Page 4 Modeling a Brachiosaurus: Rounding the Surface

Use the ’Properties’ command to open the Object Properties panel. You can give the surface an appropriate color and highlight as seen below, or pick any other color you like.

Render the dino to see what the body looks like so far:

You can see that the shape of the surface is not round enough, and will need some more work. Before editing the surface, your scene can be made more manageable by putting the different objects into different layers. Use the ‘Layer’ command to see the layer panel.

In the Edit Layers panel, choose ‘New’, name the new layer to ‘Original curves’, and set it to ‘Off.’ Click OK.

Select all the curves in the scene with ‘SelCrv’, and then use ‘ChangeLayer’. Choose the ‘Original curves’ and the curves are moved into that layer and disappear from viewports (because the layer is set to Off.)

Now the surface can be edited by itself, without any risk of accidentally selecting the original curves. Putting curves away into another layer is preferable to deleting them, because you always might need construction curves again in unexpected revisions to a project, or in starting other models or projects.

In order to make the current body surface rounder (and more "Brachiosaurus-like"), you need to move the outer row of CV’s. Use DynamicShadingPerspective to see a shaded surface in Perspective viewport as you are editing. In the front viewport, zoom in on the end and move the CV’s until the surface looks more round, basically that means moving the CV’s until the cross sections looks like half of a circle for the tail and neck (the figure below shows the first curve rounded) and almost as round in the torso area. When moving CV’s in the neck area, use the Top viewport, and view your results in the Perspective viewport so you can get a good look on the surface from different angles. (NOTE: Don’t move any of the outer rows of CV’s off the central axis, because you will need to mirror the surface in order to make the full body later on).

The first cross section modified to a more rounded look, compared to the larger ones behind.

The figure below shows what it should look like after the CV manipulation. After this step, your scene should be similar to the sample file ’brachio2.3dm’ from the CD-ROM. (Show here with render wireframe activated.)