I'm a beginner in 3DS Max and I want to start/improve my modelling skill!!! Any ideas for some objects that are both easy and use many modifier and technics?

Thanks and have a good day!

  • Hi there! Welcome to GD.SE. As it is, this question is a bit broad. It would be great if you could add some more info, for example, what sort of modelling do you want to do? Is there any technique in particular you are interested in? The more detailed questions are, the better :)
    – Yisela
    Feb 10 '14 at 20:10
  • One of the best resources for learning 3D is the Gnomon DVD Series. CG Society also has a bunch of workshops
    – John
    Feb 17 '14 at 14:58
  • Hi guys!!! Thx for all the answers!!! For the moment i use poly modeling but on c4d and now im switching to 3ds...but even on c4d im not really advanced..i'm gonna take a look at gnomon dvd series to start with!!! Thx a lot ^^
    – user19755
    Feb 17 '14 at 22:12

It's best to learn one particular kind of modelling first, and avoid modifiers for a while because they're so incredibly diverse in what they each do, and manually learning to model without them will give you a much better initial understanding of how modelling works.

The two most popular types of modelling are NURBS and Polygon modelling.

Depending on your goals and interests (games vs product design/renders, characters or whatever) one of these two types of modelling will be more suitable for that kind of object, and should be the direction you first take.

3DS Max is relatively better at Polygon modelling than it is NURBS, but its NURBS are nowhere near as bad as they once were rumoured to be.

Very generally speaking: Polygon modelling is easier to learn but harder to master, whilst NURBS modelling is much more difficult to initially learn but easier to master.

A hard rule, if you want to do game art, go Polygon modelling.

For every other kind of modelling the choice is more a blend of personal choice and determining what's best for the preferred objects. Once you get good at NURBS modelling it's generally much faster and less fiddly than Polygon modelling, but it is difficult to learn.

I don't like either of them but persist with both until something can read my mind.

Hard Surface Modelling in Polygons with smooths will teach you the best ways to think about polygons, and concurrently demonstrate why NURBS are a better way to do it, ironically. And Hard Surface Models look the coolest.

Plus there's some great videos on this because it was very fashionable for a while a few years ago. Start here, this guy uses an absolute minimal number of polygon modelling tools to get great results very quickly, and is explicit about how to shape edges and polygons for best results:


  • There is also sub-div modeling which uses polygons to drive nurb-like smooth shapes.
    – John
    Feb 17 '14 at 14:55
  • "Hard Surface Modelling in Polygons with smooths..."
    – Confused
    Feb 17 '14 at 19:10
  • Polygon smooths are different. My experience is in Maya, so unless the terminology is different, sub-divs are something completely different than just smoothing polys.
    – John
    Feb 17 '14 at 19:18
  • smooths is a general word that covers any method of smoothing in 3DS Max. Turbo Smooth is the most popular of the modifiers for checking this. NURMS is another, that last S is for Smooth. And while it might be called Sub-D modelling by some, it's just smoothing. It's the process of Sub-dividing polygons, which is/was more commonly called smoothing before folks realised textures from a smoothed model could have their increased resolution shadows and specularity responses to lighting baked back in and the smoothing then turned off. The process of smoothing is sub-division of polygons. etc
    – Confused
    Feb 17 '14 at 19:46

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