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Modeling Tools

Many improvements have been made in the area of modeling in this latest version of 3ds max, with a strong focus on its existing areas of strength, specifically polygon-based and patch-based geometry. NURBS (Non-Uniform Relational Bézier Spline) functionality, which has traditionally not been one of 3ds max’s strong points, has not been changed or enhanced in this version of max. This, and the fact that most 3ds max power users agree that the current implementation of NURBS is more often than not an impractical or unusable modeling solution, is why we will not be covering NURBS in this book. Readers interested in finding out more about using NURBS in 3ds max 4 are urged to consult the manuals or read Inside 3D Studio Max 3, also available from New Riders.

Mesh Modeling with the Editable Mesh

Changes to the Editable Mesh object type—and, hence, the Edit Mesh modifier— have focused on the area of game development. New options have been added to the Surface Properties rollup for vertex, face, polygon, and element sub-objects. Users may now assign an illumination color and an alpha value at the aforementioned Sub-Object levels, which can be used by certain game engines for vertex lighting and transparency. Additionally, at the Vertex Sub-Object level, users can select vertices by Vertex Illumination value as well as by Vertex Color value (see Figure 2.1).


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