Green Rascal Design

 
 
Briefly I wanted to review exporting to discuss the concept of polygons and build on what we talked about in class. Complex forms require more polygons for the sake of not only their geometry but also how lighting will effect them.
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Here is my ceiling, which I am exporting with a medium level of detail. See how the polygons become very complicated at areas of intense curvature, including my light holes, for lack of a better term. I wasn't thinking about this when I created my ceiling, but now I find that I might have to remake it because the holes are such a mess.

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This is how the ceiling looks when all I do is import it using standard settings. See the black patches. This is an example of what rushing through things does.

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Also, just so everyone is aware, somehow using my standard settings meant that each polygon enters 3ds Max as a separate entity of sorts. See how each piece of the mesh has its own UCS. (And at the top you can see my computer crapping out too.) I'll have to go back and see what I can do about all of these artifacts.

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I recreated the curvy surface and extruded it up, and I'm leaving out the holes this time. Here I'm exporting the object with the polygon slider moved up two notches. These polygons look like they might be more manageable, so I'll give this a try.

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Perhaps this time when I import I'll Derive AutoCAD Primitives by One Object, Use Extrude modifier to represent thickness, and uncheck Create one scene object for each AutoCAD Architecture one. I'm also making sure my Curve steps are up high and my Maximum surface derivation for 3D solids is down around maybe .5 instead of 1. And for Texture mapping, I think I'll try No mapping coordinates. This might mess up any material maps I might want to apply in the future, though. Anyway, here is what it looks like with these settings. not all that much better, but certainly different.

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I decided to make this surface a mesh in rhino, and I started by exploding the 3d object and deleting everything but the original bottom surface. Then I converted it to a mesh using the highest polygon setting. I then offset the mesh to recreate the thickness I had before.

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Here it is, perfect in every way. I'll use the lights layer from my old Rhino file to recreate the openings in 3ds Max later. Or I suppose I could have converted the surface with the holes instead.So the moral of the story is that if you give your curvy surfaces a try and they don't look right, convert them to meshes. Creating them as NURBS sure was easy, but converting them to meshes once the form is right will save you some frustration.

 
 
In class this week we're starting to work in 3ds Max. I'll bring in my curvy ceiling model, but I'm going to do it in several steps because for one thing my current trusty computer has a hard time with 3ds Max, and because I have a few different things going on. If I attempt to bring in the whole model with the level of detail it will take to render the ceiling correctly it will take me all day, and I just don't have that kinda time. I'm guessing neither do you. So here goes.
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I turned everything off but the walls, then I selected all. Then under File I chose Export Selected. I picked the AutoCAD .dwg format and hit ok. Then this little box pops up called Export AutoCAD File. Notice how my Scheme is custom? Hit Edit Schemes.

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This box is very important. Without it, my walls would export to AutoCAD as simple 3D linework. There will be no faces/surfaces/meshes/whatever. I hit New off to the right. Name a new scheme, then hit ok. Under the General tab, the first thing to do is make sure the AutoCAD Version is the newest version possible. In my case that is 2004, and it works pretty well. Next, I want to make sure it Writes Surfaces as: Meshes. Solids may also work, but absolutely do not leave it as Curves! Write Meshes as: Meshes or 3D Faces. I usually have it set as 3D Faces. And Project to plane: Don't project! I've never projected to any plane, on purpose that is.

Under the Curves tab, here are the settings I usually use. Lines become Lines. Arcs become Arcs. Polylines become Polylines. Curves become Splines. And Polycurves become Polylines with bulge arcs. I have a Maximum angle of 2.0 for Curve Tessellation. This might have to be increased when I export my curvy ceiling. And I have checked Simplify Lines & Arcs with a tolerance of 0.05. These settings work well for many things, but you might want to explore the differences at some point, especially if you have a lot of curvy objects like chairs and signs.
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exporting
When I close the Edit Schemes box and hit OK in the Export box, another little box called Polygon Mesh Options pops up. This is also a very important box. It controls the amount of detail my surfaces have when exported. Here is a preview of the default setting. For these straight rectangular walls, I can turn it down a couple notches. We can discuss the ramifications of this in class, but play with the slider and hit preview a few times to see what happens. In general the higher you go, the longer it will take to import into Max, the longer it will take to render, and the detail of your renderings will be higher. I'm exporting only the walls right now because they do not need high detail. If I exported everything at once, the level of detail it would take to render my ceiling correctly would also be applied to my walls, doors and light fixtures which would tax my computer way too much for such a small model. I'm going to turn this down to almost the lowest setting, and hit OK.

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imported walls
In 3ds Max, when I import those walls, this is what I get.