Need some help learning modelling in 3DS Max

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Well, basically, we have to create this object for our 3ds Max class. Now, our teacher being a complete moron, has teached us pretty much nothing (And by nothing I mean: he teached us how to open the program, and that's pretty much it.). Now fortune is upon me, for we have a relatively simple object that we have to create.




The thing is, I have only very, very basic knowledge of 3ds Max. And I was wondering, if anyone knew of any tutorials that would help me create this tape-measure-projector. I would look for myself, but since the internet is littered with about a million small tutorials that teach you just one technique, I was hoping one of you may know a tutorial that is somewhat more complete; teaching you various modeling techniques to create objects (obviously, I don't need anatomic modeling techniques right now).
 
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pretty nice references, you should check some basic box modeling on youtube or something
and btw.. teachers wont come to you and say "hey, now ima teach you teh tools of them trade son"
if you need to know something go and get some knowledge out of them.. personal xp
 
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Here most of the teachers actually try to teach you something. He just doesn't, and when you asked him something, he'd say "Hmmm, I am not certain, I will look it up and let you know next time." By the time it was the next time, he had already forgotten to check it for you.

Anyways, thanks for the tutorials Madman, I had forgotten those tutorials were around on these forums. And I'll be sure to check some box modeling tutorials as well, Denz.
 
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Damnit, this is quite possibly the least noob-friendly program that currently exists. I am having so many damn problems with learning here. While I understand those tutorials you posted, it seemed a bit too much work to make a cylindrical model out of boxes (or many cylinders for that matter). So I basically took one cylinder, and started editing that. I have got the rough shape of the tape measure.

But after watching the sketches again, I noticed i had to put a recess (or whatever the english word is for that) in the back to fit in the ports of the projector. So I created a box, roughly the size of that port-bay, stuck it in the back, and used a Boolean compound to cut the box shape out of the back. Now the problem is; I've got a big gaping hole in the back, and not really the inverse of the box shape. And I have no idea how I can fix that hole by connecting parts.




For a complete 3ds max-illiterate like me, a program like Google SketchUp is a damn easier program to use. I have been using programs like Photoshop for years, but the controls are just completely different in this program than that you expect them to be. Even simple things like shift+click to select multiple objects (photoshop-way) versus the control+click to select multiple objects, annoy the crap out of me in 3ds Max.
 
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i know what you mean ;_;
 
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Seems I managed to fix it using ProBoolean. Still having a few problems, I can't meshsmooth the model anymore to give it a somewhat smoother look instead of being so blocky up top (and I obviously can't add any extra segments to the cylinder either anymore), it messes up the entire model. I guess I can live without that. It's almost done for a rush job, just have to add a wee bit of texturing (here come the next problems!) and then it's done.

Edit:

I guess I at least owe you guys a ****ty render of a ****ty model. :p I couldn't add any meshsmoothing or something similar (probably because of a crappy flow?), so it's a pretty blocky model, but I can live with that for just this assignement.



Now I need to find me some time soon, to make an actual proper model, using proper modeling techniques, and adding at least some decent materials.
 
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did you try selecting all verts and use turbosmooth
 
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Gives the exact same problems. I read on some forum that it apparently has something to do with a crappy edge flow. This is how it looks:



By the way, can you actually meshsmooth only a part of the model? Since for the idea, I basically only need to meshsmooth the top, and the top is acting fine under the smoothing, it's only the sides that look weird.
 
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Tutorialized.com has some very good tuts I used to get started.
 
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you need proper smoothing groups to smooth it out good, try selecting some faces then (idk where it is in 3ds) smooth group them, after that it should all go well when meshsmoothed, also part of your model is faced (flat shaded) which you need to turn off i guess its in teh materials tab somewhere, after that it will be smoothed fine, try to find this things if you understand the **** im saying D:
 
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sicron, do you want to talk to me over steam/skype and i can give you some realtime pointers?

the first one, is lack of "control" edges for your mesh/turbosmooth. ignore denz. there's a right and wrong way to construct a mesh if you have smoothing in mind. try to think of it like this:
when you click meshsmooth, it averages out the faces/edges/verts. so if you have some that are far apart, the smoothing will look strange. if you're trying to get a "hard edge" while those edges are far apart, it will be almost impossible. what you need to do is shorten the average between the two points.

here's some examples:




a good resource for learning this stuff:
http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=56014
 
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lol you are mean ;_;
but nice that someone with actual 3d studio max exp pops up after 10 days to help
 
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lol.
don't get me wrong i'm not perfect or anything, and my hard surface modeling sucks compared to my organic. and generally speaking there's no right/wrong way to tackle modeling, but handling hard edges with smoothing groups when you're looking to meshsmooth is very definitely "wrong". in that it's a sloppy, half hearted approach to a type of modeling that requires a lot of thought out technique.
 
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Sadly I do not have a lot of time right now to go on Skype and the likes. But I think I understand your points. Basically I should chamfer the edges to get it to smooth properly? It seems my hand-in day has been changed a bit, so I might get some extra time to do a remodel if nothing else pops up in the coming days. I should hopefully be able to learn something from the images you have provided, combined with the Polycount thread. So thanks a lot for those!
 
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not so much chamfering, as connecting edges nearby to provide hard edge support. seriously, give the thread i linked a read.
 

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