Our last example will be coming out from a real-world example. We will create again stairs, but this time some which we could actually use in an interior. Create a cylinder anywhere in your perspective view and set the initial values according to the image below. Right click on our cylinder and convert it to “editable poly”. Select the top polygon and extrude it with a value of “5” creating two identical cylinders on each other.
From the “front” view select four polygons from our top cylinder where will keep the symmetry of the object and select two polygons on the left side from the center and two from the right side. Hit the “extrude” function with a value of “30” and with “Local normal” method, hit ok. Select one “edge” of the new extruded shape and ring it. Select “connect” and move the connection to the edge of the shape with a value around 90. Select the bottom polygons which we created using the connection and extrude them down using the value of “5”. I performed some chamfering on the shape and I advise to you to practice that. Chamfering is crucial in many cases and mastering the chamfer without generating triangles isn’t so easy.
This would be our initial shape on which we will apply the “Array” function. Start array and place into the 1D “Count” a value of 8 and set the “z-axis” next to move to “80” and next to rotate to “300”. The array function will create for us a 1D array forming a round stairs. Click on the 3D option and change the value from 1 to 2 together with the “z-axis” to 80. The array function will copy our stairs and create one more level. As you can see there is an option of manually achieving this result but using the “Array” function it’s more accurate and faster.
Using the knowledge and experience we got following the exercises above we can easily create the desired object which I mentioned before. The object is very simple and made from boxes, so we can create a 3D array from one box as a starting primitive and we are done. Together with this object we will do a similar one using spheres as the starting primitive. The reason for this is to create a different object to be able to compare the reflections. The way how to create those objects is very simple and you should be able to do them without any help. I used a diameter of “10” for the sphere and “20x20x20” for the box. In my case i also applied a small chamfer on the outer edges of the box to make it smoother and not so sharp. The array settings were the same for both the box and sphere where the actual values applied are on the image below. Before we do the materials and set-up the scene for rendering and reflections we will add some “movement” to our objects. Hit the “n-key” on your keyboard. This will start the “auto-key frame” function inside 3ds Max. Now move the time slider to the maximum value, in my case by default its 100. While the slider would be on the maximum value and the “auto-key frame” will be on we will select randomly few boxes and spheres and move them randomly away from our objects. After we are done we will turn off the “auto-key frame” function and we can slide back the time-slider to 0. You will notice that the objects will move, we have done the most simple animation ever :).