Constructing an Interior Scene in 3ds Max

This tutorial is designed to show the techniques used to construct an interior scene using 3ds Max®, VRay, and the raster-based image editing software Adobe Photoshop as well as show how to construct the various elements identified and shown in Figure 1. The objects identified are listed below.

  1. The canvas art
  2. The shelf
  3. The lamps
  4. The doors
  5. The candles
  6. The tea tray
  7. The pillows

Figure 1: Scene objects

Room Construction

Items not identified in Figure 1 consist of the floor, walls, and ceiling. The floor, walls, and ceiling are constructed with 2”x8”x12’ boxes and textured with wood shown in Figure 2.  The boxes were placed with gaps to provide additional detail when rendered.  The beams in the ceiling were constructed with 4”x12”x20’ boxes.  

Figure 2: Wood material

Object One – The Canvas Paintings

The canvas paintings were constructed using a box with autogrid and extruded from the wall. The box was copied to its side then the symmetry modifier was used to duplicate them to the opposite side of the room.  Each box was finally assigned a material with an image in the diffuse slot. The image consisted of various artwork and photos blended together using Adobe Photoshop (software difficult to not mention when talking about post production or texture work).  The steps to modify the art in Photoshop are shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Photoshop alterations

To offset the red and yellow colors in the room and generate a somewhat chromatic effect I wanted colors like blue and white.  In Photoshop I started with a blue background then overlaid various images and artwork in layers above it.  The first step was to convert those images to black and white.  Then I set the black and white overlay to the Hard Light blending option. After that I brushed in some blues and whites and tweaked the color correction as I desired.  Finally, I used the clone stamp tool to modify the images and make them unique.

Object Two – The Shelf

The shelf and plants were simply my attempt to pull the viewer’s eye through the entire scene and create interest in an otherwise empty area. The wooden objects on the top shelf, the bowl, and the vase were all constructed using a line with the lathe modifier. The materials created for the paintings were also used for the bowl and vase.  The plate was constructed with cylinder with insets and the turbosmooth modifier. The shell modifier was added to give the plate thickness.  The general steps for the construction of the items are shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Shelf objects

Object Three – The Lamps

The lamps were constructed primarily with cylinders. The only exceptions were the lines that were arrayed by moving the pivot point to the center of the cylinder and entering the number of items  I wanted to create as shown in Figure 5. Finally a VRay 2-sided material was used with Vray sphere lights so the lights shined through the lamp material.

Figure 5: Lamps

Object Four – The Door

The door was constructed using a simple plane then converted to an editable poly.  After conversion I selected all the edges and chose the chamfer option, which created offsets for each line.  I could then extract the faces and assign the wood and shade material I wanted.

Object Five – The Candles

The candles were constructed with a line segment and then converted to an editable poly. On top of each candle I placed a VRay sphere light. Ultimately I used Photoshop to add the candle flames and enhance the reflection on the floor. 

Object Six – The Tea Tray

The tea pot, though difficult to see, was constructed with a modified version of the default tea pot provided with 3ds Max (perhaps the first time I’ve found use for it) and basic polygons.  The only exception was the leg for the cup stand, which was constructed with a spline shape and series of insets shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6: Tea Tray Leg

Object Seven – The Pillows

Finally, the pillows were constructed with boxes with a large number of segments and shaped using the free-form tools in the Graphite Modeling ribbon. 

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