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  Discovery Zone : Make a Mine!
By Cooper

Ok, first let me begin by making a simple assumption: you know MAX to the limit. No, I'm kidding, I'll just assume you know how to start-up MAX.The purpose of this tutorial is to learn some methods for making objects/models. I wish to teach you a few basic modeling techniques which you can apply for many objects/models and shapes, and for this tutorial we will use the mine from the ST-DS9 episode 'A Call to Arms'.

Making models follows a three step process: Making The Basic Model (this Tutorial), Detailing and Texturing  (also know as modeling, crude detailing and fine detailing). Last two topics will be done in our next tutorial.

mine-002.jpg (93126 bytes)

1. The mine is built out of three base parts: top, middle, and bottom. We will start with the middle part of the mine. Select the TOP view in the interface. Go to create tab, go to the shapes button and select the splines (which are selected as default) then select the NGon [Figure 1]

2. Now you have the options open for the NGon, when you move you're pointer over blank area's a small hand appears, when this happens press and hold, move up and down to reveal all the options. We will use keyboard entry(for precision-modeling) Fill in the radius:32 the corner radius: 10 the number of sides: 8 end with pressing the create button. [Figure 2]

You will now have a image in the top view that looks like this. [Figure 3]


Figure 3
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Figure 6
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3. Now we will add our first Modifier, the Extrude modifier. (This is located in the next to the create tab). Make sure you have the NGon selected and click on the modify button. Look for the extrude-button and click on it(it should be in the default set, if not select the more-button. It will be default but now you know where to find more modifiers). [Figure 4]

4. Change the extruding-amount to 30 and check the generate mapping coordinates button. Now in our tutorial it is not necessary to activate this options, because we will be making it without textures. But in the event of using textures, you will not get an message when rendering saying, objectXX has no mapping coordinates. [Figure 5]

Alright now you have something that looks like this. [Figure 6]

5. For now we skip the additional details on the side of the mine and move on to the upper and lower piece. We will make this with a sphere or you could also use a geosphere. Go to the create-button select the geometry-button and click on sphere. [Figure 7]

6. Now similar to the NGon creation we will use keyboard entry for position. You can also create it anywhere in the scene give a right click on the move button and a menu with coordinates appears, use this to exactly position objects. For the rotate and scale button the same applies(keep in mind that by pressing and holding the scale button you can select three different scale buttons). Give the sphere a radius of 29 give it 52 segments (why 52 because it will allow nicely for the impulse lights(read-on)) and set the hemisphere on 0,5 (make sure the chop is checked) and the generate coordinates. End with pressing the create button. [Figure 8]

7. Now when right click on the rotate button either manual rotate 180 degrees or fill in the number in the absolute or in the offset screen. Note: if the object is not located at 0,0,0 the filling in the Absolute:world rotation will cause you're object to move to base and then rotate. [Figure 9]

Figure 9
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Figure 10 pic11.jpg (25749 bytes)

8. Now press and hold on the scale button and select the middle button (3 will appear). Now a warning message will display, just click yes. Click on the Y-button. Now we can manually scale the object to about 65% or fill in the number.[Figure 10]

9. Now we will make the holes for the thrusters. We will do this by making 4 boxes and apply a Boolean object. Select the create tab and the geometry map click on the box. [Figure 11]

10. We will use the keyboard entry again fill in y:25 set Length:10, Width:5 Height:-25 and on the bottom check the generate coordinates checkbox and press Create[Figure12]


11. Now create another box in the same way but now change it's Y in the keyboard entry to -25. Now you will see something like this[Figure 13]

12. Now we make the 2 boxes together so we can copy it and rotate it for the other two boxes, we do this to facilitate the boolean object we will make later on. It learns you a bit more max than just making 4 boxes and applying 4 booleans. Make sure you have a box selected and select modify and select the edit-mesh button. Click on the sub-object button so it turns grey. [Figure 14]

Now click on the attach button [Figure 15] and go to a view screen and click on the other box or click on the object select button. [Figure 16]

Figure 13
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13. Then this screen will appear, select the box (box01 or box02) and click pick.[Figure 17]

14. Now we need the other two boxes, you can create them the same way as before but than change the appropriate location settings, another way to get the same result involves copying and rotating. We will do this so you can also see that in many times you can use stuff you've made before. Ok select the shape(the 2 jointed boxes) go to the menu click strong>edit followed by clone.[Figure 18]

Ok just so you get your facts straight as with everything there are many other ways to do this, for instance you can press and hold SHIFT and move white 'move'-pointer over the object press, hold and drag, release and the you will be prompted the same way as when you select edit, clone. One disadvantage is that you have to reposition the cloned shape.

Figure 17
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Figure 20
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15. Let' move on. When you click clone , the follow screen will prompt. [Figure 19]. Select copy, fill in a name if you don't like the one max gives and click ok. Now you will have to exact shapes at the exact same location. One is selected(shown as white) and the other one you don't see, but it's there.

We must rotate (see earlier) it, but because we will need it to be exactly in the middle we must select Use pivot point center-button. Just to explain press and hold this button three option will appear select the middle. We jointed the to objects, because of this the center has remained at the center of one of the boxes, by pressing the middle

Use pivot point center-button we can temporarily move the pivot to the exact center. Now you rotate 90 degrees manually in the Top View or fill it in.[Figure 21]

Part Two...  
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