Trevor Banack's 3d Studio Max Project

Grain elevator

Have a look at my:


NOTE : There is a scrollbar next to the thumnails.

It goes through the steps I did with screen shots and little notes at the bottom. For the Full description, see the information below.

I created the image using 3D Studio Max. I decided to use 3D Studio Max because I saw what other people had done in the past in some of the other programs, and it seemed to me that the superior quality images came from those that used 3D Studio Max. One difficulty was to actually decide on what to do exactly.

I thought of doing the landscape at Writing on Stone, or Cameron Lake (up in Waterton) first off, but as I went through the various tutorials provided by 3D Studio as well as those found online, I changed my mind. I realized that with the amount of time I had to learn the program, to be able to get an image that would be good enough (in my standards) would be impossible. So I decided to do a field with a grain elevator with some bins (gotta learn to walk before I run).

I started by making a plane (for the ground) and added a noise modifier to it, and changed the amount by which it was applied to the plane to give more depth and realism to the ground. I then decided to start on the field. I found a couple tutorials on how to do grass, by starting with 3 or 4 blades of grass, each one colorized and bent slightly differenty than the others. Then I duplicated each blade of grass 10 000 times and placed them randomly on the plane by changing the seed. I have to admit that I was a little frustrating at first, I did what one of the tutorials told me to do in order to make the grass appear on the plane, but for some reason a lot of grass ended up floating in the sky. I finally got things to obey me, and the field of grass was on the plane.

Then I decided to get going on the modeling. In my opinion this was the easiest part of the project (not to say that I didn't have any choice words with the computer) but 3D studio does a great job facilitating the modeling of shapes.

Then came to the hardest part (in my opinion). The textures!!!

It wouldn't have been that bad if I knew what I was doing, but I found my self shaking my fist at the screen quite often (I probably need to see an anger management specialist or something.) I found some tutorials on "making textures work", but they didn't work for me. I spent hours upon hours trying to get the textures that I wanted, and I have to admit that a lot of the textures I came up with were by accident, but I guess if you try thousands of different combinations of things, you are bound to get somthing that works. I struggled finding a good texture for the grain elevator, and to be able to get it on only certain sides. The bins were a little difficult too, I tried some various metal tutorials, but a lot of them had too much refraction, and I wanted them dull. So I resorted to trial and error yet again.

The scene was a little plain so I added a sky background (that was in the tutorials in 3D studio Max) but there was still something missing, so I created some mountains in a similar way as the terrain. The use of a plane and a noise modifier. Then I added the Agricore logo that I found on the agricore website to the front of the grain elevator.

I only did a little touch up job in photoshop where the sky was visible through the bottom of the mountains, so I cloned some of the field a little bit higher. Then I changed the rooftop color slightly on the grain elevator.

I learned A LOT doing this project, and it was good experience. Maybe sometime I'll learn how to get textures to work properly.