Free Form Modeling in Amorphium Pro

Carl E Schou

June 31, 2002


We Come In Peace....



A lot of 3D modeling programs require the user to work through a non-intuitive interface.  While they may allow you build whatever you have in mind, they don't feel natural enough to allow for experimenting, the way you would when modeling a real-world object in clay.  One program that is highly intuitive is Amorphium Pro, and that's the topic for this month's foray into the 3D domain.

In this tutorial, we're going to do some Free Form abstract modeling in Amorphium Pro to build the two alien spacecraft models used in the above picture, which was textured and rendered in Bryce.  First though, let's get an overview of the program and examine some of its pros and cons.



An Overview of Amorphium

Aside from free form abstract modeling, Amorphium Pro is also useful for projects where you're intuitively modeling something by eye, and don't need to be mathematically exact.  Some features of Amorphium Pro are:

Masking - you can select or deselect areas of a model by painting on it to control which part are affected by the tools.

Mesh Quad - you can increase the polygon density of an area that is going to be stretched so you still have enough of a mesh to work with.

Hot Wax - You can create a Wax object and paint on extra mesh to rough out the shape you want, then convert it to a regular mesh object to use all of the other tools.

Composer - You can combine different mesh models into a single, grouped model, with independent control over the size, position, and rotation of each part.  You can also apply Boolean operations to combine different meshes into a single continuous mesh.

BioSpheres - Metaballs, that glom onto each other, can be arranged to produce the desired mesh shape.

Morphing - You can use Amorphium Pro to produce Morphs for Poser models.

Height Shop - you can use a gray scale image to control the shape of a model.

There are also options for Rendering, Painting, and Animation.



Amorphium Pros and Cons

Amorphium Pro is an intuitive polygon modeling package with rendering and animation capabilities.

Amorphium Pro is great for free form organic modeling, either improvised or pre-planned.

Amorphium Pro is probably not the best choice if you want to make an exact scale model of some detailed object like a battleship.

Low cost - Amorphium Pro is currently going for $119.




Model the Mother Ship

We're going to make our models from simple spheres that are modified using the tools in the FX window.

When you start up Amorphium, the Composer window starts up by default.  Create a sphere by clicking the 5th icon down on the left side of the screen and clicking the sphere in the pop-up menu.  Click and drag right in the workspace to create the sphere.  You should see something like the image below.





Now click on FX in the top tool bar to switch to the FX window.  The front view is default and we'll be using that view point for the next several steps.  This is important because the way Amorphium applies effects is dependent on the view point.  Select "Button" in the Effects menu on the right side of the screen.  Left click in the center of the sphere and drag left twice to indent the sphere as shown below.




Next, select "Cogs" in the Effects menu.  Set the number of cogs to 7 using the Edit pop-up window for Cogs.   Left click in the center of the object and drag to the right to produce the effect shown at below left.  Repeat to produce the effect at below right.






Give it a Twirl

Select "Twirl" in the Effects menu.  Left click in the middle of the object and drag to the right to get the effect shown below.




Still in the Front view, select "Button" in the Effects menu.  Left click the center of the object and drag right 5 times.  Switch to the left view and you should see something like the image below.  If you need to increase or decrease any of the effects already applied, remember to return to the front view before doing so.





When you're satisfied with the model, save your work.  If you plan on using the model in another program such as Bryce or Vue, you'll need to export the model as a 3DS or OBJ file.



Model the Scout Craft

Going back to the front view, another model was created as a variation on the first.  This one started with a sphere which was modified with Button (drag right), followed by Waves, Twirl, Shear, and Button (drag right).  This second model is shown in the quad view below.




The Rest of the Picture

The picture at the top of this tutorial, "We Come In Peace...", was rendered in Bryce 5 using the two models that we just created.  The first model built, the mother ship, was made huge and placed far in the background.  For a material, "Mech Map" from the Miscellaneous Materials was used.  In the Deep Texture Editor (DTE), the scale was set to 272 for X, Y, and Z.  The second model built was replicated to produce a total of 9 scout craft.  The "Warm Gold" material from the Simple and Fast Materials was applied.  A bump channel was added based on the DTE settings for the Gilded Cage material from the Wild and Fun Materials.  The star field was generated with StarBits, a program you can download using the link provided.





Copyright 2002, Carl E Schou, All Rights Reserved