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Chapter 7. Precision Modeling > Profiles and Shapes

Profiles and Shapes

Now let's move on to another application for splines—namely, the use of profiles and shapes to create custom geometry. In the following exercise, you're going to create a gas cooktop to merge into the kitchen scene.

Open the file 7_Kitchen_Cooktop_Start.max. The scene consists of a few Chamfer Cylinder primitives, a set of predrawn spline shapes, and some profile curves. You're going to use these splines to construct the cooktop's details and furnishings.

In the viewport or from the Select Objects dialog, select the spline named hob_main_panels (Figure 7.17). (A hob is a cooktop burner.)

Figure 7.17. The panel spline selected.

From the Modify panel, apply a Bevel Profile modifier. Click the Pick Profile button, and in the Top viewport, pick the spline labeled Hob_curve_profile. Turn off the Capping for the End section of the modifier.

max will run the profile around the panels, but it's currently in the wrong direction, so we'll fix this. In the sub-object under the Bevel Profile modifier, select the Profile gizmo, and in the Perspective viewport, rotate the profile 180 degrees in the Z axis (Figure 7.18).

Figure 7.18. Rotating the Profile gizmo through 180 degrees.

If you render the cooktop, you can see through the surface you've made. This is because the faces are in the right place but facing the wrong direction. To rectify this, you must flip the direction of the object's normals. Apply a Normal modifier and ensure that Flip Normals is checked (Figure 7.19).

Figure 7.19. Corrected Bevel Profile and normals.

In the Top viewport, first select the shape named hob_bar01, and then, from the Create panel, navigate to Compound Objects and choose Loft.

You need to pick a shape for the loft object to use along the path (hob_bar01). Within the loft object's parameters, under the Creation Method rollout, click Get Shape. From the Top viewport, pick the rectangle labeled Hob_bar_profile (Figure 7.20).

Figure 7.20. Creating a loft object from a spline.

Now that you have the basis for your metal bars, you'll need to tweak some of the default settings to make things simpler. From the Skin Parameters rollout for the loft object, check the box marked Optimize Shapes. This will result in the loft object using only as many steps as your chosen shape object, and in this case, fewer polygons as well (Figure 7.21).

Figure 7.21. Optimized shape providing a cleaner, lighter mesh.



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