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Modeling in Wings3D for Beginners III

Author: Locke21

Tools Needed

  • Wings3D
  • UV Mapping program


Ok, if you've been following along so far, then you have a candlestick that we have created from scratch. Its OK, having some nice jewels, but before we get into the importance of groups and UV Mapping, lets do one more thing to it.


Step 1 - Step One

Like most people, when I first came to the DAZ site, I went to the freebies section. There one of the first things I downloaded was the Dragon Claw Candles package. What I really like about the Dragon Claw candlestick is the wax shield that protects the 3D character from splashing wax. Let's give our candlestick something similar. Not claws precisely, but something a bit more medieval. Ok, the first thing we'll need is a disk. To get this we need to bring up a cylinder with the same number of segments (20) as our candlestick.


Then use the “Scale Axis”/“Y” commands to make it into a thin disk.


Step 2 - Step Two

Ok, that's the right thickness, but WAY too big around. So, go into the “Scale” command and use the “Scale Radial”/“Y” command. This will cause the disk to shrink in diameter, but not height or width. Now, the size we want is the same size as the candle cup, so go ahead and “Move”/“Y” the disk up to the very bottom of the cup and “Scale” it to fit.


For arguments sake, we don't want it EXACTLY the same size, just a hair larger so we can still see it and manipulate it.


Step 3 - Step Three

Now, I want you to deselect the disk, and then go around and select JUST the outer faces. Its time for you to learn how to make your obj's “grow” new parts. Once you have all the faces selected, I want you to use the “Extrude Region” command and grow the disk out until you feel comfortable with its size. Take a look at my picture for a basis on what we're going for. Well, that would protect a character's hand but…BORING!


Lets give it a better “feel”. While the outer faces are still selected, use the “Move”/“Y” command. You will move the outer face up along the Y axis, along with the sections attached to them, but not the original disk! Just try to get it even with the cup lip like in my picture.


Step 4 - Step Four

Now for some fun stuff. I promised in the last tutorial to show you some more about the “Extrude” command, well here we go. I want you to go around the lip of the shield and select every other face. You should end up with something like this.


Now that you have all the faces selected, I want you to use the “Extrude”/“Normal” command and grow the faces out. Try to get them about 1/3 their length, check the picture for what I mean.


Step 5 - Step Five

Now, I want you to deselect everything, and then select just the tops of the newly extruded blocks.


Then just go “Extrude”/“Normal” until you get a result similar to mine.


Step 6 - Step Six

Now for some more fun. While you still have the top of each newly extruded block selected, I want you to use the “Scale”/“Uniform” command and scale the top of the blocks to something close to the picture.


Then tap the “+” key once, hit “S”, then “+” until the entire shield is selected, then “S” again. Check out what you get. A nice looking, almost medieval addition to your candlestick! Almost done now!


Step 7 - Step Seven

Ok, like I taught you last time, I want you to give the shield a group name, and then “Body” select it and use Wings3D to UV Map it. But there are some more tricks I'd like to teach you. One is to create an entirly new Material name, just for the Sheild. And have you every noticed that when you import some stuff into Poser or Studio, it has a name like cube-1? Well I'm going to show you how to fix that.

First, to give the shield it's own material name, first “Body” select it, then switch to “Face” mode. Right-click and under the “Materials” heading, you'll see the “New” option. Give it a name, and then you get to play around with giving it a color. I'd make good use of this if I were you. It will enable you to see exactly what goes where at any time. If you want, you can do the same for the Candlestick.

Now to give everything a real name, instead of the cube and sphere code we sometimes see. I know we've been talking about groups and materials, but in order for anything to have a real name we have to give it one. And its real simple, just “Body” select something, switch to “Face” select, and then right-click and choose rename. Now each piece will have a real, discriptive name instead of cube, cylinder, or sphere.

Step 8 - Step Eight

Now would be a great time to save. Just select both the shield and stick and under “File” choose “Export selected” and then “Waveform obj”. Although the shield and stick are two different models, because they've been exported as one object, they'll move and act as one. Ok, that's it! Now I'll show you why it was so important for us to use groups instead of just growing different parts off of one base object.

Like many people, I use an UV Mapping program to make my own templates. I use one called LithUnwrap, but each program should have similar features. Open up the model in your favorite mapping program and lets get started!

Step 9 - Step Nine

Ok, when you first open your model, its going to look like a confusing mess of lines like this.


How are we ever going to be able to texture THAT?! Well, this is where the groups come in. By use the Group select mode in your mapping program, ONLY that group will show up! That way, you have individual templates for each section of your obj! Just watch, from that mess of lines, I choose the shield group and get this.


Now I can texture the shield easily. And by changing the group I want, I can create a template for every piece of the candlestick! Well that's all for now. In the next installment, Modeling in Wings 3D IV, I'm going to show you how to use the “Inset” and “Bridge” commands. These are really useful for cutting holes through objects and making stuff like gold rings. I'm also going to show you how to import and scale your creations so that they match up with your 3D characters.