3ds Max Tutorial – The Cutty Sark


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The use for a set like is wide in scope, from Advertising to Film and Television through to games, this set can be used to create high and low polygon ship pieces that can be used in all forms of digital media. The Cutty Sark ship model holds up well in close up and distance shots to a very high resolution – its textures on the hull initially perceived as plain black are actually layers of texture starting as a wood with a black tar and gloss over the top that is only truly visible when the viewer gets a close-up view of the ship.

From the initial setup of the ship, everything is carefully covered. The Student is shown how to set up the splines that will eventually form the keel, which is then surfaced up. The keel is split into a top and bottom segment so that the top can have deck holes for draining water added, then the deck is laid. The deck is then refined to its three main heights and deck houses are added followed by additional detail and yardarms, belaying pins, rope hooks and so forth.

After this, the masts are carefully added in and mast boom extensions put in place from which the first rigging including the climbers is added. On top of this several more layers of rigging are build up using splines and put into place. Sails are created and demonstrations of the effective use of the sails with wind dynamics and Garment Maker are demonstrated. The anchor is made and an edge looping exercise in building a figurehead is completed and everything is put together and textured using several different methods. A sea system is built and the final piece is rendered using Mental Ray and the Daylight system.

Topic Covered

  • -Precision Modelling in 3ds Max
  • -Working from Reference Plane Images
  • -Spline Modelling
  • -Cloth Modelling
  • -Cloth and Wind Dynamics
  • -Realistic Water
  • -Complex Materials and Rendering