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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Modeling
Cgi

Creating an Ancient Letter in 3ds Max

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

1. Creating and Unwrapping the Paper Mesh

Step 1

Create a plane in 3ds Max with width and height dimension as 80 each.

create a plane
create a plane

Step 2

Apply the Unwrap UVW modifier on the plane.

unwrap the plane
unwrap the plane

Step 3

With the Polygon and Select By Element XY Toggle options selected, click and select any of the faces of the plane. It will automatically select the entire faces.

unwrap the plane
unwrap the plane

Step 4

After that, click on Planar map and then Fit button.

planar mapping
planar mapping

Step 5

Then click on Open UV Editor button. It opens the Edit UVWs window.

edit uvw
edit uvw

Step 6

Inside Edit UVWs window, go to Mapping > Flatten Mapping. It opens the Flatten Mapping sub-window. Here click on OK.

flatten mapping
flatten mapping

Step 7

It opens the UV of the plane in a planar manner.

planar uv
planar uv

Step 8

Go to Tools > Render UVW Template.

render uv template
render uv template

Step 9

Set the Width and Height values to 2048 each and then click on Render UV Template button.

render uv template
render uv template

Step 10

It renders the UV image. Click on Save Image icon to save the image.

save rendered uv template
save rendered uv template

Step 11

Save the image as UV.jpg in your hard drive.

save the uv
save the uv

2. Creating Textures and Maps

Step 1

Open Photoshop. Go to File > Open and open the UV.jpg file.

open photoshop
open photoshop

Step 2

I have an old paper texture which I bring in the scene.

old paper texture image
old paper texture image

Step 3

Make a new layer filled with black color and put it beneath the old paper texture layer.

black background
black background

Step 4

With the help of Lasso Tool, make a selection around the page as shown in the following image.

lasso tool selection
lasso tool selection

Step 5

Press Ctrl-Shift-I to invert the selection.

invert the selection
invert the selection

Step 6

Press Delete key to delete the selected part. The paper looks torn from the edges now.

erase the border
erase the border

Step 7

I have a Greek Text image in PNG format which I bring into the scene. I have put this layer above the paper layer.

applying ancient text
applying ancient text

Step 8

With the Greek Text layer selected, change the mode to Overlay. It makes the texts embedded  with the paper.

overlay the text layer
overlay the text layer

Step 9

Make a duplicate of the text layer to make it more prominent.

duplicate the text layer
duplicate the text layer

Step 10

Now it’s time to make the Displacement Map. Turn off all the layers and make a new layer and fill it with white color.

white layer
white layer

Step 11

Make one more new layer and create some dark patches as shown in the following image. Then save it as displacement.jpg.

save as displacement map
save as displacement map

Step 12

After that, turn on all the layers and turn off the white layer. Apply the Color Balance effect on the patches layer and change its color to orange pale. Finally save it as color_diffuse.jpg.

save as diffuse map
save as diffuse map

Step 13

Now turn off all the layers except the White BG layer and then save it as opacity_map.jpg.

save as opacity map
save as opacity map

Applying Textures and Maps in 3ds Max

Step 1

Open 3ds Max file. Press M to open the Material Editor. Select an empty slot and put the color_diffuse.jpg file in the Diffuse channel. You will see the texture has been applied on the paper.

applying diffuse map
applying diffuse map

Step 2

Press Shift-Q key to render the scene. You will see the black border around the edges of the paper. You need to eliminate this black border with the opacity map.

problematic black corners
problematic black corners

Step 3

Put the opacity_map.jpg file in the Diffuse channel.

applying opacity map
applying opacity map

Step 4

Press Shift-Q key to render the scene. Now you won’t see black border anymore.

render the frame
render the frame

Step 5

Now it’s time to apply some displacement. So, apply an Edit Poly modifier on the paper mesh.

applying edit poly
applying edit poly

Step 6

Click twice on the Tessellate option to make the mesh tessellation dense.

tessellate the mesh
tessellate the mesh

Step 7

Now, apply Displace modifier on the paper mesh.

applying displace modifier
applying displace modifier

Step 8

Click on Bitmap channel and select the displacement.jpg file.

select the displacement map
select the displacement map

Step 9

Set the Strength value to -0.8. You can increase the map’s Length and Width also to make it fit. You can see the paper mesh being displaced in the viewport according to the displacement map.

decrease the displacement amount
decrease the displacement amount

Step 10

Press Shift-Q key to render the scene. It looks pretty good.

render the frame
render the frame

Step 11

For variation, you can make some black patches in the opacity map in Photoshop and save it again. It will automatically update the 3ds Max scene.

playing with opacity map in photoshop
playing with opacity map in photoshop

Step 12

Now if you render the scene in 3ds Max, you will see some holes in the rendered image. This is due to the black patches made in Photoshop.

rendered scene
rendered scene

Step 13

I have put some lights in the scene. After rendering, it looks like this.

final composited scene
final composited scene

Conclusion

In this tutorial I’ve shown you how to create an ancient and torn paper in 3ds Max using various textures and maps made in Photoshop. I hope you have enjoyed the tutorial.


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