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Cre@teOnline - The Web Designer's Bible - CH04 (Page 3)

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Cre@teOnline - The Web Designer's Bible - CH04
"Ah, do you indeed?" The Master raised one of his bushy brows. "Then why are
you leaving before I finish?
"Heetlampp Kuizinarte Vaasoleen," the old man whispered, and the seams and
bulges on the human figure began to blend together and disappear, resulting in a
disgustingly detailed and precise model.
"D'oh!" cried the student, slapping his forehead.
Reference and Accuracy
There are many paths to a destination, and as our student discovered, some
may be right in front of us, yet hidden because it may not occur to us to
use a tool or technique in a certain way. This chapter looks beyond some
of the basic modeling tools and techniques, and finds some different paths
to building complex models.
Just as an accurate map is useful when hiking a mountain path, good ref-
erence is very useful to the 3D modeler. As proof, try an experiment: Close
your eyes and imagine you have to model and map an ordinary pen. Think
about the brand you use most of the time. Try to visualize the overall form,
details, and material colors in detail. Now look at the real pen. Chances are,
you'll see details that you forgot about, like subtle chamfers and indenta-
tions. The materials probably look different as well, perhaps glossier than
you thought, or with interesting reflections and refractions. The point is,
you probably don't remember a lot of the details about objects, even ones
that you look at every day, but it's these details that make the difference
between ordinary 3D work and true professional-quality models.
Using reference materials when designing, building, and mapping your
projects can improve the quality of the results immensely. Your reference
may consist of the actual object, photographs, drawings, video--any kind
of visual record. Of course, you don't have to follow the reference precise-
ly, but seeing the kinds of details that are there can help you to determine
how much additional mesh or mapping is required to get a professional
result, or give you ideas about how to change the design but still keep it
For specific recommendations on finding and using reference materials,
look on the CD-ROM at Appendix G, "Planning and Organization."
4 : M
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04 2433_CH04 8/23/02 8:34 AM Page 149

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