several types of football available to buy (the others being stiched
together and patched differently) and the one that the reader has
described is one, if not the most common placed type of ball. Creating
this shape from scratch would take an absolute age if you were doing
it by simple polygon modeling and refinement, but, fortunately,
help is at hand. There is a standard geometric object in 3ds max
that will make our lives a lot easier as the basic shape can be
created with just a few mouse clicks!
geometric object is a modified Hedra primitive. Just by creating
one, it is difficult to see how this could help, but by changing
the object type and tweaking a few settings (with the aid of a Tape
helper to ensure that all sides of the “Patches” are
virtually the same length) we should have our basic shape in next
to no time.
be convenient to stop here as we’ve generated the required
shape, but to create the individual patches of the ball, to shade
it properly and to create the individual patches requires a little
refinement to the model.
to make life easier, we can collapse the mesh down to an Editable
Mesh so we can quickly refine the mesh’s faces. The layout
of the patches of the ball should be quite apparent so material
ID’s should be assigned to the relevant ones and materials
assigned accordingly; black for the individual 5 sided shapes and
the rest should be white.
need to create the patches on the ball. This can be performed all
over the ball in one go without having to operate on each individual
patch. With every face selected, extrude by polygon slightly until
you reach the relevant height of the patch, extrude again by a very
small value and then outline to create a chamfered edge of the patch.
This slight extrusion should be performed one or two additional
times to create a slight ridge to the patch where it is stitched
together (a slight bulge around the edge of the patch) and then,
now with faces selected in the middle of the patches, collapsing
the faces to complete the patch shape. As we have been editing the
geometry, the smoothing groups may have gone awry, so this will
need to be sorted out aswell.
looks almost complete, yet still appears as if it is not “fully
inflated”. To solve this a Spherify modifier is assigned to
the top of the modifier stack and it’s percentage spinner
amended so it is not completely sphere, else the patches seams will
be smoothed right out. Finally, we need to refine the patches further
to remove any harsh edges in the geometry. Go back to the base Editable
Poly level and select every group of faces in the centre of each
patch. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds if By Vertex is
checked on in Polygon Sub-Object mode and the centre vertices selected.
Add a Meshsmooth modifier to the Editable Mesh so it is below the
Spherify modifier and set it so it works on smoothing groups (set
previously) and does not refine the entire mesh. For the Spherify
modifier to work properly now, a Mesh Select modifier should be
added between the Meshsmooth and Spherify modifiers with no Sub-Object
selection made (to clear the selection). And now we have our finished
ball. Additional decals can be put on the patches to give it a more
professional finish, yet this may be slightly tedious as each individual
patch would have to be selected and a map assigned to each one,
unless you are really good with unwrapping UVW maps and painting
a Hedro primitive object and set the Family type to Dodec/Icos.
In the Family Parameters, amend the P spinner to 0.37 . This
will generate the basic shaper of the football geometry.
material ID’s of the “patches” by selecting
them in groups. This is a relevantly simple selection procedure.
Assign a material ID of 1 to the 6-sided patches. Invert the
selection and assign a material ID of 2 to the 5-sided patches.
all polygons and check on By Polygon in the Edit Geometry rollout.
Extrude slightly, then extrude again a for very small amount.
Amend the Outline spinner to bring the extruded polygons inwards.
Repeat this process so we form a slight ridge around the edge
of the patches, then bring the final few extrusions/outlines
to a slightly raised point. Click on Collapse to weld the localized
geometry now refined, the faces need smoothing out. Select all
of the polygons and in the Smoothing Groups section of the Surface
Properties rollout, enter 70 in the Auto Smooth spinner and
click on the Auto Smooth button.
Vertex on in Polygon Sub-Object mode and select all of the centre
vertices of the individual patches. This will therefore select
the surrounding faces. Add a Meshsmooth modifier and check off
Apply to Whole Mesh. Set the Iterations to 1 and check on Smoothing
Groups in the Parameters rollout. Add a Mesh Select modifier
to remove Sub-Object selections and add a Spherify modifier.
Set the Percent spinner setting to 70.
a Multi-Sub-Object material in the Material Editor. Set the
number of materials to 2. Create a white material in slot 1
and a black material in slot 2. Finally, assign this material
to the Football model.
football model. The basic geometric shape aids our modeling
process as it creates our basic shape quicky and easily. All
we need to do is refine the patches and bang it in the back
of the net…
the ball in it’s environment, create a few different strands
of textured grass of varying greens and scatter them over a plane
object to generate separate Scatter Compound objects. Hide the emitters
and collapse down to a single editable mesh. You could then add
additional materials to create the white lines of a football pitch.
types of ball require different modeling methods. Whilst this one
can be created easily using polygon refinement, other shapes are
more taxing and may require surface tools or material deformation
to accomplish the correct shape. Always break the task down into
simple steps and you will find that you progress through the problem
for branding or patterns around the ball. Have a look at footballs
available in local sports shops and see what type of patterns are
used and how they are distributed over the ball’s surface;
some are directly across the ball, some are repeated on most patches
to create a pattern that encompasses the ball’s surface.
and additional geometry such as the inflation value could be added
to add extra realism, although these, typically, should be created
as additional decal textures as they are easier to produce this
World magazine, Issue 30, October 2002.
Draper, October 2002. Reproduction without permission