We’re going to go over how to make a quad sphere in 3ds Max, Maya and Cinema 4D, for CheckMate Pro v2.
The default sphere is problematic because of the two poles. By itself, a standard sphere does not seem to pose any problems, but when it comes time to subdivide, the differences in polygon density at the equator and at the poles produces pinching, and squashes the sphere around the equator.
Click any screenshot below for full resolution.
Comparison of a Polygonal Sphere and a Quad Sphere
Here are the spheres unsmoothed.
When the spheres are smoothed, they both deform in different ways.
You can see how the Polygonal Sphere’s smoothing causes problems once a shader is added. Little ridges are created at the top of the sphere.
You can see the ridges with a chrome material applied also.
While the effect is subtle, you should be able to see the faint star pattern within the normal sphere at the poles where the lighting and reflections get distorted as the sphere is subdivided. Moreover, it can’t simply be fixed by removing every other edge that’s converging to that one vertex to make the pole faces quads. The distortion is a direct result of the fact that it’s a curved surface where the pole exists.
As such, a far better approach is to build a quad sphere, which not only eliminates this pole problem entirely, but is completely CheckMate Pro v2 compliant. Here’s how you can accomplish this quickly in each of the major 3D applications.
You under According to 2.2.1 in the CheckMate Pro Specification, the topology must be quads and triangles only for CheckMate Pro Certification.
This video will show you how to find and fix Ngons in 3ds Max. Ngons are polygons with more than 4 sides. The reason Ngons are not allowed in CheckMate Pro is due to the fact that models with Ngons are hard to animate and edit.
There are several ways to eliminate Ngons. The first and most important way is fixing them by hand. We highly recommend that you go through and fix them by hand because that is the best way to keep clean/good topology- which is required for CheckMate Pro Certification.
As you can see, I already have a model open in 3ds Max 2012.
First, we want to “Unhide All” so right-click and choose “Unhide All”.
Make sure the model is ungrouped. If you are not sure, select the model and then select “Group” > “Ungroup” from the top of the program; confirm that it is not grouped or select the option to ungroup.
Next run the CheckMate Pro Script to find out which objects have Ngons.
Download the script from the link provided then go to MAXScript and choose the CheckMate Pro Script; you can also open the script from wherever you have saved it on your system.
When the Script window pops-up click “[Update]”.
When the script finishes, in the middle in the “Ngons” column you can see which objects have Ngons. If there is the #5 or higher in the brackets then there are Ngons.
Now we can go down the list and select the Ngons that we want to fix. Select one of the object with Ngons and when you do that you can see that that object shows up in the modify panel.
Minimize the script and in the modify panel extend Editable Poly by clicking the “+” and choose “Polygon”.
Now, we are going to use the Graphite Modeling Tools to find the Ngons (these are available in Max 2010 and later). To open the Graphite Modeling Tools go to “Customize” at the top, then select “Show UI” and check “Show Ribbon”.
Once the Graphite Modeling Tools Panel is up, choose “Selection” and then “By Numeric” and then choose greater than “>” and for sides we want to input “4” so that it is only showing up the Ngons and then click the arrow “õ” to select.
Now that we have identified the Ngons, we are going to manually fix them by connecting vertices. On the modify tab, choose “Vertex” and then choose two vertices that you want to connect. Select one vertex and hold down “Ctrl” and select the other one to divide off the part you want from the Ngon.
Click “Connect” on the Modify panel.
Now, when you choose “Polygon” selection again and under “By Numeric” you click the arrow again, the areas you connected will no longer highlight as Ngons.
This video will show you how to find and fix overlapping faces using xView in 3ds Max 2010 or later.
Select the model.
If grouped, ungroup the model.
Go to “Customize”, then “Units Setup…”, and select “Generic Units” so that it matches our CheckMate script.
Find “xView” in the drop-down menu and once your mouse is over it another set of options will appear and you want to select “Overlapping Faces”.
Again, make sure the model is selected, then at the bottom click where it says “[Click Here To Configure]”.
Change the “Tolerance:” to 0.0001.
Choose an overlapping face that you would like to fix, then go to the modify tab, and under “Selection” choose “Polygon”.
Select the overlapping face that you chose to fix and it should highlight in red or be outlined in red.
Now there are two options to fix the overlapping faces:
You can choose “Select and Move” and move the X-coordinate (or whatever coordinate is appropriate) out slightly, or
At the bottom, select “Absolute Mode Transform Type-In” and enter in the X-coordinate (or whatever coordinate is appropriate) how much you want the face to move out from its original location (in the video I moved it out 0.01).
This quick tutorial walks through the process of making a wireframe thumbnail using Scanline or mental ray for 3ds Max. The steps presented in the video are outlined below.
Open 3ds Max file.
If it’s a Scanline file, change renderer to mental ray.
Go to the material editor (m).
Change the material from “Standard” to “Composite” by pressing the button that says “Standard” and choosing “Composite” from the material drop down.
Select the “Base Material:” and by changing the diffuse color you can control the wireframe background color.
Select “Go to Parent”.
Next to “Mat. 1:” select the “None” button and change it to a standard material from the material drop down (this will take you to the screen where you can control the wireframes).
Check “Wire” under the “Sharer Basic Parameters”
Adjust the wire color by changing the diffuse color.
Under “Extended Parameters”, you can change the wire size in the top right corner.
Select the model, and apply the wireframe material to the model by dragging and dropping or by clicking on “Assign Material to Selection”.
To change the thumbnail background you can go to the “Rendering” drop down and choose “Environment” and select the box under “Color:” to adjust the color to your liking.
Render your wireframe thumbnail by going to “Render Production” at the top right.
Save your render by selecting save image.
Remember: For CheckMate Pro the wireframe thumbnail background must be of neutral tone and distinctively different than the non-wireframe images. And, the wire color must be black, white, or gray. Other colors are allowed at TurboSquid Inspector discretion.
This week is the annual SIGGRAPH conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Tens of thousands attendees will convene over the next few days for classes on CG techniques, hands-on demonstrations of new technology, meetings, discussions, and gatherings of all kinds. SIGGRAPH also includes a nonstop animation festival and a feast-for-the-eyes exhibition of new CG technology. For CG aficionados in North America (and around the world), SIGGRAPH is like Disney World—there’s not enough time to do and see everything, but whatever you do manage to fit in is always inspiring, intriguing, and just plain fun.
This is my 21st SIGGRAPH. The first day, Sunday, is usually pretty laid-back. I attended the Unofficial 3ds Max User Gathering, a gathering organized every year by 3ds Max enthusiasts for as long as I can remember. The past few years it’s been set up by Mike McCarthy, Autodesk Master and all-around knowledgeable guy. I look forward to this meeting every year as a chance to meet up with old friends and make some new ones.
Unofficial 3ds Max User Gathering
No 3ds Max party is complete without Bobo Petrov, master MAXScripter and everyone’s favorite Bulgarian.
Back at the hotel, it seems everyone staying here is attending SIGGRAPH. Over cocktails by the pool, I chatted with an artist from the NASA 3D Resources team and an instructor from VANarts. What did we talk about? 3D modeling and animation, of course! These kinds of relaxed and enlightening encounters are what I love most about SIGGRAPH.
Stay tuned for more as the days continue and the conference ramps up to full speed.
It was a tough call, but we managed to choose our three winners of the CheckMate Tools contest. Once again, our members succeeded in dazzling us with their brilliance and ingenuity.
The goal of the contest, which ran until March 31, was to create a script that would look for CheckMate issues when running pre-2010 releases of 3ds Max. Our existing CheckMate script relies on XView features, which are not available in 3ds Max 2009 or before. This made it hard for artists using older software (of which there are many at TurboSquid) to prepare or fix their models for CheckMate certification.
Of all the entries that we received, there were three scripts that stood out above the rest. It was a tough decision, as these three scripts each did a great job of creating a new tool that can be used by 3ds Max 7 or later. Here’s a snapshot view of the three winning entries, with more details below.
Grand Prize / First Place: Popa_3D This full-featured MAXScript batch-fixes errors and renders thumbnails and turntables. In addition to running tests for both Checkmate Pro and Lite, this script can run individual tests one by one. Plus it’s lightning-fast!
2nd Place: Denys Almaral This MAXScript features a handy display of sub-object level problems so you can easily zoom in and locate problematic faces and vertices. This submission runs faster than the original 3ds Max CheckMate Tool, especially on high-poly models.
3rd Place: Atanas Bakardzhiev
Created by using the existing XView-heavy CheckMate Tool as a base, this MAXScript adds a non-XView option that performs most of the same commands without calling XView itself. When running this script, you can choose whether to run it in XView or non-XView mode.
Congratulations to all three winners! The winning MAXScripts are available for free download on our CheckMate Tools page, so you can pick one or try them all. We hope you use these tools to help you build, check and fix up your products for CheckMate certification.
Read on for more detail on each of the submissions. (more…)