3D Tutorial

Second Picture is devoted to original tutorials about 3D graphics, Photoshop, Photography and Web Design.

3D Max Tutorials at Polygon Blog

3D Modeling of a Chain in 3DS MAX

Rendered picture of chrome chain which uses a bump map

Picture 1. This tutorial goes through creation of a 3D chain in 3DS MAX. The end result will look like the chain in the picture.

21.06.2007 Category: 3D (Modeling)
In this tutorial you create a simple 3D chain like the one in picture 1 by using cone objects in 3D Studio MAX. (Create > Standard Primitives > Cone)

Turn off the Grid

This tutorial doesn't require using Grid in 3DS MAX. I think it's best to turn it off always when you don't need it. Grid can be turned off by taking the following steps: Activate the Top view by right-clicking on it. Press g from keyboard. Repeat the procedure for each four views.

Creating the Cone

Create a cone with the following parameters In the Top view:

Copying and Modifying the Cone

Two wireframe cones in 3D Studio MAX.

Picture 2. Place another cone precisely on top of the other cone according to the picture. You can place the cone precisely by using the Align tool.

Make a copy of the cone in the Front view. Set the following parameters for the copy:

Use Align tool and place the copy precisely on top of the other cone according to the picture 2.

Cone with a Bend Modifier

A cone with bend modifier in 3DS MAX

Picture 3. Add Bend modifier to the upper cone and bend it 180 degrees according to the picture.

Add a Bend modifier to upper cone according to picture 3:

Edit Mesh: Remove Caps

Hide the curved cone. Select the straight cone and add Edit Mesh modifier to it. Activate polygon sub-object mode. Choose both caps of the cone and remove them by pressing delete from the keyboard.

Unhide the curved cone and hide the straight cone. Add Edit Mesh modifier to the curved cone and remove both caps also from it.

Copy Cones

Chain mesh in 3D Studio MAX

Picture 4. Complete piece of a chain is an Editable Mesh object.

Make copies of both cones and place them precisely according to picture 4. Use Mirror function in 3DS MAX to copy the curved cone.

Edit Mesh: Attach Cones

Attach all four cones into one object by using Attach function in Edit Mesh.

Remove Duplicate Vertices

Now the object has duplicate vertices. Use Weld function in Edit Mesh to remove duplicate vertices:

Centralize the Axis of the Mesh

Centralize the axis of the mesh by taking the following steps:

Copies of the Piece of the Chain

Now one piece of chain is complete. Take three copies of it. Create a plane object below the model. Place objects as realistically as possible on top of the plane for example like in picture 5. If you want you can also create a longer chain.

Material: Chrome

Create a new material and attach it to the pieces of the chain:

Create Lighting in 3D Studio MAX

Create a light (target directional) and turn shadows on. Place the light so that it points directly downwards. Place a camera and change the Perspective view to Camera view.

Turn SuperSampling on

Rendering of a chain which uses supersampling in 3DS MAX

Picture 5. Supersampled rendering of a complete chain.

Turn SuperSampling on and render the picture. Supersamping can be turned on in material settings in SuperSampling section. Set the following parameters:

SuperSampling is one antialiasing technique in 3DS MAX. In this case SuperSampling considerably enhances the quality of reflections and bump map. The material should look like in picture 5.

Add Bump Map to the Material

Rendering of a chain using bump map in 3DS MAX

Picture 6. Dent as bump map brings more realism into the rendering.

Add more realism into the picture by adding little roughness to the surface of the chain. Set the Bump Map amount to 20 and choose Dent as Bump map in the Maps section of the material. Set the following parameters to the Dent map:

You can also try other values. With these settings the material of the chain should look like in picture 6.