3D Modeling Special Interest Group – December 2019

In this session, constructing a tree-like upright helped us practice the fundamentals of 3D modeling.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:08    We experimented with making tree-like uprights. To start, we broke the project down into bits: We needed a trunk and three branches. We discussed our approach: On the screen plane, we wanted to create the trunk and branches before changing to a top/plan view so that we could rotate the branches around the trunk. I find it is easiest to work on models from the middle of the work surface (0, 0). We used the Deform tool in Taper Solid Mode to taper a column for the trunk. We turned lines into branches by using the Extrude Along Path command. In the Object Info palette, there is a Factor option that allowed us to taper the branches. Switching to a top/plan view, we rotated the branches around the trunk until they were where we wanted them. In 3D modeling, it’s easiest to use simple techniques and then bring them together. We demonstrated how to alter the branches, such as changing their length and angle. At the end, we turned all of the modeled tree parts into a Solid Addition. You can still make changes to the model afterward.
  • 26:01    Next, we made it so that colors didn’t leak through the tree by turning it into an Auto Hybrid. First, we made sure that we had the classes needed for the cut plane, above the cut plane, and below the cut plane. Even after the model was an Auto Hybrid, we could still double click on it and make changes. If you want to see your whole Auto Hybrid in a top/plan view, be sure that the Cut Plane Elevation is higher than your object. We made another object to illustrate how the cut plane can be used differently on different Auto Hybrids.
  • 39:14    Turning the tree into a symbol, we looked at how they can be easily reused or scaled. We experimented with the advantages of keeping the trees as symbols or using the Convert to Plug-In Object command to change them back into Auto Hybrids. As a symbol, we copied a tree to our library so that we could use it in a future project. We ended the session by adding a wood bark texture to our trees and experimented with the effects of changing the Bump Strength and other texture options.

3D Modeling December 2019

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