Modeling Assets in 3ds Max for Unreal Engine 4

What is this post all about ?

First of all, this is going to be a rather long post split into six parts. The reason for the lengthy size is that we will take a look at the whole workflow. This workflow means starting in 3ds Max and ending with our model inside Unreal Engine 4. Alright then lets start !

Modeling the Custom Chair

The first thing that we need to create is going to be the HP ( high poly ) model. This is a given if we want to have a good quality model when we later bring it into UE4. For this case i decided to go with a custom chair. If you read the FB group you will know that i kinda messed up with a NDA issue. This meant that i had to rerecord everything from scratch. So to make it safe i decided to go with something that doesn’t exist. The modeling of the said chair will show you how to use couple of different techniques. These techniques are like box modeling, modifier stacking, cloth simulation and a few others. Anyways you can see all of this in the video below so go check it out.

Creating the Low Poly

The second video will cover the creation of the LP ( Low Poly ) model. In the past i have created a few videos that were about retopology. Well this time around it was more of a simplification rather then retopology. This is because when you have a HP model that was created with proper box modeling it’s faster and easier. In the video below you can check out the whole creation of the LP model.

UVW Unwrapping

This is where it starts getting interesting. A lot of people for some reason find this complicated and hard. For this phase i wanted to show you two ways for UVW Unwrapping. In the first video i decided to go ahead and do the UVW Unwrapping inside 3ds Max. You can see how i did it in the video below.

Now if you watched the video above you heard me saying that i hate doing unwrapping in 3ds max. It’s not that it’s hard, it’s simply tedious if you ask me. This is why i decided to throw in a bonus video about Unfold3D. This is a piece of software that is used only for one thing, and that is UVW unwrapping. So if you want to see how that worked out, check out the video below.

Texturing the chair with Substance Painter

For the texturing phase i decided to go with Substance Painter. If you have never seen or used Substance Painter you are missing out. It’s an amazing software that makes texturing assets an easy task. Since i haven’t made any prior videos with the software i will stick to the basics. This means we will use already existing materials that come with the Substance Painter. So if you want to see how i did it, check out the video below.

Exporting the model to Unreal Engine 4

In the last part of the mini series we will see how to get the model to Unreal Engine 4. We will also see how we can prepare the model so we have no issues with the transformations. How to prepare the model for use of multiple materials in UE4. How to compile the materials so we can use the textures from Substance Painter. In short all the things that you have to do to your model to get it working inside Unreal. Again, if you want to see that check the video below.

 Is that all ?

Well with this we covered the whole process of preparing an asset to go from Max to UE4. If you followed the videos you will have an idea of the steps you need to do. So i do hope you guys found this entertaining and educational. You guys learned the workflow, and i learned the importance of an NDA 🙂

In any case, if you liked the post like and comment on the videos and help spread the word around.

Creating the Brookhaven Wooden Chair in 3ds Max

Why this model?

Today’s post comes as a direct request from a reader.The request was to model an interesting looking wooden chair. Initially when i saw the model i thought it was a simple 50$ chair. But as you will see it ended up being a whooping 9500$ piece. When i saw that i simply knew i had to make the model so this is how it all started. Just so i covered everything i decided to split this into two videos. In the first phase i go over modeling the chair, and in the second the UVW unwrapping.

The modeling Phase

The modeling phase of this project was a fun one. The model seemed very simple at first glance, but once you start doing the work it had it’s challenges. In the first part of the modeling video i went over the logical composition of the model. After the part division you will see me start with modeling the parts individually. When modeling i always choose to take things as simple as possible, as it makes controlling the model easier. But instead of explaining everything it’s a much more effective means if you can watch it happen. So if you want to see the creation process, then check out the video below.

The Unwrapping Phase

In the second part of the video i will focus on the UVW Unwrapping part. Up until now i really haven’t done any UVW unwrapping videos for the models that i’ve made tutorials about. And honestly i’ve received a few requests to do some tutorials about this topic. So i decided to make a video about unwrapping this model. Depending on the feedback i get from you guys i may continue doing these kinds of videos in the future. For this video i decided to stick to 3ds Max and not take it into an external program. In order to follow along you will need to download the Tex Tools free script. So if you want to see how i did the unwrapping then check out the video below.

Final Thoughts

Like i said in the beginning, this was a fun model to work on. The only thing that makes this model unique is that i decided to do the UVW unwrapping as well. Now if you guys liked seeing me do the unwrapping then leave a comment or a like. And i’ll see about continuing making unwrapping videos for the future videos as well. So for now that would be all, and as always you can ask anything you might want to know on the YouTube channel or the Facebook group, and also you can jump in on Discord for a direct way of communication.

3ds Max Modeling with Smoothing Groups

Hey everyone and welcome to today’s topic on 3ds max modeling, with the help of smoothing groups. First of all i want to note that this was initially a 2 part video. Upon finishing the original recording i actually saw that i was breaking an NDA that i had signed. NDA’s are a pain, so i rerecorded the video to what you see here. But like all things everything has to have a start, so lets start from the beginning.

3ds Max Modeling with Smoothing Groups ?

You can do 3ds Max modeling with two different approaches. First is with chamfered edges approach to get the round look on edges. The second one is with the help of supporting geometry and turbosmooth modifier. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. So it would be great if we can combine the positives from the two workflows into one. This is where the modeling with smoothing groups comes into play.

How do we combine them ?

Combining these two workflows is really not that hard as you will be able to see in the video below. The short explanation would be that we will use two different turbosmooth modifiers in one stack. The difference  is that the curvature of the faces will be controlled by the smoothing group.

smoothIf you have never worked with smoothing groups, you can change them by finding the menu. As you can see in the image here the smoothing groups look like a bunch of numbers in a calendar. The polygons that have the same smoothing group (SG) will try to make a smooth  surface. So if you have two or more polygons with the SG1 they will try to make a smooth surface. And if those polygons meet with other polygons with a different SG you will get a sharp edge. This right here is the base of the whole workflow of using smoothing groups for modeling.

How does this help us ?

Understanding the SG concept is the base of working with this approach. The idea is that like i already said we will use two turbosmooth modifiers. The first one will control where the edges and curves will show up based on the SG. At same time the second one will control the sharpness of the edges. Now this is actually not that hard to grasp, and when explaining it it sounds a bit more complex. So instead of me trying to further explain how this works,  check out the video below and see for yourself.

Final Thoughts

If you watched the video and are back here reading this then kudos to you. As you might have seen it’s a fairly powerful approach to modeling. The place where this shines is rapid prototyping modeling. So basically when you need to make your models very fast while they are still subject to changes. That means that this kind of modeling is more forgiving towards small issues and is very easy to modify. The down side is that it will give you a rather dense mesh. But at the same time Max has no problems with dealing with dense meshes if they are modifier stacks. The main issue is if you want to UV unwrap these models, in that case they can be a pain. So all in all it’s a great way of modeling, and especially if you have to make high poly models.

So i hope you guys enjoyed this video, and you managed to learn something new today. That would be all for today, and as always if you enjoyed it help by sharing it around. Bye for now and i will see you next time.

Modeling a PVC Window in 3ds Max

Hey everyone and welcome back after a small posting break. The subscribers to the YouTube channel, or the FB page have seen my last post. If you are not subscribed (shame on you) then keep reading. In today’s post we are going to cover how to model a PVC window in 3ds Max. So let us jump right in.

Why Model This ?

Now this is not a stupid question but rather a good one. The reason for modeling this is so that you can get an extra level of detail in your scenes. I’ve actually seen many people when it comes down to making windows and doors, they simply put in a box. The issue with using a simple box, is that you are pretty much confined. That means that you can’t open the door or window as it will look fake. On top of that since it’s a box there is no extra details on the edges from the AO map. So as you might have figured it out it can be very beneficial to have proper model for this.

Preparing for the modeling of the actual window




First of all, when approaching any model that you want to make, you need to have proper reference image. When modeling a PVC window what you need to know is that the frame has a profile. What this means is that we can google search for PVC profiles and get a better idea. Now once you find a window or door profile, you need to have the shape of the window. You can choose any profile you want, or you can choose the one that i used.



Modeling of the Window

If we have the profile, and the shape of the window we can start with the modeling phase. This might look a bit complicated, but it really is quite simple to model. In the video below you will see how to trace the profile. How to get it to the right size for your window, and reuse the wall frame for the window frame. After we have that we will see how and why we need to chamfer the edges. After all that we will have the PVC model of our window. As they say a picture is worth 1000 words, and a video 20 minutes. So if you want to see how i went ahead to model this then check out the video below.


Final Thoughts

After watching the video you probably have seen that this is quite easy to model. And even as such i hope you guys had fun, and learned something in the process. If you did then help spread the word, and like comment and share this on social media. That would be all for today, and i will see you all in the next post.

Modeling Different Types of Faucets in 3ds Max

One of the most common things that you will no doubt end up modeling is faucets. The reason for this is that you can basically find them in many different environments. You can find them in the kitchen, bathroom, garden so pretty much quite common item. Modeling faucets is not really that hard, but if you haven’t done it it can be challenging. For today’s post i actually chose to cover this topic with couple of videos.

Preparing The Blueprint For Real World Scale

Before we jump in directly in the modeling phase i wanted to take this chance and make an intro video. In this video i will show you how to take a blueprint, and set it up for Real World Scale. I wanted to start with this as i want to make sure everyone knows how to do it. It is a very basic thing to know, yet a lot of people struggle with it. So before we dive in on the matter of modeling Faucets check out this intro video. If you know how to do this, then keep reading as we are about to jump to the modeling part.

Modeling Of The Subi Faucet

In this video of modeling faucets we are going to tackle the Subi Faucet. In order to get the technical blueprint for this faucet i went over to the Phoenix site. As you can see in the video i took the line drawing, and basically made it into a blueprint. By watching this video you will see my approach to modeling something like this. You will notice that i like to logically separate the model before i commence with the actual modeling. By watching the video you will learn how to model this type of faucets. Another thing is how to control the edges, as well as how to deal the loss of volume. It was a fun video to make, so i hope it will be fun for you guys to watch.

Modeling A Bibb Faucet

In the last video for this post we look at a standard Bibb Faucet. This is a faucet that probably everyone has seen in their life. These faucets can be found pretty much anywhere, interiors and exteriors. So in the video below you will see how i approach modeling a model like this. But instead of explaining what i did, i would rather show you in the video.


So from this post you should come out with information on how to setup a blueprint. Another thing that you will learn is how to model two faucets, and based on those models create your own. As i said in the video, i had fun making these videos so i hope you have fun watching them. And like always i hope you managed to learn something new here today. So if this was the case then like, comment and share this post so it can reach more people.

Take care for now and i will see you all in the next post.

Modeling Books and Populating Books Shelves in 3ds Max

One of the most common things that you will get to make in the visualization business is modeling books. Modeling books can be quite useful when you want to give your scene some detailing and general depth.

In most cases the modeling of books is helpful when you need one or a few books to place around. You can also use those same 3D books to populate a big book shelf or a full on library. For something like this you generally need to have a 3D model ready. It can be something that you made in the past or maybe even bought or downloaded from a 3D store. Even if you don’t have a model like this it’s not a big problem as you can model one for yourself. Well in today’s post we will cover just that. In the two videos below you can see the whole process.

Detailed Explanation

In the first video we will start from scratch and create our book. We will create the base in low poly which will allow us to make quick tweaks to the shape and size of our book. As an added bonus the unwrapping of the texture will be much simpler and easier to do. After the book modeling portion is done, we will find a suitable texture for the front page and see how we can quickly switch it with another texture. That will help us make different types of books. After all that is done we will go over how to create the custom texture for the pages in Photoshop. And in the end we will put it all together to form up our finished book model. So go and check the video below.

In the second video we will continue from where we left off in the end of the first video. We will take the 3D book model and will copy it around a few times. After making the copies we will download the Book Scatter script from Moure Lask’s website. Now that you have the script you will be able to follow along with the video. We will see how to make our models populate a custom size shelf, and how to randomize it. In this second video we will go over all the details of how the script works, and will focus on each of the options individually. So go and check out the video for yourself.

After watching these videos you should now have a better understanding on how to create books, as well as book shelves. I really hope you guys had some fun going through the videos, and more importantly you learned something new.  If that was the case then leave a comment, like and share so more people can see this post. That’s all for today so i’ll see you all in the next post.

Creating a Base Armature for sculpting in ZBrush

Here we are back with another post about ZBrush. Today’s topic is a very simple concept and that is creating a base armature on which you can then continue sculpting. Main difference in working with traditional modeling software VS sculpting is that when you are working on a sculpt you have much more freedom to tweak your model as you aren’t constrained by technical issues. Another thing is that it’s a much faster way of making a model and at the same time bringing your concept to life. Well in today’s post we will see how we can build a base in Zbrush on which we can then proceed to continue sculpting.

In the first part we will start with a short explanation on what are ZSpheres and how to use them to get the base that we want to construct. In this video you will learn the basics on working with ZSpheres and how to control the detail level through the adaptive mesh. There really isn’t too much to explain as the video is pretty self explanatory so go ahead and check it out.

In the second one we will continue and expand on working with ZSpheres by adding in how to work with ZSketch and explain the main difference between it and ZSphere. You will also see how you can combine the results that you can get from ZSpheres and ZSketches into one subtool. Again it’s a short and self explanatory video so check it out.

Ok so if you’ve seen the videos you now probably have a better understanding on how quick and easy it is to get a basic armature shape for your prototyping stage. All in all as i have said multiple times in the past, ZBrush is an amazing piece of software that it would be great to have in your arsenal of skills.

That would be it for today and if you enjoyed this post then share, like and comment on it so it can reach more people.

Basics of Retopology

Ok so here we are back again after almost a month of no updates. Today we will go over a topic that is generally overlooked by people that don’t specifically have to do it, and that is Retopology. The first question that we would answer would be what is Retopology. Well Retopology is the process in which you have a pre existing high density detailed mesh, and on top of that mesh you build a new mesh with clean geometry. This is widely used in gaming models where you want to have all the details from your sculpt into the game engine, or another place would be in Photogrametry or even when you go ahead and download a free 3D model that you like but it has crappy geometry that really doesn’t work with your scene.

So having said that in this post i will go over the bare basics of retopolgy in a few different software packages. This will be divided into three different videos covering the Retopology workflow in ZBrush, 3ds Max and 3D Coat.

In the first video we will start in ZBrush. Here we will go over the basics of the automated ZRemesher feature, then explain a bit how we can control the ZRemesher with the help of guides and then we will jump over to the manual way of Retopology in ZBrush with the help of ZSpheres. All in all it’s a decent way to do retopo in Zbrush and if this is something that would interest you then check out the video below.

In the second video we will take the same base and start the retopology process inside 3DS Max. Here we will go over the tools in the modeling ribbon, we will see how we can create, modify and move the new mesh around, and also see how we can mix up the retopology workflow with general modeling workflow. So go ahead and check out the video below.

In the third video i decided to make the first video in 3D Coat. In this video i stuck to only the retopology section in 3D Coat as this was the focus on the video, but in all honesty i will probably make more videos about 3D Coat as it truly is an amazing piece of software. In this video we will see how we can create the base mesh, and we will dive in a bit in the options of the different tools and brushes. But enough explanations go ahead and check out the video below.

So with these three videos we basically saw the basics of retopology in different software packages, but if you have access to different softwares then you can do it there as well. Maya, Blender and Topogun are three other softwares that do amazing work when it comes to retopo but i really didn’t want to go ahead and do it for those packages mainly because i’m not too comfortable with using them, which doesn’t mean that they are not awesome.

So that would be it for today, i hope you guys have fun watching these videos and more importantly learn something new. If that is the case don’t forget to comment, like and share it around.

Creating Clothing for Game Characters with Marvelous Designer

So today we are starting with a something a bit different then the usual modeling topics, namely in this post i will try to address a request i have received about making a video on clothing creation. This is where i had the option to start in Marvelous Designer and use the default avatars in there for the tutorial, or i could opt in for a more interesting stylized character and have some fun, needless to say i went with the second choice. Now before i go any deeper into explaining i want to note one VERY IMPORTANT thing, that is that the model that i used is not mine but was taken from Arrimus3D subscriber giveaway. In case you have never heard of him then i am really happy to introduce you to another amazing content creator from which you can learn a lot. So once you check Arrimus and get the model then you can come back and have the means to follow along with this post videos in which we will try and make clothes for the model. When i started i actually had in mind to make everything packed into one video, but as soon as i laid down the ideas and what i had to cover i decided to split it into a few parts.

In the first part of the videos i will show you how to import the model you downloaded from Arrimus3D and set it up as an avatar. After that i will explain the basics on creating pants for your characters. We will go over the importance of symmetry and why it’s a great idea to use them where we can, which will be followed by the basics on pants creation. You will see the importance of the belt, the size of the leggings and as an added bonus we will even see how we can add some extra bit of stylized finish on the end of the pants so it covers the pig feet, we do want to make him look classy 🙂 But enough of the explanation, check out the first video about the pants creation below.

In the second part we will move on to making a shirt for our fashionable piggy. We will start off by explaining how to make a basic skin tight shirt on which we will add some wrinkling which will in turn give us more realistic look. After that we will go and make the shirt appear as it was held in place with buttons as well as add some sleeves to it. In the end we will also explain how to deal with excess cloth we might have on our shirt, and as a bonus we will explain what diamonds are and where to use them and why. So all in all it should be an interesting video to watch, so go ahead and check it out.

And the third video actually ended up as a bonus video as it wasn’t really planned but it kinda happened for one reason alone, and that reason was because the model was kinda lacking a something little extra to cover up the back. So with that issue in hand we ended up with the third video in which i will show you how to create a very simple cloak for your character. And again go ahead and check out the video for the cloak making below.

OK so if you checked out all the videos and are back to reading this then i only want to note one more time for you guys to go and check Arrimus3D on YouTube because as i stated previously you will find a treasure cove of information on his YouTube Channel. As for this post this about wraps it up for today, so if you did enjoy it and you managed to learn something then help spread the love and like, comment and share it around on the social network of your choice. And as always i will see you all in the next post.

Creating a Marvelous Designer Chesterfield Ottoman and Floor Rug

Today’s post is an answer to a question that i was asked a few times, namely how do you use Marvelous Designer to create a puffy Chesterfield type of Ottoman furniture. Now If you have ever had the need to model a Chesterfield furniture you are well aware that it can be a drag, and quite the bore making one, as it really does take a bit of time to make it. In today’s post i will show you a way in which you can create a type of “fake” chesterfield Ottoman (A small puffy chair) with the help of Marvelous Designer.

In the first video you will see how to create the Chesterfield base out of six pieces of fabric. Then we will proceed to add the inner lines that will define the division between the buttons which give the distinct look, and we will see how to control the strength of those lines. As an added bonus we will also see how to make the Ottoman models have extra bit of wrinkles which are more common for cloth fabrics opposed to leather ones. So if this might interest you check out the video below.

The second video is a bit of a bonus video as it covers a topic that i probably should have covered when i made the Complex Rugs and Simple Rugs posts as it does explain how to make the what i call “Marvelous Designer Rug”. What i mean by that is one of those rugs that have an inner pattern that is giving it that area shrink and weft look, which in turn is giving your scene a more daily usage look. As the method of creating this kind of a rug is very much similar to creating the Ottoman and it’s a great exercise i decided to squeeze it in here. So go ahead and check out this video as well.

So with those two videos watched you should now have a better understanding of what inner shapes do in Marvelous Designer and how to use them to get great looking results. One thing that i have to note is that MD is an amazing piece of software, and with the videos i’ve made so far about it we are just scratching the surface of what it can do. So if you are working in a field where you have to do a lot of cloth simulation then it might be a good idea to pick up MD if you still haven’t done so.

Ok so if you’ve watched the videos and are still reading this then i would like to ask you guys to leave your comments either here, or on YouTube and tell me your thoughts on MD tutorials. And for now that would be it, like always if you did enjoy them like and share them around, and keep coming back for more.

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