Creating a Railroad with Path Constraint and Snapshot Tool in 3DS Max

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In this post i will explain how to use path constraint and snapshot tools to create continuous multiple objects. I am using this tools oftenly at work. For small scenes copy-paste could be easier to use but in huge scales snapshotting is much more time saver. I will post a few different renders below the explanation as example.

Before the start I created some kind of coal mine enter as you see above. Its only for the tutorial, I did not spend much time on it. Then I simply created a curved line starting from inside of the gate. It will be the path of our railroad.

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Then I fit the line to the earth by playing with vertices. The earth plane has some ups and downs.

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I created the wooden rail holder at the left side to put it below the rail.

 

 

 

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Under the motion panel and assign controller drop down menu you will see position, rotation and scale. To assign a controller to transformer I selected position and pressed the assign controller button above the selection. After selecting path constraint from the list, it will be added to the object.

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After adding path constraint, Path Parameters dropdown menu will show up. Under the menu Add Path button lets you choose which line will be followed by the selected object. I picked the path I created before. Usually the result is out of the rotation than how it must be look like. So I rotate it manually to find a position as I want. I recommend you to press follow button that I marked in the picture above before the manual rotation. Otherwise it will be unrotate again. Follow check lets rotate the object that controlled by path constraint on the way of picked line.

Now the object has a path animation. It can be seen by scrolling the timeline from begining to the end.

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Snapshot can be reached under “Tools>Snapshot”. This tool can make a copy of the mesh within any single time or between a range in timeline. I have an animation of object that i want to copy in a range of time. So I checked Range and copied it 12 times as the lenght of my path.

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The result is fine to me. I drew two lines more to create rails. And this is how it looks.

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I also created the two pictures below. The one with city lamps is for this tutorial and the one with roller coaster is a product.

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alan render3

 

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How to 3D Low Poly Style Landscape

 

In this post I will explain the tricks of low poly style landscape render with 3Ds Max.1I started the project by creating the plane for the ground base mesh. Its a simple almost square 20×25 segment plane. Then I converted to “Edit Poly” by right clicking the mesh.

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After creating ground I heightened the hills and the mountains with “soft selection tool” which is in Soft Selection panel at right side.

5  When I create the mountain tops I increased the pinch value of the soft selection tool as you see in the picture at left. Pinch value make the vertices which is in the falloff area of the selection stronger or weaker. The graph below values must be seen like a mountain.

Tip: You can start to create mountains with a lower pinch and you can increase the value a little after.

 

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I finally decided to leave the mountains like above. 9

After finishing the ground, mountains material have to be set up. I decided to paint mountain body to brown and top of the mountain to white. Due to there is only one mesh to paint 3 different materials, the best solution is to use “multi-sub object”. To use this kind of material, Polygon Material ID’s must be grouped. I left the polygons that will be grass to default 1, I set the mountain body to ID 2 and the mountain top to ID 3. It can be set in Polygon Material IDs in the Edit Poly tab. As you can see above. Before setting the IDs the polygons which will be grouped must be already selected.

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I am using “smooth” modifier to harden the meshes. It can be selected in modifier list>smooth. If Auto Smooth is selected, decrease the treshold amount and the mesh will be like low poly style.8

To create the multi/sub-object, Open the Material tab (press M) then click the button which says “standart” which is shown in the first picture above. It will open a new window. Pick “Multi/Sub-Object”. As you see in the 3rd picture above there is a list of material slots. Due to polygon material groups which is I did before the ID groups of the material will paint them.

1st ID is green for the ground

2nd ID is brown for the mountain body

3rd ID is white for the mountain top

If the material IDs set correctly the mesh will be shown like the picture below.

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I created the trees in a very basic way. I created a cone, copied it 4 times and attached with a stick. I set the polygon material groups of the leaves to 2 and left the stick to default 1. I made a new multi sub object material and added it to the tree.clouds

Creating the clouds is a little bit tricky. I created a basic sphere with 16 segment then I used “pro-optimizer” modifier which is in the modifier list menu and I added “smooth” modifier to make it look low poly style. Just copied 3 times and variated it.

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Stone is also created with the same modifiers.

 

 

To create a forest, copying and copying is not the best way. It takes time and it will be like un aligned by the ground with hills. I think the best way to make a forest is to using the “Object Paint Tool” which is above of the viewport screen. Before using this tool make sure the object that you want to copy is 1 mesh.

Press the button which is marked with the number “1” then click the tree mesh. Press the button which is marked with 2 and you can click to the ground where you want to create a tree. It will copy the tree where you will click. It is also aligned by the Axis “Z”. It means if you click the mountain the tree will not stay below the ground. If new trees are so big you can manipulate the values which is marked with “3” cyan color.

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I put the stones with the same tools. I copied some clouds to the sky and added some details like the river, rainbow and stuff.

I Was In Arles How To

I Was In Arles from gunisigicihangir on Vimeo.

This is an artwork which I created as my graduation project for Marmara University-Istanbul. Digitalizing a classic artwork always excites me. While I was working on Microsoft Kinect that idea appeared in my mind. How great it would be to see unpainted areas in Van Gogh’s Bedroom painting. After the graduation exhibition in Marmara University, it also exhibited in amberFest 13′.

This work looks quite complicated but actually it is one of the simplest projects that I made.

I started by searching how to adding skeleton data taken by kinect into a Unity 3D project. I found a sdk which is released by Microsoft for Unity. You can download it from website below.

http://wiki.etc.cmu.edu/unity3d/index.php/Microsoft_Kinect_-_Microsoft_SDK

You will need to install kinect developer toolkit and kinect SDK too. Just after the download has finished, open the Unity3D and run “Kinect1.7UnityPackage.unitypackage”. Make sure all the packages are selected then press import. This will import a package consist of some codes and an example project.

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We can work inside the example project by modifying it. When you import all the package you will see KinectSample in the Project window below. Full path is Assets>Scene>KinectSample.8-01

To create the feeling of looking at inside the picture I decided to create a main camera with a target point which is always looked at. Because if you dont use a target point the camera always look the same direction.

I found this code from reference tab from Unity3D’s website.

var target : Transform;

function Update() {
transform.LookAt(target);
}

I copied and pasted this codes as a javascript code in Unity and simply linked it into the camera by dragging and droping. You can create a Java Script file by right clicking in the project window and create>Javascript. You must see the component in inspector menu when you select the camera. Then I created a cube front of the camera for the target and attached it to the “target tag” of the component that i just created inside the camera. You can reach the target tag inside the inspector menu and you can add an object by clicking the circle beside it.

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The distance between the camera and the target point is important to make the movement more natural. But it depends on the project.

5Second, I attached the camera to the “03_Head” inside the “KinectPointMan”. The project has 2 skeleton. rainbowMan_v06 and KinectPointMan. I used “PointMan” because the other one vibrating the camera while Point man is smoother.

 

 

 

 

To finalize the project delete the “rainbow man” which we didn’t use and move the camera until the KinectPointMan disappears from the screen. Then you can create your own scene to look inside. I would love to share my 3D model for Van Gogh’s bedroom but unfortunately it was erased with many project which I didn’t sync to cloud after the burned hard disc disaster.

I created a couple of cubes to realize the movement as you can see below. I preserved the skeleton just to show you my body movements.

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You can manipulate the distance to see the difference.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. See you next time.