I assume you know 3DS Max basics.
This tutorial uses quite big pictures, so
please be patient when loading this.
Note! This tutorial is made with 3D Studio
Max 3. That doesn't mean users
of Max 2.x can't follow this tutorial.
You can do this tutorial
without any texture maps by using procedural
maps (Noise, Cellurar and Smoke).
It just doesn't give you as good results.
Click here for an example where's used ONLY
"Noise", "Cellurar" and "Smoke" to make the
Make a plane (Max 2.x users can make a patch)
Length segs: 40
Width segs: 40
Next step is to make a displacement map (in this
tutorial I used "Smoke" material).
For more detailed ground you can paint your own
if you like more control for your height map.
Result after displacement map.
Ok. Now make 2 more
copies of your terrain and move each one a
little bit down
and name them from top to bottom: "layer1",
"layer2" and "layer3".
Next open up material editor.
I used following three material slots "Diffuse",
"Opacity" and "Bump"
You should find following textures from your Max
For opacity I used 3D Studio Max 3 material
Max 2.x users can use "Noise" or "Smoke" maps.
Settings for Layer 1's Gradient Ramp.
Settings for Layer 2's Gradient Ramp.
You don't have to make exact copies, just make
sure that Layer 1 and Layer 2 have different
Note! I've noticed that if you put too small
number to "Size" (less than 1,0) it won't look
good when you render. So size does matter... heh
NO opacity map (because this is the last layer
and we don't want to see through it)
Bump slot: For all layers use noise map.
Now it's rendering time.
With any good luck you get
good results in first try, but usually you
don't. Then it's back to adjust your
You've probably noticed that this method
increases your scenes face count alot. Try this
(for Max 3 users, sorry).
When you're happy with your ground texture.
Select all the layers and select "Box Selected"
from the menu next to "Quick Render" button.
Now render from top view. Now you can set your
resolution which to render. Now you have a nice
Now delete layer 2 and 3 and apply this texture
to layer 1.
That's it for the ground.
Now let's watch these two pictures.
This one have background picture in old fashion way.
(You can see that background doesn't fit with the terrain)
Now how is that made you might ask?
This is how I made it.
See that blue box opposite to camera.
That's where I placed my sky texture and
you can see those 2 lights, which gives right tone for the sky and for the terrain.
(now it match better with the terrain).
If we think any further we'll see that this doesn't work if we are making animation.
Don't worry I've a solution (I think. Ofcourse I haven't tried this, but... it should work).
What if we make a hemisphere over our scene and apply our sky texture on that???
Now where ever you turn your camera you see the sky. AND if you make more layers of that sky
hemisphere you could easily do MOVING clouds by using "Noise".
I made a
picture where I combined both "Trees" and
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