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   Discovery Zone: Tutorials
PREPARE THE SHIP BEFORE ALL

OK, reminder, you already have a ship that looks like that since it is a trek ship.

1 - Collapse me, baby!
Easy stuff, select all the objects (Edit/select all),then go to the panel,select Collapse, click on Multiple Object and then click on the Collapse Selected button.Simple.
Now all your objects are editable Meshes and not objects with a ton of modifier history that eats your RAM like mad. click here to see the collapse panel

2 - Attach me , baby !

Now that you have a clean model, let's attach all the parts together, this way you won't have a mess if you try to insert another ship in the scene that has objects with names your current model already has.
Select one of the objects, then go to the modifier panel, click on Attach Multiple, then select everything and click on Attach.
A quick advice, save your mesh under a differnt name if you don't wanna spend the following two months trying to separate all the objects manually..hehehe...

1 - Paint me, baby!
Ok, you have a clean mesh that's all attached and all.now you need to work a bit on the material editor.
go to File/Reset and reset 3dsmax.Then go to File/Merge, and merge your previous attached ship into the scene.Once it is done,rename the ship with an acceptable name ( ship, for example). Go to the material editor and click on the Get material button. I won't do a screencap each time you have to click on a button so when you keep the mouse a few seconds over a button, the name appears.You are now located in the Map/Material Browser.Go to Scene and oh surprise you see a Multi/SubObject material there.
When you attached the ship previously, the materials merged into one Multi/SubObject thingy.Double click on that material and oh surprise again it now appears in the Material Editor.Name the MultiThingy material ship1 for example and Save the new scene.
Now your ship won't be mixed with another one when doing scenes with several ships.

3 - SILLY YOU YOU FORGOT SOMETHING !

You suck, you forgot to assign IDs to the textures that go on objects that will glow in the final scene !!!
Ok, into the Multi/subThingy material you can display each texture and on each material ( warp coils, for example) assign a distinct number (there's a box where you can assign numbers in the material editor). Of course, you're a clever human so you won't mix the numbers.Ok.now you can go back and do the next step