How to Create Characters in Autodesk 3D Max 9

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3ds Max is a CAD (computer aided design) application used to create and animate virtual 3d objects. Autodesk, the software's publisher, released the software's first Windows version in 1996. A new feature of 3ds Max 9, which Autodesk published in 2006, involved hair simulation: Users could now style hair interactively prior to rendering. This enhancement made 3ds Max more attractive as a character-modeling tool, because artists could now shape a character's hair as they could its otherparts.


1 ) Open 3ds Max 9 and switch to Front view, where you'll design the character as it appears when facing you.

2 ) Begin forming the outline of the character's torso: Select the "Line" tool by clicking "Create," "Shape," then "Line." Click the mouse to plot the first point of the outline. Then, drag downward to produce the first line segment.

3 ) Complete the torso outline: Continue using the line-drawing mode to create a roughly rectangular shape. Ensure the rectangle is closed by verifying that the last segment drawn connects to the first segment.

4) Make the 2D shape into a 3D objects: Right-click the torso outline and select "Convert to Editable Patch." An editable patch is a type of 3D object whose components allow easy creation of smoothly curved surfaces. You'll only use the patch as an intermediate conversion step, however.

5 ) Right-click the editable patch and select "Convert to editable Poly." The editable poly object allows intuitive box sculpting of 3d objects.

6 ) Prepare to add 3D depth to torso: Right-click the editable poly and select the "Polygon" item from the menu. Then, select all polygons by clicking "Control-A."

7 ) Add 3D depth to the torso: Right-click any of the selected polygons and choose "Extrude" from the menu. Extrusion allows you to pull a 2D shape into a 3D one.

8 ) Left-click on one of the selected polygons and drag upward. As you do this, watch the viewport labeled "Perspective." You'll see your 2D torso shape expanding (AKA extruding) into a 3D objects. Click again to end the extrusion. You now have a 3D torso, which is the first part of your character.

9 ) Begin creating the character's symmetry: Since even imaginary, extra-terrestrial characters typically are designed with symmetrical features, apply symmetry to yours. Start by right-clicking the torso and selecting "Vertex."

10 ) Press "Control-C" to run the Cut tool, which will allow you to split the torso in two halves. Then, click the middle of the torso's top edge, followed by clicking the middle of its bottom edge. Right-click twice to end cut mode.

11 ) Click and drag a rectangular selection region around all vertices that lay to the right of the new vertices you just created with the Cut tool. Then, press "Delete" to delete those vertices. This action leaves you with half a torso.

12 ) Create the character's symmetry: Click "Modifiers," "Mesh Editing," then "Symmetry." Notice that the torso's deleted half has been restored. This completes the torso.

13 ) Complete the character by using steps 2 through 12 to create the 3D shapes for the character's legs, arms, hands and feet, and head.


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