Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

LinkedIn Learning

3ds Max: Game Prop Creation

via LinkedIn Learning


Explore the world of modeling and texturing game props in 3ds Max, from cloning to painting textures.

Explore the world of modeling and texturing game props and assets in Autodesk 3ds Max. Author Adam Crespi demonstrates how to create both small and large props, from tools to shipping containers. The course begins with cloning and instancing objects for ease of modeling and unwrapping, and segues into multiple methods of unwrapping and painting texture by hand in Adobe Photoshop. Adam looks at various plug-ins that assist with normal map generation as well as sculpting in Mudbox, a digital sculpting application that can add realism and detail to your models. Finally, the course shows how to add lights to a scene and preview the objects in-game.

Note: A familiarity of basic modeling and unwrapping techniques in 3ds Max and a working knowledge of Photoshop will help you get the most out of this course.


  • Welcome
  • What you should know before watching this course
  • Using the exercise files
1. Modeling a Large Prop (Shipping Container)
  • Overview of modeling a large prop
  • Laying out the overall form and planning for modular textures and models
  • Adding the framing components
  • Adding the side panels
  • Unwrapping the sides
  • Unwrapping one corner box
  • Unwrapping one of each frame member
  • Laying out the UV coordinates
2. Texturing the Shipping Container
  • Overview of the texturing process
  • Creating a bump map for the corrugated sides
  • Adding more details to the bump map
  • Drawing the bump map for the door
  • Adding details to the doors
  • Painting the diffuse texture: planning the layers
  • Painting the base coat and logo
  • Adding tracking labels and other markings
  • Adding soft rust
  • Adding rust bubbles
  • Setting up a library of shipping container textures
  • Painting dirt and rust variations
  • Transferring wear from the diffuse texture to the bump map
  • Converting bump maps to normal maps
  • Testing the maps
3. Modeling Tools and Small Props
  • Overview of modeling small props
  • Modeling a sledgehammer
  • Adding detail and smoothing groups
  • Unwrapping as part of a texture sheet
  • Modeling a ladder
  • Adding detail and smoothing groups
  • Unwrapping for the ladder
  • Placing the clean texture
  • Laying out a texture sheet for multiple tools
  • Painting galvanized steel
  • Adding dirt and wear
  • Planning for optimal texture usage
  • Painting dirt and age variations
4. Modeling Furniture
  • Modeling furniture using simple parts and reusable textures
  • Planning and analyzing the modeling of a chair
  • Blocking out the basic form
  • Adding detail and smoothing groups
  • Refining the silhouette
  • Unwrapping for the chair
  • Painting the fabric
  • Making a normal map for the fabric
  • Planning the modeling of a table
  • Blocking out the basic table form
  • Adding legs and skirt boards to the table
  • Breaking up the model for texturing
  • Laying out the wood texture
  • Reusing parts to make a round table
5. Painting a Wood Texture from Scratch
  • Understanding the importance of painting textures from scratch
  • Creating the initial grain lines
  • Adding value variation across the grain
  • Warping and curving the grain
  • Adding knots
  • Colorizing the grain and planning for stains
  • Cutting out boards for a UV layout
  • Adding patina and wear to a final texture
6. Workflow and Integration
  • Understanding the importance of a low poly count
  • Overview of normal maps
  • Modeling a high-poly work for projection
  • Overview of the pipeline
  • Planning edge flow for elegant modeling
  • Smoothing groups
  • Adding details by beveling and extruding
  • Adding hinges
  • Using Push/Pull and Soft Selection to add dents
  • Baking the high-poly mesh onto the low-poly model to produce a normal map
7. Sculpting and Painting in Mudbox
  • Overview of Mudbox
  • Preparing for a smooth export to Mudbox
  • Importing from Mudbox: choosing the right resolution
  • Using the sculpt tools in Mudbox
  • Painting in Mudbox
  • Exporting paint layers from Mudbox
  • Extracting and exporting a normal map from Mudbox
  • Projecting normal maps from a Mudbox model
  • Importing and assigning objects and maps in Unity
8. Ambient Occlusion and Specularity
  • Overview of ambient occlusion and specularity
  • Setting up ambient occlusion as a texture
  • Using ambient occlusion as a foundation for rust and dirt
  • Using ambient occlusion to add detail to textures
  • Painting a specular map
  • Streamlining the import process: placing maps in the right channels
9. Importing into Unity and Testing
  • Overview of importing into Unity
  • Preparing and exporting large props to Unity
  • Creating a new project in Unity and importing textures
  • Cloning props in Unity with different looks
  • Adding lights to test smoothing and textures
  • Refining materials
  • Final thoughts

Taught by

Adam Crespi


Start your review of 3ds Max: Game Prop Creation

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.