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3D Studio Max - Realistic Glass

Written by kassinopious

This is a basic tutorial, suitable for beginners, it produces a realistic glass effect using only the scanline renderer. I used 3d Studio MAX 5 for this tutorial, but it will work with older versions.

1) Open up 3d studio max, select the 'front' viewport and click the min/max toggle in the bottom right-hand corner (max 4 users can just press 'w' i think) this opens the viewport into full screen.

2) In the create menu (arrow with a star at the end of the pointer) click the shapes button and choose line from the buttons.

3) Draw out half of your glass starting and ending in the middle and drawing it's right hand side.

4) Make sure that your line is selected and in the modify panel choose lathe from the drop down menu.

5) From the 'allign' options (the 3 buttons - min, centre and max) click the 'min' button and your line should suddenly look like a glass :). click the min/max button in bottom right corner again to show you all 4 viewports.

6) If your glass looks like it is inside out when you have added the lathe, simply check or uncheck the 'flip-normals' check box and it should looks correct.

7) You can increase the poly count for the glass by increasing the number of sides, i normally use 24 or 32 sides.

8) Press 'm' to open up the materials editor, select a sphere (any grey one of your choice). In the diffuse colour box change it to black.

9) In the maps rollout of the materials editor next to refraction click the box that says (none) and choose raytrace from the list. Leave the settings at 100.

10) still in the maps rollout select the box next to reflection, this time choose mask from the list. In the map box select a bitmap that you would like your glass to reflect. I used a picture of a restaurant dining room, since it seemed quite appropriate. Click the goto parent button (like a bent arrow, just below the spheres in the mats editor). Click the mask box and choose falloff, leave the default settings and click the apply to object button to apply it to your glass.

Render your scene and it should look something like this:

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