3ds max tutorial – Making of Dream House

We would like to present one of the most comprehensive 3ds max tutorial made by Hossein Yadollahpour.

This project started when we needed a simple building to practice modeling for one of verbal workshops of Archviz, and Fishbourne Quay project was suggested by one of my students. After ending the class, I decided to continue it in my free time, and I have reviewed many references for this, and the final result became The Dream House!

But today I’m going to share my experiences on this project with you so stay with me.

Building modeling

After ensuring the desired unit, we started the modeling process. To do this, we first received project images and information from the internet and mapped out views and plans with AutoCAD software. Our modeling method was so that at first, after entering the views and plan and trimming it on the scene with Line and we made the initial model with extruding, edit poly, and….

I investigated many references and tried to modify it to my taste to build around the building.

The Artakan Create Stairs plugin (https://www.cgsample.com/plugin/artakan-create-stairs) is a great and easy way to build a stair in 3ds max, I used the Rail Clone (https://www.itoosoft.com/railclone) plugin for the fences and the Floor Generator (https://cg-source.com/FloorGenerator) plugin for the wooden parquet.

Female swimmer

I used the Zbrush software and the ZBUILDER v2 (https://gumroad.com/l/bkElP) plugin to build the female swimmer model.

Don’t worry let’s review the process together!

1. In this section, click in Launch Zbuilder to run the program.

2. In this section you can make changes related to gender, appearance, and …

3. Click Edit Pose to create the desired Pose.

4. Here you can control changes in the joints and see the changes by clicking on any part of the body.

5. Once the changes have been made to Pose, finish the work with Done Pose, and then click Get Model to return to the Zbrush environment.

To make the water bubble I first simulated the Particles with the PhoenixFD (https://www.chaosgroup.com/phoenix-fd/3ds-max) plugin and eventually converted it to Mesh by the Frost (https://www.awsthinkbox.com/frost) plugin.

Finally, I created the clothes and hair of character with Marvelous designer and Max’s hair and fur, respectively.

Cloth Simulation

To create cloth, I prefer to use popular Marvelous designer (https://www.marvelousdesigner.com/) software. Because, simulation in this software is very easy and enjoyable and gives you high quality outputs.

Tree Modeling

I used the lovely SpeedTree (https://store.speedtree.com/) software to build the main project tree.


Environment modeling – 3ds max tutorial

To build the environment, I was very impressed with the atmosphere and the environment of Villa Begonia in Greece and decided to have this space in my work.

Well, first of all, I started modeling the terrain at 3ds max. I used the Populate: Terrain (https://populate3d.com/products/terrain/) plugin and then went on to work with 3ds max features like Soft selection and …

There are many ways to build rocks, but for this project I decided to use megascans models (https://quixel.com/megascans/) as the primary model.

The way it worked was that I put together several Megascans models in 3ds Max, and with the 3ds max features like FFD and … I created the primary form and then I brought them in my favorite form with Zbrush.

Underwater Ground – 3ds max tutorial

Before simulating the sea, one thing to note is that the land is under the sea because it has a great impact on the outcome. I first created a simple surface with the Populate: Terrain plugin in 3ds max and then embedded the model in Zbrush to make my favorite shape easier.

I also used the valuable collection of Substance Store – RDT Collection 1 / ROCKY-GROUND-01 for texture (https://www.rd-textures.com/product/collection-one/).

Finally I created the final details with Displacement during render.

Sea simulation

Simulating sea with details like SPLASHES & FOAM considering the high volume of the project was one of the most serious challenges for me. To build water, I used the powerful PhoenixFD plugin. But there were two important issues: particles simulation in this high volume of work was very difficult because it took a long time and required a powerful system!, the second point was that I was using Corona engine for rendering and there wasn’t the possibility of rendering Foam and Splash rendered by PhoenixFD in Corona Renderer.

To do this, I first tried to simulate the sea without Foam and….

In order to create details like Foam and Splash I decided to do a non-traditional approach. So after searching the internet and finding Foam related images, I made plans in Max and attributed water as a material to them and deleted the image border with Opacity map.

I know it wasn’t an ideal way but I had no choice!

Scattering with Forest Pack Plugin

For the scatter and paint models on the surface, I used the powerful Forest Pack (https://www.itoosoft.com/forestpack) plugin. You can see the evolution of plants scatter on the landscape below.

Project management

When you do a project of this size, project management is particularly important. I used the Forensic tool for project management in this project. You can see the steps in the photo below.

First go to https://www.sinisoftware.net/ and download and install the program

1-Run this program (note that this program works online!)

2-Scan the scene.

3-Now you can manage the general scene information. Even if the scene has a virus you can eliminate it!

Lighting & Render settings -3ds max tutorial

Don’t worry too much when you’re working with Corona because it doesn’t have complicated settings and doesn’t need to change the default settings for a long time. In the following, you can see photos related to lighting and final rendering settings.

Post Production – Photoshop tutorial

Well the whole thing was made in 3D, and eventually I did some color correcting with photoshop and Magic Bullet (https://www.redgiant.com/products/magic-bullet-suite/).

Well you’re not tired, Yes!? Thank you for being with me so far, finally, let’s have a brief overview of this process with this short video!

Final Render

Hossein Yadollahpour


My name is Hossein Yadollahpour. I was born in 1990 in Iran.I was introduced to CG world in 2001 when I was reading a tutorial book which was related to version 2.5 of 3D Max and then I was fascinated by CG world. My overall experience includes architectural visualization, environment design, character design, and VFX.

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1 Comment

  • Riaanvj

    Reply 20 November 2019 21:05

    Great project! Thanks for your detailed description.

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