Modeling Stitching in 3ds Max

Modeling different types of models be it furniture, miscellaneous objects or even car interiors will usually mean that somewhere down the road you will have to model something that will require you to add stitching to it. Now this seemingly simple task can prove to be a bit of a problem, especially if you have never had to make it. I actually had someone ask for this on the YouTube comments, as they didn’t know how to deal with this issue.

So in this post i actually went over and created a video in which i try and explain how to get your stitching to look realistic. In the video you will see me explain two ways in which you can achieve this stitching effect. The first way that i will show you is going to be a “fake” way of making the stitching, which is a bit ironic to call it faking it as it will cover for about 95% of the cases in which you will need to have stitching. After that we will also explain the issues that you can get with the “fake” method and then we’ll go about showing another way of making the stitching with the “proper” geometry way which will also help us if we have X type stitching. So if this is something that you might want to learn then check out the video below.

After watching this video you should now have a better understanding on how to make stitching in 3ds Max. There is another way of making stitching and this is more for custom types of stitching but that will require us to go into ZBrush, and explain some extra options in there which will probably be a theme for another post which i will try my best to make when the time allows it.

So i hope you guys liked the video and you managed to learn something new, and like always if that is the case then subscribe, like and share it around. As that would be it for this video the only thing that is left is for me to say is .. Happy Holidays everybody, and Happy New Year !

( This was published on December 29th so if you are reading this at summer time or something like that, you should probably go out and enjoy the sun 🙂

Creating and detailing a Beanbag chair in 3ds Max and ZBrush

So here we are in today’s post trying to build upon what i said in the previous Introduction to ZBrush post that you can use Zbrush in your Archviz scenes, and give your models a very high amount of details, and at the same time have total control over everything. Now, since i haven’t covered anything else then the bare, bare minimum of ZBrush, i didn’t want to go overboard and start showing new features and tools that will probably make anyone not experienced with ZBrush straight out quit. I tried and kept it to the basics and managed to get the result that you will see at the end of the video by only using the standard brush, and a single alpha map.

While you are still reading and hopefully i still have your attention, you might want to go ahead and download the free program for baking textures, which in my opinion is the best option that is out there that costs no cash to use.

xNormals download link Clicky clicky here!

Provided that you downloaded the program, lets jump on and actually explain what you can expect to see in the videos.

In the first video we go over and build the base of out bean bag chair in 3ds Max. For this we start off with a plane as our ground and a sphere for our Bag model. With a bit of clever modification of the sphere and the use of the Cloth modifier. I have actually covered a bit of the Cloth modifier in an older post called Modeling a Pillow in 3ds Max so if you want to learn more about it check it out as well. We will also explain how to UVW unwrap the model so that we can apply textures to it. So if this sounds like something that you would like to see, then go ahead and watch the first video.

In the second video we will start in ZBrush where i will show you how you can import a model that you can start working on right away. We will explain briefly how to control subdivision in ZBrush, and then we will jump straight to sculpting in the details. We will also explain how to use maps (Alphas) to add details to our mesh in a very short time. After all of this is done i will show you how to quickly bake the high poly details by using the xNormals free program (get it from the link above). After that i will also explain how to deal with the issues that can arise from the normal map displacement. Again if all of what you read here interest you, then go ahead and watch the second video.

I really hope that you guys enjoyed watching these two videos as i am slowly trying to show everyone that when you are going after that perfect scene, knowing more software can only make you a better artist and in turn make your work quality better. I will try my best to make more videos for Max as well as blends between using Max and ZBrush while still keeping it as simple as possible so that even a total beginner can understand them, and more importantly follow along with them.

So that would be it for today’s post, if you guys liked the videos then subscribe, like and share the videos so it can reach more people, and hopefully they can learn something from it as well.

As an added bonus here is the alpha map that i used in ZBrush.

Folds Alpha

So Cheers everyone and Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

Introduction to ZBrush

And finally i decided it would be a about that time to get my feet wet with covering a bit of ZBrush in my videos. One of the things that i have actually noticed is that a lot of people don’t really know what ZBrush is used for, so they discard the idea of learning the software as they can’t find a justification to spend the time to learn it.

ZBrush is used for adding details, and micro details to high density meshes counting polygons in the millions. After that bake those details back onto the original mesh, and retain the details from the high poly mesh.

This is really helpful for the gaming industry, jewelery industry, as well as the 3D printing industry and the architectural visualization industry. Now if you can’t understand why would i choose to place the ArchViz industry in the the same mix with the 3D Printing and gaming industry, then you probably haven’t been in the loop and don’t realize that the game engines lately (Unity and UE4) have advanced so far that it will most probably be the go to destination for future visualization projects. If you want to get a quick idea check out the Paris Virtual Tour video from a while back (This is like year old video, and things have gotten even more advanced now)

Well ZBrush is right in the center of this as it is the go to software for when you want to fine tune your meshes and add details to them. So knowing that i decided to start simple, and make a few introduction videos to Zbrush that will be meant for someone that is a complete starter with the program.

In the very first video i basically start with explaining the UI of the program, as well as explaining how to navigate in the program. Even though this might sound like a silly thing, ZBrush actually has quite a bit of a “weird” way of navigating through it and it takes a bit of time to get accustomed to it. So before anything else, go ahead and watch the first video.

In the second video i go over brushes in ZBrush. In this video you will learn the importance of the brushes, what they do and how can they be used to sculpt and manipulate your mesh. I managed to squeeze in a short intro about the Standard brush, Clay Buildup, Damien Standard (Dam_Standard), hPolish and a few more other brushes. We will also see about the Add and Subtract options that the brushes have, as well as their function. So if this sounds interesting then check out this second video.

And in the third and last video we will cover a tiny bit of everything as we will touch base with the move brush, the transpose tools, we will have a chance to see what Dynamesh is and what it’s used for as well as a bit of masking. Like i already said this is all just a very quick preview on what Zbrush has to offer and it’s only the beginning. So check out this third video in the introduction to ZBrush mini series.

And with that we opened the season for ZBrush tutorials. I will continue to make new tutorials for 3ds Max as well as ZBrush, and a bit down the road we will start to mix them up and combine them together in a work pipeline that will focus on giving you extreme control over the details you want to add while at the same time to cut down on the time it will take you to create them.
What i actually learned from making these videos is that going on about general stuff in ZBrush is generally not a bad idea if you don’t have a time limitation, but when you want to keep it within 20-30 min mark then it should be more focused on one thing which is something i will try to do in future videos.

In all the previous posts when i get to the end i tell you that with that we wrap up that theme, well today with this post we are opening up the doors for more ZBrush videos which i really hope will be a fun endeavor for me, and an educational experience for you guys. So if you liked the videos then don’t forget to subscribe and like them and share them around so they can reach more people.

P.S. I know i kinda screwed up the intro text to the videos as it says New And Amazing intro video, but i wasn’t going to spend another 2 hours rendering just to fix that little screw up, and also i’m pretty sure that most wouldn’t have picked up on that if i hadn’t pointed it out.

UVW Unwrapping in 3ds Max

I have received a few requests about making a video that will cover UV Mapping as well as a few others asking for a video on making a low poly model and then transferring the details from a high poly to the low poly model (Bake down the textures). Well this post should be the answer to the first request, and a base for the second one as you need to know UVW unwrapping if you ever want to do get into low poly models and baking (most notably for gaming). And lets see how this goes.

So you made your first 3D model that is not a primitive geometry, and now you want to add a texture to it. What happens now though is that once you apply the texture to it, it simply doesn’t look anything like the texture, either that or you are getting a flat color. Well the reason for this is that when you have a model that is simply more complex than the standard primitives, you need to UVW Unwrap that model.

So how do i UVW unwrap a model?
Well the first thing you need to understand is what is UVW Unwrapping? The definition of unwrapping is the process in which you are telling your software how to apply a 2D image (texture) to a 3D model. So in order to be able to make that transition from a 2D plane to a 3D model we have our UVW Unwrap modifier in 3ds Max. If you want to get a better idea on how the logic behind unwrapping works simply think about wrapping a present. At the moment of writing this article is before Christmas and New Year so it would be easy to think about it in this manner. Let’s say that you have bought a friend or a family member a a sculpture or a toy of some sort and you want to wrap it in a nice festive wrapping paper. The thing is that you don’t want to box it, but instead you want to wrap the paper around the gift without making the paper look all squished and garbled up. In order to keep the paper on top of your present all nice and festive, you will need to cut it up in smaller pieces, and then glue or tape them all back together. Well this is EXACTLY what UVW mapping is doing, it’s taking the wrapping paper, cutting it into small manageable pieces and then putting it all back together. So that’s the general idea behind it, so now lets jump in and see the technical approach to it in 3ds Max.

In the first video we will cover the basics of unwrapping, as well as get our feet wet with unwrapping a Box a 3D Rectangle and a Cylinder. By unwrapping these few simple models we will see how to work with the UVW Unwrap modifier and how the Unfold and Flatten mapping works. I won’t keep explaining much more as you will be able to see all about it in the actual video here.

In the second part of the video we jump over to unwrapping a Cone and a Torus (Fancy word for a Doughnut). With the help of these two models we will learn more about Stitching and Breaking of UV islands as well as Pelt Mapping. So again i leave you with the video so you can see it for yourself.

And the third part of the Unwrapping series will cover unwrapping a Sphere, Geo Sphere and a modified Teapot. With the help of the Sphere and the Geo Sphere we will learn more about the Quick Peel option and the Point to Point seams cutting. And the modified teapot is there so that we can try and use everything we saw in these videos and get the teapot unwrapped.

So with that we more or less round up the basics of the UVW unwrapping. Now just to make it clear this is not all there is to say about UVW unwrapping, not even by a long shot, but it is enough to know to have a base on which you can continue to build upon.

Before i forget and finish up with this post, if you want to use the texture i used or some other UV Checker texture you can get them for free from Google, but if you don’t know how to get them (I really see no reason as to why not, but hey …) then simply follow this link straight to a Google Search.

And that would be it for this post, so if you managed to learn something new and you liked the videos, then help spread the word and like and share the video on YouTube and Facebook.

VRay IES lights in 3ds Max

Time for another V-ray lighting video. The idea for this video came from a comment on YouTube asking for a tutorial that will explain how V-Ray IES lights work. This is really not a very complicated matter so it was a pretty straight forward task for me to record it, or so i thought until my first go at recording crashed near the end and i had to start from the beginning. But that aside i can safely say that i went over most of the important things that you need to have and know to be able to use VRay IES lights. I’ll try to keep the chatter to a minimum as what i want to leave here is the video and the links to the sites that i go over in the video.

So in the video we will first explain what IES lights are, and how do they look like in an exterior and interior scene. After that i’ll show you how you can get a visual rendition of the IES files without getting it into 3DS Max and on top of that i’ll even give you a few great sources for IES lights. So if you are here reading this, then i would guess that you are interested in this theme so i’ll leave you here with the video.

If you watched the video you probably saw me going to a few different sites, so for your easy access here are the sites with the respected links.

IES Viewer The first thing that you want to grab so you can follow along.
ERCO The site that has the detailed info as well as the IES files for lighting fixtures
Lithonia The other site that has the large collection of IES files that you can get for your project work

And that would be it for this post, so if you managed to learn something new and you liked the videos, then help spread the word and like and share the video on YouTube and Facebook.

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