Welding objects together in 3DS Max takes preparation. Often, objects to be attached are not uniform and areas to match must be altered before you can begin the actual welding process. When modelling multiple objects that will be joined together later, the topology and number of vertices are important to create a 3D model that has consistency. Small mistakes invisible in 3DS Max viewports can be very visible when rendered.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Using 3Ds Max, create a planer surface of vertices that can be lined up with the target object. Select the vertices to be welded. Right-click the "Make Planar" button in the "Edit Geometry" window of your vertex editing panel. Adjust the rotation of the plane to orient it in the direction desired for your seam.
Remove any polygons within the vertex boundaries. Space your vertices evenly along the edge of your plane. Create a consistent shape to the vertices for easier welding.
Adjust edges attached to the planar surface. Remove any n-gon Polygons that are not quadrilateral by adjusting vertices. Add or remove edges keeping a relatively smooth topology. No edges should jut out at odd angles. Rotate your viewport and repeatedly render to find flaws that aren't visible from your current view or do not show up in the viewport. When all vertices and edges are in place, make sure the gap between the main objects is correct.
Prepare your main object
Prepare your object to be attached. Import your object and move it to a position in proximity to its final location. Rotate, scale and position the object into place.
Repeat steps from Section 1 for your sub-object, orienting your vertex plane to the main object's plane and keeping a small amount of distance between the planes. Select the vertices that are part of the attachment plane, then left-click "Hide Unselected," under "Edit Geometry" in the vertex editing roll-out. Select the polygons of the sub-object and hide them using the polygon edit, and "Edit Geometry" method to "Hide Selected" faces.
Remove any mesh smooth modifiers from both objects' stacks. Collapse the stacks so that you have editable polygons at the same resolution. Select your main object, then "Attach" in the "Edit Poly" menu under the "Edit Geometry" sub-menu. Next click the object that you wish to attach. They both should become the same object and any vertices, or faces should become selectable again.
Prepare object to be attached
In vertex edit mode, select "target weld" to weld the elements together, connecting vertices. Keep your objects' "vertex planes" similar in number to simplify and save additional steps.
Adjust your vertices to influence the edges. Ensure continuity between the two components and that connecting faces are four-sided. Add and remove edges as necessary. Select the polygon editing selections and "unhide" all faces of your welded mesh.
Adjust the view to examine your mesh at different angles. Production render multiple angles to highlight any hidden flaws in the geometry. Make adjustments to vertices, edges and polygons as needed.
Weld your vertices
Tips and warnings
- Plan your welding so that you have as close to the same number of vertices as possible.
- Triangle faces and five-sided shapes or more will cause "artefacts" in your geometry that may seem small but when adding modifiers and rendering, will become more obvious.
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