Jump to content
Hash, Inc. Forums
Sign in to follow this  
pming

Modeling tut's for an old poly-modler.

Recommended Posts

Hiya.

 

As an old newbie (ie, I started with AM '98, '99, ...then recently upgraded to '07), over the last 8 or so years I've been a poly-modeler. I can model in poly's quickly, smoothly, and have a fun time doing it. Now, back to give AM another spin around the block, I find myself fighting the spline-mindset.

 

I attempted to model in AM as if each spline was the part of an edge loop, and I was planing on using the bias handles to get my desired cuveature. This didn't work out quite so well as I had envisioned. ;)

 

So, anyone have any good links to free or pay tutorials on AM modeling? Something that covers hard and soft surfaces (cars, buildings, etc. and bunnies, people, etc.) would be perfect. I am looking at B.Zundles stuff ( http://bzundel.googlepages.com/animation%3...ter2005training ), and it looks promising. Can anyone shed more light on his stuff? Or maybe there is something else out there? Maybe Zandoria Studios stuff? ( http://www.zandoria.com/tutorial.htm ).

 

Any help from an old poly-freak would be, uh, helpful. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have both and second Dhar's recommendation to get both. I bought Barry's first and I'd advise going through that disk first. Barry's disk covers the really basic elements of spline modeling, whereas Will's is more advanced modeling.

 

I would also recommend the other disks from both parties. I've learned tons from them (and still have more to learn!)

 

I don't have any experience with poly-modeling, but when I first came to A:M, I was coming into it thinking that control points and splines were like paths and points in Illustrator. So, I went straight to the bias handles and tried to use them like bezier curves, became frustrated that the add tool didn't work like the pen tool and succeeded only in making a mess. :-)

 

I'm hardly a seasoned A:M modeler, but I'm getting there and I hardly ever touch the bias handles. In my way of thinking, they really are useful for trying to make really low spline-count models. Essentially, you're tweaking the biases to make up for missing splines. For that purpose, it would make sense to go ahead and model with all the splines you need. Then when it's finished, go in and see what you can take out and adjust the bias handles to compensate.

 

The key that unlocked it all for me was learning about continuity. Once you understand that, the rest just seems to fall in place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, when you get to animating, you will find bias handles indispensable for tweaking motions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And posting a wire frame of the spot you're having trouble with will usually bring someone in with a specific suggestion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And posting a wire frame of the spot you're having trouble with will usually bring someone in with a specific suggestion.

 

 

Hiya.

 

It's not any one particular model I'm having trouble with, it's just that I am used to a "polygon" mindset and workflow. With polies, I generally do a quick "blocking out" using extrude, connect edges and some vertex pushing/pulling. Then I get into specifics. I use Hexagon 2.1 and Softimage|XSI primarily, with the occasional dip into 3DS MAX (and yes, I own them all). I've been using MAX a bit more of late due to a current project that kinda requires it, but prefer XSI.

 

Anyway, I liked what I saw of AM, so decided to upgrade. So far, no regrets. :) But, as I said, I've been pushin' poly's for about 7+ years now, and kinda have my own workflow going. With AM, that's been turned up on it's head. I guess what I'm really after is if there is any helpful site, book, video, tutorial, etc. for someone attempting to make the transition from poly to splines like there are for people who use Maya and are moving to XSI, for example.

 

So far, it looks like the best workflow for me is to do a general 'outline' of a part of an object, lathe it, then push/pull CP's to get the shape. Then, attatch the 'sub-objects' together. This last part is where I'm struggling the most with. Is there any tool out there to "split segment" all around a model? For example, say I have a simple cylinder. I want to click an "edge", then tap a key/button and have it automatically select all the other "edges" around the cylinder, lastly, tap a key/button to "connect" all the selected splines right down the middle.

 

E.G.: I start with this:

http://myimgs.net/images/efhb.jpg

 

...and then with a click or two end up with this:

http://myimgs.net/images/ylpa.jpg

 

Do any plugins exist for this sort of modeling in AM?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the cylinder example, you simply select the top ring CPs of the cylinder and click E to extrude. That's for simple objects. However, when you start getting into organic and complex objects, lathing and manipulating will be quite taxing on your computer because what you're trying to do is replace nurbs with CPs (Control Points). That's comparing apples to oranges.

 

I cannot recommend it enough to get this Tutorial DVD/s Barry Zundel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As others have suggested you'll get lots of good info simply by posting your work in progress here in the forum. Do that!

 

As others suggested as well... I highly recommend Barry Zundel's DVDs too.

Barry takes you from CP and spline to patch on to animation friendly character model and he points out the pitfalls and important stuff as you do.

 

While there are other great resources out there, as far as I know there is no other resource available covering modeling in A:M as thoroughly.

 

I also recommend complementing the "Modeling" DVD with the other two DVDs in the series; "Rigging" and "Animation" too.

 

So... you can do what many of us do and forage for the freestuff.

Or... you can get off and running quickly.

 

If I had to do it all over again I know what I would do. (Both!) ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hiya.

 

Looks like I'll be picking up those DVD's in the next few weeks then. :)

 

I always try and plan ahead, spline or poly, but sometimes something will happen and you have to change some particular aspect or add in some more detail that you didn't anticipate. For example, lets say you have a character modeled. Then, the client says "Hey, you know what would be cool? If we could add another pair of horns coming out of his forehead. Oh, and what about a tail?". These situations come up, and of course we (as 3d artists types) explain that it will be more work and more money...but they insist it will be worth it. Now, you have a 'finished' model only to find out you need to do some additions/tweaks. This is where I was wondering about extra tools/plugins that might be available. I have a lot I DL'ed from here: http://www.sgross.com/plugins/index.html I haven't got into them yet, but I guess I should do some more playing around before pestering you folks with more spline-newbie questions. ;)

 

Thanks again for the DVD recomendations. They're on my list! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gads! I feel for you. Between 1992 and 2001 I did polys (xsi / max). In 2001 I discovered AM -- what a mindset change. I wonder if people with no previous knowledge don't have a substantial advantage... but I know this is not really true. But spline modeling takes some getting use to. Now, after 6 years, I'd have lots of trouble going back.

 

Rusty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hehe...yeah, "old dog, new tricks" and all that. :)

 

Mind you, poly modeling has come a LONG way. Especially when you add in advances in displacement mapping and micro-poly modeling (re: ZBrush, Mudbox, etc.).

 

Anyway...woof woof! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Mudbox and ZBrush are amazing, but A:M's Patches are just better suited for characteranimation than polys are... patches are more controlable than many polygones or even nurbs...

 

*Fuchur*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

one thing you can do is imagine A:M models as as already subdivided poly models. and model only in the lowest resolution setting, that way the model will look like a low poly model, simply up the resolution to "preview" the model. the only tutorials you'll need to spline flow and organization...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...