Modeling Facades in 3ds Max - Part 2 - Setting up your Workspace

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  • Design Visualization
  • Modeling
  • 2011
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
5 min

Modeling Facades in 3ds Max - Part 2 - Setting up your Workspace

In this tutorial, learn how to setup your 3ds Max workspace in preparation for modeling the facade.


  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2011
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2011 or higher.


00:00:00 --> 00:00:07
The starting scene contains a flat plane for the pavement,
a Daylight System for the lighting and a few cameras hidden from view.

00:00:08 --> 00:00:12
Before you start modeling, there are a few settings you need to check.

00:00:13 --> 00:00:19
In the Preferences dialog, General section,
make sure "Use Real-World Texture Coordinates" is disabled.

00:00:20 --> 00:00:23
This tool is unnecessary for the techniques shown here.

00:00:24 --> 00:00:28
Another important setting to consider is found in the Viewports tab.

00:00:28 --> 00:00:39
Make sure you are using the Direct3D driver and in the Configure Driver
dialog, enable the two options that read:
"Match Bitmap Size as Closely as Possible".

00:00:39 --> 00:00:43
This ensures good quality display for bitmaps in the viewports.

00:00:44 --> 00:00:47
View the image file you will be using as a reference.

00:00:48 --> 00:00:58
Note its pixel size and calculate the aspect ratio,
in this case 1200/1533 = 0.78

00:00:59 --> 00:01:07
The width of this building is roughly 7m. No tape measure
was available when the picture was taken, so paces were used instead.

00:01:08 --> 00:01:21
Based on the aspect ratio derived from the reference picture,
that makes the building height about 9m (7m/0.78=8.97m).

00:01:22 --> 00:01:27
Once you have the building dimensions ready, build a flat plane
in the Front view.

00:01:28 --> 00:01:35
Set the Length /Width values to 9 by 7 meters, and the detail segments to 1.

00:01:37 --> 00:01:42
Move the Pivot Point of this newly created object to its bottom center,

00:01:45 --> 00:01:51
and then center the object to the origin [0,0,0].
This is always a good spot for modeling an object.

00:01:52 --> 00:01:58
Convert the plane to an Editable Poly and rename it "Facade1".

00:01:59 --> 00:02:05
Next you apply a material to the Facade1 object
with the reference image as a texture.

00:02:05 --> 00:02:10
In the Slate Material Editor, use the Arch & Design Material.

00:02:10 --> 00:02:16
Double-click the node title to display the material's parameters
and set it to a Matte Finish.

00:02:16 --> 00:02:22
Drag out the Diffuse Color Map input and add the reference image
as a Standard Bitmap.

00:02:23 --> 00:02:28
Link the bitmap also to the Bump Map channel
as it will improve the render.

00:02:28 --> 00:02:33
Ultimately, you can increase the bump amount for extra roughness.

00:02:36 --> 00:02:40
Apply the newly created material to the Facade1 object.

00:02:41 --> 00:02:46
Make sure Show Standard Map in Viewport is enabled
so that you can see the bitmap in the viewport.

00:02:47 --> 00:02:50
At this time, you can close the Material Editor.

00:02:50 --> 00:03:01
You also want to ensure that at least the Front & Perspective views
are set to Shaded mode with Edge Faces Mode active (F3 & F4 hotkeys).

00:03:02 --> 00:03:05
You are almost ready to start modeling but not quite yet.

00:03:06 --> 00:03:11
If you tried moving edges or vertices around, you'd deform
the applied texture.

00:03:16 --> 00:03:20
Try placing a UVW Map modifier on top of the stack.

00:03:23 --> 00:03:34
Move down to the Editable Poly level, enable Show End Result
and start editing vertices or edges, the trick appears to work.

00:03:39 --> 00:03:47
However, used at a poly level, such as to create an Inset for example,
you notice you still have a problem.

00:03:48 --> 00:03:57
This is happening because the modifier on top (UVW Mapping) is only
affecting the selected polygon (the "inset" selected part of the model).

00:03:57 --> 00:04:03
To overcome this issue, add a Poly Select modifier before the UVW Mapping.

00:04:04 --> 00:04:09
This modifier gives back the control to the entire object
and not to sub-selections.

00:04:10 --> 00:04:15
It ensures the top modifiers affect the object as a whole
and not any selected polygons.

00:04:16 --> 00:04:21
Try again the Inset at the Editable Poly level. Remember to enable
the Show End Result mode.

00:04:22 --> 00:04:28
This time, the procedure works. You lose the shaded polygons
but the mapping is preserved nicely.

00:04:29 --> 00:04:42
Selection colors have also changed. In the Subdivision Surface group,
change the Cage colors to White and Red for a more familiar look.

00:04:51 --> 00:04:54
Move on to Part 3 of this project to start adding detail.
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  • 3ds Max
  • Modeling
  • 2011
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