3D Applications and Theory

As the Games Industry develops and the demand of 3D computer games increases, more and more software is being created in order to become the newest and unique way of creating 3D models. As of right now, there are around eighty types of software available for 3D modellers; these include Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and Blender. The software that works alongside 3D modelling programs can include Photoshop, CrazyBump and XNormal to help create the models used on screen and in games. The purpose of 3DS max is to create realistic 3D models which can be used in games, films and any type of media that needs models. The difference between computer games and CGI is CGI is pre-rendered graphics whereas computer games render whilst playing. 

When creating a 3D model you will have to consider file size, having a computer to hold the mass of data and if it has a bigger poly count it will take longer to load and the file size will be bigger which could affect in-game; polygon count which represents how much detail is in the model however having too much irrelevant poly’s can slow down the chosen software and make it harder to use and lastly, rendering time which is when you use colour and shading to help make the model appear more realistic and you can use render farms to make the rendering faster. You can minimize the constraints using legal geometry, optimization and normal mapping. 3D graphics use the same theory as 2d graphics where it uses several axis to create the model however 3d graphics use another axis to measure height. These points are joined to create shapes which can be filled with colour, this could help to keep the file size at minimum because it doesn’t use as much space as the geometric shapes. You can optimise models which can reduce the number of vertices in the model but keeps the appearance of the model so it allows it look how you want it but deletes any unnecessary vertices keeping it at a low vertices count and making the file size smaller. This can also improve the speed of the rendering. Normal mapping helps to add faces to models but does not add to the polys which keeps them a low poly count making it easier to render and keeping it as a low data file. If you ignore the constraints, you will get issues when running the program, such as the rendering time, polygon count and file size. With a high poly count, the model will need more processor power which will affect the frame rate and make the model lag and the game itself. Ignoring the file size constraint will affect how much data will fit on the games disc and therefore if it is larger the whole game will not fit so the models have to be limited to fit in a certain space to make sure it is small enough to run smoothly and to run; this will then make the developer have to cut down other things to make the models fit. If the rendering time is longer, the game will take longer to load and therefore will drop in fps and things may not show up in the right places and random things may occur, for example, models appearing in random places. To keep from low fps, it is best to only have the closest things to the games camera in good resolution and background images in lower to keep the game from lagging and taking longer to render. 

Explain user interface of 3ds max (toolbar, command panel, viewports and navigation options within viewports as well as set up options for the viewports) 

There are many different features in 3DS max that are useful to a 3D modeller. This can include the viewports which help the modeller access different angles and can check of the use of unnecessary polys. The toolbar is useful for accessing things manually but there are usually shortcuts which can be used via keyboard. The toolbar uses the usual things you would obviously need for a model, including undo and redo for any mistakes; a move key for moving your model which can be switched to do other things enlarging the model or making it smaller; the majority of these are to help with editing and general camera movements. There is also a search bar so if you get really stuck you will be able to search for what you want and you may be able to get some sort of help.

Basic primitives

Standard primitives are the ones that are seen in real life and can be singly created in 3ds max and can also be combined make them more complex and can also be modified with modifiers. These can be converted to editable mesh and poly objects.

Extended primitives

To help with creating models, 3ds max includes extended primitives which are a more complex set of primitives and can be found in the create menu and in the drop down menu underneath standard primitives. You can convert the extended primitive objects to editable mesh and editable poly objects.

A modifier is something that can help to alter models, there are tools to help modify said models which could be the bend tool which bends the model 360 degrees, or the mirror tool which will mirror all of the selected points. More modifiers include the bevel modifier which extrudes shapes into 3D shapes and optimize modifier which helps you reduce faces and vertices of the model.

When creating a model, the model tends to be 3D and these 3D shapes are called polygons. The edge of the overall model is called an edge, the border is when the faces of the polygons are removed and the border is what you are left with, a vertex is the point of which all sub objects (i.e. edges and polygons) connect to and can be moved using the X, Y and Z co-ordinates

Polygons are 3D shapes that can be made into models, the polygon is made up of vertices and the faces – the vertices are the corners which are selectable and can be used to extrude or chamfer the model. The faces are the sides of the models, in between the vertices and helps create a surface area to complete the shapes. Sub-objects include editable mesh, editable patch, editable poly and editable spline. To make the sub-object selection, you will have to select the object and use the modify panel, right click object and use the quad menu to tools 1 quadrant and the sub-objects submenu should appear. 


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