In this tutorial, we're taking the first step in making a character named Machileon. The understanding level of the tutorial is beginner and assumes that the user already has a basic understanding of the 3D Studio Max interface (4 to 2018).
First step is to comprehend to what the project is aimed at and so units need to be setup (unless one does not mind having huge-models or tiny ones as they're imported into some other scene or application)
Second, one takes the reference model and places it on a plane that's proportional to the drawing (nobody wants disproportionate references). And so these images are dragged from an explorer window to two planes each perpendicular to each other as shown.
Both reference images in perpendicular planes need to be self-illuminating; the material editor has a dropper-like button that extracts an material from an object. it would be a good idea to name one's materials. And thus, the image planes would be bright in the viewports no matter what the lighting conditions of the scene.
After positioning the viewport in the correct angle, from the perspective viewport a cube is created.
Then, the cube that represents the ankle of the character is proportioned to the reference images.
Next, the ankle cube is positioned correctly according to the references.
Additionaly, this object must be segmented but first one needs to see the segments created in order to assess their appropriateness. Pressing <F4> with the cursor over the viewport shows both a shaded model and its lines and pressing <F3> shows a model in bare lines (wireframe).
Since the number of segments varies, their number has to increase or decrease proportionally to a square as much as possible — this is a rule of thumb in efficiency for polygon processing and visual organization.
Segmentation (not to be confused with marketing lingo) must be as square-like as possible for the most part.
Now, a taper modifier is applied. An FFD (Free-Form Deformer) can also be applied to the model. But in this case, segments may inevitably have to be added in one degree of freedom. One must also choose an appropriate type of FFD shape depending on the model applied to.
Next, using the taper amount value or any other pertinent modifier we choose, we conform the ankle model to the reference planes' images.
The values used here are for illustration purposes only.
Next, we apply a Face Extrude modifier, in order to show how 3D Studio Max's modifier stack works.
Now, after applying the Face Extrude modifier, we select from the modifier list the Taper modifier.
Now, insert a Poly Select modifier; the Face Extrude modifier does NOT work if there are no faces selected.
In polygon selection mode inside the Poly Select modifier, select the desired polygons.
Pressing the 'shrink' button won't take you to the psychologist but it will make our character's foot less that of a clown's.
From this right view, it appears as if the selected polygon's are unselected, but they are actually select but are not visible (orthogonal view)
Now, go to the Modifier stack and select face extrude. A little square should appear the right of the name of each modifier that the selection affects.
One can extrude an object and than segment with a Slice modifier (or several) or one can repeat the process with several Poly Select, Face Extrude or FFD-Boxes.