Working with AEC Objects in 3ds Max - Part 2 - Architectural Components

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  • Design Visualization
  • Modeling
  • 2011
  • Basics
  • Building Levels
  • Deploying and Building
  • Environment
  • Workflow
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Beginner
4 min

Working with AEC Objects in 3ds Max - Part 2 - Architectural Components

This is a 3ds Max multi-part series introducing you to AEC objects. In this tutorial, you will continue experimenting with AEC tools and building architectural components like stairs, handrails, and foliage.


  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2010
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2010 or higher.


There are various types you can choose from.

Keep in mind this tool blocks out a basic flight of stairs. As you progress
and require fancier designs, you will need to model the stairs differently.

On the Stairs layer, create a UTypeStair by clicking and dragging
along the first flight.

You can then define the overall width of the stairs
and ultimately the height.

As with doors and windows, the length and width of the stairs
were drawn using the CAD drawing reference and snap tools.

You must now define the overall height and number of steps.

In the Rise group, you can define a riser height of 7.5 inches
and lock that value.

Alternatively, you can define an overall height of 10 feet.
The number of risers is automatically calculated.

A Stair object can be one of three types: Open, Closed or Box.
In this case, we'll set it to Closed.

You can enable the Rail Path options to help with the creation
of handrails.

This creates two splines that you can enable in the renderer and
viewport, which will serve as handrails.

To create railing posts, you can use the AEC Extended Railing tool.

Using the Railing tool, pick one of the railing paths, and then ensure
the Respect Corner option is enabled.

A railing is created with a default of two posts (at the ends)
and two pickets between them.

First, zero out the Top Rail and Lower Rail; you will not need them.

In the Fencing rollout, use the Picket Spacing tool to specify
a count of 0. You will not need those either.

In the Posts rollout, set a 1"x1" post and set its Extension to -4 feet.

Using the Post Spacing tool, use the "Centered, Specify Spacing"
option to force an interval of 6" between each post.

If you repeat the Railing procedure on the second rail path,
all the parameters used for the first railing are retained.

At this time, you can cancel See-Through mode on the Walls layer.

One last tool, Foliage, remains. It lets you choose from a library
of preset trees and plants.

After a Foliage object is created, you can control its height,
density and pruning.

You can also change the Seed for more variation. Each click of the "New"
button gives you a variation of the same tree or plant type.

You can also choose to show or hide components such as Leaves,
Branches or Trunk.

You can also adjust the Level of Detail to help with rendering time.

If a Foliage object is not selected, details like leaves and branches
are displayed as a canopy to improve viewport performance.
Posted By
  • 3ds Max
  • Modeling
  • 2011
  • Basics
  • Building Levels
  • Deploying and Building
  • Environment
  • Workflow
1 Comment
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| 3 years ago
but how can i make a custom railing, to preform the way the existing options function?