3ds Max Modeling with Smoothing Groups

Hey everyone and welcome to today’s topic on 3ds max modeling, with the help of smoothing groups. First of all i want to note that this was initially a 2 part video. Upon finishing the original recording i actually saw that i was breaking an NDA that i had signed. NDA’s are a pain, so i rerecorded the video to what you see here. But like all things everything has to have a start, so lets start from the beginning.

3ds Max Modeling with Smoothing Groups ?

You can do 3ds Max modeling with two different approaches. First is with chamfered edges approach to get the round look on edges. The second one is with the help of supporting geometry and turbosmooth modifier. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. So it would be great if we can combine the positives from the two workflows into one. This is where the modeling with smoothing groups comes into play.

How do we combine them ?

Combining these two workflows is really not that hard as you will be able to see in the video below. The short explanation would be that we will use two different turbosmooth modifiers in one stack. The difference  is that the curvature of the faces will be controlled by the smoothing group.

smoothIf you have never worked with smoothing groups, you can change them by finding the menu. As you can see in the image here the smoothing groups look like a bunch of numbers in a calendar. The polygons that have the same smoothing group (SG) will try to make a smooth  surface. So if you have two or more polygons with the SG1 they will try to make a smooth surface. And if those polygons meet with other polygons with a different SG you will get a sharp edge. This right here is the base of the whole workflow of using smoothing groups for modeling.

How does this help us ?

Understanding the SG concept is the base of working with this approach. The idea is that like i already said we will use two turbosmooth modifiers. The first one will control where the edges and curves will show up based on the SG. At same time the second one will control the sharpness of the edges. Now this is actually not that hard to grasp, and when explaining it it sounds a bit more complex. So instead of me trying to further explain how this works,  check out the video below and see for yourself.

Final Thoughts

If you watched the video and are back here reading this then kudos to you. As you might have seen it’s a fairly powerful approach to modeling. The place where this shines is rapid prototyping modeling. So basically when you need to make your models very fast while they are still subject to changes. That means that this kind of modeling is more forgiving towards small issues and is very easy to modify. The down side is that it will give you a rather dense mesh. But at the same time Max has no problems with dealing with dense meshes if they are modifier stacks. The main issue is if you want to UV unwrap these models, in that case they can be a pain. So all in all it’s a great way of modeling, and especially if you have to make high poly models.

So i hope you guys enjoyed this video, and you managed to learn something new today. That would be all for today, and as always if you enjoyed it help by sharing it around. Bye for now and i will see you next time.

Modeling a PVC Window in 3ds Max

Hey everyone and welcome back after a small posting break. The subscribers to the YouTube channel, or the FB page have seen my last post. If you are not subscribed (shame on you) then keep reading. In today’s post we are going to cover how to model a PVC window in 3ds Max. So let us jump right in.

Why Model This ?

Now this is not a stupid question but rather a good one. The reason for modeling this is so that you can get an extra level of detail in your scenes. I’ve actually seen many people when it comes down to making windows and doors, they simply put in a box. The issue with using a simple box, is that you are pretty much confined. That means that you can’t open the door or window as it will look fake. On top of that since it’s a box there is no extra details on the edges from the AO map. So as you might have figured it out it can be very beneficial to have proper model for this.

Preparing for the modeling of the actual window

modeling-a-pvc-window

 

 

First of all, when approaching any model that you want to make, you need to have proper reference image. When modeling a PVC window what you need to know is that the frame has a profile. What this means is that we can google search for PVC profiles and get a better idea. Now once you find a window or door profile, you need to have the shape of the window. You can choose any profile you want, or you can choose the one that i used.

 

 

Modeling of the Window

If we have the profile, and the shape of the window we can start with the modeling phase. This might look a bit complicated, but it really is quite simple to model. In the video below you will see how to trace the profile. How to get it to the right size for your window, and reuse the wall frame for the window frame. After we have that we will see how and why we need to chamfer the edges. After all that we will have the PVC model of our window. As they say a picture is worth 1000 words, and a video 20 minutes. So if you want to see how i went ahead to model this then check out the video below.

 

Final Thoughts

After watching the video you probably have seen that this is quite easy to model. And even as such i hope you guys had fun, and learned something in the process. If you did then help spread the word, and like comment and share this on social media. That would be all for today, and i will see you all in the next post.