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3D Studio Max

Create A High Poly Steampunk Guitar In 3D Studio Max

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In this intermediate to advanced level tutorial, you'll learn how to model an interesting high poly steampunk inspired guitar using a variety of tools and subdivision modeling techniques in 3D Studio Max. Grab the reference image and get started now!


Additional Files/ Plugins:


Step 1

To start, Create a Box (Create Panel > Geometry > Box) and convert it to Editable Poly (Right Click > Convert To: > Convert to Editable Poly.) After use the Move tool to tweak the vertices in order to create such a shape.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 2

Add six new edge loops horizontally, and again tweak the vertices until you get this shape

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 3

Add two new vertical loops and use the Cut tool in order to create this line between the vertices as shown

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 4

Select the polygons highlighted below and Inset them and then Extrude the polygons three times. The first extrude should be done with a low height amount as well as the third, in order to create support edges close to the main edges as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 5

Now add an Inset three times using the same technique as in the previous step. The first and the third insets should be created with a lower value in order to create supporting edges. After that, Extrude again using the same value as we did in the previous step. But this time use a negative value in order to extrude the shape inwards.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 6

Add new edges close to the shown corners as well as a vertical loop.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 7

Now add edge loops close to the outer edges in order to avoid mesh problems when we add the Turbosmooth modifier.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 8

Now add an Inset and then Collapse.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 9

Create a new Box with the same thickness as the first one. After that place it as shown and convert it into Editable Poly. Finally use the Attach option to connect it to our previous element.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 10

First add a horizontal and vertical loop in the middle and then tweak the vertices to reshape the piece. Then add three more vertical edge loops, as well as one loop that runs around the outside (or thickness) of the element.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 11

Add two additional edge loops on the sides positioned close to the outer edges as shown below. Then Inset the four polygons two times. The first time with a low amount and the second time with a higher amount until you get something like this.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 12

Select the outer loop as shown and from the Graphic Modeling Tool ribbon, click on Loops > Loop Tools. And then in the popup menu, click on Circle. After that you can use Relax if needed.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 13

Delete the polygons in the middle, and then using Border select the edges around the hole and Cap them to close the hole. Then Extrude the new poygons three times and scale them to create the shape shown below.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 14

Deselect the middle polygon and Extrude the outer edge polygons to get this result.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 15

From the Reference Coordinates System dropdown menu, choose Local and Move the polygon inwards.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 16

Add a Chamfer with low value and 2 Edge Segments on all loops, except the one that we created after the first extrusion.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 17

Now add new edge loops close to each edge as shown in the picture below.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 18

Add a Turbosmooth modifier to the mesh (Modify Panel - Modifier List > Turbosmooth) and set the Iterations to 2.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 19

Create new Box and Convert it to Editable Poly. Then shift the vertices to get this shape.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 20

Add several new loops across the surface, and Move them in order to get something like this.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 21

Delete the polygons in the middle, and using Border Select the edges around the hole and connect them using Bridge.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 22

Delete the front and back polygons on the thin sides of the element, and add new edges as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 23

In the places on both sides where the edges were not connected, we need to Weld the vertices and position them as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 24

Add a Turbosmooth modifier, set the iterations to 2 and place the element as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 25

Create two new Lines to the scene (Create Panel - Shapes > Line) and from the Rendering rollout check on the Enable In Viewport option. Also tweak the Radial Thickness option to adjust the thickness value as needed. In this case I used a value of 12.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 26

Convert the elements into Editable Poly and Attach them to the main guitar body. Add edge loops on the top line as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 27

On the selected polygons (shown below) we need to apply an Extrude with a negative Height value.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 28

On the bottom line element, we'll use the same technique. Add edge loops and Extrude the selected polygons with the same Height amount as we used on the top element, but this time with a positive Height value.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 29

On the all the loops we need to add a Chamfer with a low amount in order to make supporting edges.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 30

Finally add a Turbosmooth modifier and set the Iterations to 2.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 31

Create a Cylinder (Create Panel > Geometry > Cylinder) and convert it to Editable Poly and then Delete the back polygon. Select the top polygons and add a Bevel (once) and Extrude until you get this shape.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 32

Add an Inset and Bevel the top polygon again until you get this.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 33

Once again Inset the polygon and apply a Chamfer to the loops shown below.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 34

Add a Turbosmooth - Iterations 2.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 35

Create a Sphere (Create Panel > Geometry > Sphere) and convert to Editable Poly. Select the bottom polygons and Bevel them two times. Then Bevel again two more times but this time with a higher Outline amount.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 36

Bevel the polygons three more times. The first time with a lower amount, the second with an amount of 0 and the third time with a negative amount.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 37

Add a Bevel again. The first time with low Height and the second time with a high Height. Finally Delete the bottom polygons.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 38

Copy the element and add a Turbosmooth - Iterations 2.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 39

Create a new Box, Convert it to Editable Poly and add three edge loops as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 40

Using Move, shift the vertices to get this shape, and then Rotate the vertices selected below around 10 degrees.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 41

Delete the back polygon which is on the guitar body side and add supporting loops in order to get nice edges when we smooth the shape.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 42

Add a Turbosmooth to the guitar fingerboard and continue by creating a new Box and converting it into Editable Poly. Delete the back polygon and then select the front polygon and use Inset and then Extrude to achieve this result.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 43

Close to each edge add an edge loop.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 44

Add a Turbosmooth modifier - Iterations set to 2. Copy the element and place it as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 45

Create a new Cylinder, Convert it to Editable Poly and Delete the back polygon. Add two new loops around the outside polygons. On the front polygon we apply an Inset and then a Extrude. The result should look like so.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 46

Add an Inset once again and then Extrude with a negative Height value, finally apply another Inset as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 47

On the polygons between the two side edge loops, we apply a Bevel with a negative Height value and an Outline amount.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 48

On each loop we apply a Chamfer with a low amount and 2 edge segments.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 49

Copy the element and place it as shown below. And then add Turbosmooth - Iterations 2.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 50

Create a Tube (Create Panel > Geometry > Tube) with an Inner Radius that matches the radius of the element we just created. Also Convert it into Editable Poly.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 51

Select the top seven polygons and Extrude them upward. After that from the Edit Geometry rollout, apply - Make Planar and select the needed axis.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 52

Add a Symmetry modifier (Modify Panel > Modifier List > Symmetry) in order to get this effect, and then Convert the element back to editable poly.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 53

Using the shortcut - ALT + Q we switch to isolation mode and add loops in the places shown below.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 54

We finish the element by adding Turbosmooth.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 55

Create a new Cylinder and Convert it to Editable Poly, Delete the back polygon. Select the front polygon and Bevel it, then Inset it two times. Extrude it outwards and Inset again. It should look like like this.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 56

On the ring of polygons created from the second inset, we apply an Extrude with a negative Height value to push the polygons in as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 57

Now select the edge loops shown. Chamfer them with a low amount and 2 Edge Segments.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 58

Add a Turbosmooth modifier and Copy the element. Scale it down a little using the Scale tool and place it as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 59

Create new Cylinder between the two elements we just created and Convert it to Editable Poly. Select the front polygon and Inset it, Extrude and then Inset again.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 60

Extrude in the center polygon with a negative height amount and then Bevel it two times and finally Inset it.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 61

Delete the center polygon. Select and Chamfer the edge loops like before, in order to create supporting edges. Then add a Turbosmooth modifier.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 62

Create new Cylinder, Convert it to Editable Poly and Delete the back polygon. Select the front polygon and Bevel it two times as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 63

Now Bevel it three more times to get something like this.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 64

Finally apply a Bevel two more times in order to get something like a deformed sphere. Finally Inset the end polygon two times (the first Bevel should be done with a low amount in order to get a supporting loop close to the main edge.)

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 65

Select and Chamfer the edge loop shown with 1 Edge Segment.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 66

Add a Turbosmooth with 2 iterations. Rotate the element around 25 degrees using the Rotate tool and place it as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 67

Create a new Tube (Create > Geometry > Tube), Convert it to Editable Poly and Delete the back polygons. Select the front two edge loops and Chamfer them with a low amount.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 68

Copy the element five times and place them as shown. Use the Attach option (found under the Edit Geometry roll-out) to combine them into a single element. And add a Turbosmooth.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 69

Create a new Line (Create > Shapes > Line) which begins where we placed the six elements above, and ends at the end of the guitar fingerboard. Check the "Enable In Renderer" & "Enable in Viewport" options found under the Rendering roll-out for the Line. Make the Thickness the same as the inner radius of the tubes. Finally convert it to Editable Poly and copy it 5 more times to get a total of six objects.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 70

Here is how the strings should end off (adjust the length of each by moving the verticies.)

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 71

Select the two edge loops on each end and Chamfer them with a low amount and 2 Edge Segments.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 72

Make 5 more copies of the element and place them as shown. Use Attach to combine them into a single object, and add a Turbosmooth.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 73

Create new Box with the following settings - Length Segments 2, Height Segments 2. Convert it to Editable Poly and Delete the back polygons.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 74

Add extra edge loop close to each outside edge.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 75

Inset the front polygon two times. The first with low amount and the second one with higher amount.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 76

Select the outer loop that was created from the first Inset, and go to Loop Tools (found in the Graphite Modeling Tools ribbon) and choose Circle. If needed you can relax the edges using the relax option.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 77

Delete the polygons in the center and using Border, select the hole edges and press the Cap button. After that select the new polygon in the center, and using Extrude and Inset, create the detail shown. The result should look like this.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 78

Chamfer each of the edge loops shown with 2 Edge Segments and a low amount.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 79

Add a Turbosmooth modifier and place the element like so.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 80

Create a new Box with 3 Width Segments and Convert it to Editable Poly. After, select the middle polygon and move it forward using the Move tool, then Delete the back polygons.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 81

Add new edge loops close to the outer edges to support the shape.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 82

Now copy the element 23 times and place the copies as shown below. Combine them as a single object using Attach, and then apply a Turbosmooth.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 83

Create a new Sphere and using the Scale tool deform it like so.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 84

Convert the element to Editable Poly and make several copies, place them in the locations shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 85

Create a new Cylinder with 30 sides and Convert it to Editable Poly. Delete the back polygon, and Bevel the front polygon two times.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 86

Apply two more Bevels to the front polygon, then Connect the middle vertices as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 87

Select the center polygons and Extrude them inwards. After that select and Chamfer the edges as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 88

Add a Turbosmooth modifier and copy the element several times, place the copies like so.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 89

Make two more copies and place them here.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 90

Create a new Box and Convert it to Editable Poly. Delete the back polygon, and add extra edge loops as shown using Connect.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 91

Select and Extrude the polygons as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 92

Using Connect, add additional edge loops for support as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 93

Place the element under the strings as shown, and add a Turbosmooth modifier.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 94

Create a new Cylinder and Convert it to Editable Poly. Delete the back polygon and Bevel the front polygon three times to get something like this.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 95

Now apply three more Bevels (the second bevel needs to be done with a negative Outline amount, and the third one with an Outline amount of 0.)

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 96

Apply Bevel one more time, then Inset the polygon two times as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 97

Add a Turbosmooth modifier, then Copy the element five times and place them.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 98

Create a new Box with 4 Length Segments and 4 Width Segments. Convert it to Editable Poly and position the vertices using the Move tool in order to get something like this.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 99

Select the bottom two middle polygons and Extrude them two times. Next select the center edge loop (created by the first Extrude) and Scale it on the X-Axis.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 100

Next add edge loops as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 101

Next add a Turbosmooth, and Copy the element five times. Place the copies like so.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 102

Create a new Box and Convert it to Editable Poly. Select the two vertices on the right side and move them down with the Move tool. Then using Connect with 2 Segments and a Pinch amount of 80, add supporting edge loops as shown. The result should look like this.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 103

Add a Turbosmooth, Copy the element several times and position them as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 104

Create a new Line (Create > Shapes > Line) with this shape. Under the Rendering roll-out for the line, check the boxes for "Enable In Renderer" & "Enable In Viewport". Adjust the Thickness value as needed and finally Convert it to Editable Poly.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 105

Next select every second ring of polygons and open the Extrude dialog, change the extrude method from "Group" to "Local Normal" to ensure the polygons will extrude evenly. Finally Delete the polygons on both ends of the line.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 106

Add a Turbosmooth and place the element as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 107

Using the same techniques, create two similar objects and place them.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 108

Create a new Cone with 60 Sides, and Convert it to Editable Poly.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 109

Copy the element several times and place them in the locations of the red dots below.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 110

Using previous techniques, create a couple of different gear wheels. Copy and place them to add additional detail to the guitar. If you like, you can create something completely different, it's not necessary to use gears.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 111

Next, go to this element on the back side of the guitar. And switch the Reference Coordinate System from "View", to "Local" mode. Then select the polygons as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 112

Using the Move tool, Hold down Shift and drag the polygons outward. In the popup dialog, choose "Clone To Object" to make them a new separate object.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 113

Apply a Shell modifier and adjust the Inner & Outer amounts to get a result like this.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 114

Convert the object to Editable Poly and add additional edge loops as shown.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 115

Add a Turbosmooth and Copy the element 2 more times. Rotate them 120 degrees with the Rotate tool and position the copies like so.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 116

Next Chamfer the selected loop with low amount and 2 Edge Segments.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

Step 117

And that completes the model. The final result should look like this.

3D Studio Max Tutorial Modeling A Stylized Guitar

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