Sunday, January 15, 2012

3DS Max Rambling and Wicked Fingers

So, like I said before, I'm learning 3DS Max.  Yeah.  Who knew that I could be in the game and film industry as a character TD for 11 years and have never used it in production?  Well, it's the truth. I have to say it is different, but I'm liking the tools.  It's going to take more getting used to than I anticipated, mainly because of a couple of things:  navigation that is NOT like Maya, Modo, Silo, or others; and how CTRL clicking is how you add to selections, NOT with Shift.  C'mon, really?  Every app on the planet uses SHIFT to add to a selection.  Oh well, it's a little thing.  It just slows me down a bit but nothing big.  I'm finding that I'm mainly using the same 4 tools: extrude, bridge, insert edge loop, and "Set Flow".  Not sure why it is called that, but okay.  There's a little thing I like to call "Click Rate" for every application, where in order to perform a command or function, how many clicks does it take?  For example, to bevel and edge:

  1. Select the edge
  2. Open the edge menu
  3. Select the bevel tool
  4. Click and drag on the edge
  5. Fit the new edges into place
That was 5 clicks to perform one function.  Pretty horrible workflow in my book.  Here's a possible solution:

  1. Hit a hotkey (ex:  hit the B key)
  2. Click and drag on an edge (or hold Shift while dragging for the entire loop) to bevel it out, and the bevel either interpolates the shape (cubic) or follows the edge directly (linear) according to your tool settings.
That was a hotkey and one click.  A much better scenario for modeling.

So far, 3DS Max is pretty high on the click-rate scale (that's a bad thing).  I think this is what most 3d Software suffers from.  There are ways to do better, and I haven't seen many of the mainstream apps do it very well.  I've been using Silo lately (wish they would continue developing it) and I really love the modeling tools, and how simple yet powerful they are.  They really got it right when they wrote that.

Anyways, I couldn't help but hear the soundtrack to "Wicked" playing while I modeled these :)  3DS Max modeling is getting a lot more I really need to learn the hotkeys to speed my workflow up, but I am feeling like I'm getting the hang of it.  This was about an hour of work.  I'll be redoing the nails so that they look correct, but for now, I think things are looking pretty good.  I did a timelapse video of this process, and maybe I'll post it soon.  Stay tuned!


Unknown said...

Completely agree with your comments.

When i started to use 3DS Max in production the joints in my index finger became to hurt, no joke. So dibilitating i began to just use my middle and ring finger. I think it's the number of clicks as well as Max's use of scroll wheel.

Now im back in maya and the pain is gone! Huzzah!

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