Now that we have all the references to work with, we need something to guide us for our modeling. Using our nice big resolution picture of the sword, we’ll lay it down onto a plane to assist us in building an accurate model.

Using the top view port, lay down a plane (Objects > Plane Object). We know the resolution of the picture were using, so lets change the size of the plane to reflect it. The reference picture is 1656×335 pixels. In the plane properties change the length to 1656 and width to 335. I prefer it so the sword is vertical and not horizontal.

With that finished, press m to open up the material editor. It should have selected the first material in the window, we will use this for our guide. Assign a bitmap to the diffuse slot ( The square next to diffuse for the newer people ) and select the reference picture you downloaded from the beginning of this tutorial.

After selecting the bitmap you should be in a sub-property of the main material (Map 1 -> Diffuse). We haven’t assigned the material to the model yet, but first some things to fix: By default the bitmap you selected will not show up in the view ports. To enable this feature hit the button outlined in red below (Show Map in Viewport). If you want to go back to the parent material where you were in the first place hit the button outlined in green (Return to Parent).

Now drag and drop the material onto the plane you laid down. Go back to the parent material (Goto Parent Button on material editor) and assign an opacity of around 25 to the material to make it less distracting to work with. Before it will show up in other view ports (top, left etc) you must disable wire-frame view. Right click on the view port name (as shown below) and select Smooth + Highlights. If you still want the wire-frame feel you can select the ‘Edged Faces’ command in the same menu after enabling highlights. This might come in handy for a few parts of the sword.

Here’s what you should have. Not too great eh? Don’t worry, we get to the good stuff next.

Apologies to the more advanced users, I intended to make this tutorial helpful for the people with little knowledge of 3dsmax as well! Stick with me because it gets somewhat quicker paced later on :)

Give yourself a quick pat on the back. Not a hard one, were only beginning to sail… Part 3

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