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Modeling A High Poly Fantasy Inspired Axe In 3D Studio Max

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In this tutorial we are going to create a very cool stylized axe model completely inside 3D Studio Max. We are going to use different modelling techniques and primitive objects to create the model as well as some interesting positioning tricks to arrange some of the model's elements.


Step 1

First we create a Cylinder with 18 Sides and 40 Height Segments, and Convert it to Editable Poly by Right clicking and choosing Convert to > Convert to Editable Poly. After that select the edges loops shown Below.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 2

In the Modifier panel, under the Edit Geometry rollout. Check the Edge constraint option and rotate the edges around 25 degrees.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 3

Select the polygons shown in the picture and extrude them outwards.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 4

Select the polygon loops between the loops we extruded in the previous step, and extrude them outward with the same height amount.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 5

Now delete the top and bottom polygons of the cylinder, so we have holes on the top and bottom. After that add a Turbosmooth modifier and set the Iterations to 2.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 6

Create a new Box and Convert it to Editable Poly (Right Click > Convert To > Convert To Editable Poly.) Select the front polygon and extrude it out and then Scale it on the X axis as shown.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 7

Add two new Edge Loops as shown in the picture.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 8

Extrude the side polygon outward and add another Edge Loop through the center, as shown below.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 9

Tweak the vertices as shown to create an angle on the side. Select the bottom polygon and Inset it, then extrude it down. The result should look like the picture below.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 10

Add two new Edge Loops on the top, and two more Loops on the bottom of the shape.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 11

Select the polygons between the loops we just created and extrude them inwards.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 12

Add two loops in each of the places shown in the picture below, with a pinch value of 70.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 13

Add more vertical loops with pinch value of 70 in the places shown below, so we can avoid errors in the mesh when we later add our Turbosmooth.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 14

We need to keep only one loop in the center in order for our shape to be oval when we smooth it. Therefore we'll add two more loops at the top and bottom with a Slide value of 90 and -90.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 15

Now Add a Turbosmooth and set the Iterations to 2.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 16

Create a new cylinder with 60 sides and place it as shown.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 17

Next Create two Tubes and set the Inner Radius to be the same as the Radius of our Cylinder. Then convert one of them to Editable Poly and from the Edit Geometry menu, and attach both Tubes together using Attach. Then select the three polygons on each Tube that face each other, and from the Edit Polygons menu, choose Bridge. If there is anything wrong like twisting etc. you can fix it with the twist option in the Bridge menu.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 18

Next Add new Edges Loops as shown.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 19

Add a Turbosmooth modifier and set the Iterations to 2, and place the element in the center of the two cylinders.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 20

Create new Box and Convert it to Editable Poly. After that add two Edge Loops and Extrude the polygons as shown in the picture. Then tweak the vertices so the shape looks like this.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 21

Add more Loops as shown, in order to have a nice shape after we add a Turbosmooth.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 22

Delete the top polygons, because they won't be visible. And add a Turbosmooth with the Iterations set to 2, and place it on the top of our cylinders.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 23

Create another new Cylinder and click the "Auto Grid" option in order for the cylinder to be created on the same plane as the surface below it. Convert it to Editable Poly and Inset it six times with the same value.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 24

Extrude the rings of polygons inwards, as shown. And move the center polygon a bit inward as well using the Move tool.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 25

Select the edge loops shown and Chamfer them with a low value (Edit Edges> Chamfer). Select the center polygon and Inset it once again. Then Delete the back polygon which we won't be able to see.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 26

Once again Add a Turbosmooth modifier and set the Iterations to 2.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 27

Create a new Box, convert it to Editable Poly and Extrude the four side polygons outward. Then scale the sides down as shown in the picture (without changing the height.)

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 28

Now Using Connect with the following settings: Segments 2, Pinch 90. Add new Edge Loops as shown, in order to get nice corners when we add Turbosmooth.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 29

Add Turbosmooth with the Iterations set to 2 and place the Box as shown.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 30

Create another new Cylinder with 18 sides. Convert it to Editable Poly, select the top and the bottom polygons, and Inset them.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 31

Once again Inset the top polygon with a lower value, and then one more time with a higher value.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 32

Select and extrude the polygons as shown in the picture below.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 33

Select the bottom polygon, extrude it downward and then delete it (because we are not going to see it in the final model.)

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 34

We are going to use Chamfer with a low value and the Connect Edge Segments set to 2, to get a nice shape when we smooth the element.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 35

Add a Turbosmooth with the Iterations set to 2 and create a new Box. Convert the box into Editable Poly and add a new loop as shown.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 36

Scale the front polygon down a bit and add 2 new edge loops on each side - Segments set to 2, Pinch 80.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 37

Add a Turbosmooth modifier - Iterations 2. Then go to the Hierarchy Panel > Adjust Pivot > Affect Pivot Only and copy the X, Y, Z values of the cylinder and paste them onto the box element. Next go to the Tools menu and choose Array...

In the Array dialog, go to Rotate Totals and click on the > icon next to "Rotate", and type 360 into the Axis degrees box. Under the Array Dimensions > Count, type 9 in the 1D field and hit OK. Then select the elements and group them (Group menu > Group.) Finally rotate the elements and place them in the right location as shown.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 38

Make three copies of the wheel and place them as shown. Scale up each one so the result looks like this.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 39

Delete the top polygons of the top wheel. Using Shift+drag and Shift+Scale, inset and extrude the edges to create the shape shown below.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 40

Add a Chamfer to the edges and then add a Turbosmooth modifier- with the Iterations set to 2.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 41

Make a new Sphere with 60 segments, and a diameter that will match the size of the hole in the wheel.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 42

Create a new Cylinder with 18 sides, convert it to Editable Poly and Inset the front and back polygons.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 43

Delete the center polygons on the front and back, as well as most of the other polygons. So we only have the polygons shown in the picture remaining. Also tweak the verticies to match the shape shown.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 44

Add three more edge loops as shown.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 45

Tweak the vertices once again, and then using shift + drag create the polygons in the middle. Then again tweak the vertices so you get a similar shape to what's shown.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 46

Again using Shift + drag add two more segments as shown.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 47

Add one more segment in the center and keep tweaking the vertices until you get this result.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 48

Because of the lack of detail, Delete the entire back side. Select the front polygons and using the Bevel tool create the details shown below on the selected polygons. The outer edges should be tweaked to get a edge like shape on the blade.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 49

Select the border edges and using shift + drag move it to the back in order to create an edge close to the front edge. Repeat the Shift + drag once more and then choose - Make Planar under the Edit Geometry rollout to straighten the back edges.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 50

Add new edge loops using Connect with the Segments set to 2, and the Pinch set to 80 (in the places shown in the image below.)

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 51

Then add an addition edge loop as shown below using Connect, Segments set to 1 and Slide set to 80, and -80 for the bottom part.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 52

Finally add a Symmetry modifier and then a Turbosmooth modifier with 2 Iterations.

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

Step 53

Place the blade element where it should be located on the head and then go to the Hierarchy panel > Affect Pivot Only and copy the X, Y and Z parameters of the sphere on the top, to the blade element we just created. Make two more copies using the Array tool (or Shift+Rotate) so the result looks like this. And that will complete the model!

Tutorial Modeling A High Poly Axe in 3d Studio Max Click To Enlarge

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