How to Model Characters in Autodesk 3D Max 2009

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3ds Max is a software program used to create and animate virtual 3D models. It's part of a line of graphical design programs for the PC that began with Autodesk's AutoCAD in 1982. The early CAD programs had only basic, predefined shapes for users to design with. But later programs like 3ds Max, which was first released in 1996, let users create their own 3d objects--including human (and humanoid) characters. Version 9 of 3ds Max, released in 2006, was the first release with two versions: one for 32-bit Windows systems and one for 64-bit systems.


1 ) Get a digitized photo of the front view of the character you want to create.

2 ) Open 3ds Max, then click in the "Front" viewport. Press "Alt-W" to maximize the viewport.

3 ) Begin loading your "Front" view reference photo into 3ds Max: Create a plane by clicking the following sequence of menu items under the "Create" menu: "Standard Primitives," then "Plane." Click-and-drag in the viewport to define the plane.

4 ) Size the plane to the dimensions of your front view photo, then load the photo onto the plane by using the material editor: Press "M" to display the material editor. Then, press the small square map button (which has no label) next to the "Diffuse" color swatch.

5 ) Double-click "Bitmap," then open your front view photo file. Drag the sphere that now displays your photo onto the plane you created in step 3. Click "Show map in viewport" to display the front view on the plane.

6 ) Begin creating the character: Create a box primitive by selecting the "Create" menu's "Box" item. Click and drag in the viewport to define the box. Then, size the box to the dimensions of the character torso displayed in the reference photo you loaded in step 5.

7 ) Right-click the box and select "Convert to Editable poly." This action enables shaping of the box to the character's torso.

8 ) Right-click the box and select "Vertex" to enable editing of the box's vertices (AKA its points). Select a vertex by clicking it, then drag the vertex until it aligns with the character's torso. Repeat this action for the remaining box vertices.

9 ) Repeat steps 6 through 8 for each of the remaining parts of the character--the legs, arms, hands, feet and head. The result will be the completed character.


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