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Various 3ds Max Models

Discussion in 'The Burning Brig' started by Armada, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    As some of you are aware, I started a games design degree last September, and so I've had less time to spend on PiratesAhoy! than usual.

    This was especially true of the past two months, during which I've been endlessly working on a 3D modelling assignment to make four very different items in 3ds Max. Those of you familiar with my ships for PotC and Hearts of Oak will know that I'm more familiar with Maya, so this has been a new learning curve for me.

    Now, I've finally completed this assignment, and I'd like to share the final models with you. :dance
    We weren't asked to work to any particular polycount, nor did the final renders have any requirements, apart from the resolution of 1280x720. The only specific criteria were the models we had to make.
    Without further ado, here are the final renders of my models (listed in the order I approached them):

    Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben)
    Polygons: 19,771
    Vertices: 21,596

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This one took the most time to make (several weeks), but part of that was down to me trying to find my way around 3ds Max. There are some things it does better than Maya, but equally it has quite a few frustrations that bugged me constantly.

    The texture took quite a while to make, editing a reference photo to alpha-map certain parts like the railings and tessellating the roof tiles, but I reckon it makes the otherwise very flat model look pretty good.
    The fireworks are Particle Flow effects with gradient materials that change with particle age. They weren't necessary, but after seeing a few video tutorials, I thought I'd add them for a bit of extra flair. ;)

    Batmobile (1989)
    Polygons (before smoothing): 6,601
    Polygons (with TurboSmooth): 32,224
    Vertices (before smoothing): 6,598
    Vertices (with TurboSmooth): 17,803
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Wireframe with TurboSmooth
    [​IMG]
    Wireframe without TurboSmooth
    [​IMG]
    Any long-time Batman fans out there should recognise this one (and yes, we had to make this specific version). At first I thought this would be impossible to make, and my initial tests with splines didn't work out well, but after reverting back to polygon modelling, it began to take shape.

    By the end, I came to really appreciate the design of this car, and I was pretty pleased with the way my geometry turned out. I had some misaligned plans and a few reference images to work from, so around half of this model was done by eye. I quickly became acquainted with Smoothing Groups and the TurboSmooth modifier, both of which proved invaluable for the final result.
    Overall, this one took around 6-7 days to make.

    Dalek
    Polygons: 13,764
    Vertices: 11,482
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    We were only asked to make a "Dalek", so any version was open for consideration. I chose to go with the 'new series' bronze version because I preferred its design over older ones, but also because I found some plans for it. Again, the plans weren't perfect, but I managed to get a fairly good shape in the end.

    The bronze Autodesk Metallic material really brought this model to life, though I'm sure it could be improved (I've seen some scarily realistic Dalek models out there).
    This took about 4-5 days to make.

    Hippo
    Polygons: 10,425
    Vertices: 10,368
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Organic modelling. That was all new to me. :read
    Most of my colleagues opted for a standalone sculpting package to make this one, but I decided to stick to 3ds Max to see if it could be done. I started with a low-poly mesh, with details like the nostrils, eyes, ears and toes fleshed out, and then TurboSmoothed the whole thing I so could use the Freeform modelling tools on it.
    These tools weren't fantastic, but I managed to at least bring out a few features and add some roughness to the surface.

    I was pleased with the mesh itself, but the textures leave a lot to be desired.
    I couldn't be bothered to make a full-blown texture in Photoshop (and didn't really have time), so I tried to use noise maps for the colouring and roughness to make it vaguely realistic. Still, I don't really like the result, but organic texturing was never going to be my strong point anyway.
    This took something like 3-4 days to make, overall.

    So there you have it. I'm now pretty exhausted from modelling almost every day for several weeks, but at least I know how to use 3ds Max. Still prefer Maya, though...
     
  2. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    Impressive indeed!
     
  3. Bartolomeu o Portugues

    Bartolomeu o Portugues Buccaneer Storm Modeller Storm Modder

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    Congratulations :yes
     
  4. Wedori

    Wedori Mopar or no car TOP CONTRIBUTOR 3D Artist Creative Support Hearts of Oak Donator

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    Great work @Armada! Im very surprised, that for todays complex models and its handling, development universitys set still on MAX. Sure, Max have a better Materialeditor and the Rendersettings for specially Mental Ray. It have long history in using in game development, based on its former much less price. So with its better comfort, it was out of many overload modules an very interesting thing in the game business. But this situation changed long time ago and Im wonderig that this degree doesnt contain at least both tools in education. In my opinion an major requirement today.

    What do you think about in handling? Im very interest to hear from a former Maya user what the workflow and handling real means. Can you say something about your experience?

    EDIT: It exist a few very talented people, who can do close to all things at a model. The way I prefer (and thats what we do in all areas in real life too): Use the talents you personal have. Im not a very good texture artist. There are people out there with many skill and fantastic results. Same with map enviroment or sculpting... So I do what I can and thats complex geometry, very complex models, hierarchys and good UV work. Thats it. I wont do all too.
    The final (best) result in my eyes will be ever created when you have people with their special talents in a team and everyone does the best he or she can. Like in HoO :D ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  5. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    @Wedori: We do have several Autodesk programs (2014 versions) installed at college alongside 3ds Max, including Maya and Mudbox, so the choice is certainly there.
    My lecturer is most familiar with Max, which is probably why he chose to teach us that.

    I'm generally OK with the workflow in Max now, but here's what I think:

    Pros
    • Lots of modelling tools along the ribbon, a bit like Office programs
    • Enhanced Menus are pretty useful for quickly finding primitives, modifiers, lights and other settings; default menus not so much
    • Slate Material Editor is easy to use and well organised
    • Animation tools are consistent with Maya
    • Option to use Maya viewport controls :cheeky
    Cons
    • The persp camera orbits around the current selection, which is just disorienting to me
    • Having to convert primitive shapes to editable poly objects before being able to manipulate vertices, faces and edges is a bit weird
    • The Create panel on the right side of the screen is terrible to navigate; endless scrolling through text buttons
    • The interface in general looks like it hasn't been updated for more than a decade, with low-res icons in several places
    • Working with modifiers can be a pain at times (but not always)
    • UV mapping is needlessly complicated, much harder to do than in Maya
    • Grouping and parenting works differently to Maya
    • No native image plane support! Have to create planes, apply images and scale them manually
    That might seem like a lot of bad points, but it's mostly nitpicking from someone already familiar with 3D modelling.
    Max isn't a bad choice by any means, and Maya isn't without its quirks either. Still, I would struggle to recommend Max over Maya...
     
    Robert Nutter and Wedori like this.
  6. Post Captain

    Post Captain Seamanship Advisor Coordinator QC Advisor Storm Modder

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    Nice! Especially like the tower! And the dalek looks almost real. Although the only ones I've seen were in the Rowan Atkinson parody. :p

    YES. YOU KNEW!
    My English girlfriend from England didn't even know that....
     
  7. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    It annoyed me when the brief just said "Big Ben". :walkplank
     
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  8. Wedori

    Wedori Mopar or no car TOP CONTRIBUTOR 3D Artist Creative Support Hearts of Oak Donator

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    @Armada thank you very much for your feedback! My personal last test with Max was version 2009. I need this sometimes so test export / import CE features to Crysis 1 but I dont like the handling in this old version. Many different things (for example after FBX reloading wrong axis and normals) are horrible to me. But I never learned it there, so Im not familar with any working procedures. I see only, that a lot of companys recommend more Maya but its ever a point of "what you need". I have heared, that single models often can be faster created in Max, the more complex ones in Maya. I cant compare a new Max version to Maya, so your opinion is very interesting in the progress of both tools. Both are good software and comes in option closer together. What is your opinion about "work speed" and the "layer organisation" between both programs? Both are very different in this case.
     
  9. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    Is there no way of changing that behaviour? An old version of 3D Studio MAX is the only program I ever used for modeling before I moved to coding.
    But I seem to remember there were different camera modes.
     
  10. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    In terms of workflow, I think one can work fairly quickly in Max, though it does take a while to work out where all the specific tools are.
    I ended up ignoring the Create panel in favour of the modelling ribbon because of its more user-friendly layout (albeit with the same functionality).

    However, I reckon Maya's Modelling Toolkit is far more efficient. It combines many tools which are separate in Max, which is a real time saver.
    Previous versions of Maya (without the Toolkit) are probably about the same as Max for efficiency, although the ability to make custom shelves to suit your own workflow gives Maya a slight advantage.

    I found the layers in Max quite easy to use, and helpful for adjusting the display settings for groups of objects. I haven't really used layers much in Maya before, so I can't say whether one system works better than the other.

    If there is, it's probably buried in the settings somewhere. I'll have to look into it more.
     
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  11. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    The memory I have says it was a button right on the views screen itself.
    Of course that was a long time ago on a very old version of 3D max.
    Haven't touched a modelling program in about half a lifetime though.
     
  12. Wedori

    Wedori Mopar or no car TOP CONTRIBUTOR 3D Artist Creative Support Hearts of Oak Donator

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    Sounds like you need to refresh it :D ... and its useful for HoO :)

    @Armada Thank you very much for your explanation! What do you think you will prefer in future for yourself? Your overview over both tools have (so far for HoO) a very good advantage. You are able to combine with all tools and with help of FBX different sources when modelers leave or interupted by real life. When ever you at the state to judge your private use, then Ill interest how you want to finished the Bellona in Max. A short overview over then used tools is very interesting. Ill ever interested innew techniques. You remember your two spline version of the hull. Sometimes I pick some ideas of those workflows and the result make own work then more efficient.
     
  13. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    I'm pretty sure my work wouldn't be up to your incredible standards.
    And I've never been very good with any organic shapes or proper realistic textures.
    If you're interested, these two models are my best work:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I also have far too many other important things that also need doing, both for HoO and PotC and outside that as well.
    But at least I know the concepts of 3D modeling, which must help at least a little bit. :cheeky
     
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  14. Wedori

    Wedori Mopar or no car TOP CONTRIBUTOR 3D Artist Creative Support Hearts of Oak Donator

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    ;) Im joking a bit Pieter
    And based on my horrible stress job I can never be up with all the organisation things on forums. My desk is full of a things "to do" but often I got a new chance (like the contatc to Nico Brinck) to rise special parts of HoO to a new historical basement.
    And I need variety. I cant do ever the same. So I was happy about a new barrel instead of the remesh. But since yesterday Im still on it, to finish the handles. :)
     
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  15. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    I think for personal projects, including HoO models, I'm still going to stick with Maya. I've picked up a couple of tips from Max which should actually improve my workflow in Maya, though of course I'm always looking for new modelling techniques.
     

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