Wings 3D/User Manual/A Quick Start Guide/Creating A Hand

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� WINGS3D USER MANUAL Section 3: A Quick Start Guide 3.3 Creating A Hand (an intrinsically organic shape) Now that you have the basics down you can try to model something more challenging than a dog house. Wings3D uses a modeling technique know as subdivision surfaces, a technique favored by many to create organic, or natural world, type of models. So it seems fitting that for our second model we attempt to create an organic type model; in this case we will attempt a hand. So do a File | New to get a fresh slate and put a cube in your work area. Since hands are not cubes, let us begin by scaling the cube into a flatter shape, more conducive to hand building. Switch to Body selection mode by clicking on the Body icon on the icon bar or by hitting the B key. Then click on the cube to select it.


Figure 18: Cube preparation. A selected object becomes highlighted in the current Selection Color as set in the user's Color Preferences. Here the cube is selected.

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� Section 3: A Quick Start Guide WINGS3D USER MANUAL Now that the cube is selected we can change its basic shape via some of the Body functions found in the Body Operations menu. With the cube still selected right click out in the open workspace somewhere to call up the Object enu. A menu will pop up with all the available functions for full body manipulation.


Figure 19: A refresher. With the cube selected, right click in the Workspace to bring up the Object Menu. Only operations relevant to object manipulation are available.

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� WINGS3D USER MANUAL Section 3: A Quick Start Guide Hover over Scale and a sidebar menu will come up with things you can do regarding the Scale function.


Figure 20: Working with the context sensitive menus. Menu items with side arrows have associated Side Bar Menus. Selecting the menu item, in this case Scale, will bring up the Side Bar Menu. Here we select Scale – Z so that we can make the cube thinner.

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� Section 3: A Quick Start Guide WINGS3D USER MANUAL Click on Z to limit changes in scale to the Z axis and then drag your mouse to the left (the -Z direction) to make the cube narrower.


Figure 21: A palm is born. The cube has been adjusted to form the palm of our hand model.

Left click to end the Scale operation.

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� WINGS3D USER MANUAL Section 3: A Quick Start Guide 3.4 Adding Detail Now we will add some fingers and a thumb to the basic hand block. Begin by clicking on the Edge Mode Icon at the bottom of the workspace to switch to Edge Selection Mode. Notice that all the edges become highlighted, because they were derived from a previously selected object. Hit the Space Bar to deselect everything. Now select the top two edges, as illustrated below. Right click in the workspace to bring up the Edge Operations menu and choose Cut and then 4 from the side bar menu to cut the top edges into four equal parts. Notice that upon completing the Cut operation you are automatically switched to Vertex Mode with the affected vertices pre-selected as seen on the top right frame of the picture below. Right click in the workspace to bring up the Vertex Operations menu and select the Connect function. New edges will snap into place, as seen in the bottom right frame below, thus forming four new faces on the top side of the hand block. These will eventually become the base faces for our fingers.


Figure 22: Cut in the finger nubs. Select the top two edges (top left). Right click for the Edge Menu (top middle) and Cut by 4. This creates new vertices (top right) which are pre-selected. Another right click brings up the Vertex Menu (bottom left) where we can Connect the vertices to create four new faces (bottom right).

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� Section 3: A Quick Start Guide WINGS3D USER MANUAL Now select the two side edges of the hand block. Right click in the workspace to bring up the Edge Menu and select Connect. A new edge will be created that connects the two sides, thus breaking the side face into two equal faces while leaving the new edge in the selected state. While it is still selected right click for the Edge Menu again and Move in the Y direction just a bit. Hit the space bar to deselect everything and then select the two lower vertical edges on the side and Connect them. Slide the resultant edged down with the Move Y function so that it is just above the base of the hand. We now have faces in place that can form the base of the four fingers and the thumb.


Figure 23: Cut in the thumb nub. Select the two side edges (top left) and Connect them. Move the resultant edge (top middle) down in Y via the Edge Menu Move Y function (top right). Then select the two lower edges (bottom left) and connect them. Then using the Edge Menu Move Y function again (bottom middle), move the new edge down along Y to form the base face that will become the thumb.

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� WINGS3D USER MANUAL Section 3: A Quick Start Guide Next we will use the Face function Extrude to create some basic fingers. Switch to Face Selection Mode by clicking on the Face Icon at the bottom of the Workspace. Then click on the four faces that will form the base of the four fingers. Right click for the Face Operations menu and select Extrude and then select Y. Move your mouse to the right to extrude the faces up a bit then left click to end the extrusion. Notice that the end faces remain selected, facilitating another extrude. So do another, shorter, extrusion. This will later form knuckles. Then carry on with the extrusions as illustrated in Figure 24. You do not have to constantly right click to bring up the context sensitive menu, however. Wings has a Repeat command, accessed by simply hitting the D key on your keyboard. It can save you quite a bit of time if you are doing many of the same types of functions over and over, as here with the finger extrusions.


Figure 24: Extrude the fingers. Select the finger base faces (top right) and Extrude in Y a little (top center). Do a shorter Extrude for some knuckles (top left). Then carry on as shown in the lower frames.

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� Section 3: A Quick Start Guide WINGS3D USER MANUAL To add a thumb we will do another set of extrusions, but we don't want the thumb to stick straight out from the side of the palm, so we will also use the Rotate function. Select the face we created earlier for the base of the thumb and do a Extrude in X. By now you should have gotten the knack of the context sensitive menus, so I will stop telling you to right click in the Workspace to bring up the Face Operations menu... to help speed things along. The extruded face will still be selected, so now do a Rotate in Z. Move your mouse back and forth to see how the face will rotate about the Z axis, rotating up when moved to the right, and rotating down when moved to the left. Rotate the face up until it looks about like the illustration in Figure 16. Left click to stop rotating. Now do a series of extrusions. This time we will Extrude Normal rather than along one of the primary axis. Extruding in the normal simply means to move the extrusion along a vector perpendicular to its plane. Then it is simply a matter of doing two more extrusions and we have a very crude model of a hand.


Figure 25: Extrude the thumb. Extrude the base thumb face (top left). Then Rotate the end face about the Z axis (top right). Extrude in along the Normal three more times (lower left) to complete our rough-in of a hand (lower right).

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� WINGS3D USER MANUAL Section 3: A Quick Start Guide 3.5 Finishing It Off This hand, admittedly, looks very crude. There is a little we can do to make it look better while introducing you to some more Wings3D tools and concepts. So let's take the hand model just a little bit further before calling it quits.

We want to add some additional detail to make the hand look more natural. But first, let's see what it looks like as is, in the smooth shaded mode and again with one Smooth applied to it. I will frequently do a Smooth operation while modeling just to get a feel for how things are going, then Undo to continue modeling. You may find that technique useful too. And a Smooth will help you isolate and fix problems in your model caused by bad geometry that some times lurks in unexpected places.


Figure 26: The Smooth operation. The hand in Flat Shaded Mode (top left) and in Smooth Shaded Mode (top middle). With the hand selected do one Smooth operation (top right). You can see the results of the Smooth in Flat Shaded Mode on the bottom image set here; the left one while the hand is still selected. On the far right is a smooth shaded view of the hand following the Smooth operation. While it looks much more "organic" it still appears to be far from natural.

Hit the Space Bar to make sure nothing is selected. Now left click on the Smooth Shaded Icon (the rightmost icon on the left set of icons) on the Icon Bar to see what our un-smoothed hand looks like. Yikes! Hit the Tab key to leave Smooth Shaded Mode. Note that you can enter and leave Smooth Shaded either way, via the icons or via the Tab key. Now select the hand again and do a Smooth. Hit the Space Bar to deselect the hand and then hit the Tab key to see the smoothed hand in smooth shaded mode. Not very impressive.

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� Section 3: A Quick Start Guide WINGS3D USER MANUAL Now undo the smooth by selecting the Undo function from the Edit Menu. Do this as often as needed to get back to the un-smoothed version of the hand. We will now attempt to make it look at least a little more natural by adding some finger nails, some knuckle bumps, and some tendons. To save space and since you should have a pretty good feel for the basic operations by now, I will not take you though the process of adding these details step by step. Rather, I will present you with a set of sample objects in Figure 27 and tell you in general what I did to get the details you see there. I've made the screen shots here a little bigger so that you can see more of the detail. So take a moment to study the edges as they progress in the picture below.

Quick Tip: Overlaying the wireframe on a smooth shaded view.

Some people find it very useful to overlay the wireframe on a smooth shaded view of their model. This serves two purposes; first it helps them find surface anomalies while at the same time being able to see what edges may be the culprits, and second it gives new modelers a sense of how edges and edge loops affect the overall form of the model. To get the wireframe on the smooth shaded view simply hit the Tab key to get the smooth shaded preview of the model then hit the W key to overlay the wireframe. Note that you can change the color of the wireframe in the Edit | Preferences menu.

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� WINGS3D USER MANUAL Section 3: A Quick Start Guide Figure 27: Adding details. Detail has been added (top) by selecting edges or vertices as needed and Connecting them to rough in the knuckles and tendons. Then more detail was added (bottom) adding more edges via Connects and then Moving vertices to form knuckle bulges and round out the palm. Finger nails were created by selecting faces and Extruding Region.

In the top portion of Figure 27 above I added more details by doing a series of Connects. One set of Connects was done to create a loop that separates the hand front to back. Then four loops were created the same way to completely encircle the hand down the length and each finger and into and around the palm. Then another another set of edges was created to run from the index finger tendon up the side of the thumb, and back down the other side. Then to create more of a knuckle shape, the vertices at the front and back of each knuckle were Scaled in Y to spread them apart thus creating the diamond shaped areas.

In the bottom section of Figure 27 I added yet more detail. To add detail to to knuckles I Dissolved the edges on the inside of the diamonds (front and back) and then Inset them a bit to create inner diamonds. Then I used Connect on vertices to create the details you see here.

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� Section 3: A Quick Start Guide WINGS3D USER MANUAL Then I Moved the inner vertices out to form bumps on the backside of the fingers and in to form creases on the inside of the fingers. Then I selected the faces for the finger nails (four per nail by the way, not just two) and did an Extrude Region slightly into the fingers. Then I scaled down the region just a bit and then did another Extrude Region to raise the nails just past the level of the skin. Of course I did all this stuff for the thumb too.

Now my attention turned to the hand itself. I added four more edge loops that surrounded the hand. Then I added edges to form the V shape around each of the tendons. This allowed me to Move the edges for the tendons out so that they bump up a little. Of course on the palm of the hand I Moved them into the hand a bit to form creases. Then I went about the outside of the hand and in between the knuckles and tried to round things up a bit by moving vertices. It's not looking too bad at this point, in fact, the hand is almost complete.

Figure 28 below shows some final detail I have cut into the palm of the hand, the life lines, as used in palm readings. They were created by doing some Connects on the edges to include the curve of the lines. Then the lines were Beveled to turn them into double lines and then the vertices were Moved into the hand to create the necessary creases. This completed the modeling portion of the hand. Be we are not done. In the bottom half of Figure 28 you can see that I have assigned colors to the hand. It is important for you to assign colors to your models before you consider your task complete because each different color assignment can be used to great effect in subsequent paint and rendering programs.

In the bottom half of Figure 28 you can see that I have made two distinct color assignments; one for the skin of the hand, and one for the nails. later when I create a texture map, I will be able to pull the model apart and arrange the parts nicely in my texture mapping program of choice because I did this. In fact, if I were smart, I would have assigned a different texture to the front and back of the hands so that they could be easily isolated for painting. So, to make these color assignments simply select the faces to be assigned a color and then use the Face | Set Material operation. You will be presented with a pop-up box with New, Default and Hole as choices. Select New and you will be prompted for a material name. Give the faces a short but logical name. Skin and nails come to mind for me here. The Material Editor will come up, as shown in Figure 29 below.

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� WINGS3D USER MANUAL Section 3: A Quick Start Guide Figure 28:The hand completed. Final detail cut in (Top) and with colors assigned (Bottom).


Figure 29: The Wings Material Editor.

Click on the little boxes to bring up sub-menus (Figure 29a) for setting the actual values for the

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� Section 3: A Quick Start Guide WINGS3D USER MANUAL first four parameters. This is done via entering a number in the numeric entry fields or by using

the slider bars.

You can set the diffuse, ambient, specular,

and emissive colors as well as the

shininess and opacity of the selected faces.

The effects of your changes will show up

interactively in the color box to the left.

Figure 29a: An example of the Material Editor When you click OK the effects will be sub-menus. reflected on the ball on the left side of the

material editor window. Once you are happy

with your settings click the OK button on the material editor window. You don't really need to get too fancy here, especially at first, so just make a color you like for skin and click OK.

The fastest way to do this is to set up the largest material first by selecting the object then switching to Face Mode so that all faces are selected. Then assign all the faces that color, in this case, skin. After hitting OK in the Material Editor you can then select the nails and do another Set Material, and then dream up you nail color. Say OK again. Then hit the Space Bar to deselect everything so you see your creation in full color. Don't forget to Save your model before quitting, and you may also want to Export it into a format that your rendering program can read.

That should give you the basics for organic modeling in Wings since a hand is definitely an organic subject. Not to say my model is a particularly good example of if. It is not a lifelike hand at all. But considering it is the first Human hand I ever modeled, it did not turn out too badly. And since subdivision surface modeling is known to be particularly good for organic type models this was a good exercise. Now you can try something else organic. I recommend you do what I did for the hand. I found some cages (finished hands in wireframe mode prior to smoothing) and analyzed them to see where the artists had placed the edges and then tried to emulate their examples. My thanks to Mike Rickard for providing the hand model that inspired this one. His was much better, but I needed to do this from scratch so that I could adequately describe what the steps were. But there are plenty of cages posted out on the web, simple screen shots of non-smoothed models. Use them as your guide until you develop a style of your own.


Model by David Benton. www.davidbenton.net