Box Modeling > Need help...


Hello, I am fiddling around with Box modeling in 3ds max 5 andI am trying to get the hang of car body modeling. just what curves look like and the general idea. anyways I am just doing a imaginated formula style body and I have a couple of questions…

that is my body so far

I was wondering how to do certain things such as fatten the edges surrounding the air ducts and custom detailing because with mesh smooth i seem to have little control over how the smoothing is done and where it smooths…like what if I want a really hard edge in the nose…how do i get it unsmooth?



Something I learned about only very recently… vertex weighting. Try fiddling with this: select some vertices and in the edit Vericicies section, you have a Weight field with a spinner. If you increase the number, the verticies seems to pull the edges around it closer to it, while if you decrease it, they push away.

Do some experimenting. After learning about this feature, I was able to make a world of difference in my modeling.

Also try adding more edges, polys, etc. Like where your ‘vents’ are, try selecting the edges around the entrance to it and chamfer it to add a 2nd edge.

Of course, I’m still fairly new and I’m sure some vets will have much better advice than me.


I would personally recommend staying away from weighting. Not that one cannot us it, but for what you are trying to do, it’s the wrong direction to take.

The closer an edge is to another edge, the tighter and harder the smooth will become. This is FUNDEMENTAL to all organic and semi-organic(ie hard surfaces) modeling. Here is a an image I lifted from the “Theoretical Sub-D” thread(in the max tip sub forum):

Notice how by building in “edge tension”, you can sort of program your mesh to respond properly to meshsmooth(catmull-clark or “NURMS” smoothing). If you are in the mood for a long read, check out the Theoretical Sub-D thread. I’m in the process of writing a manual on all this stuff, but it won’t be out for a while longer.

Also, to “thicken” those air ducts, you will have to inset the surrounding polys so that the ducts actually have thickness. Right now, it looks like you just extruded them in.

Let me know if that made sense.


check this thread out…


Don’t go near vertex weight… it’s EVIL!

Chamfer the edges and then use Meshsmooth and you will get the hang of it pretty soon.


or use smoothing groups, if you are working in max


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