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3d Modeling for Dummies - A "Pro's" Guide

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    3d Modeling for Dummies - A "Pro's" Guide

    OK, so you wanted to take your custom ship model and make it 3d but you are confused on what to do?
    Part One: Approaches to Modeling
    There are many different approaches in modeling.
    The first, which is used in SketchUp, is rather unorthodox. You draw polies on a surface and extrude* from there. This can be useful but is horrible for curvy, smooth meshes (such as an Ori Battle cruiser).
    The second method also uses extruding, but you start off with a box and only extrude only the sides. You then modify the vertex locations to make the mesh conform more to your overall design.
    This method is also good for smooth meshes such as my tread bike.

    Of course, you can combine different methods to create your mesh, but consistency is important.

    Part Two: Modeling Programs
    From my experience there are 3 types of modeling programs, those like Blender, which are complicated and hard to understand at first but provide many options. Those like GMax / 3ds Max (the latter costing $7000 for a standard license, the first being free), which are easy to learn, contain standard modeling tools, and for the latter, are used for many applications in the real world (ei. video games, movies, advertisements [commercials, etc]). The third is SketchUp, which gets its own category. SketchUp is a little, well, different. It's easy to draw and extrude shapes, but creating true meshes takes a lot of time. THe interface is a lot like blender's standard view (while showing only one window). SketchUp can be great for starting out, but I'd recommend Gmax if you truly want to model, seeing as SketchUp is just that, a 3d sketchpad.

    Part Three: Texturing
    For better looks, most modelers UV^ and texture their models, but alternative methods, such as polygon coloring can work for things such as designing a ship in SketchUp. UVing is difficult and painstaking and drives some modelers mad. I usually use built-in UVing functions when creating my models (things like tiling textures), but better models will use true UVs, which are assigned by hand to fit a texture made in a photo editor.
    Coloring polygons can work for models that aren't meant to be rendered, but rather to just be models (where the color is there as an example). It involves dividing hte model into groups of faces with the same color and applying a solid color material to each group.



    More to come later

    Definitions:
    * Extrude: to go from a 2 dimensional shape and stretch it on a new axis to make it 3d. Example: An extruded circle is a cylinder.
    ^ A coordinate system occupying 2 or 3 dimensions that determines where a texture is placed on a mesh.
    Oh snap. You're reading a really old post.
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