Easily learn time-saving modeling techniques, a modeling tools overview, and a proven workflow for modeling in XSI. Contains over four hours of project-based training. Great for new and beginning artists. Popular highlights include: Overview of Modeling Tools in XSI; Overview of Geometry Types; Polygon Modeling Workflow; Using Rotoscopes as Modeling Reference; Optimizing Geometry; Mirroring Geometry; Working with Curves, Surfaces, and Trims; Lofting Curves to Create Geometry; Adding Edge Resolution; Scene Organization Techniques; Principles of Creating Clean Topology; Creating Custom Toolbars and Shelves; Edge-loop Selections; Strategically Adding Resolution; Removing Resolution; Merging Multiple Pieces of Geometry; Lofting Surfaces; Bridging and Welding Components; Splitting Parallel Edge-loops; Re-routing Geometry Flow; Generating Symmetrical Geometry; Reusing and Repurposing Geometry; Modeling with Deformers; Extruding Geometry Along Curves; Edge Creasing; Naming and Organizing Assets; Interactively Adding Edges Around Objects; Building High-res Geometry with Low-res Cages. Software required: XSI 4 or higher (XSI 6.5 required for project files).
Kyle was one of the first authors for Digital-Tutors (now a Pluralsight company) and has been a part of the team for over 10 years. Kyle began his career in computer graphics education as a college instructor and worked as a Digital-Tutors rendering tutor and curriculum manager since 2002.
Introduction and Project Overview Alright now before we go ahead and actually get into the modeling portion of this and start to build our Swiss Army Knife, let's first dedicate a couple of lessons to first just exploring the different types of geometry that can be found within XSI. So, XSI mainly has two different types of geometry. These are called polygon geometry type and the other is a surface object. Surface object is XSI's term for it, some other programs might refer to a surface as a NURBS object. XSI just refers to that as a surface. So, to access these two different types of geometry, or to create any kind of a geometry that contains either one of those, we need to first go over to the side menu here. We'll go to Get Primitive and from here we can choose what type of a primitive object we want to drop in. We can have either a curve object, a poly mesh, a surface, or a NURBS, and below that we have an implicit object which we're really not going to work at all with these. An implicit object is really a bit more like a stand in or a dummy object. Something that's not going to be rendered. So, we're really not going to work with those. We're going to stick to the poly mesh and the surface geometry types. So let's go ahead and talk about our first piece, the geometry for a polygon. Let's go ahead and drop in a polygon sphere. We'll go ahead and maximize this view port. Now a polygon object, if we zoom in and switch this to a shaded view, a polygon object is really made of these individual polygons. Alright, these four-sided faces. So, a polygon object in XSI is really having these flat faces and the more of these flat faces we add, you can see the smoother our geometry appears. This is really the basis of polygon geometry. The more polygons we have, the smoother and cleaner and more organic our result can be. Now as far as being able to come in and manipulate this geometry in a different shape so we have these different types of components that make up this polygon piece of geometry. Now those components are found over along this right-hand side of the menu. We have points, which a point is basically any one of these vertices where these different polygons meet. So we can grab a point here and if I switch now to my move tool, I can grab that point, or that vertex, and move it around. Just like so. Alright, the other type of component that we have is an edge. An edge is any one of these lines that connect any two vertices, or points. So if I select edge, I can now just simply come in, grab one of these connecting edges, and move those accordingly. Alright, the final one that we have is a polygon. Now if I click on this, a polygon is one of these actual individual polygons that you see here or one of these individual faces. Now, this method of selection becomes a little bit tricky because you'll notice as I come in and grab this, we can't simply just select that. So, in order to select a polygon in XSI, we have to make sure that our cursor, or our marquee completely encompasses the polygon that we want to be able to select. And now you can see that we have that easily accessible. The drawback to that, though, is that it becomes very easy to accidentally select something on the backside of our mesh. So, anytime you want to be able to de-select something, just press Control + Shift at the same time and that will now de-select anything that you no longer want selected. Alright, and once you're ready to get out of this component mode, you'll be able to tell if you're in a component mode if your wire frame is sort of this yellow color. If you want to be able to get out of this and back into an object mode, just simply tap your Space Bar and once your wire frame turns white, you'll see that you're back in an object mode. So now I'm picking up and moving this entire piece of geometry. Now to access these components on this polygon object, we can use either this menu on the right-hand side, that we've looked at, or we can actually just use keyboard shortcuts to quickly jump to these different component modes. Now if you can't remember these, these can be found underneath the Select Menu and if we go to the Modes Menu, and it's actually being a little bit cut off so I'm just going to tear this menu off and, actually we can't see it over there either but, in my case, if you look to the other side of this particular tool, it'll also list out the keyboard shortcut. As I mentioned, it's just being cut off a little bit on my screen. So, the modes, if we go to a point selection mode, you can press the T key on your keyboard. So if I press T, we're now back in a point editing mode so we can now come in, grab our different points, if we press the E key on our keyboard, we can select these different edges. Just remember E for edges. If we press the Y key, we can come in and grab these different polygons and there's actually a couple of extra selection modes and this is called a raycast selection. These become very, very useful whenever you're working with dense geometry or geometry that you want to make sure that you don't accidentally select something on the backside. So with raycast selection, if we want to be able to raycast select edges, I press the I key on my keyboard. This is a little bit different because I can no longer simply click and drag to select a whole marquee of edges. Instead, the raycast selection just lets me click and drag across my surface to select the different edges that I want. The beauty of a raycast selection is that as I make my selection, there's no mistake or no possibility of me accidentally selecting anything on the backside of my geometry. So again, this is a raycast selection for the edges. That's the I key on your keyboard. We can also raycast select individual polygons as well. So if I press the U key on my keyboard, now instead of having to click and drag a marquee, I can just simply click once to select any polygon and I can click and drag to select a whole multitude of polygons and as I mentioned, the beauty of this is the fact that we have no possibility of accidentally selecting something on the backside. So if I want, I can just simply press and hold my Shift key to add to that selection or I can press Control + Shift at the same time to remove from that selection. And again, once I'm done, tap my Space bar and we're back at an object mode. Alright, so that's a look at the polygon geometry in XSI and what we'll do in the next lesson is take a look at the surface geometry and kind of give a comparison and a contrast of these two different types.