Creating Your Own 3D Models

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1 14 Creating Your Own 3D Models DAZ 3D has an extensive growing library of 3D models, but there are times that you may not find what you want or you may just want to create your own model. In either case you may want to take a look at Hexagon, an excellent application for creating 3D art. Hexagon is primarily a model building and texturing program with many powerful features for constructing models from simple to extremely complex. 3D modeling programs are complex because 3D in general is complex. Unless you are modeling a simple 3D geometric shape like a cube or cone, you will need to make hundreds or thousands of adjustments to the model. You ll need a significant number of 3D tools to help you deal with the complexity of 3D. Sophisticated modeling programs like Hexagon have a large number of 3D modeling tools. Therefore, at first glance they can be a little intimidating. Don t worry if you can t grasp the use of every tool. Start by learning how to use a few of them, and as you get more comfortable with the program, try a few more. Even advanced 3D artists don t use every tool. They find the ones they like and stick with them for most of their modeling work. My goal in this chapter is not to show all of the modeling features in Hexagon, which would take much more than a single chapter; it is to give you an idea of how the program works so you can have a taste of building 3D models from the very beginning _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E

2 E-174 Figures, Characters, and Avatars, Second Edition: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art Hexagon First we will take a look at Hexagon. Hexagon combines powerful modeling tools with a clean, easy-to-understand user interface. One of the most important elements of a good modeling program is the ability to get to the tools you need directly and quickly. To facilitate quick, easy access to important tools Hexagon has arranged the most commonly used tools and features around the edges of the screen in icon groups. Figure 14.1 is a screenshot of the Hexagon screen. I don t have room to give a complete rundown of each aspect of the interface, but I can provide some general guidance on each part of the interface: The large area in the center of the screen is the work area, where you create your 3D artwork. The very top item on the screen is the menu. Similar to almost all other 3D programs, the drop-down items on the menu will give you access to almost all functions in Hexagon. In the upper-left corner of the screen is a group of manipulator icons. Manipulators are tools used by 3D artists to change the shape or location of a 3D object. These icons are shown in Figure Just to the right of the manipulator icons are a group of icons used to change selection types. When you are building 3D objects, you often will want to adjust different aspects of a model. For easy access to just the parts you want to change, you need a number of ways to select those parts of your model. These icons allow you to quickly change what part of the model you want to select. They are shown in Figure Figure 14.1 Hexagon s user interface is easy to understand and use _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E

3 Chapter 14 Creating Your Own 3D Models E-175 Figure 14.2 The manipulator icons are in the upper left of the screen. Figure 14.3 You can change how you select parts of your model with the selection icons. The next area to the right of the selection icons is a set of multiple function groups arranged in tabs. Each tab contains a number of tools used for specific aspects of model building. The default open tab is primitives. These icons tabs are shown in Figure The panels on the right of the screen are used to give you information about your model and to help with selecting parts of your model. You can also set or adjust model attributes from these panels. The panels are shown in Figure Figure 14.4 There are several tabs containing tools for specific model building functions. Figure 14.5 There are several information panels on the right of the screen _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E

4 E-176 Figures, Characters, and Avatars, Second Edition: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art On the left-hand side of the screen along the bottom are several view options for the work area. These options allow for multiple views of the screen so you can view objects you create from several angles at the same time. They are shown in Figure To the right of the view icons are the grid icons. These icons give you control of the on-screen grid so you can do things like snap to grid or adjust grid parameters. They are shown in Figure Figure 14.6 View icons give you easy access to different views of your model. Figure 14.7 The grid icons give you control of the 3D grid in Hexagon. The next set of icons to the right is for quickly adjusting how and what you see on the model. Using these icons you can go from looking at all of the model to a closeup view of just a part of the model. These useful icons are shown in Figure The next set of icons to the right is for moving about within the work area. There are four icons. The first icon on the left is for when you don t want to move your view but want to move the objects in the view using a manipulator. The second icon is for orbiting around the work area. The third icon is for panning around the work area. The last icon is for zooming in and out of the work area. The icons are shown in Figure Figure 14.8 Hexagon gives you a number of ways to change how you view models. Figure 14.9 These icons are used for moving about the work area. The next set of icons going to the right control the display of the models in the work area. Hexagon has several display modes, from wireframe on the left to fully defined models with lighting on the right. The last two icons on the right have sub-menus that contain even more display options. The display options in Hexagon are one of its major advantages over many other 3D programs because of the number and variety available. The icons are shown in Figure The next group of icons to the right is used for hiding parts of a model. Often when building a model you will need to work on an area that is inside a model or obscured by a part of a model. Being able to hide part of the model while you work in that area makes modeling that part a lot easier to see. The three icons are shown in Figure _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E

5 Chapter 14 Creating Your Own 3D Models E-177 Figure A strength of Hexagon is its many display options. Figure Tools for hiding parts of a model can be very useful. The next group of icons is similar to the last set in that they help you view and hide parts of the model or models. The first icon on the left turns on transparency. The middle icon makes the back of a polygon face transparent. The icon on the right sets up the model in a 3D perspective. They are shown in Figure The last two icons on the far right of the bottom bar are used for previewing ambient occlusion and for taking a snapshot of the current scene. Ambient occlusion is a special way of lighting and displaying a 3D model that brings out color and detail. The snapshot of the scene is saved as an image file. The two icons are shown in Figure Figure This group of icons is used for viewing the models in different ways. Figure The last two icons are used for detailed displays and snapshots of the work area. Modeling in Hexagon Now that you have a basic understanding of the layout of the Hexagon user interface, let s take a quick look at how to create a model. We ll only cover a few basic modeling techniques due to the lack of space in this book. Hopefully it will be enough to get you started. Using Primitives Hexagon has a number of premade models that you can start with. This can be very helpful because instead of just starting with nothing, you can start with a basic geometric shape like a sphere or cylinder. Then you can modify it into whatever you want. In this example, we will model a simple cane prop for one of your characters. 1. Start by selecting the sphere primitive from the 3D Primitives tab at the top of the screen. Then place your cursor near the center of the work area, left-click with your mouse, and drag out and up. You will notice a sphere is formed. When you have a small sphere, similar to the one shown in Figure 14.14, left-click with your mouse to finish the sphere _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E

6 E-178 Figures, Characters, and Avatars, Second Edition: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art Figure Create a small sphere using 3D Primitives. 2. On the right of the screen under Properties you will see some options for adjusting your sphere. Here you can have fine control over the size, shape, and makeup of your sphere. For this example, we will use the sphere as is without changes, so click on the Validate button shown in Figure Validate sets the sphere so we can continue to work on it. Notice that the properties change. 3. Now you need to extrude the top of the sphere to create the length of the cane shaft. To do this, select the upper half of the face on the sphere. Faces are selected using the Face Selection tool shown in Figure Figure Validate tells Hexagon that you are satisfied with your model. Figure Click on the Face Selection tool _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E

7 Chapter 14 Creating Your Own 3D Models E Now hold down the Shift key while dragging the cursor over all of the faces on the top of the sphere. The faces will change color when they are selected. Look over the entire sphere to ensure that all of the faces are selected. It should look similar to Figure Pull back from the sphere to give yourself some room, then select Extrude Surface under the Vertex Modeling tab shown here in Figure It is the third icon from the left. Figure Select all of the upper faces on the sphere. Figure Select the Extrude Surface icon _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E

8 E-180 Figures, Characters, and Avatars, Second Edition: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art 6. The Extrude Surface tool extrudes the model and lets you scale the extrusion. Move your mouse around a little to get used to the process. When you are ready, make a long vertical extrusion for the main body of the cane, similar to what is shown in Figure 14.19, by getting just the size and shape. Make the top a little larger than the bottom to give the cane a tapered look. You will need to click the Extrude icon again after you ve placed the top of the cane to turn off extrude mode. Figure Extrude the main body of the cane. 7. The next step is to build the crook of the cane. For this we need to change our view to the right view. To select the right view, click on the four view layout. It is the second icon from the left. Then click on the right view to make it the active window. Now click back on the single view and it will be the right view in full-screen mode. You can change to any of the other views using this same method. Your view should now look like Figure It is always better to use a guide to help you when modeling, even if the object is a simple one like a cane. A guide is a pictorial reference of what you want to build. To build a guide, create a flat plane polygon surface. Use the Grid tool under 3D Primitives to create a flat plan that is 50 by 50. You can actually make the plan any size you want and then adjust the dimensions under Properties. See Figure On the left side of the screen you ll see a small blue arrow. Click to open the panels used for applying a texture to 3D objects. See Figure _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E

9 Chapter 14 Creating Your Own 3D Models E-181 Figure Switch to the right view. Figure Create a flat plane for a guide _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E

10 E-182 Figures, Characters, and Avatars, Second Edition: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art Figure Open the Materials panel. 10. Click the New button under Materials and then select Texture Image from the Color pull-down menu shown in Figure to open a window where you can browse for an image. 11. I used an image of a real cane to help guide my model creation. When I first loaded the image onto the plane it just showed part of the picture. Go to the UV Paint tab at the top of the screen and click the Planar Projection icon to project the image onto the plane, as shown in Figure Figure Select Texture Image _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E

11 Chapter 14 Creating Your Own 3D Models E-183 Figure Project the image using the Planar Projection feature. 12. Notice that the image of the cane is now sitting correctly on the plane; however, it is upside down in relation to the model. To flip the image on the plane, click the Swap V button under Properties. Swap V will flip an image vertically and Swap U will flip an image horizontally. Then click Validate to end the mapping process. 13. Next, position the picture of the cane over the model as shown in Figure Figure Position the cane over the model _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E /10/12 9:37 AM

12 E-184 Figures, Characters, and Avatars, Second Edition: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art 14. Select all of the faces on the upper part of the extended sphere like you did in step 4, then return to the right view and open the Vertex Modeling tab at the top of the screen. 15. Under Vertex Modeling select the Sweep Surfaces icon, second from the left, and use it to extrude and rotate the model around the curve of the cane, as shown in Figure Click Validate or use the Enter Key to end the operation. Figure Model the crook of the cane. 16. You can now delete the guide as it was only used to guide you through the curve of the cane. 17. Next, we need to color the cane. For this demonstration, use a simple black texture and apply it to the cane using the Materials panel. This is similar to how the picture of the cane was applied to make the guide. With a solid black texture, however, you don t need to project the image. See Figure Now it is time to export your model to a format that you can import into DAZ Studio. Find Send to DAZ Studio under the File menu. Select Wavefront OBJ from the submenu. (The OBJ format is a good all-around file format for objects that do not have internal animation parts.) You can name your model in the Save window and select attributes you want to include with your model in the next window, shown here in Figure _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E /10/12 9:37 AM

13 Chapter 14 Creating Your Own 3D Models E-185 Figure Apply a black texture to the cane. Figure You can select attributes before you export. The model is now ready to load and use in DAZ Studio. Loading models into DAZ Studio from Hexagon is very simple. Just find the Import feature in the File menu to open the File Browser tool. From there select the file you want to import. In this case it will be the cane.obj file we just saved from Hexagon. Once you ve chosen the file, the next window you will see is the OBJ Import Options window. Here you can select the options you want for the imported model, as shown in Figure _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E /10/12 9:37 AM

14 E-186 Figures, Characters, and Avatars, Second Edition: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art Figure Choose the model attributes for importing the model. Under the From selection bar use the drop-down menu to select Hexagon so DAZ Studio knows that you are importing a model from Hexagon. You can leave the other options at their default and click Accept when you are ready. The model should appear in DAZ Studio, as shown in Figure Hexagon is a powerful modeling tool. Building a cane model doesn t begin to show all of the modeling features, but at least it is a start. With Hexagon you open a whole new world for your work in DAZ Studio. Once you learn how to use it, you will be able to build any kind of model you want. Your only limitation will be your ability to build the models yourself. Figure Import the model into DAZ Studio _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E /10/12 9:37 AM

15 Chapter 14 Creating Your Own 3D Models E-187 Major Modeling Features in Hexagon I m going to run through a few really cool features in Hexagon that you can try out as you become more familiar with the program. Many of these are advanced features, but once you learn a little more about 3D modeling, you ll find them very useful. Brush Modeling Hexagon has a very powerful set of brush tools that come in handy when you want to add surface detail to your models. These tools allow you to intuitively sculpt your models, but the real power is in adding detail to your models, like skin wrinkles and other rough textures for high-end super-detailed models. These brushes are found under the UV&Paint tab at the top of the screen. In Figure 14.31, I used the Displacement brush on a sphere to create a series of bumps that would be very difficult to build by just pushing and pulling individual vertices. Figure You can use the Displacement brush to create a bumpy rough surface. Bump Brushes When creating displacement geometry, very complex models can slow your computer down. You can keep your models smaller and less complex by using bump maps. Bump maps are surface maps that simulate rough geometry without the geometry and are good for medium and long shots where surface detail is not as important. In Hexagon you can paint bump maps on the surface of the model using brushes similar to displacement, except that you aren t really making geometry _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E /10/12 9:37 AM

16 E-188 Figures, Characters, and Avatars, Second Edition: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art Pinch/Inflate Brush Hexagon has two brushes that work opposite each other. The Pinch brush pulls vertices together, and the Inflate brush pulls vertices apart. Smooth Brush The Smooth brush softens and rounds geometry. It is very useful in modeling because often it is easier to make big adjustments to a model than use the Smooth brush to slowly adjust the shape to where you want it. Another benefit of the Smoothing brush is that it relaxes the vertices. Often a little relaxing of the vertices helps to get the texture maps to apply without stretching. 3D Primitives We ve already used the sphere primitive to create the cane earlier in this chapter. In addition to spheres, there are a number of other primitives that can be used as a base for creating models. Primitives can be very helpful when modeling because they can be used to define general shapes then sculpted to specific shapes. Vertex Modeling Vertex modeling is the main method of modeling from primitive shapes. It is basically a way to make moving individual vertices easier. The modeler will generally create a primitive and then shape with the tools found in the Vertex modeling tab. With these tools the modeler can extend, mold, and shape the primitive. In addition to shaping a model, some of the tools connect models or fill holes in models. Line The Line tab holds a number of useful tools for drawing lines in 3D space. With lines you can define specific elements of a 3D model in 2D and then use those lines to create 3D geometry. Surface Modeling Once you have a well-defined 2D set of lines, the tools you need to turn those lines into 3D geometry are found under the Surface Modeling tab. Surface modeling uses lines as an anchor to extrude geometry. Utilities The Utilities tab holds a number of tools that are used for manipulating 3D models but don t fall into any specific tab. It is a treasure trove of helpful features that don t quite fit into any of the other tabs. In it you will find tools for stretching and bending, copying and slicing, and others _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E /10/12 9:37 AM

17 Chapter 14 Creating Your Own 3D Models E-189 Examples from Hexagon Figure shows some examples of models built in Hexagon. Figure These models were created with Hexagon _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E /10/12 9:37 AM

18 E-190 Figures, Characters, and Avatars, Second Edition: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art Summary This final chapter covered Hexagon, a tool for building your own models. After you work with DAZ Studio for a while, you will begin to create models on your own. Hexagon is a great tool for learning how to create great 3D models. It is a full-featured modeling program with many advanced features, some of which were covered in this chapter. The best way to learn is to dive in and start building things. I hope you enjoyed this book. DAZ Studio is a wonderful program with many powerful features that you can use to turn your dreams into 3D animated worlds with characters that look as real as life itself. Good luck in all your art _ch14_ptg01_UseDaz2nd_E-173-E /10/12 9:37 AM

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