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The following is a very basic tutorial on how to create a reflective marble, or glass orb.


When I first started using 3D STUDIO MAX I was confused about how to use the materials, maps, etc., and could not find even a basic tutorial on how to use them, so I had to figure it out myself. As it turns out, one tiny little button was the key. (And I'll show you which if you keep reading...)

Anyway, here is how to make a reflective orb.

Create a sphere. Here's the first version of our orb:

Now open up the MATERIAL EDITOR.

Make a material of type RAYTRACE by clicking the type button:

and choosing RAYTRACE when the list appears.

Now change the settings to approximately those
seen below, specifically those in yellow:

The settings like DIFFUSE and TRANSPARENCY are changed by clicking the colored rectangle near by, and choosing the appropriate color. TRANSPARENCY, I believe, only goes by the lightness or darkness of the shade, so some level between (or including) black and white is all that is needed. DRAG that material to the orb object, which will apply the material.

Here is the orb after applying the RAYTRACE material:

Not too impressive. It needs some reflections. And here's the part I didn't figure out for a long while when beginning 3DS MAX: You could click the colored rectangle next to REFLECT and have it reflect evenly to a certain degree, but you can also apply a map to it by clicking this little button:

Do it, and select the FALLOFF map when the list appears. The settings for the FALLOFF map should be something like:

Change them appropriately, and play with these a little when you think you are finished.

Click this little bugger to get back "up" into the RAYTRACE material settings:

Here is the orb now:

Much nicer. I think so at least. Much of the remaining effects depend highly on lighting, backlighting, and of course you must give the orb an environment to reflect:

But for the most part, you can just play around with the settings to make it fit.

And that is a SIMPLE ORB.

(I have, since the creation of this tutorial, found a version of the elusive glass orb which is much better...much more realistic, much more glass-like.)

Basically, if you hollow-out the orb using boolean subtraction of another sphere, you get some nice reflections:



Tutorial by:

Brian Hauge









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