Quickly create 3D objects using Loft

Lofting 3D objects - FINAL

Lofting is an easy-to-use technique that will repeat a shape along a path, thus creating a 3D object. The Loft command can help you create really interesting 3D objects in very little time. In this tutorial we’ll create some cool 3D text using the line tool and some basic geometric shapes. The article is beginner friendly ofcourse.

We’re using 3DS Max 2011 but the process is basically the same on most of the previous versions. That being said, the 2011 version has loads of improvements and you should really check it out.




1/5 The paths

Launch 3DS Max and maximize the front view by pressing alt+w. Click the Create{Create Tab} icon, Shapes icon {Shapes tab} and create two smooth, curved lines. They don’t have to mimic the lines we’ve created.
Lofting 3D objects - create the shape

2/5 A basic loft Shape

From the Shapes {Shapes tab} / Splines tab create a small circle.
Lofting 3D objects - create a circle

3/5 Loft away

Make sure the first shape is selected and click the Create drop-down, hover over the Compound entry and click the Loft command:
Lofting 3D objects - select path/ loft command

Click Get Shape and click the circle. The circle will be duplicated a large number of times along the path, creating a tube-like object. This is all there is to basic lofting.
Lofting 3D objects - get shape/ click circle

4/4 Advanced Lofting

The Loft command works on any shape, even non-standard ones. This can help you create really interesting objects and effects.

Create a small Rectangle under the second path:
Lofting 3D objects - create rectangle
Convert the rectangle to an editable spline by right clicking it and selecting the Convert to Editable Spline:
Lofting 3D objects - convert rectangle to Editable Spline
Click the Vertex icon {Vertex icon}, scroll down and click the Refine button. Add four new vertices to two of the rectangle’s sides:
Lofting 3D objects - add vertices using the Refine tool

Continue reading on page 2 (almost done now)

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Tudor:

Programmer and 3D enthusiast. Teaches web design, builds games and maintains this site in his spare time.

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Iulian:

2D/ 3D artist. Loves game& product art.

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Vlad:

2D/ 3D artist. Works as a print designer and does 3D art in his spare time.

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