As part of the Fundamentals of 3D Graphics class, I’m creating a short animated scene that involves a stylized board game with a Pirate theme. Apart from the many 3D assets already provided like Crabs, Palm Trees, Board, Starfish etc, I have to create a Treasure Chest from start to finish as well. This is only the third model I’ve ever created in 3DS Max so I was pretty excited to get started.
The majority of this particular project runs along a series of tutorial videos that guided me through some of the processes and I’m glad for it as there is so much to learn and remember with 3DS Max. Starting with a basic box, I converted it to an editable poly so I could shape the faces to create a basic chest. Much of this process was simply just using ‘Inset’ and ‘Extrude’ to raise and lower the poly’s to form ledges and panel’s.
Once the Chest’s base was done, I began on the Chest’s lid which had a few simple problem’s I hadn’t encountered with the base. Firstly, as the chest is made of two different parts, I had to align it to the base and then fine-tune the proportions of the lid’s sides to match the base. This way it would be a snug fit and be more believable. When it came to creating the latches on the front and back of the chest I had to create some more poly’s with a ‘Chamfer’, but this created some Engons (A poly that doesn’t have 4 sides). Immediately I noticed some shading issues with the engons which I learned to fix by welding the vertices together in order to convert the engon back to 4 sides. Then to finish the lid off I moved the vertices of the top face to give a curved surface.
Even though this was a fairly simple and easy model, there was a lot of planning involved throughout the build. What face’s would the viewer be able to see? Should I put much detail into that side? What measurements should these sides be? Will this affect the unwrap process?. I found myself asking all these questions all the time whenever creating a new area or face of the model. I always fancied building a magnificent mechwarrior or hyper car in 3DS Max, but I’ve learned from this simple Chest model to focus on small manageable projects. I think this will be the best and fastest way to learn 3DS Max. Anyway that’s it for the modelling of the chest, next is Unwrapping.