3ds Max

Harpers Bazaar and a BMW rendered in Corona A7

HP Spread 1

A couple of pieces to report this month, firstly I went to EUE in Utrecht back in June, as usual it was great to catch up with the CG heads and learn lots of interesting things about 3D. Particular highlights were meeting Eric de Broche of Luxigon fame and Nils Norgrens from Neoscape's talk on leadership and starting a company. Write up coming soon. Whilst I was at EUE I bumped into Adam Hotovy who was kind enough to give me an early release of Corona A7. I took it for a spin with the new BMW i7. Corona is unbelievabley easy to use, get the conversion script from the forum and pretty much hit render and your good. I left it overnight and this is what I got, I did some minor color adjustments in Photoshop, but here that is now built in to the release version.



Harpers Bazaar also did a piece on the super yacht I have been working on recently. The images they used included a double page spread and some older interior images.




3Ds Max Vespa Making of

gold Vespa

I originally created the Vespa model back in 2008 as part of a 'mods vs rockers' video game project based in 1960's Brighton. I was highly influenced by the 1979  film Quadrophenia. When I moved down to Brighton in 2011 I was inspired to revisit the project. The model I originally created was for a video game a few years previous so it was quite low poly. This time round I wanted to push the realism of the model. Before this project I had not used the Mental Ray render engine very much so it was good to take the opportunity to develop my knowledge of the engine. I wanted to push the engine and show you could create a good amount of realism with Mental Ray. There were a lot of 'firsts' for me in this project, the use of mental ray, a HDR image for lighting and the use of Ambient Occlusion.


Vespa Reference


The reference was originally taken from a book on Vespas. I also watched the film quadrophenia a few times. It was great to have a low poly base mesh already modelled so I could start work on the fun stuff I really enjoy, adding details to the model. There was not many special modelling techniques used. The flag was made using the cloth modifier, which was pinned to the pole. The mirrors were made using splines and the headlight were made like this.
Vespa Headlight Material
For the paint material I really wanted to get a nice reflective coat on top of the paint layer itself. I really like the amount of reflections I could get from the vehicle because of all the chrome and mirrors. Most of the materials are very basic and looking back now I maybe could have added some bumps and reflection maps to add to the realism but I do like the clean, crisp effect I got from not adding imperfections. I used  10 materials show below.
Vespa Materials
To light the scene I used an interior HDR image from the Introduction to mental-ray-in 3ds-Max course from digital tutors. I put the HDR in the self illumination slot in the of a Standard Material and applied it to a inverted sphere and rotated it until I achieved a result I was happy with. There is a short post about that here HDRI lighting in 3ds Max and Mental Ray.
HRDI Lighting
Setting the camera is an important part of the image, I tried very much to abide by the basic photography rule of thirds. I tried many angles with various paint colours, some I was more satisfied with than others. I ended up with three shots that I wanted to develop.
Vespa Camera Angles
I then set the render engine to Mental Ray and began testing some settings. See below for the final render settings. I would recommend watching Rendering and Texturing in 3ds Max with Ramy Hanna.
Render Settings

I put a ground plan down to get a shadow pass for the floor using a dark blue colour. I rendered an image without this plane and then render the floor using a region selection. I also created an ambient occlusion pass. More information on Ambient Occlusion How To: 3ds Max, Mental Ray and Photoshop.

Although when I created this image I did not use a Wire Colour Render Mask I recommend it to be able to control each material in post production. To create this pass I recommend Render Mask by Ivan Tepavicharov a excellent free script that has been develop to do a lot more than just wire colors including Z-Depth, AO, Reflections and many more. For other handy scripts and plugins check out the Top Five Free Scripts and Plugins.
This is also a part I really enjoy, post production. Most of the work was done by Mental Ray so the post production was minimal. I began by bringing the passes into Photoshop, I overlayed the floor/shadow pass and put the AO on top using a multiply layer. I then painted in a gradient in the background matching the floor colour, this can also be changed in post. I then also put some gradients of colour to add some variation to the light and to set the mood of the image. Below shows the layers in Photoshop.
Photoshop Layers
I was happy with the result of the image and very proud that it was features on the front page of Autodesk's Area and to see it in 3D World Magazine. I hope that this Making Of has been helpful and if you enjoyed it or have any questions please leave a comment. I like to think that this site will speed up your development as a 3D Artist by trying to explain things that took me so time to learn.

A 10 step guide on how to add a pop up notes in 3ds Max with pictures


A 10 step guide on how to add a pop up notes in 3ds Max with pictures. This guide will take you through every step in this simple process.

Add Pop Up Notes in 3ds Max

If you have downloaded one of the 3ds Max scenes from the downloads page you would have noticed a pop up note when you open it in 3ds Max. These can be useful for adding notes about the file for future reference or for a college who is going to use the scene or 3D model. To add pop up notes in 3ds Max  is very simple just follow the steps below.

1. Right Click on the Main Toolbar in 3ds Max and select Customize from the drop down list.

Add Pop Up Notes in 3ds Max Step 1

2. Click on the Menu tab at the top of the new window.

Add Pop Up Notes in 3ds Max Step 2

3. Now you can choose where you want to add the button to Add a Pop Up Note. I recommend Tools. So click the + next to the word Tools.

Add Pop Up Notes in 3ds Max Step 3

4. Now drag and dropSeparator bar across from the left side to the bottom of the new list.

Add Pop Up Notes in 3ds Max Step 4

5. In the Action list in the top left of the Customize User Interface window Drag and Drop Add a Pop up Note underneath the new Separator you just added.

Add Pop Up Notes in 3ds Max Step 5

6. Close the Customize window.

Add Pop Up Notes in 3ds Max Step 6

7. Now when you click on Tools in you should see Add a Pop up Note at the bottom of the list.

Add Pop Up Notes in 3ds Max Step 7

8. Click Add a Pop up Note.

Add Pop Up Notes in 3ds Max Step 8

9. In the Pop Up Note window make sure that Show Note on File Open is checked. Here is also where you can add the Authors Name, Date and Description. Click Add Note.

Add Pop Up Notes in 3ds Max Step 9

10. Now save. Now when you open the file the Pop Up Note will appear.

Add Pop Up Notes in 3ds Max Step 10

And there you have it you can now add pop ups note in 3ds Max. If you found this post useful or informative please help me by commenting and sharing. Thank you.

Related Content:

Expose 11 - Finest Digital Art in the Known Universe




I am extremely proud to say I am in this years Expose from Ballistic Publishing. I am very happy to be featured next to the best artists in the world. This year had over 8000 images submitted from 58 countries. My image the Red VW Camper can be seen in the Transport section of the book. You can see more of my publications here. The Red VW Camper is available for download over on Turbosquid.


How To Record Actions in 3ds Max like in Photoshop

I was looking for a way to repeat some of the most common tasks I perform in 3ds max. It turns out that using MAXScript is the way to do it. Don't let the word 'script' scare you, it is pretty easy. The task I wanted to create an 'action' button for was. -Apply UVW Map -with Box Mapping and Real-World Scale

To create the Script we need an object to record the action from. So just create a box.

Click on MAXScript (next to Help) on the top menu. Select MAX Script Listener

This Box will pop up, Click MacroRecorder and Enable from the dropdown. 1 Now what ever you do will be recorded, like in Photoshop actions.

Apply a UVW Map > Mapping to Box > tick Real-World Map Size Turn off the MacroRecorder by hitting enable again.

This is what you have. modPanel.addModToSelection (Uvwmap ()) ui:on $.modifiers[#UVW_Map].maptype = 4 $.modifiers[#UVW_Map].realWorldMapSize = on $.modifiers[#UVW_Map].utile = 1 $.modifiers[#UVW_Map].vtile = 1 $.modifiers[#UVW_Map].length = 1 $.modifiers[#UVW_Map].width = 1 $.modifiers[#UVW_Map].height = 1 Select all the text and copy it.

At the top of Max go to MAXScript again and New Script. Paste in the code.

At the top copy and paste this... macroScript UVWmap category:"Jaked3d" buttonText:"UVWmapRWS"

You can change the name of the Script (UVWmap) category:"(Jaked3d)" and buttonText:"(UVWmapRWS)"

Add brackets to the top and bottom of the code like below

Max Script

Now in MAXScript > File > Save where you like In MAXScript > Tools > Evaluate All

Now in the top menu in 3ds Max Select Customize > Customize User Interface In the Toolbars tab in Category you should find what you called your category you can now drag it 'Uvwmap' onto the Main Toolbar.


You can now select any object in your scene and apply your script. You can download this one here. Jaked3d UVWmapRWS

You can then combine your 'actions' with other scripts. For example I recorded the same action in the above example with the Centre and Reset script from Frodos Magic Bag to centre the pivot of an object > reset xform > apply uvw map with box mapping and real world scale, in one hit of a button.

Search Macro Scripts in 3ds Max Help for lots more info.

VW Camper Van

Red VW Jaked3d
I have finally got around to uploading my Volkswagen Camper Van to Turbosquid.
It was originally created with 3ds Max 2011 using the Mental Ray renderer. (2010 and 2012 .max included)

Containing both a high and a low poly version.
High Poly- 436,176
Low Poly-17,509
This model is suitable for use in advertising, design visualisation, films and games.
The model can be switched from high poly to low poly by turning on and off the turbosmooth in the modifier stack.