19 December 2008

Modeling a Hosta plant in 3D Studio Max

Hosta Plant Tutorial

The following tutorial will show the user how to Model a Hosta plant a by creating several sub models to formulate the entire composition of the plant. Additionally, applying pre-created textures using the material editor and UVW/UVW Unwrap modifiers will be covered.

It is assumed the reader has a working knowledge of 3D Studio Max 6 or higher.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

PART 1 - Modeling the Leaf stem and Leaf

STEP 1

To begin be sure you are in the FRONT view port by hitting F on the keyboard.

Next you will need to import the reference sketch of the leaf stem cross section (LeafStalkCrossSection.jpg), provided with this tutorial, into your background by hitting ALT-B.

Make sure that MATCH BITMAP, DISPLAY BACKGROUND and LOCK ZOOM/PAN are all selected

If you load the background and after checking these properties the background disappears simply reload the background under BACKGROUND SOURCE

Hosta Plant Tutorial

The image loaded is a rough sketch of the cross section of the leaf stem. While we will be using this to model you don’t need to follow the shape exactly as it is only a guideline.

STEP 2

To begin modeling select the LINE tool under the CREATE PANEL and be sure SPLINES are selected. Trace the outline of the cross section with the LINE tool placing points along the way to ensure the curved shape.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 3

Once you have completed the shape with the LINE tool you should have something close to the image below when viewed in PERSPECTIVE mode (P key).

Now RIGHT CLICK the model and go to CONVERT TO > CONVERT TO EDITABLE POLY.

Once converted to a polygon object switch to the POLYGON SUB OBJECT selection on the MODIFY PANEL

Select the only face and using the EXTRUDE tool begin extruding segments out from the cross section at an even interval until you have an acceptable length.

Be sure to be saving your work as you progress with each step.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 4

Once you have made your extrusions be sure to look at the backside of the leaf stem and notice there is a hole due to the fact that you extruded from a SPLINE. To correct this problem go to the MODIFY panel and select CAP HOLES under the MODIFIER LIST.

This will fill the empty hole with a polygon. Once you have done this RIGHT CLICK the model again and go to CONVERT TO > CONVERT TO EDITABLE POLY so that you may return to editing the leaf stem on a sub object level.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 5

Now you will model the leaf at the end of the of the Leaf stem by extruding more sections. Set the background image in the TOP view port to display the leaf reference photo (Leaf.jpg) by hitting ALT-B and follow the same guidelines as the cross section background you did when setting up.

Once the background is set EXTRUDE one end of the Leaf stem a small amount and scale it slightly out on the X-AXIS. Repeat this step and gradually conform the shape of your model to mimic the leaf in the reference photo.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

As you get near the tip of the leaf be sure to scale the ending verts down to flatten out the leaf. Continue a couple more extrudes and scale the verts into the TIP.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 6

At this point we have the basic shape of the Leaf and Leaf Stem but as you can see in the reference photos of the Hosta the leaf is actually a bit more curved than what we have thus far. To add more curve to the leaf we will add a FFD 4X4X4 MODIFIER under the MODIFIER LIST drop down menu.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

Under the SUB-OBJECT control for the FDD 4X4X4 modifier select SET VOLUME and grab the upper middle points on the FDD so that you can MOVE them to the base of the leaf.

Next switch to CONTROL POINTS on the sub-object selection of the FDD modifier and select the control points which represent the 4 corners of the leaf as seen in the image below. Then move the control points UP on the Z-Axis to give the leaf a bit more shape and natural curve. Feel free to tweak the control points to get a shape you are happy with.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 7

Since Hosta Leaf stems aren’t as straight and rigid as our current model we want to now turn to more control points on the FDD to fine tune. Select the control SUB OBJECT CONTROL POINTS on the FDD at the base of the STEM and pull back so that the stem gains a little length to be more in proportion to the leaf.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 8

Next MOVE those same CONTROL POINTS down on the Z-Axis to curve the length of the stem.

Your leaf stem model is now complete although we will texture and give variation to the many leaf stems which make up the whole Hosta later.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

PART 2 - Modeling the Flower Sprout, Buds and Flower

STEP 1

We will now model the flower sprout using the LINE tool on the CREATE panel. Go to the LEFT or RIGHT view port and begin your line at the base of the plant by clicking to place a vertex.

Place the next vertex up and to the left as pictured in the image below.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 2

Next create a CIRCLE with the circle spline tool under the CREATE panel. This will serve as the cross section of the flower sprout for the line spline you created so make the radius in proportion.

STEP 3

Select the LINE you created and under the CREATE panel select COMPOUND OBJECTS from the drop down menu. Then select LOFT and under CREATION METHOD in the Loft panel select GET SHAPE. This will turn your cursor into a shape selector which you now use to select the CIRCLE. Once selected the shape of the circle will be lofted up the line and you now have the flower sprout model without buds and flowers.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 4

Next we will create a bud we can use to duplicate and add to the Flower Sprout. Create a primitive sphere under the CREATE Panel with 18 segments and scale it on one axis so it becomes elongated

Then RIGHT CLICK the object and go to CONVERT TO > CONVERT TO EDITABLE POLY.

STEP 5

Hit ALT-B to load a new background image and select the “flowerbud.jpg” reference photo following the same setup guidelines as the first background you loaded.

Now begin SCALING and MOVING the rings of verts to match the shape of the photo.

STEP 6

To add additional rings/geometry use the QUICKSLICE tool on the MODIFY panel of the object and make horizontal cuts across the flower bud. Adjust the new verts accordingly. You may need to make multiple cuts depending on how accurate you would like the bud to be.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 7

Next you will create a flower petal by using a reference scan of an actual Hosta flower which has been split open and scanned. In the left or right view port use ALT-B to load the new background, “flower.jpg”.

When you observe the image you will see 5 petals which make up the flower. One petal is actually missing; the hosta flower has 6 petals. Create a PLANE primitive under the CREATE panel using STANDARD PRIMITIVES. Make the length segments at least 8 and the width 4.

STEP 8

RIGHT CLICK the petal and go to CONVERT TO > CONVERT TO EDITABLE POLY.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 9

Using Sub Object selection manipulate the verts of the petal to roughly match the shape of one of the petals in the reference photo. As you did with the Leaf stem use the slice tool as necessary to add detail.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

PART 3- TEXURING

Texturing the Flower

STEP 1

Now that you have modeled all of the components of the Hosta plant you will need to texture each section before compiling them into one cohesive plant model.

Begin with the flower petal we just created. In the MATERIAL EDITOR select the first slot and map a BITMAP into DIFFUSE. Select the “flowerpetal.jpg” texture file provided with this tutorial as the bitmap.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

At the top level of the material you just created add the material to your flower by right-click dragging it to the petal object and releasing the mouse button.

STEP 2

Select your petal object and add an UVW Modifier under the MODIFY panel pull down list.

Now add a UNWRAP UVW Modifier under the same pull down list.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 3

Under the parameters rollout for the Unwrap UVW modifier select EDIT. This will pop open the “edit UVW’s” window which in the upper right hand corner has a pull down menu. Open the pull down menu and select “flowerpetal.jpg” so that you can view the texture within the editor.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 3

Select the OPTIONS button on the UVW editor window and be sure that under “Bitmap Options” “Use Custom Bitmap Size” is UNCHECKED so that you view your texture in the proper aspect ratio.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 5

As you can see the UVW map doesn’t match up with the petal texture and looks incorrect. To fix this hit “1″ on the keyboard to select the VERTEX sub object under the Unwrap UVW modifier. Now select the verts on the petal and begin MOVING and SCALING them to match the shape of the texture. Be sure to check your petal object in the view port so you can see the texture changes on the polys.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

Texturing the Leaf and leaf Stalk

STEP 1

As you did with the Flower texturing you need to create a material for the Leaf stalk by going to the MATERIAL EDITOR and selecting a new material slot.

Map the “leaf.jpg” texture into the DIFFUSE of the material you just created.

Drag the new material slot onto the Leaf Object in your view port

STEP 2

Select your Leaf object and DELETE the FDD 4X4X4 modifier you added earlier. You can add the modifier again later but for now it will be easiest to texture this without the it.

Now add a UVW modifier to the Leaf object as you did with the flower object.

Be sure the Mapping on the UVW modifier is set to PLANAR and the GIZMO of the of the modifier is not perpendicular to the leaf object and is flat as seen in the image below.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 3

Next add an UNWRAP UVW modifier to the leaf object. Under the UNWRAP UVW modifier parameters select EDIT to open the EDIT UVW window. In the drop down menu for the EDIT UVW window select the “leaf.jpg” texture. Also UNcheck the USE CUSTOM BITMAP SIZE under the OPTIONS for UNWRAP UVW.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 4

You must now adjust the placement of the UV’s to match up to the texture. Hit “1″ on the Keyboard to select the VERTEX sub object of the UNWRAP UVW modifier. Now using MOVE and SCALE alter the VERTS of the fan shaped part of the object to match closely to the texture.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

You now have the Leaf and Flower petal textured and should look close to the image below:

Hosta Plant Tutorial

Texturing the Bud

Step 1

In the MATERIAL EDITOR select a new slot and map the “flowerbud.jpg” texture into the DIFFUSE.

Drag the material slot over to the bud object in the view port and drop it on.

Step 2

Next Add a UVW MAP modifier to the bud object and select CYLINDRICAL under MAPPING in the MODIFY panel of the UVW Map

Be sure that the GIZMO for the cylinder is aligned on the Z-Axis and then hit FIT. The bud should now be textured.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

NOTE- If you would like the Hosta to be more detailed and accurate duplicate the flower bud and add the “flowersprout.jpg” texture to it. This will give you an alternate green flower bud which is at an earlier phase in its life cycle.

Texturing the Flower Sprout

Step 1

In the MATERIAL EDITOR select a new slot and map the “flowersprout.jpg” texture into the DIFFUSE.

Drag the material slot over to the flower sprout object in the view port and drop it on then ADD a UVW Modifier.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

PART 3 Constructing the Hosta from the various models created in parts 1 and 2

Leaf Stem Assembly

Now that the Leaf stem is textured you will need to duplicate it and give it variations in its size and shape.

STEP 1

SELECT the leaf stem object and add a FDD 4X4X4 modifier under the MODIFY panel.

STEP 2

As you did in Part 1 Sections 5-7 of this tutorial adjust the FDD 4X4X4 to give you control over the Leaf stem by FIRST moving the SET VOLUME sub object control.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 3

SELECT the CONTROL PPOINTS sub object of the FDD and again give the leaf shape and the stem some bend.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 4

Now DUPLICATE the Leaf stem object over and over again adjusting each duplicate to have variation in size and shape. As you do this move and rotate the new leaf stems to form the base of the plant as can be seen in the reference photo below. You will have to create many leaf stems to replicate an actual Hosta.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 5

After duplicating and adjusting the leaf stem about 30 times go to your LAYERS MANAGER (TOOLS>LAYER MANAGER).

Select your Leaf stem objects and RIGHT CLICK on the LAYER MANGER and select CREATE NEW LAYER(ADDSELECTION).

This will add all of your leaf stem objects to one layer. You can divide the leaf stem objects up and create several layers if you wish. You may then hide the layers while you work on the next part of the tutorial for better performance on your workstation.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

Flower Assembly

You will now duplicate the flower petal created earlier to create the flower of the Hosta.

STEP 1

Select the petal object and add a FDD 4X4X4 modifier to it under the MODFIER pull down list.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 2

Under the Sub Object selection of the FDD MODIFER MOVE the CONTROL POINTS so that the petal object arches backwards and the sides of the petal cup inwards.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 3

Next you will need to DUPLICATE the flower petal object so that you have 6 individual petals.

Rotate these petals around so that the form a flower and then select them all and GROUP them by going to GROUP> GROUP and name the Group “FLOWER”

Hosta Plant Tutorial

Flower Sprout ASSEMBLY

You will now take the flower sprout, bud(s) and Flower objects to create the entire flower sprout.

Step 1

As you can see in the reference photo below the buds and flowers on the flower sprout don’t grow 360 degrees around the flower sprout and conform to one side of the sprout. Keep this in mind as you place the buds and flowers along the sprout.

DUPLICATE the Flower group and buds and place them going up and down one side of the flower sprout.

STEP 2

If you decided to make the alternating green bud place these mostly toward the bottom of the sprout. Vary the size.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 3

Place the purple/white buds towards the middle and top section. Vary the size.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 4

Place a few of the flower duplicates towards the TOP of the sprout. Vary the size.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

STEP 5

Select all buds, flowers and the flower sprout and go to GROUP >GROUP to create a FLOWER SPROUT GROUP .

You now have a fully assembled flower sprout.

Adding the Flower Sprouts to the Leaf Stems

The final step in the process to to add multiple Flower sprouts to the Hosta.

STEP 1

If you had previously hidden the Leaf stem Layers un hide them now.

SELECT your Flower sprout group and move it into the center of the Leaf Stem group.

STEP 2

DUPLICATE the Flower Sprout Group a few times to fill in the Hosta. Hosta plants can have no Flower Sprouts (when young) to 10+ sprouts depending on the size. How many you choose to create is up to you.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

As Flower sprouts get long they tend to droop on a real physical Hosta plant. To simulate this you can add a FDD 2X2X2 Modifier to the Flower sprout groups to add curve.

Hosta Plant Tutorial

You now have a Complete Hosta plant tutorial.. Select all objects and group them to be able to MOVE,SCALE or ROTATE the entire composition.

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