3DS Max Tutorials For Beginners

3DS Max Tutorials - Modeling Rubik's Cube

by Wendy Huther

How To Model A 3D Rubik's Cube

In this tutorial we are going to create Rubik's cube with a Chamferbox from Extended primitives then with the "Array" tool we will copy and align each chamferbox in position. This is a simple model and helps to understand how the Array tool works. Enjoy!


Step 1.

Setting Up - Open 3ds Max, start with a new page and save it in your scenes folder in 3ds Max as Rubik_Cube.

Step 2.

On the menu bar, choose Customize, then from the drop down menu choose Units Setup. The Units Setup dialog appears.

cube 01

Step 3.

In the Units Setup dialog check that Generic Units is selected by default.

cube 02

Step 4.

Go to the Create panel, then from the drop down menu under Standard Primitive select Extended Primitives.

From the Extended Primitive list select "Chamferbox"

In the Perspective view, click and drag diagonally the object to set the width and depth of the chamferbox. Release the mouse button and drag upwards to set the height, click, then drag slightly to the side to set the fillet, click a final time to complete the chamferbox.

Do not worry about dragging the box to an exact width, depth, or height, you will set these parameters in the next step.

cube 03

Step 5.

Press z to zoom in, then go to modify and set the parameters for the chamferbox.

Set the parameters to:

Length= 30

Width= 30

Height= 30

Fillet= 4

Length Segs = 1

Width Segs = 1

Height Segs= 1

Fillet Segs= 3

We now have a nice box with rounded edges.

cube 04

Step 6.

Before we go any further we need to correctly position the chamfer box.

Select the chamferbox (if not already selected) with the Select and Move tool. (This will open the Transform type in box.)

Go to the bottom of the screen to the Transform Type in box and right click your mouse on the dials next to each axis putting them back to 0. This will position the chamferbox right to the center of the world


Step 7.

In the perspective viewport right click the mouse and from the drop down menu go to "Convert to" choose "Convert to Editable Poly".

cube 05

Step 8.

We are going to select 6 face polygons and extrude them, to do this we need to activate polygon from the Editable Poly menu.

In the perspective viewport click on the first polygon with the select and move tool, press and hold the Ctrl key on the keyboard and select the next polygon, use the wheel to rotate the chamferbox, ctrl r on the keyboard or you can use the Orbit tool. (there are several ways of turning the chamferbox in the perspective viewport, please use the tool that you are more comfortable with)

cube 06

Step 9.

We should have 6 polygons selected, now in Edit Polygons choose Extrude. Click on the small square next to Extrude and the Extrude dialog appears.

In the dialog Extrusion Height insert 0,2

This slight extrusion will give the height and realistic effect for the colored sides of the Rubik's cube

The chamferbox is now ready to apply material then with the Array tool we can copy and align all the boxes in position.

In this tutorial we will use Arch and Design Mental Ray material so before we start adding materials lets assign the mental ray render.


Step 10.

Go to Rendering on the main menu, select Rendering Setups.

In Common scroll down to Assign Renderer. By default 3ds Max uses Default Scanline Render so click on the small square and the renderer dialog appears, select Mental Ray renderer.


Step 11.

Select the material Editor on the main toolbar or press m on the keyboard for the Material Editor to appear.

Click on the first color sphere, then click Get Material from the Material/Map browser, here we are going to double click Arch & Design mr. to select the material.


Step 12.

Arch & Design has a collection of materials which we can use for this tutorial.

Go to the drop down menu of Arch & Design and choose Glossy Plastic

Click on Color in Main Material Parameters, the Color Selector: diffuse appears. Pick which ever color you like, for instance red.

Before we assign the material to the object change the default material name to red.


Step 13.

We need to create 6 colors for the sides of the Rubik's cube and a black material for the base.

We can repeat all of exercise 12 for each new color, or simple drag the first color sphere that we created to the next sphere, this will clone the material, now all we have to do is change the diffuse Color, and select the next color on the color selector, then change the default name.


Step 14.

Now the material is ready we can apply it to the chamferbox.

First lets apply the black base material, we can do this by clicking on the black color sphere then the Assign Materialassign material or we can click and hold the black color sphere and drag and release it on the chamferbox.

To assign the material to the sides we need to select Polygon on the Editable Poly menu, then click on the first polygon in the perspective viewport. We extruded these polygons slightly before so now we also need to select the extra polygons, we can do this by clicking once on Grow in the Polygon Selection menu.

Apply the material to all polygons with Assign material or click, hold and drag.

Rotate the sphere with the wheel, ctrl r or the orbit tool

We can zoom out again now in the perspective viewport, click anywhere in the viewport then move the center roller of our mouse to zoom out.


Step 15.

Select the chamferbox (if not already selected) then go to the main toolbar and in Tools select Array.

In the Array dialog under Incremental: on the Z axis insert 30

Type of Object: select Copy

Array Dimensions - Count -1D insert 3

Press preview

In the perspective viewport we have 3 chamferboxes on the z axis with a 30 unit separation.

Click again on preview to deactivate, at this point do not close the dialog, continue with the next step.


Step 16.

Continue in Arrays Dimension:

Count - 2D insert 3

Incremental Row - X axis insert 30

Press Preview

Notice now that we have 3 rows of 3 chamferboxes

Press Preview again to deactivate


Step 17.

Continue in Arrays Dimension:

Count - 3D insert 3

Incremental Row - Y axis insert 30

Press OK

Now we have a colorful Rubik's cube


To finish the scene we can add a Plane as a base and a couple of lights. But we will talk about lighting in another tutorial

I hope you found this tutorial helpful.

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