tutorial will show you how to model a fairly simple lizard in
3D Studio MAX by combining primitives together into a single
mesh. Why do it this way instead of using NURBS or spline cages?
First, to learn/improve polygon modeling skills (you never know
when they'll come in handy.) Even if you're comfortable with
other modeling methods it never hurts to experiment with new
ways to create a model. Remember, that each modeling method
has its own set of pluses and minuses.
Second, some people find it easier to visualize complex items
(such as creatures) as combinations of simple primitives. This
method allows them to model with the primitives and then combine
them into a single mesh.
Giant Fambaa Swamp Lizards
1.1 Click for larger view
1.2 Click for larger view
might remember the Giant Fambaa Swamp lizards from The Phantom
Menace. These powerful beasts were used by the Gungan to carry
their shield apparatus into battle. The Fambaa swamp lizards
are tall creatures with stout, pillar-like legs (see Figures
1.1 and Figure 1.2 (these images are from "Star Wars Episode
I: The Visual Dictionary" by DK Publishing, Inc.))
Recipe Ingredients In
this tutorial, we will construct a Fambaa swamp lizard using
3D Studio MAX 2.5. In addition to 3D Studio MAX 2.5, you will
find a copy of Digimation's Blend modifier helpful (this modifier
ships with Bones Pro.) Don't fret if you don't have it, you
can still do most of the tutorial, you'll just have to work
a bit harder when it comes to smoothing the connections between
the various components of the creature (i.e., you'll have to
do it with Relax and Edit mesh.)
Although I'm not a big fan of tutorials requiring plug-ins to
work, I figured that if you're interested in creating a solid
mesh, you probably already have a way to modify/animate it.
As such, you probably already have Bones Pro.
Method to the Madness
We will be building the creature by connecting together simple
primitives. As with all modeling projects, one of the first
concerns should be where and how the model will be used. If
the model is to be used in a real-time game, then you're going
to want the model to be a low-polygon count, rough approximation
of the creature with the rest of the details created via textures.
If, however, you're doing a pre-rendered scene and are going
to place someone on the creature's back or perhaps animate a
small bird-like animal as it feeds off of parasites on the creature,
then you're going to want to have lots and lots of detail. In
this case you probably wont be able use simple bump maps for
scales and other details.
For this model, we're going to assume that the creature will
be part of a cinematic sequence (i.e., pre-rendered) and that
the camera will never get overly close to the individualized
details (such as the thickness of each scale). As such, we need
a good approximation of the creature's shape, but we don't need
to be concerned with modeling minutia (eye wrinkles, scales,
etc.) which we could use texture maps to create.
page 1 2 3