Environmental Considerations Before You Begin

Chapter 2, "Preparing to Model: Configuring 3ds Max and Referencing Sketch Art," showed you how to set up a 3D modeling studio for your character, but there are a few other things you can do to make modeling easier.

some of these settings:

In the Name and Color section of the Control Panel, click on the color you see there to open the Color palette. If you uncheck Assign Random Colors and select a highly visible color such as bright yellow (255, 255, 0), each time you create an object, it will be that color instead of annoyingly changing colors every time. You'll be working in both Editable Poly and Editable Mesh modes, but every time you create an object, right-click it and convert it initially to Editable Poly. We're trying to deal mainly with quad faces and not triangles, although occasionally we might have to manipulate the mesh in Editable Mesh mode. Editable Poly's tools are impressive and extensive.

■ I always center my pivot point in the Hierarchy panel after I've made all my changes to the object. Then, in the Utilities panel, I select Reset Xform. This adds that modifier to the stack, which I then collapse. I collapse it because certain modifiers you use screw up because they base themselves on the transformations of the object (scale, rotation, and so on).

■ When you're finished with an object, freeze it. This way you won't accidentally manipulate it while building something else. If you right-click the object and click Properties from the quad menu, check Freeze but uncheck Show Frozen in Gray. Doing that will help you to see the object.

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