A New Dimension


3D Studio Max Class

There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man.
It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.
It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition.

- Rod Serling

Project 1: Basic Scene

Our assignment: to build a floor, a table with an elliptical top and cylindrical legs holding two glasses containing liquid, to add a teapot and a bowl containing food.  In class, we learned splines, extrusions, lathes and Boolean objects.

Cody's, mine, and Wolf's first project

I had a problem deciding on the best angle for display because I couldn't figure out how to illuminate my strawberries so that they looked red.  I came up with three options and let Wolf and Cody vote.  The one in the middle above won unanimously.

Viewpoint is everything

Project 2: Bounce

Our assignment: to build a floor and a sphere.  The sphere is to bounce four times in different places using stretch to produce a natural deformation, keyframes to control the timing, and a dummy object as a helper.  I used Flix Wildform to convert the .avi files to .swf files.  These are supposed to repeat endlessly but, for reasons unknown to me, they don't.

Click to play: Cody's, mine, Wolf's

In class, we learned ease-in, ease-out motion, position axis, and pivot point.

Project 3: Glass

Our assignment: to create a floor, back wall and two spheres; to lathe a glass; to add reflection, refraction, a target spotlight, and shadows to the scene.

Cody's, mine, Wolf's

In class we learned Beziers, core welding, and multi/sub-object materials.

Again, I had great difficulty deciding on a viewpoint.  I wanted to show the kitchen without zooming too far out from the glass, which was our main assignment.  These are the views I finally rejected:

My biggest regret is that I didn't realise until after I had finished that I had not put any drawers in the cabinets.  I'll rectify that at some point, but not today.

Cody had a curious problem with his assignment.  He followed the directions exactly but ended up with a salt-and-pepper pattern on his glass if he tried to use a checkered floor tile.  He was never able to figure out why.  (We tried it on several machines, including one with a Radeon card and using a different version of 3D Studio Max.  Cody also redrew the glass and turned noise and reflection off but the problem persisted throughout.)  In demonstrating the problem to me, he used the map for his orange as a floor - nothing else was changed from the photo above, but the look was totally different.  Wolf and I both liked the orange floor best, but we couldn't persuade him to swap.

Note: I started a new page beginning with Project 4 because this page was getting rather large.

Click here for:

bulletProject 4: Reflections and Multimedia
bulletProject 5: Compositing and Camera Matching
bulletProject 6: Forward Kinematics

Click here for:

bulletProject 7: Inverse Kinematics
bulletProject 8: Lettering and Space Warps

Click here for:

bulletProject 9: Particles and Dynamics
bulletProject 10: Video Post Effects

If you're interested in having a any of the files, please contact me.  We are using version 5 of 3D Studio Max (because that's what we use in class).  We're all hoping that for next semester's advanced class we'll get to upgrade to the new Max 6 (this is in 2003 after all).

(And we did...)

Advanced 3D Studio Max projects

For more animation, video clips, and shockwave games click the "Up" button below to take you to the index page for this Animation section where you will find all sorts of things.

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