3DS-Max Tutorial: How to Model a Shipping Crate

In this tutorial you will learn how to model a shipping crate and then texture it as seen in the image.

End result:
How to Model a Shipping Crate Final Image

avatar acharyaD

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Practice tutorial


Step 1

First create a box in the perspective view port.

Step 2

Next Right Click and convert to editable poly.

Step 3

Next Save your model in a directory of your choosing.

Step 4

Next I like to use a base color on my modeling so I have better control, so bring up your materiel editor, short key is M and apply a light brown color.

Step 5

Next activate edge mode and select all the side edges.

Step 6

Next apply a connection of 2, make your new lines so you get something like the image. I can not give you an exact distance or size here because everyone boxes are different sizes, however I used a pinch of 82.

Step 7

Next select all the top and bottom polygons as seen here.

Step 8

Next click Detach As Clone so you make a copy of the polygons.

Step 9

Next Right Click on the main box object and chose Hide Unselected, so everything is hidden except your new polygons.

Step 10

Next we want to ad the Shell modifier, so ad this through your modifier panel.

Step 11

Next after you have applied the Shell modifier and increased its setting to something you like, apply another edit poly modifier and collapse tall the modifiers by Right Clicking and choosing Collapse All.

Step 12

Next select the polygons of the top bar and while holding down Shift, drag a copy to the middle of your box.

Step 13

Next you can do the same as the last step, but this time we want to rotate 90 degrees and then make two copies. Then attach everything so it all becomes one piece.

Step 14

Next we are going to apply a Unwrap-UVW modifier to our model for texturing.

Step 15

Next click on Open uv editor to view your mapping, the checkerboard box you see is where all our mapping should be place in.

Step 16

Next chose Mapping then Normal Mapping, to open up the mapping box.

Step 17

Next chose Box Mapping. You can try other options if you like, however in my experience box mapping is the best for mapping a box.

Step 18

This is what you should end up with when using the box mapping. An important note here, this is only the mapping for the box object, all the panels we created will be separately mapped.

Step 19

Next we need to texture all the planks, so we can do this two ways, first you can individually uv map each plank and position them on the checkerboard square.


You can just uv map one plank, then ad another edit poly modifier and collapse all your modifiers, then delete all the other planks that are not uv mapped and then re-copy your mapped plank, so now all your planks are mapped using the same map.

Step 20

Do the same steps as before, and you should get something like this. The first set labeled one is for the box bands that will be going over the box. The second set labeled two is for the planks that will hold the box together.

Step 21

Next click on Tools then Render UV Template.

Step 22

Next step is to input your template size and then click Render UV Template. I like to use a large size, so I chose 4096 X 4096 you can always re-size later. Next Save your template to your modeling directory.

Step 23

Next open up your new template in Photo shop.

Step 24

Next use your magic wand tool and click on the black area, selecting everything. Next click on Select then Inverse to invert your selection.

Step 25

Next copy and paste your new selection so you have a cutout. Name it cutout.

Step 26

Next Right click your new cutout layer and chose Blending Options.

Step 27

In Stroke settings give it a size 8.

Step 28

Next create a new blank layer under your cutout layer and then Right click on your cutout layer and chose Merge Down.

Step 29

Save your texture in your texture folder. I like using a TIF format because it keeps the layers and is very easy to save.

Step 30

Next create a new layer between the cutout and background layer and fill it with a light brown color.

Step 31

You should now have something like this.

Step 32

Next we need to get our textures we will use with our model. There are many great texture websites available. These are my favorites.



look for some nice wood plank textures or wood board textures. Next bring those textures into photo shop and arrange them so they align up with your cutout like this.

Step 33

Next go to 3DS Max and apply your new texture map you created in Photo shop. Once it is applied, any change you make to the original texture will automatically update on your model so you can see what it looks like as you work.

Step 34

Next I filled the box bands with yellow as seen here.

Step 35

Then I created some light black bands along the strips.

Step 36

You get something like this in 3DS Max.

Step 37

Next create the plank textures as seen here, use a wood texture for them.

Step 38

Next we want to make our planks a little bit darker in color, so go to Image then Adjustments then Brightness/Contrast.

Step 39

Use a setting of Brightness -42 and Contrast 67.

Step 40

We should have something like this.

Step 41

Next take your paint brush and create four small black dots at the end of one of your planks. These will be our bolts.

Step 42

To make our bolts stand out we need to apply some Bevel and Emboss. So Right Click on your new bolt layer and chose Blending Options. Then give your bolts a size of 4 and a depth of 100.

Step 43

Out model should look like this now.

Step 44

Next we are going to create a label for our shipping crate. There is a really great website for doing this. http://www.warninglabelgenerator.com you can generate any kind of label to use on your 3d models or on anything.

When you have your label made, place it some place on your texture like this.

Step 45

Keep looking at your model as you update your texture, you should now get something like this.

Step 46

Next step is to create some text for your texture. I places some text on the box bands and on the box as well, this is what I did.

Step 47

This is what we get after the text is applied.

Step 48

The final texture has a bit of dirt on the box, I took some rust texture and placed it over the main texture then changed the blending mode to overlay.

Step 49

This is the final render.

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no avatar
Guest says:

good !

(5 years and 1834 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

I got lost at step- 17 to 21.... You put so much detail into things earlier that really didn't need to be explained but once it got to UV- unwrap you just started skipping -- cramming alot into one sentance with out explaining what or why you are doing it.... classic bad tutorial steps

(5 years and 1820 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

step 19 is so awful its not funny

(5 years and 1820 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

I agree with the other comments, the steps between 17 and 19 are horribly written and very vague. You need to go step by step and explain us why you're selecting or doing a specific operation.

(5 years and 1819 days ago)
avatar acharyaD
acharyaD says:

Well I am still learning how to write good tutorials.

(5 years and 1814 days ago)
no avatar
Rik says:

I believe this to be a great tut, though I did use my own method of UVW-Unwrapping I think that a person with some experience in texturing and unwrapping should have no problem with this tutorial. Though I understand that this is a tutorial to learn from. UVW-Unwrapping is something that is simply not explained in 2 or 3 sentences. Though I must say that the author does explain the steps as they should be. But if you want to unwrap, look for a UVW-Unwrapping tutorial. And don't go tell this author he makes bad tut's. Because It helped me a lot, especially the steps after the unwrapping. And the clear images that display the steps were spot on!

So plz don't hold back on making more great tutorials!

(5 years and 1799 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

This was a good tutorial up to step # 18.

i was able to follow the modeling process even though there were some omissions in the process of making the bands.

Being an absolute beginner at the mapping process, I was able to map the box. I was also able to map the planks.

But you left out the most important part of the mapping process. How to combine the box map with the plank map, so we beginners can render the template for the texturing process.

The rest of the tutorial covers the process of creating the texture in PS very well.

It is a shame that I am unable to complete this tutorial.

You would have learned more, if you had taken the time to correct the problem between steps 17 & 19, instead of giving that lame excuse...

(5 years and 1468 days ago)

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