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3d art tutorial (Contest)


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Level 55 : Grandmaster Artist

Hello everyone,this is a tutorial on how to make a (3d art) minecraft picure.This is a tutorial for the contest.Some people have asked for a tutorial so this is a good chance to do it.Iam sorry if i write something weird or it has grammar or spelling fails,iam not from England so i do not know English that well.

Things you are going to learn:

  1. Some very basic stuff about 3dsmax
  2. A very easy and basic way to make the minecraft character (not a rig)
  3. How to texture your character with uvw unwarp
  4. How to import a minecraft world into 3dsmax
  5. How to put lights and make shades
  6. how to import the character to the scene
  7. how to render it and get your picture

This tutorial is on how to make a 3d art minecraft picture with 3dsmax so if you have got another program some things may be diferent.Iam sorry for that.

  • First you need to have the program.3dsmax looks like the picture below.Well yours may look a bit diferent.Depends in the version you have.I have got 3dsmax 2011.


  • Okay now.Lets begin with the basick firstl.Before you do/make anything you need to know a bit about some basick buttons in 3dsmax that will help you modeling simple stuff and moving around.

  • First you need to learn how to make some basick shapes
"most of the models of character or other stuff start by editing a box"

  • Now you need to learn how to rotate,move and scale objects

These are bery important tools because with these you can move your models/objects around and make the scene as you like.These 3 tools are located in the tool bar at the top

  • Now that you know the very basick lets make a simple character.What simplier than the minecraft character.Just make boxes change their size and try to make the character.
  • To change the size of the boxes you can use the scale tool or go to modifiers and change the size from there.there are option for changing length,width and high there are also some other options but iam not gonna talk about them in this tutorial.


  • When you are done you should have a result like this

Note:This isnt a rig but its just a basick model for making some simple renders.Iam not gonna show you how to make your own rig because iam not that good with rigs.You can find an already made on in the internet. "rig is a system with bones that controll the parts of the legs and arms,they are very usefull for animating"

  • The next thing we are gonna do now is texturing.Without texturing you cant have your skin on the model.

  • Click the button shown in the picture and drag your skin on one of the textures slot,or do the folowing


  • Open the maps tab and click the first none button like you see in the picture.Then another window will pop up.Now click the bitmap button.A broswer searcher will appear.Find your skin/texture with it and then click open/ok Draging in the skin on the free texture slot is the same thing but sometimes its easier to do it with this way
  • Now click the button shown in the folowing picture to aply the textures on the model.

  • When you do that you will realise the skin looks like this

  • To fix this you have to make a uvw unwarp system and tell the program wich part of the skin goes where.To do that go the modifier again and find in the least the word unwarp uvw

  • When you find it click it.Now click edit and select you texture/skin


  • As you can see the skin is a bit weird.To fix that go to options and then to preferences and uncheck the use custom bitmap size box

  • The next step is to set the part of the skin to the part of the box you want.Click a little box to the modifiers least.This button will open a least of some tools you can use.Click the face tool and choose the side you wanna set first.You can do that by moving around some points (of the red shape) and making its size as big as the front face.

  • When you are done you should have a result like this (the blure is only in the preview not in the render,)if you want to have clear preview too make the skin in a program 10 times biger or something and make the uvw unwarp with this size.

  • But when you make some other sides you can see another problem.Some sides are conected with eachother like the front with the back.This mean when you set the front part of the box to the head,the back of the head wont have the hair but the front face again.To fix that you have to do the folowing

  • Find the Quick Planar map button and when you have the back side or the side you wanna fix click that button.This button will create a new shape inside (edit) now you can do the same with the new shape and you fixed the problem.Do this with all the parts of the character (head,head,legs,arms) and you will have finished texturing.Now if you put another skin you dont need to re creat uvw unwarp and the new skin will be aplied by just draging it again on the model.Just becarefull with the skin size becayse if the skin is hd or higher it may not work properly.The final texture model should look like this with your own skin ofcourse

Minecraft worlds in 3dsmax

Now that we have made our character we need to import him/her into a minecraft world so we make a nicely friendly background.There are other ways to do that but iam gonna show you how to do it with mineways.

  • First you need a minecraft world ofcourse.You can keep the one you have or make a new one?

  • Now you need the program.Search for mineways or click this Mineways,click download for mac if you have a mac or download for pc if you have a pc.When you click it you will notice a file downloading.Its a zip file if its unknown file be sure you have installed winrar.When its done extract the files in a folder.(not sure if it needs installation) Now click the mineways icon to open the program.
  • Click file/open world and select the world you want.This will open a top view of the map.Click and drag the air you want.A pink box will appear.Everything that is in this box is what the 3d world will have.There are some options for how deep it will be or its high so change them and find the settings you want.

  • When you are done with all these click file again and then click export for 3d render.A windows will pop up.Change the setting and make it suitable for you and when you are done click export.Now your world is converted into an obj file.Obj files are importable in 3dsmax.When the exportation is done you will notice it will have made a folder with some files in it.The files are the textures of the world (depends what texture pack you chose) and the obj file.There is also alpha textures for the textures but i will talk about it later.
Note:for the final render iam not gonna use this map i used it only for the picture.

  • Now open 3dsmax (if its not already opened) and drag the obj file anywhere in your 3dsmax work space (be sure you have saved your character because it may load it as a new scene and remove everything else)Now your world is in there but you may notice a little problem with some textures like the torches or the grass.They have a black background.Here is where the alpha textures part come.Open your textures window again (if you dont know what that is look above in the other part of the tutorial.) now drag one of the coloured textures (not the black and white) in one of your texture slots.Open your map tab and now drag the alpha textures in the opacity air (the black and white is the alpha textures) now if you apply the textures again you can see the grass the torches or the things that had the problem are fixed and now they dont have a black background.

If you dont understand the picture let me explain it for you.Diffuse color is the coloured textures (the one you drag in the texture slot) the opacity one is the alpha textures you drag in the (none) slot.I hope this is understandable.Alpha textures are very helpfull for the 3d layers of the skins.

  • If you have done everything correctly your world should look like this

  • Dont worry about the blury and the darkness these are things we are gonna fix later.
  • Tip:if you did everything correctly and your minecraft world looks weird try to import your obj into another program and export it again and then import it into 3dsmax.Iam not sure why this work and why it doesnt with the first export but this is what i do.
Lights,rendering and everything else.

Afterr all this you should have the folowing things :

  1. Your minecraft character
  2. Your minecraft world
The next thing we are gonna do is get your character and put it in our scene.To do that you just have to click file (the 3dsmax logo) then import/merge (merger is for 3dsmax saved files) then find your fsaved file and click open.A windows should pop up.Click all and then ok (not sure if this is nececarry) Now your character should be somewhere in your scene.Incase the body parts are messed up go back to your character file and group them.(to do that just click the group button at the top in the toolbar air)Now move him/her in the place you want.You can also move his/her legs but when you do that you will realise they dont move in the right axis.Lets fix that then.Its better to fix that to the character file again so you dont have to fix it again in the future.

  • Click the part you wanna fix.Like the leg.Now click Hierarchy (its next to modify button)Now click ~affect pivot only.The (move) symbolls will appear now you can move them and put them in the right air you want the object to turn.When you are done just go back to (create) category next to modify again)
  • When you are done with all the parts save the file and put your character in the scene like i said before.Now move him/her around rotate his feet/legs and make something that looks good.
So now nearly everything is done.What we need now to make it better is put some lights to make some nice shading effects.Click the lights button in the ~create~ category.Choose standar as light category and then click omni.

  • Click anywhere in the scene and move your light everywhere you think it looks nice (tip: put the light away fomr the character so you light everything).When you are done with that go to modify panel.Check the ~on~ box and set it to ~shadow map~ You made the lighting effect now but the shades are too dark to fix that open the ~shadow parameters~ tab and set the coloure to a brighter coloure like light grey (if you make it red it will make your scene look red so maybe dont do that if you dont want this to happen)
Now everything is done what we need now is render our picture.Its too simple to do that

  • Just click the render button (its somewhere in the tool bar at the top) its called render production.A window will pop up.When the render is done you will see your picture.There are 2 ways to save it but lets do it with the easy one (well both are easy) At the top left corner you can see a button with an icon of a flopy disk.You can notice it says save this mean you can save it form there.Set a saving path choose the type of file (like png etc) and then click save.Now if you go to the air you set you can see your picture there.
  • If you want diferent resolution you can change it in the render setup there are many usefull sutff you can change there.I dont think i have to explain anything from there because its too easy.(render setup is next to the render button)

Incase you are wondering how does it look at the end here is an example:


As you can see the shadows are pretty dark and thats what i was talking before.Sadly i found how to fix that after i made that picture :3 You can also notice the arms the legs and the head are diferent.Well about the arms and the legs thats a rig and i mentioned that i dont show you how to make one.By the way this rig is not mine so i cant give you a link either (i just dont want anyone to say "heyy thats not yours this guy made it" And about the head its a bit harder to make and i didnt want to try to explain something like that with text because you may not understand it.

Thanks for reading my tutorial.I hope you found it helpfull and understandable.Iam sorry for bad parts with spelling or grammar mistakes.I hope you understand.


Update #2 : 07/29/2012 1:08:44 pm7/29/12

Last part of the tutorial is added but sadly there are not any pics just the text.I hope there is no problem with that :)

Update #1 : 07/19/2012 5:11:23 am7/19/12

  • Added the (how to import a minecraft world into 3dsmax) part ;)

Comments : 14

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  • Luisi
  • Level 13
  • Journeyman Skinner
  • August 1, 2012, 10:23 am
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  • Ragnur Le Barbare
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 62
  • High Grandmaster Caveman
  • July 23, 2012, 6:09 am
Nice tutorial :-) what are you planning to show next? Diamonded ;-)
  • Timos153
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Artist
  • July 23, 2012, 6:11 am
thanks,the next part will be on how to import your character in the scene,put lights (shades) and do the final render.
  • Pangasijus
  • Level 14
  • Journeyman Ranger
  • July 13, 2012, 2:19 am
*gives feedback
  • y a n
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Explorer
  • July 12, 2012, 8:38 am
u shuld do a blender tutorial version of this... :P
  • Timos153
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Artist
  • July 12, 2012, 8:46 am
i dont know much about blender so.. :P
Nice tutorial! Just a typo that I saw a few times. Basick = Basic. Diamonded
  • Timos153
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Artist
  • July 12, 2012, 6:12 am
ahh thanks.. and i was thinking it was wrong :P (i will probably fix all the grammar/spelling fails one time with a little help from someone maybe :P)
Always put a space after periods and commas, at the end of a list don't put a comma again, put and.
Example: Head, body, legs and arms.
  • Cybermaxke
  • Level 54
  • Grandmaster Wolf Whisperer
  • July 12, 2012, 4:38 am
Awesome now I can make my own :P
  • Timos153
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Artist
  • July 12, 2012, 4:40 am
haha :P
  • DrThresh
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 41
  • Master Batman
  • July 11, 2012, 11:55 pm
Dunno if people are willing to invest in 3Ds Max. Open source option such as Blender, or even a web based ones such as 3D Tin or Sketchup.

Anxious to see what you produce though.
  • Timos153
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Artist
  • July 12, 2012, 1:59 am
well i dont know if its interesting or not but some people have asked for a tutorial but i cant make a blender one since i dont know much about it.I also dont have any other ideas for a tutorial so :P
  • DrThresh
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 41
  • Master Batman
  • July 12, 2012, 2:23 am
Oh, it's just a general statement as most methods can translate relatively well between packages. As I said before, can't wait to see the end result.

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