Modeling a Spaceship in 3D Studio Max

By Aziz | 3D Studio Max

This tutorial will teach you how to model a spaceship in 3D Studio Max, I have once read a similar tutorial for Maya and I thought that I should do a spaceship tutorial for 3D Studio Max, which happens to be my favourite over Maya. I have created this tutorial on version 6.0, but you can follow the tutorial regardless of what version you run.

Creating a spaceship in 3D Studio Max By Aziz - Oman3D Tutorials

-Start off with a new 3DS file and insert a box into the scene by using the create panel (Create > Geometry > Box). Give your box the following properties:

Toggle the perspective viewport to see your box on the screen.

We will now convert our object to an editable poly which should let us mold our object into our desired shape. Right-click the object on the viewport and select Convert to>Editable Poly.

Use the modify tab to set the selection type to 'polygon' and then select the front poly of the box. Click on "Extrude" under the "Edit Polygons" rollout. Set the Extrusion Type to "Group" and the Extrusion Height to 10. You can experiment with these variables on your own later once learn the technique used in this tutorial.

Right-click the extruded polygon and pick "Scale" from the transform menu to scale the object and then alter the scale through the Y and Z axis until you reach a result similar to the one below.

It is time to add some details to the top of our spaceship, start off by making sure that the selection type is set to "Polygons" in the Selection rollout in the Poly Modifier. Select the upper side of our 'spaceship' as illustrated in the image below.

Click on the small window next to the Insert Button. Experiment a little bit with the function of this button, change the value and see what it does, when you're done with your little experiment, change the value to 4 and click on "OK" to close the window. You will then need to use the 'Scale' and 'Move' tools to modify your newly created polygon to get a result similar to the one illustrated in the image below.

Select the top polygon by clicking on it and then apply extrude to it once again using an extrusion height of 5.8.

Select the upper polygon and use the "Scale" tool to get the shape of the navigation room glass as illustrated in the image below.

We are going to start making the wings of our spaceship. Select both sides of the ship by holding Ctrl while you click on each side. Click on the small window next to the Insert Button Insert button . Set the value to 0.4 and then click OK to close this window. Use the scale tool in the same way you did before for your newly created polygons to make the wings with.

While your recently scaled polygons are still selected, apply Extrude twice, the first time with an extrusion height of 30, apply this, and then change the value to 20 and press OK to close the window.

Note: We extruded the wings two times to help us maintain the overall shape when we apply the mesh smooth editor later.

We are now going to add some realistic features to our spaceship. By now you should have something similar to the image below:

Change the selection mode to "Vertex" and then select both top vertexes from each wing and move them back along the x-axis to have a regular shape for your wing.

Rotate the scene using 3D Orbit rotation to get a view of the back of the spaceship, select the back poly of our ship and apply extrude to it.

We will now start working on a small fire clinker at the end of our new spaceship tail. Select both sides of the tail and click on Insert Insert button . Use 'Scale' to resize the newly created polygon into a small good looking base for the clinker and adjust the x, y, and z values differently to get the desired shape as illustrated in the image below.

While both these sides are still selected, apply extrude them with your preferred settings to make them wider as displayed in the image below.

Again, while both of those sides are still selected, find "Bevel" and click on the small window next to it bevel buttonand apply the effect using the settings displayed in the image below.

While the new beveled sides are still selected, apply extrude to get something similar to the image below.

Rotate the viewport to the upper front side of our spaceship to view the front part of our clinker. Select both of the front polygons at both sides (hold Ctrl while clicking) and then bevel these to get a similar result as displayed below.

Select the top polygon of the tail and apply 'Insert" Insert button , use a value of 2 or 3. Rescale the newly created polygon and then move it upwards a little bit as illustrated in the image below.

While the top polygon is still selected, apply extrude 3 times. I used three different values for the extrusion height each time, the values I used are 14, 2, and then 8.

Select both of the second layer polygons and extrude them using a value of your choice. Change the selection mode to "vertex" selection, select all the vertexes of the new polygons on both sides and move them backwards to give it airodynamic shape, do the same thing to the rest of the vertexes of the tail to get the result illustrated in the image below.

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