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October 2016 | FEER McQUEEN blog

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October 2016

Hello Pixel: The First Smartphone Exclusively By Google

“Need a new phone? Like new new? Like doesn’t have a version number new?”

Google has just announced its first ever smart phone, Pixel (and Pixel XL), and it all looks very promising, particularly in light of recent releases of the Samsung S7 and iPhone 7 and their subsequent reviews.

Although Google previously paired up with Android for the Nexus phone, Google’s Pixel is the first hardware and software 100% Google-made phone. It is also the first phone to feature Google Assistant, which can answer questions, keep your schedule, play music, find photos quickly, and keep track of travel plans and details.
It comes in 2 sizes, 5 inches and 5.5 inches, and 3 colors, “Quite Black”, “Very Silver”, and “Really Blue”.
The camera is 12.3 megapixels and it can capture 4K video too. Selfie lovers should also get excited for this release, as its 8 megapixel front cam beats the S7’s 5 megapixels and the iPhone 7’s 7 megapixels.
With a display measuring in at 5 inches it has a resolution of 1920×1080, while the iPhone 7 is 4.7 inches with 1334×750 resolution, and the S7 is 5.1 inches with 2560×1440 resolution.
The fingerprint recognition is located on the back cover, and it is specifically built for VR use. What’s most impressive is the battery, which is said to last up to 7 hours on a 15-minut-long charge. We could definitely use that in Lebanon with all the electricity cuts!

Google Pixel will be the first phone to feature Android 7.1 Nougat, as the S7 features Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
As for the Google Pixel release video, the script is impeccably witty with sharp jabs at the iPhone 7 (“3.5 mm headphone jack satisfyingly… not new”) and an all-around enjoyable vibe. You can watch for yourself…

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Smoothing Groups

Have you ever thought that you needed to add extra detail to your 3D objects and end up smoothing them so much that your great grandchildren would see the end result of your renders? It is an easy way out but on the expenses of render time. So what can you do to have a smooth surface and yet having a reasonable render time? Smoothing groups are the solution to your problems.

For the following technique to work, the editable poly modifier needs to be the lowest in the stack and cannot have any modifier (or the original primitive object) underneath it.

To see the power of this technique we are going to draw a simple cylinder in our viewport and give it 12 segments, with no height segments which would create 48 polygons.

Working With Smoothing Groups In 3Ds Max | Hybrid Talks
Working With Smoothing Groups In 3Ds Max | Hybrid Talks

Working With Smoothing Groups In 3Ds Max | Hybrid Talks
To make it smoother at close range you would need to bump up the segments to something like 32 segments which will lead to having 128 polygons:

Working With Smoothing Groups In 3Ds Max | Hybrid Talks

What if we want to have a low amount of polygons but still retain smoothness?
Return to the 12 segments cylinder, right click on it and convert it to an editable poly.

In the Subdivision Surface tab of the Editable Poly, check the Use NURMS Subdivision which will smooth it all together, like if you would be using a Mesh Smooth modifier.

Working With Smoothing Groups In 3Ds Max | Hybrid Talks

Working With Smoothing Groups In 3Ds Max | Hybrid Talks

Note: This technique can be done using a Mesh Smooth modifier after adding an Edit Poly modifier to the box.

Select the height faces of the cylinder and look for the Polygon: Smoothing Groups tab in the Editable Poly. By default, primitive objects come with the smoothing groups already defined for you. Select a smoothing group number for all the faces and then go back to the Subdivision Surface tab and check Separate by Smoothing groups.
This will create a smooth version of your cylinder with only 34 polygons.

Working With Smoothing Groups In 3Ds Max | Hybrid Talks

Look for the next tutorial for more an advanced technique on the utility of smoothing groups.

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