Modeling Books and Populating Books Shelves in 3ds Max

One of the most common things that you will get to make in the visualization business is modeling books. Modeling books can be quite useful when you want to give your scene some detailing and general depth.

In most cases the modeling of books is helpful when you need one or a few books to place around. You can also use those same 3D books to populate a big book shelf or a full on library. For something like this you generally need to have a 3D model ready. It can be something that you made in the past or maybe even bought or downloaded from a 3D store. Even if you don’t have a model like this it’s not a big problem as you can model one for yourself. Well in today’s post we will cover just that. In the two videos below you can see the whole process.

Detailed Explanation

In the first video we will start from scratch and create our book. We will create the base in low poly which will allow us to make quick tweaks to the shape and size of our book. As an added bonus the unwrapping of the texture will be much simpler and easier to do. After the book modeling portion is done, we will find a suitable texture for the front page and see how we can quickly switch it with another texture. That will help us make different types of books. After all that is done we will go over how to create the custom texture for the pages in Photoshop. And in the end we will put it all together to form up our finished book model. So go and check the video below.

In the second video we will continue from where we left off in the end of the first video. We will take the 3D book model and will copy it around a few times. After making the copies we will download the Book Scatter script from Moure Lask’s website. Now that you have the script you will be able to follow along with the video. We will see how to make our models populate a custom size shelf, and how to randomize it. In this second video we will go over all the details of how the script works, and will focus on each of the options individually. So go and check out the video for yourself.

After watching these videos you should now have a better understanding on how to create books, as well as book shelves. I really hope you guys had some fun going through the videos, and more importantly you learned something new.  If that was the case then leave a comment, like and share so more people can see this post. That’s all for today so i’ll see you all in the next post.

Creating a Base Armature for sculpting in ZBrush

Here we are back with another post about ZBrush. Today’s topic is a very simple concept and that is creating a base armature on which you can then continue sculpting. Main difference in working with traditional modeling software VS sculpting is that when you are working on a sculpt you have much more freedom to tweak your model as you aren’t constrained by technical issues. Another thing is that it’s a much faster way of making a model and at the same time bringing your concept to life. Well in today’s post we will see how we can build a base in Zbrush on which we can then proceed to continue sculpting.

In the first part we will start with a short explanation on what are ZSpheres and how to use them to get the base that we want to construct. In this video you will learn the basics on working with ZSpheres and how to control the detail level through the adaptive mesh. There really isn’t too much to explain as the video is pretty self explanatory so go ahead and check it out.

In the second one we will continue and expand on working with ZSpheres by adding in how to work with ZSketch and explain the main difference between it and ZSphere. You will also see how you can combine the results that you can get from ZSpheres and ZSketches into one subtool. Again it’s a short and self explanatory video so check it out.

Ok so if you’ve seen the videos you now probably have a better understanding on how quick and easy it is to get a basic armature shape for your prototyping stage. All in all as i have said multiple times in the past, ZBrush is an amazing piece of software that it would be great to have in your arsenal of skills.

That would be it for today and if you enjoyed this post then share, like and comment on it so it can reach more people.

Basics of Retopology

Ok so here we are back again after almost a month of no updates. Today we will go over a topic that is generally overlooked by people that don’t specifically have to do it, and that is Retopology. The first question that we would answer would be what is Retopology. Well Retopology is the process in which you have a pre existing high density detailed mesh, and on top of that mesh you build a new mesh with clean geometry. This is widely used in gaming models where you want to have all the details from your sculpt into the game engine, or another place would be in Photogrametry or even when you go ahead and download a free 3D model that you like but it has crappy geometry that really doesn’t work with your scene.

So having said that in this post i will go over the bare basics of retopolgy in a few different software packages. This will be divided into three different videos covering the Retopology workflow in ZBrush, 3ds Max and 3D Coat.

In the first video we will start in ZBrush. Here we will go over the basics of the automated ZRemesher feature, then explain a bit how we can control the ZRemesher with the help of guides and then we will jump over to the manual way of Retopology in ZBrush with the help of ZSpheres. All in all it’s a decent way to do retopo in Zbrush and if this is something that would interest you then check out the video below.

In the second video we will take the same base and start the retopology process inside 3DS Max. Here we will go over the tools in the modeling ribbon, we will see how we can create, modify and move the new mesh around, and also see how we can mix up the retopology workflow with general modeling workflow. So go ahead and check out the video below.

In the third video i decided to make the first video in 3D Coat. In this video i stuck to only the retopology section in 3D Coat as this was the focus on the video, but in all honesty i will probably make more videos about 3D Coat as it truly is an amazing piece of software. In this video we will see how we can create the base mesh, and we will dive in a bit in the options of the different tools and brushes. But enough explanations go ahead and check out the video below.

So with these three videos we basically saw the basics of retopology in different software packages, but if you have access to different softwares then you can do it there as well. Maya, Blender and Topogun are three other softwares that do amazing work when it comes to retopo but i really didn’t want to go ahead and do it for those packages mainly because i’m not too comfortable with using them, which doesn’t mean that they are not awesome.

So that would be it for today, i hope you guys have fun watching these videos and more importantly learn something new. If that is the case don’t forget to comment, like and share it around.

Creating Clothing for Game Characters with Marvelous Designer

So today we are starting with a something a bit different then the usual modeling topics, namely in this post i will try to address a request i have received about making a video on clothing creation. This is where i had the option to start in Marvelous Designer and use the default avatars in there for the tutorial, or i could opt in for a more interesting stylized character and have some fun, needless to say i went with the second choice. Now before i go any deeper into explaining i want to note one VERY IMPORTANT thing, that is that the model that i used is not mine but was taken from Arrimus3D subscriber giveaway. In case you have never heard of him then i am really happy to introduce you to another amazing content creator from which you can learn a lot. So once you check Arrimus and get the model then you can come back and have the means to follow along with this post videos in which we will try and make clothes for the model. When i started i actually had in mind to make everything packed into one video, but as soon as i laid down the ideas and what i had to cover i decided to split it into a few parts.

In the first part of the videos i will show you how to import the model you downloaded from Arrimus3D and set it up as an avatar. After that i will explain the basics on creating pants for your characters. We will go over the importance of symmetry and why it’s a great idea to use them where we can, which will be followed by the basics on pants creation. You will see the importance of the belt, the size of the leggings and as an added bonus we will even see how we can add some extra bit of stylized finish on the end of the pants so it covers the pig feet, we do want to make him look classy 🙂 But enough of the explanation, check out the first video about the pants creation below.

In the second part we will move on to making a shirt for our fashionable piggy. We will start off by explaining how to make a basic skin tight shirt on which we will add some wrinkling which will in turn give us more realistic look. After that we will go and make the shirt appear as it was held in place with buttons as well as add some sleeves to it. In the end we will also explain how to deal with excess cloth we might have on our shirt, and as a bonus we will explain what diamonds are and where to use them and why. So all in all it should be an interesting video to watch, so go ahead and check it out.

And the third video actually ended up as a bonus video as it wasn’t really planned but it kinda happened for one reason alone, and that reason was because the model was kinda lacking a something little extra to cover up the back. So with that issue in hand we ended up with the third video in which i will show you how to create a very simple cloak for your character. And again go ahead and check out the video for the cloak making below.

OK so if you checked out all the videos and are back to reading this then i only want to note one more time for you guys to go and check Arrimus3D on YouTube because as i stated previously you will find a treasure cove of information on his YouTube Channel. As for this post this about wraps it up for today, so if you did enjoy it and you managed to learn something then help spread the love and like, comment and share it around on the social network of your choice. And as always i will see you all in the next post.

Creating a Marvelous Designer Chesterfield Ottoman and Floor Rug

Today’s post is an answer to a question that i was asked a few times, namely how do you use Marvelous Designer to create a puffy Chesterfield type of Ottoman furniture. Now If you have ever had the need to model a Chesterfield furniture you are well aware that it can be a drag, and quite the bore making one, as it really does take a bit of time to make it. In today’s post i will show you a way in which you can create a type of “fake” chesterfield Ottoman (A small puffy chair) with the help of Marvelous Designer.

In the first video you will see how to create the Chesterfield base out of six pieces of fabric. Then we will proceed to add the inner lines that will define the division between the buttons which give the distinct look, and we will see how to control the strength of those lines. As an added bonus we will also see how to make the Ottoman models have extra bit of wrinkles which are more common for cloth fabrics opposed to leather ones. So if this might interest you check out the video below.

The second video is a bit of a bonus video as it covers a topic that i probably should have covered when i made the Complex Rugs and Simple Rugs posts as it does explain how to make the what i call “Marvelous Designer Rug”. What i mean by that is one of those rugs that have an inner pattern that is giving it that area shrink and weft look, which in turn is giving your scene a more daily usage look. As the method of creating this kind of a rug is very much similar to creating the Ottoman and it’s a great exercise i decided to squeeze it in here. So go ahead and check out this video as well.

So with those two videos watched you should now have a better understanding of what inner shapes do in Marvelous Designer and how to use them to get great looking results. One thing that i have to note is that MD is an amazing piece of software, and with the videos i’ve made so far about it we are just scratching the surface of what it can do. So if you are working in a field where you have to do a lot of cloth simulation then it might be a good idea to pick up MD if you still haven’t done so.

Ok so if you’ve watched the videos and are still reading this then i would like to ask you guys to leave your comments either here, or on YouTube and tell me your thoughts on MD tutorials. And for now that would be it, like always if you did enjoy them like and share them around, and keep coming back for more.

Modeling Complex Carvings And Shapes on Uneven Surfaces in 3ds Max

In today’s post we will cover a bit of a complex topic and that is how to model complex shapes like carvings and such on uneven surfaces, or rounded ones. Generally from what i’ve seen many 3D artists do when they have to model some complex shape on an uneven surface, they go ahead and manually start building the model and move the vertecies one by one to get the carving to conform to the surface. Well that approach is not wrong, hell in some cases it’s the only option there is to take, BUT and this is a big but there is a way to work around issues like this and kinda cheat to save on time and nerves. This cheat that i am talking about is what this post is all about, but in order to be able to follow along you will need to download a script which you can get from the link below.

Download SlideKnit Script

OK so if you have already downloaded the script then you are all set. Now in case you don’t know how to install the script don’t worry as in the video below you will see me explain it step by step on how to install and how to make a custom menu inside 3ds Max and dock the plugin there. So after we go over how to install the script i’ll show you the model that i have in the scene that will help me showcase different types of scenarios for the SlideKnit script. You will see how you can wrap different types of geometry on different types of surfaces. Another important thing to note is that i will go and explain how you can unwrap rounded surfaces so they end up with planar UVW layout, which is actually quite important in our case. But enough with the intro, if what you saw here is something that might sound interesting to you go ahead and watch the video below.

So after watching the video i have to note one thing about myself personally, and that is that i was sick and coughing when i was making the video so if i didn’t edit out some place and maybe a cough slipped by i apologize. That aside i’m really hoping you guys had fun watching the video, and more importantly managed to learn something new. As you were able to see, SlideKnit is a small but yet very powerful script that can give you amazing results. Also i want to note it here one more time that I AM NOT THE MAKER of this script, so if you know who is leave a comment and i will leave a backlink to the creator as he really does deserve the kudos for making it.

And that would be it for this post, you know the drill by now, if you liked the video then like, comment and share it around so it can reach more people. So until next time …

Modeling the Jagdkommando knife in 3ds Max

In today’s post we have a topic that’s a bit different from the topics that i’ve covered so far, namely today we are going to have a post about modeling a great looking combat knife. The knife that i chose to make is a bit unique as it actually has three edges and a twist. The knife that i am talking about is called the Jadgkommando and as you can see from all the images from the google search i wasn’t wrong when i said it’s unique looking. Well looks aside this knife is a really fun geometrical model to make, so i decided to make the videos below that show you how i managed to model it in a easy to follow tutorial.

In the first video we will go over how to model the complex blade that the knife has. We will work on one side and then take all that we have done and transfer it to the other two remaining sides, then we’ll deal with a bit of edge control and after that use the twist modifier. All in all it should be a fun video to watch and you might even pick up a few tricks.

In the second video we will continue where we stopped in the first one but we will focus on modeling the hilt (handle) of the knife. This shouldn’t be too complex to tackle but i will go ahead and use a few tricks from the modeling ribbon so you might learn something from there as well. It would be pointless to explain further about this video as it is quite self explanatory so go ahead and check it out.

So if you watched these videos you’ve seen me create the knife from the start and i am pretty confident that if you choose to follow along you will be able to recreate my result. With that we are finishing our post and calling it done. I hope you guys enjoyed the video, had fun and most importantly learned something new down the line. So don’t forget to subscribe, like and share and come back for more.

P.S. As an added bonus here is the image that i made and used in the video to help me model the knife
Side_Blueprint

Creating Welding and modeling with OpenSubDiv in 3ds Max

In today’s post we are still sticking to modeling techniques, but this time around i went ahead and made the post about a certain something instead of a general terminology. Namely i made it about how to model intersecting welded geometry. This is something that you can see in many, many models out there that are made out of pipes of some sort, and even though the welding is an integral part of the model a lot of modelers skip it. Now i will say it right off the start that it’s not rocket science, but if you have never done it then it’s a good thing to see how it’s done.

So in the video below we will see two different types of modeling and welding. In the first case we will see how to take two circular pipes, mash them together and make the welding where they touch. After that is made we are going to continue with the second example in which we will have a rectangular bar come into a circular pipe and meld into it’s shape, and again we will apply the same welding mark as we used in the first case. So if that is something that might interest you then check out the video below.

After the video about the welding, and pretty much the rest of the videos i did in the Modeling Techniques category you could have noticed that i used the Turbosmooth modifier to get the smooth geometry and support edges to control the sharpness of the edges. Well there is another option, or another way that you can model and that is by using the OpenSubDiv modifier. The main difference between Turbosmooth and OpenSubDiv is that by taking the second choice we don’t have to add additional geometry to our model but instead control the edge flow with creasing. The major advantage of this method is that it won’t screw up your UVW unwrap. Now It does sound a bit weird and complicated when you hear about it, but in all honesty it’s a pretty easy and straight forward process that is really not that hard to understand. So check out the second video to see how to use the OpenSubDiv modifier.

With that we are putting a cap on our post and calling it done. I hope you guys enjoyed the video, had fun and most importantly learned something new down the line. So don’t forget to subscribe, like and share and come back for more.

3ds Max Basic Modeling Techniques

Following last week’s post 3ds Max Basic Modeling and the very positive feedback i got about that video, naturally i got plenty of messages asking me to make more videos like it. Today’s post is all about that request, but right at the start i have to say that i was not really expecting the video (in this case it ended up being two videos) to be so on the long side. My initial idea was that i can make a general modeling tutorial, squish a bunch of information in another 20-30 min video and call it a day … boy was i wrong.

As soon as i started recording the video i actually came to the realization that trying to put all sorts of modeling tricks and tips in a single video would be impossible, unless that video is hours and hours long. Well since i highly doubt that anyone would like to sit and watch a video that long, i decided to split it into two videos and cover a certain area of modeling.

I will not stop making videos like these though, on the contrary. In the future i will continue making more geometry modeling tutorials, but i will pair them with another video in which i will show you an example of where you would use those techniques, as a sort of a filler explanation video. But enough with the intro chit chat and lets jump down to the actual videos.

In the first video i decided to take the road less traveled, and actually give a bit of an explanation on how to work with Boolean Operations. Now i am well aware that most of the 3d modelers out there will tell you that you should avoid working with Boolean Operations as they are like a plague and they can leave you with a nasty looking model. Generally that is what happens if you don’t know how the Boolean operations work, but if you do then you actually end up with a rather powerful tool at your disposal. So check out this first video and see how the Boolean Operations work.

In the second video we go over some of the more common issues you will encounter when modeling, and that is controlling edge flows, inserting new geometry on elevated (non-flat) surface, transitioning edge sharpness and intersecting geometry. All in all in this video you will see quite a bit on how to deal with these issues, and i have to add that it was actually fun making this video. As an added bonus at the end of the video i decided to go ahead and import the model that we ended up with in the first video, and use the things that we showed in this video and get to a state where it will have clean flowing geometry. If what you read here is something that you might want to see, then go ahead and check out the video.

So that would be it for now, I really hope you guys liked the videos and you managed to learn something new from it. If you enjoyed it then subscribe, like and share.

3ds Max Basic Modeling

Today’s post is a tad bit different from the posts that i have done previously, and it’s different in the manner that instead of covering how to make a certain something, in this post i focused on explaining the fundamentals of modeling in Max. And this is where we come to one of my secrets and mainly why i chose to do what i do, and that is simply that i love modeling. Once you know how the basics of geometry flow works, from there on it’s always a game trying to get the geometry as clean as possible and it always feels like a mini game that you want to win so it ends up being mainly fun (in some cases can be frustrating).

So in the video below i started from the most basic thing, and that is explaining how interpolation or subdivision works for splines. From there we will see the difference between NURMS smoothing and Turbosmooth. Then we will go over using Turbosmooth to smooth out the model by using smoothing groups, after which we will also cover the geometry support edges way. After that we will see how adding Turbosmooth can affect the volume of our model, and how we can adjust the model to compensate for the loss. So if this is something that might interest you, go ahead and check out the video below.

Now the original idea for this is that it will end up as the first post in a series of posts that i will do where i will try to cover different scenarios, and try and explain how you would go about and deal with an issue that might arise from that situation. I didn’t want to gather multiple videos and release them all in one post due to the fact that i was a bit busy this week so didn’t have the free time to record as much, and the second reason being that posts with multiple posts end up being posts that people skip as they see them as something that is too long.

So that would be it for this first part. I really hope you guys liked the video and you managed to learn something from it. If you enjoyed it then subscribe, like and share and if there is interest about these kinds of videos i will make more.

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