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Getting Started

The next five exercises walk you through a variety of steps, some of which are directly related to building a control tower, and others that illustrate a concept or technique that produces results you will later discard. You'll use the control tower again in Chapter 11, Photometric Lights: Bouncing Basics, and Chapter 14, Mapping Coordinates: Getting the Right Fit. It will be placed in your airport scene.

Focus on two major themes as you perform the exercises: efficiency and flexibility. Always strive for models with the lowest polygon count that satisfies your requirements in the scene, but leave the door open so that you can perform flexible editing when the need for design changes arises.

And remember, the biggest drag on production by far in many offices is unnecessary detail in modeling. Objects that are hidden from view should be eliminated, and objects in the distance should contain only a level of detail that makes them convincing to the viewer from that distance.

Experimenting with Modifiers

Sometimes when you're designing a scene, you'll want to perform some steps that could produce results you won't want to keep. You can always save your file beforehand, or use Save As to repeatedly create incrementally numbered copies. The latter is generally good practice at regular intervals. However, there are times when you might want to make a few changes but be able to abandon the process without committing to the saved copies.

3ds max 7 provides two tools for this purpose: Hold and Fetch. Both are found in the Edit pull-down menu. Hold saves the entire scene in a buffer file on your hard drive. The file isn't directly accessible, but you can retrieve it at any time using the Fetch command. The Hold file contains only the most recently held information: Whenever you select Hold, all the information in the buffer file is discarded and replaced with the current scene information. The information saved with Hold is available even after you have exited 3ds max 7 or shut the machine down. You can use the Fetch command as many times as you like without altering the stored information.

In addition to learning how to create a buffer file of your current scene, the following exercise will hopefully expand your knowledge of sub-object-level editing by investigating some of the sub-object functionality of modifiers—in this case, the Center sub-object of the Taper modifier.

Exercise 4.1: Editing at the Sub-Object Level and Creating Buffer Files

1.
From the CD-ROM, open a file called Ch04_tower01.max. Choose File > Save As, point to your project folder, and click the plus sign in the dialog to save the file using the name Ch04_tower02.max. The scene contains a 2D shape named tower_profile that you will use in Exercise 4.4. Right-click in the Top viewport to activate it.

tip

It's possible to change the parameters of an object on the Create panel as you create the object, but to avoid confusion I recommend getting into the habit of switching to the Modify panel to make any changes.

2.
In the Shapes category of the Create panel, click the Rectangle button and drag a rectangle primitive of any size around the 0,0,0 World coordinates, as indicated by the black grid lines in the viewport.

3.
Click on the Modify panel tab and rename the shape Tower01. Then in the Parameters rollout located at the bottom of the panel, enter 36 in both the Length and Width fields, pressing Enter to finalize the process (Figure 4.2). Again, you do not need to enter any sign after the number if the value you intend is expressed in feet.

Figure 4.2. Create a 36-foot square rectangle named Tower01 around the 0,0,0 World coordinate.


4.
On the Modify panel, choose Extrude from the Modifier List. In the Parameters rollout, enter 60 in the Amount field for a height of 60 feet, and enter 6 in the Segments field and press Enter to add six segments along the height of the box (see Figure 4.3 on the next page). In the Parameters rollout, clear the Cap Start and Cap End checkboxes, which open the ends of the box so that you can see through to the other side in the shaded Perspective viewport. For our purposes, the ends create unnecessary geometry. You can return to the Extrude level in the Modifier List at any time and enable the caps if you decide you need them. Even minor optimizations like this improve productivity, so get into the habit of reducing geometry as you model, while leaving yourself an easy way out, if possible. Click Zoom Extents All to see all objects in all viewports.

Figure 4.3. To create a segmented box that represents the tower, apply an Extrude modifier set to 60 feet using six segments.


5.
In the Modifier List, choose Taper. In the Parameters rollout, enter -0.5 and press Enter. This makes the box 50 percent smaller at the top with straight sides (Figure 4.4). At this point, you'll want to experiment with the Taper modifier to see if there is a tower design that you or the client prefer. In the Edit menu on the Main menu at the top left of the display, click Hold. This stores everything in the current scene in a buffer file on your hard drive so that you can retrieve it using the Fetch command later if necessary.

Figure 4.4. Apply a Taper modifier set to -0.5 to make the box half the size at the top.


6.
Enter -0.5 in the Curve field to curve the tapered sides inward. In Stack view, click the plus sign located at the left of Taper to expose the sub-object levels of the Taper modifier. Highlight Center. The Select and Move tool is activated automatically. In the Front viewport, click the Y-axis restrict arrow and move the yellow center tick near the top of the box. This tapers from the top downward. In the Taper Axis section of the Parameters rollout, select the Y radio button for the Effect control. The taper is only in the Y axis now (see Figure 4.5 on the next page).

Figure 4.5. Using the Taper modifier, you can change the position of the center in sub-object-level mode, adjust the curvature of the sides, and change the affected axis.


tip

You can highlight text or values in any field and right-click the mouse to cut or copy the text. You can then right-click in another field to paste the information there.

You can right-click on the spinners to the right of any numeric field to reset the value to either 0 or its lowest setting.

7.
Say you decide at this point that the changes you've made since the Hold operation in Step 5 are not what you want. From the Edit pull-down menu, click Fetch. You will be prompted in a dialog that you are about to Fetch information stored in the buffer file and that you must click Yes to retrieve your scene or click No to continue working. Click Yes. Select the Tower01 object, and you'll see that everything has been returned to the state just before you started to experiment.

tip

There is nothing more disappointing than losing your work after investing hours in creating and editing it. So get into the habit of saving your files often when working at stretches of more than 10 or 15 minutes. The keyboard shortcut that will overwrite the current file on the hard disk with the latest information is Ctrl + S. You might also get into the habit of choosing File > Save As to perform incremental saves periodically.

8.
Save the file; it should already be named Ch04_tower02.max.

You have again applied multiple modifiers to a 2D shape and adjusted the modifiers at the sub-object level to easily create complex 3D geometry. You have also learned to use Hold and Fetch commands to save a buffer file and use it as a bookmark for returning to the state of the scene prior to your experimenting.

tip

If you want to be able to create a new incremental file using Ctrl + S, choose Customize > Preferences, and then on the Files tab in the File Handling section, select the Increment on Save option.

There are also adjustments for the Auto Backup feature in the Files Preference Settings dialog that are enabled by default. At 5-minute intervals, a file named AutoBak1, AutoBak2, or AutoBak3 is saved in the \3ds max 7\autobak folder. Then the first file is overwritten at 20 minutes, and so on. These files may be renamed and recovered in the event your files are lost or corrupted. Be safe or be sorry.


Exercise 4.2: Using and Cloning the Lattice Modifier

1.
Open file Ch04_tower02.max from the last exercise or from the CD-ROM. Save it with the name Ch04_tower03.max. In the Perspective viewport, select Tower01. The final tower will not be a solid box like the one you see in this file, but will be edited to become a space frame of struts and braces.

2.
From the Modifier List on the Modify panel, choose Lattice. The Lattice modifier creates struts from the visible edges of a 3D object and joints from the vertices. If you zoom in close to the base of the tower, you can see the four-sided struts and tetra joints of the Tower01 object (Figure 4.6).

Figure 4.6. The Lattice modifier uses visible edges and vertices of a 3D object to create a space frame.


3.
Zoom back out in the Perspective viewport to see the entire tower and, in Stack view, toggle the Light Bulb icon to the left of the Taper modifier (Figure 4.7). This disables the Taper modifier (or any modifier in the stack if you toggle the Light Bulb icon beside it) without affecting its settings, which is handy when you want to accentuate the effects of other modifiers in complex stacks or if you need to reverse-engineer someone else's modeling techniques. Make sure to toggle Taper back on when you are finished.

Figure 4.7. You can toggle the Light Bulb icon next to a modifier to enable or disable it.


4.
On the Create panel, Geometry category, click the GeoSphere button. In the Perspective viewport, click and drag near the tower to create a geosphere with a radius of around 20 feet. The position is not important.

5.
In the main toolbar, click the Select button. In the Perspective viewport, select Tower01, click on the Modifier panel tab, and in Modifier Stack view, highlight Lattice. Then right-click Lattice and choose Copy from the menu (Figure 4.8). This copies the modifier with its settings to a buffer.

Figure 4.8. You can copy or cut modifiers to a buffer by right-clicking on the highlighted modifier in the stack.


6.
Select the geosphere. In Stack view, right-click on Geosphere and choose Paste Instanced. This applies a Lattice modifier on the sphere with a two-way connection to the original: Change one, and the other will change. Notice that the modifier name (Lattice) in the stack is in italics, indicating it is an Instance clone of at least one other Lattice modifier in the scene. In the Parameters rollout, select the Struts Only From Edges radio button to discard the joints. Increase the Struts Radius to 6” (you need to use the inch sign) and the Sides to 6. Both objects in the scene change (Figure 4.9).

Figure 4.9. Changing the values for one instanced modifier affects all instances.


7.
With the geosphere selected and the Lattice modifier highlighted in Stack view, click the Make Unique button just below Stack view (Figure 4.10). Lattice is no longer in italics in Stack view and any changes you make affect only this Lattice modifier. The connection between this modifier and all other instances has been broken.

Figure 4.10. Clicking the Make Unique button severs the connection between the highlighted modifier and all of its instances.


8.
Click the Remove Modifier from the Stack button, located just to the right of the Make Unique button. This discards the highlighted modifier or modifiers.

9.
Press the Delete key to delete the geosphere— it was only in the scene as an example of instanced modifiers. Select Tower01. Save the file; it should already be named Ch04_tower03.max.

tip

Once you have applied a modifier to an object and changed the settings, subsequent applications of the modifier will have the same settings until you change them again.


Instanced modifiers can simplify the editing of many similar objects, but any modifier can always be made unique if the parameters for that object must be different from the others.

Modifiers may be copied or cut from the stack and then pasted to other locations in the stack or onto other objects in the scene as instanced modifiers or plain copies with no connection. The modifier name becomes italicized in the Stack view when it has an instanced clone associated with it to help keep track of the type of modifier.

You can use the Make Unique button to cut the connection between any modifier and its clones if you need to adjust the modifier independently.

Sub-Object-Level Editing

It would be great to have more control over the Lattice modifier, wouldn't it? Well, you do, but it's not within the Lattice modifier itself. Rather, it's in the way the modifier works—creating struts from visible edges of the 3D object.

At the Edge sub-object level of Editable Mesh objects or using the Edit Mesh modifier, you can edit edges to control what the Lattice modifier is using.

In the next exercise, you will drop below the Lattice modifier in the stack to the Taper modifier and add an Edit Mesh modifier. At the Edge sub-object level, you'll learn to make edges visible or invisible and to turn and divide edges.

Exercise 4.3: Using the Edge Sub-Object Level for Lattice Control

1.
Open Ch04_tower03.max from your project folder or from the CD-ROM. Save it to your project folder as Ch04_tower04.max. It contains the Tower01 space frame object and a 2D shape. Select Tower01. On the Modify panel, Stack view, highlight the Taper modifier. You will insert a new Edit Mesh modifier between Taper and Lattice. In the Modifier List, choose Edit Mesh modifier. The tower turns to a tapered box with no end caps and no lattice. This is because the Show End Result toggle button, located just below Stack view, is turned off (Figure 4.11). Toggle it on by clicking it, and you will see the end result of all modifiers, not just to the level you have highlighted. Toggle the Show End Result button back off again.

Figure 4.11. Inserting an Edit Mesh modifier underneath the Lattice modifier lets you control the mesh edges and pass that information up the stack to the Lattice modifier.


2.
Next you need to perform two steps to make the edges of Tower01 visible. With the object selected, right-click the Perspective viewport label. Choose Edged Faces to view the visible edges and the shaded object (Figure 4.12).

Figure 4.12. Enabling Edged Faces by right-clicking the viewport label lets you see the visible edges and the shaded object in that viewport.


3.
Right-click in the Perspective viewport and choose Properties from the Quad menu. In the Object Properties dialog, Display Properties area, clear the Edges Only checkbox (Figure 4.13). Click OK. This lets you see the dotted invisible edges of the mesh so that you can access them for editing.

Figure 4.13. Clearing the Edges Only checkbox in the Object Properties dialog lets you see invisible edges as dotted lines in the viewports.


4.
On the Modifier panel in Stack view, expand the Edit Mesh modifier and highlight the Edge sub-object level. Drag a selection window around the entire Tower01 to select all edges. They will turn red. In the Surface Properties rollout at the bottom of the Modify panel, click the Visible button. This makes all edges solid red lines in the viewport. Toggle the Show End Result button and you will see the tower now has diagonal bracing (see Figure 4.14 on the next page). Toggle Show End Result off. Click on any empty space in the Perspective viewport to deselect all edges. The Visible and Invisible buttons operate on all selected edges.

Figure 4.14. Making all edges visible creates diagonal struts at each tower segment.


5.
In the Selection rollout, select Ignore Backfacing. This keeps you from inadvertently picking edges on the back side of the mesh that you cannot see. In the Edit Geometry rollout, click the Turn button. Starting from the top down, click every other diagonal edge to turn it in the polygon for the two sides of the mesh that you can see in the viewport (Figure 4.15). The Turn tool only works on the edge you pick after clicking the Turn button.

Figure 4.15. By enabling Ignore Backfacing, you can select only the edges you can see to turn them one at a time.


6.
In the Edit Geometry rollout, click the Divide button and, in the third segment up from the bottom on each side that you can see, pick near the midpoint of the diagonals (Figure 4.16). This divides the edge at the point you pick and adds new invisible edges. Click the Select button in the main toolbar, hold the Ctrl key and pick each of the four new edges to make a selection set. In the Surface Properties rollout, click Visible to make the edges visible.

Figure 4.16. The Divide button lets you pick an edge to create two new invisible edges and divide the existing edge in two.


7.
Right-click the Perspective label viewport and disable Edged Faces. On the Modifier panel, Stack view, highlight Edit Mesh to exit the Edge sub-object level, and then highlight Lattice to return to the top of the stack. Your tower now has diagonal bracing on two sides to keep it rigid (Figure 4.17).

Figure 4.17. With just a few quick edits at the Edge sub-object level, you have added diagonal bracing to your tower.


caution

It is important to exit the sub-object level before returning to the top of the Modifier stack unless you intend for the modifiers to operate only on the sub-object selection set.

8.
Save the file; it should already be called Ch04_tower04.max.

You have learned that you can control exactly what your Lattice modifier space frame looks like by using Edge sub-object-level editing with the Edit Mesh modifier or with an Editable Mesh object. With an understanding that the Lattice modifier operates on vertices and visible edges of 3D objects, you have great flexibility in creating space frame objects of all types.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • The Lattice objects look fine from a moderate distance, but under close scrutiny the intersections of struts and joints do not look as refined.

  • Using the Lattice modifier to create joints from object vertices can quickly increase the face count of your object, so this option can be unproductive. Make sure you need the joints when leaving this option on.

  • Deselecting Cast Shadows in the Properties dialog for the Lattice object can increase efficiency when shadows are not needed.

Take the time to edit your tower for the strut layout that you find effective. As with all the lessons in this book, practicing a little at a basic level will make it easier to use the same tools and techniques in your daily work.

High-Profile Modeling

You have a tower structure for your airport, but you also need a control room at the top of the tower to complete the model. In the next two exercises, located in this section and the next, you'll learn different skill sets to expand your repertoire of modeling techniques as you create a control room.

The first exercise utilizes a modifier called Bevel Profile, which requires two 2D shapes—a base shape you'll create, and a profile shape that is already in the scene. The Bevel Profile modifier works similarly to the Extrude modifier, but rather than simply extruding straight in the Z axis, it uses a 2D shape to define the extrusion.

note

As mentioned earlier in this chapter, previous versions of 3ds max have included an Editable Poly object with many of the same controls as the new Edit Poly modifier. The inclusion of the tools in the form of a modifier that may be placed anywhere in the Modifier Stack and may be removed or disabled adds a lot more flexibility to your workflow.


In the second exercise, you'll apply a modifier that's new to 3ds max 7—the Edit Poly modifier. It is similar to the Edit Mesh modifier in that it gives you access to sub-object-level editing, but it defines the 3D Poly object as being created primarily of quad polygons rather than the triangular faces produced using Edit Mesh. This, in turn, offers a powerful new toolset for modifying the 3D object.

Exercise 4.4: Creating the Exterior of the Control Room

1.
Open the file called Ch04_tower04.max from your project folder or from the CD-ROM. Save it to your project folder with the name Ch04_tower05.max. In the Perspective viewport, select Tower01, right-click and, in the Quad menu, choose Hide Selection to hide the tower (Figure 4.18).

Figure 4.18. You can hide selected objects by right-clicking in the viewport and clicking Hide Selection from the Quad menu.


tip

You can unhide the object by right-clicking and using Unhide All or Unhide by Name in the same Quad menu or through the Display panel.

2.
Right-click in the Top viewport to activate it. In the Shapes category of the Create panel, click the NGon button in the Object Type rollout. In the Top viewport, click and drag an NGon of any size. On the Modify panel, rename the object Tower_building01. In the Parameters rollout, enter 16 in the Radius field and press Enter. Select the Circumscribed radio button and enter 8 in the Sides field. The eight-sided polygon is created with the midpoint of each segment being 16 feet from the center of the shape (Figure 4.19).

Figure 4.19. Create an eight-sided polygon that is 16 feet from the segment midpoint to the center of the shape.


3.
On the Modify panel, Modifier List, choose Bevel Profile. The NGon will turn into a flat surface with no thickness. In the Parameters rollout, click the Pick Profile button. Press H to display the Pick Object dialog (Figure 4.20). Double-click tower_profile in the dialog. This extrudes and bevels the NGon in the shape of the profile to create an eight-sided control tower (Figure 4.21).

Figure 4.20. When using the Bevel Profile modifier, pressing the H key when you're prompted to pick a profile lets you choose valid shapes from the Pick Objects dialog. This method of choosing shapes can be easier than trying to locate the shape in the viewports, but just how easy it is depends on how consistent your naming conventions are.


Figure 4.21. A complex 3D object is created from two simple 2D shapes using the Bevel Profile modifier.


4.
Right-click in the Front viewport to activate it and select the tower_profile shape. In Stack view on the Modify panel, highlight the Vertex sub-object level. In the Front viewport, make sure the top-left end vertex of the shape is selected and red. Right-click in the viewport and click the Transform Type-In button next to Move in the Quad menu (Figure 4.22).

Figure 4.22. Click the Transform Type-In button to the right of Move in the Quad menu.


5.
In the Move Transform Type-In dialog, enter -2 in the X field of the Offset:Screen area and press Enter (Figure 4.23). The vertex will move left (negative amount) in the X axis of the Screen reference coordinate system, and the number will revert back to 0'0”. Close the dialog. The 3D object's roof is a lower pitch than it was before, and the flat at the top is 4 feet smaller than it was previously.

Figure 4.23. By adjusting the 2D shape, you can edit the 3D object that uses the shape to define the profile.


6.
On the Modify panel, Modifier Stack, highlight Line to exit the sub-object level. Again, remembering to exit the sub-object level is a very important step. If you forget to do this, you can end up making unwanted changes to the profile, and it is impossible to select other objects in the scene when you are in any sub-object level.

7.
Save the file; it should already be called Ch04_tower05.max.

You have created and edited another complex 3D object by modifying simple 2D shapes.

tip

Always edit the 2D shapes in the plane they were created in to avoid unwanted distortion.


Practice creating objects you find around your desk or in the room you are working in using the Bevel Profile modifier. You'll be surprised by the power and flexibility that Bevel Profile provides.

The Edit Poly Modifier

Having the functionality of the Editable Poly object from previous versions of 3ds max in the form of a modifier—the Edit Poly modifier in 3ds max 7—can increase your productivity by providing you a more versatile tool.

In the next exercise, you'll first apply an Edit Poly modifier to Tower_building01 to create a parapet on the flat area of the roof. You will then add another Edit Poly modifier to create window frames and windows. Unfortunately, adding two Edit Poly modifiers results in a much larger memory footprint because each Edit Poly modifier must store a copy of the object. However, the advantages of being able to edit the windows independently from the roof may outweigh the potential performance degradation. You will learn through experience based on your workflow whether it makes sense for you to keep the editing separate or not.

The Edit Poly modifier also lets you use the Settings dialogs to try different settings before committing the changes to the model.

Exercise 4.5: Using Edit Poly Modifiers to Refine the Control Room

1.
Open the file called Ch04_tower05.max from your project folder or from the CD-ROM. Save the file as Ch04_tower06.max. Make sure Tower_building01 is selected in the Perspective viewport. On the Modify panel, Modifier List, choose Edit Poly. In Stack view, expand Edit Poly. Notice the sub-object levels are different from the Edit Mesh modifiers. A Border sub-object level is visible in the Edit Poly modifier instead of the triangular Face sub-object level in the Edit Mesh modifier.

2.
In Stack view, highlight the Polygon sub-object level. In the Perspective viewport, select the uppermost octagon-shaped polygon at the top of the roof. In the Edit Polygons rollout on the Modify panel, click the Settings button to the right of the Extrude button. In the Extrude Polygons dialog, enter 5 in the Extrusion Height field and press Enter. The octagon polygon is moved 5 feet in the local positive Z axis, and new polygons have been created at the sides (Figure 4.24). Once you have the setting the way you want it, click the OK button to finalize the operation.

Figure 4.24. The Settings dialog of the Edit Polygon modifier lets you see the result of your edits before committing them to the model.


3.
With the octagon polygon still selected, click the Inset Settings button in the Edit Polygons rollout. In the Inset Polygons dialog, enter 1 in the Inset Amount field and press Enter. This reduces the size of the selected polygon in its own plane and creates new polygons. Click OK. Click the Settings button beside the Extrude button on the Modify panel again. Now enter -3 in the Extrusion Height field of the Extrude Polygons dialog (Figure 4.25). Click OK. You now have a parapet for the octagon roof. Click on Edit Poly in Stack view to exit the sub-object level.

Figure 4.25. Entering a negative amount in the Extrusion Height field extrudes the polygon inward.


4.
Right-click Edit Poly in Stack view and choose Rename in the menu. Click to the right of the Edit Poly name and change it to read Edit Poly-parapet. Renaming is a good habit to get into so that you and your coworkers have a better idea what each modifier does in the stack (Figure 4.26).

Figure 4.26. You can rename modifiers in Stack view to clarify their function.


5.
On the Modify panel, choose Edit Poly in the Modifier List and rename it Edit Poly-windows. Expand the modifier and highlight the Polygon sub-object level. On the main toolbar, click the Select button and make sure the Window/Crossing Selection toggle (located to the left of the Select and Move button) is set to Crossing Selection mode. In the Front viewport, drag a narrow selection box through all the angled window polygons (Figure 4.27). When Crossing Selection mode is enabled, all polygons within or touching the selection window are selected.

Figure 4.27. Select all the angled window polygons using Crossing Selection mode.


6.
In the Edit Polygons rollout, click the Inset Settings button. In the Inset Polygons dialog, enter 1 in the Inset Amount field and press Enter. This creates two new sets of polygons at the top and bottom of the selection set, each 1 foot wide. Click the By Polygon radio button and each polygon will be inset around its own center, creating a frame around each window (Figure 4.28). Click OK to accept the changes.

Figure 4.28. Enabling By Polygon mode in the Inset Polygons dialog works on each selected polygon independently.


7.
In the Edit Polygons rollout, click the Settings button to the right of the Bevel button. Enter -6” in both the Height and Outline Amount fields in the Bevel Settings dialog (Figure 4.29). Make sure you enter inch marks (“) in both fields. Click OK. The windows are now beveled inward. Exit the sub-object level in Stack view. You can now use the Light Bulb icons to the left of each Edit Poly modifier to disable or enable the changes of each.

Figure 4.29. Entering -6” in the Height and Outline Amount fields creates windows in the frames.


8.
Right-click in the Top viewport and choose Unhide All in the Quad menu that appears. With Tower_building01 still selected, click the Align button on the main toolbar (you can find buttons by pausing the cursor over a button to see the tooltip) and pick the Tower01 object. In the Align Selection (Tower01) dialog, select X Position, Y Position, and Z Position. Select Center for Current Object and Target Object. The center of the bounding box of the current object, Tower_building01, will be aligned with the center of the bounding box of Tower01 (Figure 4.30).

Figure 4.30. Use the Align button to align the centers of the bounding boxes of Tower_building01 to Tower01.


9.
In the Align Selection (Tower01) dialog, click the Apply button. This clears the current settings and leaves the objects in the new alignment. In the dialog, select Z Position. In the Current Object area, select the Minimum radio button; in the Target Object area, select the Maximum radio button. This aligns the bottom of Tower_building01 to the top of Tower01 (Figure 4.31). Click OK to accept the alignment and close the dialog.

Figure 4.31. To place Tower_building01 on top of Tower01, align the objects in the Z axis of the Top viewport Minimum (the extreme point of the bounding box in the negative axis)with the Maximum (the extreme point of the bounding box in the positive axis).


10.
Save the file. It should already be named Ch04_tower06.max. You now have two complex objects that are properly aligned, which you can easily edit at any time. You have named the Edit Poly modifiers in the Stack view to be more meaningful to you or your coworkers at a later date.

Use the lessons learned in this chapter to build some of your own models. Keep in mind that efficiency and flexibility are great advantages in your workflow. These fundamental techniques require a little pre-planning, and each situation will require slightly different planning, but with practice you can integrate these techniques into your daily workflow.

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