Now let's get to the fun part. Before we begin modeling, we need some type of sketch art images to place on reference planes in Max. Most modeling techniques utilize front, left (or right), and top sketch art orthogonal views so that you can create the character in three dimensions. For the character in this book, I've provided some cool sketches of a military-style android that you can use to follow the examples throughout this book (but by all means, feel free to use your own sketch art). This character fits well with some of the popular games out there, like DOOM 3 and Half-Life 2. It's humanoid and can carry weapons, can lip-sync dialogue, and will have realistic skins with many different texturing techniques applied, in addition to normal mapping shaders.
Figure 2.3 shows the three orthogonal sketches you can use in Max as references when building your character model. You can find them on the book's CD-ROM, named HICKS_side.tga, HICKS_front.tga, and HICKS_top.tga. They are TGA files because they each have a separate channel representing transparency
HICKS_side.tga information. For instance, in Photoshop, if you open any of these files and click on the Channels palette, you see a fourth channel that has a silhouette of the character in white on a black background. Max interprets the black as transparent, as you see in the next section.
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Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.