3D Realisation – Introduction to 3DS Max

During today’s session (13th November 2013), we were introduced to 3DS Max. 3DS Max is an industry standard within the games industry for the creating of 3D models.

First of all, we were introduced to what exactly makes up a 3D Model, which can be seen in the below diagram.

What makes up a 3D Model?

What makes up a 3D Model?

There are a few nuances to consider here. First of all, some external programs (such as UDK) are only able to handle Quad Polygons when imported (UDK itself decides how to cut a quad polygon into tri polygons). Furthermore, 3DS Max is unable to convert tri polygons to quad polygons automatically. It is usually helpful to export your model, open it in Blender, and use Blender’s conversion tool to convert them, then open the model again in 3DS Max.

We then were tasked with creating some of our own models by following a tutorial. This is what I came up with.

3D Crates

3D Crates

The crates in this picture come from the first crate model that I built. This was created by creating a box at Length: 50 x Width: 50 x Height: 50. This then needs to be converted to an editable poly model before anything else can be done with it. After doing this, we can manipulate the model at polygon level. At this point, I selected each side of the box and set the Inset value to 5. This created a new square within the faces of the box that I had created. I also set the tool to inset “By Polygon” so that each polygon is inset individually.  At this point, I then used the Extrude tool to slightly push the new squares slightly into the boxes to make them look more like crates. I set Extrude to -2. To finish this off, I applied a teak wood texture to the model. When I was happy with the model, I copied it twice by shift clicking and dragging the model twice. I then placed them into the arrangement you see above.

3D Tube

3D Tube

With the 3D Pyramid, I drew it in with the same specifications as the crates (L: 50 x H: 50 x W: 50, Inset 5, Extrude -2). However, this time, I had to use different properties when extruding as a tube is a round object rather than a flat object. I was able to achieve the effect I was looking for by setting the tool to “Local Normal” mode. I also applied a chrome texture to this object, which reflects light. I decided to try this out by adding an omni-directional light to the scene. This did however increase the rendering time.

3D Pyramid

3D Pyramid

With the 3D Pyramid, I drew it in with the same specifications as the crates (L: 50 x H: 50 x W: 50, Inset 5, Extrude -2). However, this time I selected different parts of each face and applied different textures. In this example, the large triangles in the middle of each face have a chrome texture applied and the outer triangles have a teak texture applied. This gives the impression that the object is a series of mirrors in the shape of a pyramid.

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