3DS Modelling Glossary

Ambient Occlusion: Is the way in which light is measured bouncing off an object to reflect back from the surface depending on light and the environment, the correct proportionate light shines off to add realism to the scene. (Source)

Axis: Is an imaginary line that has aspects revolving around it.

Baking: Is the ability to save a texture as a repeatable so it has the ability to be used again

Coordinates: Are mathematically based calculations as to the location of an object. These are typically given using the X, Y and Z coordinates.

Edge: Are connected vertices that have formed to create an edge of an object

Extrusion: Is the ability to move a face or edge across an axis to add definition to it, and make it a grander size on said axis.

Face: An aspect of an object that is created on the formation of multiple edges

FOV: The visible Field of View and/or Vision

Material: Materials are generally the things that store aesthetic information for an object, these then pass their inherit traits down to the object and allow them to have the same aesthetic properties.

Polygon: A shape that is resoundingly flat and is more commonly portrayed as a face.

Texture: Are applicable images to objects within the 3D Model Editor, these are typically applied to give aesthetic value to the object.

Vertices: Aspects of an object

XYZ: The three dimensional planes. X and Y represent the two-dimensional plane, Z is representative of the third-dimensional plane.

Diffuse Map: A type of texture map that specifically is oriented to add colour to an object

Specular Map: Is a type of map that allows objects to be coated with shine/gloss to add a polished effect

Normal Map: Allows the identification of unflat surfaces so that light may be correctly shone upon them and shadows cast.

Reflection Map: Reflective aspect of a model, allows parts to be mirrored.

Alpha Map: Deduces the transparency for selected areas.


3DS Max – UDK

As part of The Street project, we are tasked with creating a building for the street. The building i have propositioned here, is to be constructed inside the 3D Modelling software known as 3DS Max. Now, The Street however is being constructed externally in UDK and thus the model created has to be exported and must be compliant with a set of properties placed on most buildings that are to be placed on the street.

Those are;

  • To import a 3DS Max file to UDK (Unreal Development Kit), it must be saved in the format known as FBX. Otherwise, it won’t be applied onto The Street
  • The texture map for the entire sphere of things created must be within the 1024 x 1024 pixel limitation that is set upon textures
  • These texture maps are to be saved in the TGA file format
  • No Boolean operations for things such as Subdivision of surfaces in 3DS Max can be applied to any model as they tend to not comply with UDK
  • Additionally the object must not exceed the length of 5 Metres by 6 Metres in UDK measurement
  • Finally, the collisions for each object must be set by the individual themselves by applying a UCX model to it. Which from practice is essentially a box surrounding aspects of the object to count as collision, saved under the same name within 3DS Max as the original shape but with a UCX_ prefix added onto it so UDK recognizes that this is for collisions.

3DS Max: The Forgotten Dice

At the beginning of the semester, one of the first things we looked at was modelling a dice. This was actually the first lesson within 3DS Max and i remember being relatively ‘overwhelmed’ when looking at the software. I’d been used to other 3D software before, however tamely, such as Blender. But the ferocity of 3DS Max struck me so, seeming so unnecessarily complex.

The lesson was basically a “How Not To” lesson in 3D Modelling in regards to the dreaded polygon count and how the necessity of thousands of polygons would do more harm than good. Seeing that the dice here alone is worth over 5000 polygons itself was an eye opener.



In terms of typing this post out now and actually building this many months ago, i feel a lot more confident and less overwhelmed by the software after having copious amounts of time to have the ability to tinker with the software and find my own way of figuring problems out. I indeed think the lesson at the time helped with negating and aiding my ability to needlessly waste polygon counts on any structures i build.

Adobe After Effects – Tutorial/Experiment

In a session we were given a basic run through of after effects in order for us to get a more diverse understanding of the software that’s available for us.

Here we have the initial attempts at type-facing  As you can see the experimentation i went through was simple enough to achieve a standard mirrored text effect.

CS DR text

Later in said tutorial session, or it may have been a different one, i tend to forget. We were running through more advanced things in After Effects such as; Timers, Motion Paths, Lighting and General. Somehow opening the project file on my computer at home managed to distort things it looks odd seeing as the original red object is supposed to be a rectangle yet the end result is this. Anyways, the end result;

3DS Max – Polygon Replication Challenge (PC)

Another challenge! This time we were given a replication challenge with a limitation. That limitation being the dreaded Polygon count, in an attempt to show us the importance of limiting poly counts in models as a higher count can rarely be run within modern games. The choices were as follows;

  • Nintendo 64 – Limit of 64 Polygons
  • Computer Chair – Limit of 128 Polygons
  • PC, Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse Combination – Limit of 256 Polygons

Still being fairly new to the software, and looking at my last disaster of a model, i decided to opt for the easier PC Setup replication. The easier of the three choices based on the lack of requirement for curved edges and overall difficulty, i got to work.

First i went to extensively get the textures to be used for the model. I knew that from inference, most faces of the objects wouldn’t need texturizing because of how they wouldn’t be visible in the scene.

CaseFrontTexture Mouse Keyboard

Here are the initial build images of the model, i knew that from the polygon count i had to watch how many faces the model could actually have, so all the models were primarily built from square based primitives.

Adding the textures and voila, here are the images showing the final model in the scene.
ComputerTextureRender2 ComputerTextureRender3 ComputerTextureRender

And the final polygon count:


Overall i liked the challenge, i think that it’s enlightened me into how to better texture models with also giving me insight into the required limiting factors that need to be in place to limit the polygon counts within games. I think in terms of improvement i could get better quality of textures and refine the models.

3DS Max – Replication Challenge/First Attempt(s)

As a challenge, we were set to replicate using 3DS Max, an object from selection in the tutorial. I was allocated a chess piece, but for its ease in construction it’s no easy feat for an individual of little experience. Having little experience using the software and a stronger preference for using the likes of Blender, this prove to be quite the challenge for me regardless of the ease of the model.

Original Object

I was given the ‘Bishop’ Chess Piece to model.
ChessPiece1 ChessPiece2 ChessPiece3 ChessPiece4


After a time, i came to this result with a bit of difficulty. My inexperience with this software particularly inhibited my ability to utilize it to its maximum potential, specifically i had issue with the manipulation and curvature that is required with a model such as this. I began using the Torus’ to give construct to the distinct curved edges, the bottom half of the model i think worked the best because of how distinctly similar to the shape it is to that of a Torus. The cylindrical aspect of the model could’ve been more narrowed at this stage to give a better representation of the real object. The upper part is the aspect i struggled most with. I tried initially to manipulate another Torus to my whim, so that i could get better curvature to the object but it wouldn’t slope appropriately as in the real object.   that are specific Being used to Blender i found the experience enlightening to say the least.

ChessScreen1 ChessScreen2

Throughout the build, i found curving the objects to be the most troubling. I did originally intend on adding a texture to the model but i realized later on that i forgot to take a usable photo of the original object to discount the gap the object pertains (see images above).

3DS Max: Basic Primitives UV Unwraps

Cube UV Unwrap


Cone UV Unwrap


Cylinder UV Unwrap


Pyramid UV Unwrap


Sphere UV Unwrap


I found this particularly easy to do, i see the advantages of using UV Unwraps for the purpose of adding textures far more easily to objects that may not be necessarily be easy to add them to. It’s a tool i’ll certainly use when the time presents itself.