3DS Max – Creating a Modular Wall

Today I followed a tutorial on creating modular walls using 3DS Max.  This tutorial began with how to create a a project folder, a library which quickly organises work allowing us to locate work quickly and efficiently, also making it easy to back-up if need be.

Unit Settings

Secondly, we were instructed on how to select the unit settings through the customize options tab. Examples of this being centimetres, metres, feet and inches.  Also, to ensure that the system unit scale is changed to directly correspond with the display unit scale.  As a result, everything you create within 3DS Max will be the exact size you require when exporting too other software such as Unreal 4, also as Unreal now supports real world measurements.  Following this method will save you from editing / scaling, therefore saving time.

Creating a Biped

We learnt how to create a biped by accessing the create menu and can be found under the systems option.  This allows us to create a human figure which can be used as a reference to help scale objects around it.  You can input an exact height if you desire, a useful tip being 183cm is roughly 6 foot.

Creating a Wall Mesh

To create a wall, we simply selected the box tool and elongated it to the desired height (20cm X 280cm X 280cm). To be more precise, 3DS Max allows you to input measurements including length, width and height.  From there, we selected the four vertical edges and used the connect tool to create a horizontal line.  This line was dragged down to around ankle height and extruded to create a skirting board. Furthermore, we added an extra sloped detail by selecting the required vertices and dragging down till we were happy. This wall would be used as our base and could be duplicated simply by selecting the object, holding the shift key and dragging along.  This allows us to simply and precisely piece the walls together, reminiscent of a jigsaw puzzle.

Using the Snapping Tool

The snapping tool can be found on the top tool bar and like a number “3” with a magnet. If you right-click on this icon, you will be greeted with an options menu which allows to to define the snapping point you desire.  For the purpose of the exercise we chose to snap by vertex.  We then moved this point to the lower corner of the wall to act as a pivot as we rotate it 90 degrees to create a corner wall segment.  This method enables us to work neatly and ensure there will be no overlapping edges.

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