Relax modifier from our modifier stack. Apply this to the model by selecting it from the list and adjust the settings to match the ones in the image (Fig.07). As mentioned before, we are trying to eliminate any overlaps or intersections to assess the topology properly.

Fig. 07

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Mobin-hi on Sat, 05 January 2013 5:47pm
Hi!!!! this is an amazing tutorial!!! im w8ing for the chapter 2 ! i was looking for somthing like this but i didnt find it untill now :D tnx man when will you write the chapter 2?? i really need it man please write it :D srry for my bad english :D
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