Update (4/13/2011): Old tutorial but I did receive feedback long ago so I added to the FAQ  and added renders that were sent to me.


I’m having trouble with the spines when making the blade. It always comes out with strange results and/or missing pieces.
Somewhere, there is an unfused edge. In each spot where vertices meet, be sure you are doing a drag select and fusing, recheck all vertices along the edges where the holes are forming. Also, no more than four edges can be formed, as surfacing works on 3 or 4 only. Make sure you have no five sided closings. Also, when combining splines, make sure they ARE being merged. A quick check: single click a vertex, and drag, if there are splines not moving along with it that should — that’s a problem.

More surfacing problems…
Be sure every spline ending has a point to actually fuse with. I’ve had several people try to actually just line up the end point with the middle of some spline. This will not work. You will need to subdivide splines where this is a problem, and give the spline with no end point, an end point through this method.


All my help came from the lovely bunch of guru’s down at #3dsmax on IRC (efnet). This sword couldn’t have been done without ’em. I’d like to thank (and sock a few hugs in there):

NBT: For offering helpful suggestions on how to start the pommel. He also helped me find out a good way to easily select the faces for the sword smoothing groups.
Riplee: This guy is one of the most handy guys to have around. I’d like to thank him for spending a night with me when I was trying to fix some problems with my blade.
CCrat: For helping out Riplee and I when we were trying to convert 3dsmax files to OBJ late at night.
Woolymoo: For pointing out that it was my smoothing groups that were causing me problems in the blade, your a life saver.


I haven’t had much feedback and I know there has to be some cloudy things in the tutorial that could be cleared up. I urge you, please write feedback about my tutorial so I could implement changes and ensure that no one else gets confused!


I lost a few others in an email transfer losing attachments, here’s what I was able to salvage:


Black/Silver 2

Black/Silver 3

Gold #1

In Chamber

A user's WIP

Weibe's Sword

When you apply
>>>>>> the  surface modifier, try applying ‘two sided’


  • Hey Mike,

    just wanted to say a huge thanks for this tutorial, man.

    It’s been a real learning curve for me without any use of splines etc before. 10/10. Look forward to further stuff eventually 😀

    Thanks again.

    Ben Wright

  • I can’t say there will be anything further, though I really do wish I had the time to get back into this. Feel free to email me any work you’ve done and I can post it up here or provide a link to your portfolio.


  • Hey man, great tutorial. Was wondering if you would mind if I made this into a mod for skyrim? Most likely will be just personal use, but if I ever do release it, I want it to be with your consent! Credits to you of course 🙂

  • Go right ahead, let me know of the mod when you release it I’d love to see it or try it out when I finally decide to crack and get that game!