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You will need to use basic modeling to solve some of your 106 computer assignments. Here are some reminders of what tools you can use to create a variety of results…


For your remaining 106 computer problems, you will need to do basic form creation and modeling. The following guide references features you may want to use to complete your assignments.

When creating a new object or form, use the Create Tab.

There are several types of objects that can be created from Geometry (marked by the sphere button). Use the drop-down menu to select the type of Geometry you wish to make. For our purposes, you need only worry about Standard Primitives, though you may wish to use Extended Primitives and Compound Objects.

Geometry Parameters…Note that each type of geometry comes with parameters that can be edited, such as the number of segments that compose each side of a box. You can modify these parameters before creating your geometry, or after, using the Modify tab.
The Slice and Hemisphere parameters for spheres can be very useful.

Standard Primitives…Use any of the available object types to create 3D forms. These forms are the basic forms you will probably use more than the others.

Extended Primitives…These forms work like the Standard Primitives, only they are more complex or unique forms, not as commonly used.

Compound Objects…Compound objects combine multiple objects (Geometry and/or Shapes) to create a single new object. The two types of compound objects you might want to use are Boolean and Loft.

Boolean…Comparable to the Pathfinder tools in Adobe Illustrator, a Boolean object combines two other objects by performing a Boolean operation on them.

Union…The Boolean object contains the volume of both original objects. The intersecting or overlapping portion of the geometry is removed.

Intersection…The Boolean object contains only the volume that was common to both original objects (in other words, where they overlapped).

Subtraction…The Boolean object contains the volume of one original object with the intersection volume subtracted from it.

TO USE BOOLEAN: Select the first object (“operand A”). Then click the Pick Operand B button. Select the second object.

Reference synchronizes modifier-induced changes to the original object with Operand B, but not vice-versa.

Copy reuses operand B for other purposes in the scene.

Instance synchronizes animation of the Boolean object with animated changes to the original B object, and vice-versa.

Move (the default) is used if you’ve created the operand B geometry only to create a Boolean, and have no other use for it.

Loft… Loft objects are two-dimensional shapes extruded along a third axis. You create loft objects from two or more existing spline objects.


  1. Create and select a shape as the first cross-section shape.
  2. Click Create Panel > Geometry > Compound Objects > Loft.
  3. On the Creation Method rollout, click Get Path.
    Choose Move, Copy, or Instance (see descriptions above).
  4. Click a shape for the path.

(if you choose to “Get Shape” instead of “Get Path”, first select your path, then select your shape.)

Shapes are 2D objects. Familiarize yourself with the Splines shapes. Splines may also be useful when creating custom forms or paths when doing animation.

Once you have created some objects, you can experiment with modifying them to create custom forms.

To Convert your Object to Editable Poly or Editable Mesh: Right click on the object and select Editable Poly or Editable Mesh from the menu that appears.

Editable Mesh…Once you convert your object to Editable Mesh (or Editable Poly) you can modify the form by selecting Vertex, Edge, Border, Polygon, or Element (under the Modify tab) and using the Select and Move feature to change the shape of your form (like you did in the first tessellation assignment).

Vertex is the point where edges meet; define the structure of faces.
Edge is a line connecting two vertices that forms the side of a polygon.
Border is usually a sequence of edges with polygons on only one side.
Polygon is a closed sequence of three or more edges connected by a surface. Polygons provide the renderable surface of editable poly objects.
Element is the complete form.

TO APPLY A MODIFIER: Modifiers are added under the Modify tab. Select the object you wish to modify, then click the Modifier List drop-down list and select the desired modifier.

Some modifiers you may wish to use for your 106 assignments:

Face Extrude…Face Extrude will extrude the selected Polygon, creating new faces along the extrusion. The size of the extrusion is determined by the Amount parameter (can be positive or negative).  The extruded face can be larger or smaller than the original polygon face, and is determined by the Scale parameter.

Bend…The Bend modifier allows you to bend the selected object. You can adjust the degree of the bend by changing the Angle parameter, and you can choose which way the object bends by adjusting the Direction parameter. Note that you must also select the Bend Axis to make sure that your form is bending along the correct axis.

Taper… Taper produces a tapered contour by scaling both ends of an object’s geometry; one end is scaled up, and the other is scaled down. You can control the amount and curve of the taper (Amount parameter and Curve parameter) on two sets of axes (Taper Axis parameter, Primary and Effect). You can also limit the taper to a section of the geometry.

Free Form Deformations… The FFD modifier surrounds the selected geometry with a lattice. By adjusting the control points of the lattice, you deform the enclosed geometry. The number of control points of the lattice is determined by the type of FFD modifier you select.

Stretch…Use the Stretch and Amplify parameters to stretch your geometry over the selected axis.

Lathe… The Lathe modifier creates a 3D object by rotating a shape (or NURBS curve) about an axis. Create a shape (such as a spline) and apply the Lathe modifier.


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