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ReflectingAbyss
12-27-2006, 08:55 PM
Hey everyone- I'm trying out 3d Studio Max here for the first time. (I'm usually a Maya person, but I figured it couldn't hurt to learn Max as well) I've befriended a couple of programmers and one of them wants to try making a pet dragon simulation.

I have a few questions...
1.) How do you find the poly count?
2.) Does 3d studio max have it's own way of normal mapping or is zbrush or mudbox the only way?
3.) What kind of recommendations can you give regarding the model itself?
4.) Does anyone know a good textureing tutorial for Max 8?
5.) Is there a way to move the verticies to the center? I usually do the move -x 0; in maya to get things to the center before I merge the two halves...

I'll probably have more to ask later... :\
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/reflectingabyss/3d%20Studio%20Max/dragon.jpg
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/reflectingabyss/3d%20Studio%20Max/dragonwire.jpg

XTitan
12-28-2006, 12:48 AM
1.) How do you find the poly count?
Click on the Utilities Tab (Hammer Icon) Then look if any of the buttons say Polygon Counter, if not, then click on more and it should be there.

2.) Does 3d studio max have it's own way of normal mapping or is zbrush or mudbox the only way?
Yes 3D Studio Max does have it's own way of normal mapping, I find it's best however, to combine maps from ZBrush and 3D Max, you get much more control IMHO from Max's normal mapping.

3.) What kind of recommendations can you give regarding the model itself?
It'll be easier to make comments once we know the polycount. Right now it looks pretty good. The only thing bothering me is the tail, and there are too may poly's being used it seems especially near the tip of the tail.

4.) Does anyone know a good textureing tutorial for Max 8?
www.poopinmymouth.com

5.) Is there a way to move the verticies to the center? I usually do the move -x 0; in maya to get things to the center before I merge the two halves...
Max has a symmetry modefier that you can use that will copy over one half and merge it with the original without you having to do anything extra. I usually click on the boarder tool then select the boarder created by the missing half. Next I convert my selection to vertecies by rightclicking and clicking convert to vertex and then you can either align to view or use the scale button and scale them in one direction until they are flat. Then copy and mirror the half over and weld the vertecies. Symmetry modefier does all this for you but just make sure all your verts line up in a straight line and put the weld threshold really low.

Good work, keep it up :)

ReflectingAbyss
12-28-2006, 05:09 PM
Awesome! Thank you so much! This is very appreciated.

The poly count is- 3,670 tris or 1,922 quads
Thank you for the recommendation on decreasing polys in the tail, that's not a bad idea at all.
Also, thank you for linking me to that page, although right now some of the tutorials are saying the bandwith has exceeded, I can already tell that this is something that will really help me. And well, thanks for answering my questions altogether, hopefully I'll be able to complete this.

Reds17
12-28-2006, 06:53 PM
Proportionally, I would make the forearms shorter and the wings a bit bigger. Dragons are generally modelled after lizards, which have much shorter forearms than their hindlegs. They're generally short and stocky. Also, most wings are usually attached to the torso and are much larger. Being a magical creature, you can get away with some things, but generally the wings must be large enough to support it. If you look at the wing span of bats or birds or other images of dragons, I think you can get a general idea for the proportional size of wings. The exception to all this is the chinese dragon, which is more of a magical snake. It slithers through the air, and the wings, hind legs and front legs are generally much smaller and serve little anatomical purpose.

Also, the front paws/claws/hands seem to be pretty massive. If you want it to have a more powerful look, I would give him a bigger and broader chest and perhaps tuck him in a little bit around the stomach to accentuate the torso.

Modeling-wise (if that's a word ;)) I would, as suggested before, remove many of the polygons as it goes to the tip of the tail. Right now many of the verticies can be merge with extremely little loss of detail. With those polygons saved, I would add in another cross-section to the neck. A long neck should move fluidly and have a couple of links in the rig.

I hope this helps!

McKertis
12-28-2006, 07:02 PM
I agree, right now wings just look like they're glued on the back. It doesnt look like they are his own. There should be some muscular structure connecting wings with body.

ReflectingAbyss
12-28-2006, 09:45 PM
Here's a quick edit

Right now- 3,668 tris / 1,926 quads
I enlarged the chest, worked on the wings, legs, and added another loop in the neck. I'll probably edit it some more, I just wanted to show the progress with tweaking so far.

Reds17 and McKertis, I appreciate your comments on this.


http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/reflectingabyss/3d%20Studio%20Max/dragone.jpg
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/reflectingabyss/3d%20Studio%20Max/Dragonwiree.jpg

ReflectingAbyss
01-02-2007, 09:58 PM
Some work done on the uv layout-

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/reflectingabyss/3d%20Studio%20Max/dragontexture.jpg
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/reflectingabyss/3d%20Studio%20Max/dragontexture2.jpg

requiem2d
01-02-2007, 11:29 PM
Given the organic nature of this piece, you'd probably want to weld as many UV elements together as you can. Easy to get away with when unwrapping a 6 sided box, but not in this case :) Keep us posted!

ReflectingAbyss
01-04-2007, 09:50 PM
Here's part of what I looks so far- I don't think I'm going to go for a red dragon... I'm not sure yet... :\

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/reflectingabyss/3d%20Studio%20Max/textwip2.jpg

With normals smoothed
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/reflectingabyss/3d%20Studio%20Max/textwip.jpg

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