Modeling the Jagdkommando knife in 3ds Max

In today’s post we have a topic that’s a bit different from the topics that i’ve covered so far, namely today we are going to have a post about modeling a great looking combat knife. The knife that i chose to make is a bit unique as it actually has three edges and a twist. The knife that i am talking about is called the Jadgkommando and as you can see from all the images from the google search i wasn’t wrong when i said it’s unique looking. Well looks aside this knife is a really fun geometrical model to make, so i decided to make the videos below that show you how i managed to model it in a easy to follow tutorial.

In the first video we will go over how to model the complex blade that the knife has. We will work on one side and then take all that we have done and transfer it to the other two remaining sides, then we’ll deal with a bit of edge control and after that use the twist modifier. All in all it should be a fun video to watch and you might even pick up a few tricks.

In the second video we will continue where we stopped in the first one but we will focus on modeling the hilt (handle) of the knife. This shouldn’t be too complex to tackle but i will go ahead and use a few tricks from the modeling ribbon so you might learn something from there as well. It would be pointless to explain further about this video as it is quite self explanatory so go ahead and check it out.

So if you watched these videos you’ve seen me create the knife from the start and i am pretty confident that if you choose to follow along you will be able to recreate my result. With that we are finishing our post and calling it done. I hope you guys enjoyed the video, had fun and most importantly learned something new down the line. So don’t forget to subscribe, like and share and come back for more.

P.S. As an added bonus here is the image that i made and used in the video to help me model the knife

Creating Welding and modeling with OpenSubDiv in 3ds Max

In today’s post we are still sticking to modeling techniques, but this time around i went ahead and made the post about a certain something instead of a general terminology. Namely i made it about how to model intersecting welded geometry. This is something that you can see in many, many models out there that are made out of pipes of some sort, and even though the welding is an integral part of the model a lot of modelers skip it. Now i will say it right off the start that it’s not rocket science, but if you have never done it then it’s a good thing to see how it’s done.

So in the video below we will see two different types of modeling and welding. In the first case we will see how to take two circular pipes, mash them together and make the welding where they touch. After that is made we are going to continue with the second example in which we will have a rectangular bar come into a circular pipe and meld into it’s shape, and again we will apply the same welding mark as we used in the first case. So if that is something that might interest you then check out the video below.

After the video about the welding, and pretty much the rest of the videos i did in the Modeling Techniques category you could have noticed that i used the Turbosmooth modifier to get the smooth geometry and support edges to control the sharpness of the edges. Well there is another option, or another way that you can model and that is by using the OpenSubDiv modifier. The main difference between Turbosmooth and OpenSubDiv is that by taking the second choice we don’t have to add additional geometry to our model but instead control the edge flow with creasing. The major advantage of this method is that it won’t screw up your UVW unwrap. Now It does sound a bit weird and complicated when you hear about it, but in all honesty it’s a pretty easy and straight forward process that is really not that hard to understand. So check out the second video to see how to use the OpenSubDiv modifier.

With that we are putting a cap on our post and calling it done. I hope you guys enjoyed the video, had fun and most importantly learned something new down the line. So don’t forget to subscribe, like and share and come back for more.

3ds Max Basic Modeling Techniques

Following last week’s post 3ds Max Basic Modeling and the very positive feedback i got about that video, naturally i got plenty of messages asking me to make more videos like it. Today’s post is all about that request, but right at the start i have to say that i was not really expecting the video (in this case it ended up being two videos) to be so on the long side. My initial idea was that i can make a general modeling tutorial, squish a bunch of information in another 20-30 min video and call it a day … boy was i wrong.

As soon as i started recording the video i actually came to the realization that trying to put all sorts of modeling tricks and tips in a single video would be impossible, unless that video is hours and hours long. Well since i highly doubt that anyone would like to sit and watch a video that long, i decided to split it into two videos and cover a certain area of modeling.

I will not stop making videos like these though, on the contrary. In the future i will continue making more geometry modeling tutorials, but i will pair them with another video in which i will show you an example of where you would use those techniques, as a sort of a filler explanation video. But enough with the intro chit chat and lets jump down to the actual videos.

In the first video i decided to take the road less traveled, and actually give a bit of an explanation on how to work with Boolean Operations. Now i am well aware that most of the 3d modelers out there will tell you that you should avoid working with Boolean Operations as they are like a plague and they can leave you with a nasty looking model. Generally that is what happens if you don’t know how the Boolean operations work, but if you do then you actually end up with a rather powerful tool at your disposal. So check out this first video and see how the Boolean Operations work.

In the second video we go over some of the more common issues you will encounter when modeling, and that is controlling edge flows, inserting new geometry on elevated (non-flat) surface, transitioning edge sharpness and intersecting geometry. All in all in this video you will see quite a bit on how to deal with these issues, and i have to add that it was actually fun making this video. As an added bonus at the end of the video i decided to go ahead and import the model that we ended up with in the first video, and use the things that we showed in this video and get to a state where it will have clean flowing geometry. If what you read here is something that you might want to see, then go ahead and check out the video.

So that would be it for now, I really hope you guys liked the videos and you managed to learn something new from it. If you enjoyed it then subscribe, like and share.

3ds Max Basic Modeling

Today’s post is a tad bit different from the posts that i have done previously, and it’s different in the manner that instead of covering how to make a certain something, in this post i focused on explaining the fundamentals of modeling in Max. And this is where we come to one of my secrets and mainly why i chose to do what i do, and that is simply that i love modeling. Once you know how the basics of geometry flow works, from there on it’s always a game trying to get the geometry as clean as possible and it always feels like a mini game that you want to win so it ends up being mainly fun (in some cases can be frustrating).

So in the video below i started from the most basic thing, and that is explaining how interpolation or subdivision works for splines. From there we will see the difference between NURMS smoothing and Turbosmooth. Then we will go over using Turbosmooth to smooth out the model by using smoothing groups, after which we will also cover the geometry support edges way. After that we will see how adding Turbosmooth can affect the volume of our model, and how we can adjust the model to compensate for the loss. So if this is something that might interest you, go ahead and check out the video below.

Now the original idea for this is that it will end up as the first post in a series of posts that i will do where i will try to cover different scenarios, and try and explain how you would go about and deal with an issue that might arise from that situation. I didn’t want to gather multiple videos and release them all in one post due to the fact that i was a bit busy this week so didn’t have the free time to record as much, and the second reason being that posts with multiple posts end up being posts that people skip as they see them as something that is too long.

So that would be it for this first part. I really hope you guys liked the video and you managed to learn something from it. If you enjoyed it then subscribe, like and share and if there is interest about these kinds of videos i will make more.

Modeling Curtains in 3ds Max and Marvelous Designer

First post of the year everyone, so lets kick it off. For today’s post i chose to cover a topic that was asked of me, more notably one of the readers decided to slap an image on my Facebook profile and ask me to make it. Well it just so happened that it was a cool thing to cover, so i went ahead and actually made this video. The theme is about how to create a more complex design of a curtain, but at the same time make it different from what is already available online (this was a bit confusing for me as well). So i took the image as a reference on which to work from and that is where we start.

In the video you will me start in a simple scene in Max where i will do my best to explain how you should prepare for working on the curtain, and then explain what you should export and why. Then when we jump into Marvelous Designer i’ll go ahead and show you how you can create the base for the curtains, and then how to add the wrinkles and folds. From there we will cover a bit of pinning in MD and then export out the model. After that i’ll show you how you can animate an avatar in MD so you can get a more complex and natural looking folding. I am aware that the video took a bit longer then the rest, but i am sure that the tricks you’ll be able to pick up will make it worth the time you invest. So if this is something that you might want to know, then go ahead and watch the video.

So that about covers the very first post for this year, i hope you guys had fun and you also picked up some new tricks while watching it. So don’t forget, subscribe, like and share it around.

P.S. As an added bonus here is the image that i based my initial curtain on.


Modeling Stitching in 3ds Max

Modeling different types of models be it furniture, miscellaneous objects or even car interiors will usually mean that somewhere down the road you will have to model something that will require you to add stitching to it. Now this seemingly simple task can prove to be a bit of a problem, especially if you have never had to make it. I actually had someone ask for this on the YouTube comments, as they didn’t know how to deal with this issue.

So in this post i actually went over and created a video in which i try and explain how to get your stitching to look realistic. In the video you will see me explain two ways in which you can achieve this stitching effect. The first way that i will show you is going to be a “fake” way of making the stitching, which is a bit ironic to call it faking it as it will cover for about 95% of the cases in which you will need to have stitching. After that we will also explain the issues that you can get with the “fake” method and then we’ll go about showing another way of making the stitching with the “proper” geometry way which will also help us if we have X type stitching. So if this is something that you might want to learn then check out the video below.

After watching this video you should now have a better understanding on how to make stitching in 3ds Max. There is another way of making stitching and this is more for custom types of stitching but that will require us to go into ZBrush, and explain some extra options in there which will probably be a theme for another post which i will try my best to make when the time allows it.

So i hope you guys liked the video and you managed to learn something new, and like always if that is the case then subscribe, like and share it around. As that would be it for this video the only thing that is left is for me to say is .. Happy Holidays everybody, and Happy New Year !

( This was published on December 29th so if you are reading this at summer time or something like that, you should probably go out and enjoy the sun 🙂

Creating and detailing a Beanbag chair in 3ds Max and ZBrush

So here we are in today’s post trying to build upon what i said in the previous Introduction to ZBrush post that you can use Zbrush in your Archviz scenes, and give your models a very high amount of details, and at the same time have total control over everything. Now, since i haven’t covered anything else then the bare, bare minimum of ZBrush, i didn’t want to go overboard and start showing new features and tools that will probably make anyone not experienced with ZBrush straight out quit. I tried and kept it to the basics and managed to get the result that you will see at the end of the video by only using the standard brush, and a single alpha map.

While you are still reading and hopefully i still have your attention, you might want to go ahead and download the free program for baking textures, which in my opinion is the best option that is out there that costs no cash to use.

xNormals download link Clicky clicky here!

Provided that you downloaded the program, lets jump on and actually explain what you can expect to see in the videos.

In the first video we go over and build the base of out bean bag chair in 3ds Max. For this we start off with a plane as our ground and a sphere for our Bag model. With a bit of clever modification of the sphere and the use of the Cloth modifier. I have actually covered a bit of the Cloth modifier in an older post called Modeling a Pillow in 3ds Max so if you want to learn more about it check it out as well. We will also explain how to UVW unwrap the model so that we can apply textures to it. So if this sounds like something that you would like to see, then go ahead and watch the first video.

In the second video we will start in ZBrush where i will show you how you can import a model that you can start working on right away. We will explain briefly how to control subdivision in ZBrush, and then we will jump straight to sculpting in the details. We will also explain how to use maps (Alphas) to add details to our mesh in a very short time. After all of this is done i will show you how to quickly bake the high poly details by using the xNormals free program (get it from the link above). After that i will also explain how to deal with the issues that can arise from the normal map displacement. Again if all of what you read here interest you, then go ahead and watch the second video.

I really hope that you guys enjoyed watching these two videos as i am slowly trying to show everyone that when you are going after that perfect scene, knowing more software can only make you a better artist and in turn make your work quality better. I will try my best to make more videos for Max as well as blends between using Max and ZBrush while still keeping it as simple as possible so that even a total beginner can understand them, and more importantly follow along with them.

So that would be it for today’s post, if you guys liked the videos then subscribe, like and share the videos so it can reach more people, and hopefully they can learn something from it as well.

As an added bonus here is the alpha map that i used in ZBrush.

Folds Alpha

So Cheers everyone and Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

UVW Unwrapping in 3ds Max

I have received a few requests about making a video that will cover UV Mapping as well as a few others asking for a video on making a low poly model and then transferring the details from a high poly to the low poly model (Bake down the textures). Well this post should be the answer to the first request, and a base for the second one as you need to know UVW unwrapping if you ever want to do get into low poly models and baking (most notably for gaming). And lets see how this goes.

So you made your first 3D model that is not a primitive geometry, and now you want to add a texture to it. What happens now though is that once you apply the texture to it, it simply doesn’t look anything like the texture, either that or you are getting a flat color. Well the reason for this is that when you have a model that is simply more complex than the standard primitives, you need to UVW Unwrap that model.

So how do i UVW unwrap a model?
Well the first thing you need to understand is what is UVW Unwrapping? The definition of unwrapping is the process in which you are telling your software how to apply a 2D image (texture) to a 3D model. So in order to be able to make that transition from a 2D plane to a 3D model we have our UVW Unwrap modifier in 3ds Max. If you want to get a better idea on how the logic behind unwrapping works simply think about wrapping a present. At the moment of writing this article is before Christmas and New Year so it would be easy to think about it in this manner. Let’s say that you have bought a friend or a family member a a sculpture or a toy of some sort and you want to wrap it in a nice festive wrapping paper. The thing is that you don’t want to box it, but instead you want to wrap the paper around the gift without making the paper look all squished and garbled up. In order to keep the paper on top of your present all nice and festive, you will need to cut it up in smaller pieces, and then glue or tape them all back together. Well this is EXACTLY what UVW mapping is doing, it’s taking the wrapping paper, cutting it into small manageable pieces and then putting it all back together. So that’s the general idea behind it, so now lets jump in and see the technical approach to it in 3ds Max.

In the first video we will cover the basics of unwrapping, as well as get our feet wet with unwrapping a Box a 3D Rectangle and a Cylinder. By unwrapping these few simple models we will see how to work with the UVW Unwrap modifier and how the Unfold and Flatten mapping works. I won’t keep explaining much more as you will be able to see all about it in the actual video here.

In the second part of the video we jump over to unwrapping a Cone and a Torus (Fancy word for a Doughnut). With the help of these two models we will learn more about Stitching and Breaking of UV islands as well as Pelt Mapping. So again i leave you with the video so you can see it for yourself.

And the third part of the Unwrapping series will cover unwrapping a Sphere, Geo Sphere and a modified Teapot. With the help of the Sphere and the Geo Sphere we will learn more about the Quick Peel option and the Point to Point seams cutting. And the modified teapot is there so that we can try and use everything we saw in these videos and get the teapot unwrapped.

So with that we more or less round up the basics of the UVW unwrapping. Now just to make it clear this is not all there is to say about UVW unwrapping, not even by a long shot, but it is enough to know to have a base on which you can continue to build upon.

Before i forget and finish up with this post, if you want to use the texture i used or some other UV Checker texture you can get them for free from Google, but if you don’t know how to get them (I really see no reason as to why not, but hey …) then simply follow this link straight to a Google Search.

And that would be it for this post, so if you managed to learn something new and you liked the videos, then help spread the word and like and share the video on YouTube and Facebook.

VRay IES lights in 3ds Max

Time for another V-ray lighting video. The idea for this video came from a comment on YouTube asking for a tutorial that will explain how V-Ray IES lights work. This is really not a very complicated matter so it was a pretty straight forward task for me to record it, or so i thought until my first go at recording crashed near the end and i had to start from the beginning. But that aside i can safely say that i went over most of the important things that you need to have and know to be able to use VRay IES lights. I’ll try to keep the chatter to a minimum as what i want to leave here is the video and the links to the sites that i go over in the video.

So in the video we will first explain what IES lights are, and how do they look like in an exterior and interior scene. After that i’ll show you how you can get a visual rendition of the IES files without getting it into 3DS Max and on top of that i’ll even give you a few great sources for IES lights. So if you are here reading this, then i would guess that you are interested in this theme so i’ll leave you here with the video.

If you watched the video you probably saw me going to a few different sites, so for your easy access here are the sites with the respected links.

IES Viewer The first thing that you want to grab so you can follow along.
ERCO The site that has the detailed info as well as the IES files for lighting fixtures
Lithonia The other site that has the large collection of IES files that you can get for your project work

And that would be it for this post, so if you managed to learn something new and you liked the videos, then help spread the word and like and share the video on YouTube and Facebook.

Creating Complex Rugs in 3DS Max

After the last post that had some great feedback from you guys, as well as a few more questions that were about how to model some more complex design rugs i decided to make these two videos you are about to see here. In the simple rug creation post we went over how to make the most common types of rugs, and those techniques are valid and correct but when we get to a point where the rug has a more intricate design then those techniques can end up a bit short. In those cases we can probably use the two techniques you can see in this post. So enough about the introduction lets just right into the explanation and the videos.

In the first video we will go over how to create a rug that is not 100% covered in strands. You can see multiple designs like this one in many different scenes and if you would want to recreate one in 3D then you would have to have some sort of control over the design. Well V-Ray offers that control with the VRayFur option. When you first try it out you might think that it’s just a fancy substitute for the Hair and Fur modifier that we covered in the previous post, but in reality it’s actually quite a powerful tool to have in your arsenal as it offers quite a bit of control over your design. In the video below we will continue on the same scene that we had in the previous post and build on that. You will see how to use the VRayFur, how to control the distribution of the strands, how to control the bend of the strands and most importantly how to utilize maps to do all that. So if you want to know about that then check out the video.

In the second video we are going to take a look at how to create a complex rug that isn’t actually made from strands, but instead it’s made out of different types of geometry. For this we are going to take a swing with the amazing scattering plugin Forest Pack Pro. Now the thing with Forest Pack Pro is that it’s an amazing piece of work as it can be used to create amazing things, and with this post we will barely scratch the surface of it’s possibilities, but we will have a base on which we can continue in future videos. So check out this video that is basically covering the process of creating a rug made out of different geometry that is scattered on a base object.

So with these two ways of creating rugs you should be able to tackle the more complex designs without too much of a hassle. And that would be it for this post, so if you managed to learn something new and you liked the videos then help spread the word, and like the video on YouTube. I’m still waiting to see if we can get the videos to have a 10% like approval which would be Amazing. In any case i hope you enjoy the videos, and i’ll see you all in the next post.


In case you want to follow along with the tutorial here are the two images that i used.





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