Screwdrivers belong between the objects which are used daily in our life and could be called common. In this tutorial I decided to model three different types of screwdrivers where every single one has a different handle and a different tip. The objects are quite simple but they are ideal for modelling practice. At first we will place our reference images inside 3ds Max and prepare the environment for modelling. For proper rendering we will change the units with which we are working from generic one to centimetres. By all three screwdrivers we will start our modelling process from a primitive which will serve as a starting piece. In our case and because all screwdrivers have a cylindrical shape, our starting primitive is a simple cylinder with a small amount of sides. The small amount of sides will allows us to properly control the screwdriver shape and his details. After fitting our primitive on our reference image we will convert the object to „editable poly“ and start using the editable-poly technique for modelling all details on our screwdriver. Using the functions such as loop, connect, extrude, bevel and similar we will achieve a smooth and identical model as on our reference images. Because our model is modelled from a cylinder with small amount of sides, at the end we will use a smoothing modifier to smooth our model.
Recently I was confronted with one question from our users regarding a picture made from small boxes which were forming a larger box together with reflective material to this surface. The overall modelling by this case isn’t any problem and the inbuilt array function will create this kind of object without problems but the reflections on this flat surface is a different story. But let’s take it step by step. The inbuilt array functions inside 3ds Max is used for creating one-, two-, and three-dimensional arrays. For example, a row of five objects is a single-dimension array, even though it takes up three-dimensional space in the scene. An array of objects that's five rows by three columns is a two-dimensional array, and an array of objects that's five rows by three columns by two levels is a three-dimensional array. As you can see, using this function you can create very simple but also very complex objects where repeating of the same objects is required.
Some time ago we received a direct mail with a question about modelling a Mocking Jay pin and GDI logo using 3ds Max and because we try to fulfil the needs of our users we decided to create an tutorial about modelling both items. Looking at the reference pictures we got, we realized that the GDI logo is not such a problem as the Mocking Jay pin. The reason for that was the fact that comparing both items together the GDI logo is flat but the Mocking Jay pin has some shape because it shows a bird which of course is displayed more or less naturally also on the pin. After some searching for more reference pictures we started the modelling process. The first step as by other tutorials is setup the scene together with the reference pictures according which we will model. Because we are always modelling in real-world scale one important thing by this is the „unit setup“ inside 3ds Max which in our case is set to centimetres.
In this tutorial we will for the first time get into the animation process inside 3ds Max and create a changing advertisement using the tools available inside 3ds Max. The tutorial will start with creating the appropriated shapes for the actual advertisement board which is made from two main parts. The first part is just a frame which is holding the second part which are panels in a shape of a triangle on which are applied the actual images or advertisement. The main objects would be made using the poly-modelling technique and this part of the tutorial will be very quick and easy. After creating the shapes for the advertisement we will start the animating process. Here you have actually two options how to make it; either using the manual method where you would be moving and rotating the separate parts or using the inbuilt MAXScript language which will do the work for you. Of course we will choose the second option because the way how it’s made using the second option is much more interesting and even more challenging. The MAXScript allows you to code a set of instruction by which you can use all available tools, methods and options available in 3ds Max.
If you are a new user of 3ds max or an experienced one you know that if you want to improve your workflow you need to see inside the application a bit more. Every application can be used in a so called general way where you just use the basic functions for your purpose, but if you want to get from it the maximum you have to know something extra. With just some extra knowledge you can improve your viewport navigation, tools selection or optimize the time for test renders. There is a lot of ways how to improve your modelling or rendering skills but as by any other software you should first improve the skill needed to handle the application itself. I will focus on the default install of 3ds max which include also MentalRay and not on any third party tools, plugins or renderers.