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Help with Normals!!

joseph alexander

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What's the best way to align an import which has normals in every which way in max 6. I like to surface model in rhino and can get a very clean mesh model in max, but individually aligning normals in rhino is a pain... is there a script or plug-in that I can use to have a group of meshes align their normals towards a point... or something along those lines.. don't ACAD modelers have the same problem?

I can activate force 2-sided and my renders are fine, but for some reason i can't get the navigator window to see flipped normals (forced 2 sided)...



anyrate, anyone who has a solution will be a savoir in my book...





PS. yes i have power translators, but i can't expect other people to have it. Hence the mesh modeling..


(nurbs still rule.)

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Hi Jason:


Since I only render in Max but do not model in it, I am not versed in the possible ways to correct the problem within Max. However, here is one possibly convoluted way of doing it if nothing else works.


SketchUp which has an 8 hour demo period will allow you to take in a dwg mesh. If you right mouse click on a face with the correctly orientated normal and then select 'orient faces' all of the faces that are touching each other and 'inverted' will flip flop. You can then export a dwg. Or, there has been a fix for the 3ds exporter in Release 4 which I have not tried which may allow you to export as a 3ds. If you can get a copy of SU version 3, that exporter has always worked extremely well for me, although some users have discussed issues with smoothing/welding edges.



Again, I would expect that Max has some way of doing this, but if you need to get going or have a .dwg file in the future, SU may be a quick method of getting the file cleaned up.


This worked very well on some furniture that I needed to get cleaned up and it rendered fine in Max 5.


Mike White

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You could check '2 sided' material in the mat editor, that'd allow you to see the 2 sided surface. It wouldn't do anything to the normals, but it'll render 'ok'. Quick fix.



As a side note, does anyone know if MR uses 2 sided materials? I know all of Final Render materials are 2 sided. Just wondering, if this is the case then the normals won't be an issue if you use GI.

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Two-sided materials and forcing two-sided rendering will slow down rendering, sometimes a lot. Checking and flipping normals in Rhino is so easy, why not do it before you try to import to max?


In Rhino, the default settings render backfaces (bad for checking normals). For extrusions and sweeps, the direction of your curves is going to determine which way the surface is oriented. Closed polysurfaces will always have normals facing out and cannot be flipped. When creating surfaces by corner points, the direction (clockwise or cc) you pick will determine which way the surface is oriented.


In max, you don't need to apply a normal modifier unless you are working with a max primative, like a box.

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