onno van braam
computer graphics, webdevelopment


A Rubber Boat

Step 1. - Reset 3D Studio Max
Step 2. - Go to to the Top View
Step 3. - Go to the create menu, shapes and select Line. Make sure that Initial Type and Drag Type are both on 'corner': they are in the Creation Method roll-out of Line. This is essential, because we do not want round or bezier corners.

Step 4. - Draw a line like I did (see image 1). It does not have to be exactly the same, but just make it roughly like mine: you should take in mind that the lines have to run parallel with the grid lines (the vertical ones) or else you'll get a very strange boat at the end! :)
Step 5. - Now go to the Left View
Step 6. - Select the Line again and go to the modify panel. Click Sub-Object (Selection => vertex for Max 4 users) and select the two dots numbered 1 and 2 in image 1.
Step 7. - Now move the two selected dots about 15 upwards (y-direction).

Now your image should look like image 2. The selected dots have a red circle around them.

Step 8. - Deselect the Sub-Object button again.
Step 9. - Go to the Front view to the geometry panel: select Cilinder. Draw a cilinder with a radius of about 15 and a height of 480: do not worry if they aren't exactly these values because you can always alter them later.
Step 10. - To make the cilinder these exact values, select it and go to the modify panel. There you can change all the dimensions and segments. Set radius to 15, height to 480, height segments to 100 sides to 20 and select smooth.
Step 11. - Now comes the trick with the previously made line and cilinder: PathDeform! This is an amazing feature which let you slide a shape over a line: very handy indeed. So select the cilinder, go to modify and select *Pathdeform as modifier, NOT pathdeform without the asterisk! Select Pick Path and select the line as path. Then click move to path and your scene would have to look like this:

Step 12. - Go to the Top View, select all objects and go the Display Panel and click Hide Selected. Now that we have some order, go back to the Create Panel and make a new box of about LxWxH = 200, 130, 1 and set length segments to 4 (Remember? in the Modify Panel . Go back to the Display Panel and Unhide by Name... and click Line01. Now that we have the line and the box in our view, we can make the box 'follow' line of the outer tube.

Step 13. - Select the Box in the Top View and go to the Modify Panel. . As modifier choose Edit Mesh. Choose Sub-Object (or Selection => Vertex for Max 4 users) and move the upper right and left vertices (it's a box so select both vertices on both sides (not at the same time of course))!so that they are lying exactly over Line01. The in the side view (still in Sub-Object mode) move the upper vertices also 15 upwards (y-direction). When you have done that, the box should look like this:

Step 14. - Now unhide everything in the Display Panel, select all objects and add a simple plain dark grey texture with a slightly higher Specular Level than normal: 50. Now you should have an image that looks like this:

Step 15. - Add two planks: at the back so the water doesn't come in and one to sit on. You can choose the size yourself, it does not really matter how big they are. I choose 30x132,5x1 for the back one and 40x130x1 for the one to sit on. This should be a piece of cake and therefore your perspective view should be looking like this at the moment:

Step 16. - The last thing what we are going to do in this tutorial is making some cones at the back because now the back is all straight and simple: not good looking. So go to the Front View and make a new cone from the Geometry Panel . Put it at the back of one of the ends of the cilinder and go to the Modify Panel and make the right dimensions of the cone. I made the cone like this: Radius1 = 15, Radius2 = 8, Height = 25. Now copy this cone by pressing your keyboard in this way: Alt, e, c, Enter and now you have cloned it (this can also be done by holding the shift-key and select-moving the cone). Now move this one at it's right place (see image 7) and you are ready!

TAADA! This is the end of this tutorial. I hope you learned some useful things! After this basic Rubber Boat, you could always add the details like an engine, row-spans, a rope along the side etc. just (like Bob Ross said): add things that you like and make it a more complete boat. When you've done that, then please send me your picture! I would love to see some results.


It's good to get a fresh way of liookng at it.
Can u upload a .3DS file of this boat?

Tnx in advance
Can u upload a .3DS file of this boat?

Tnx in advance
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Wilfred Alvarez
I like this tutorial very helpful to the boat I am making. thank you
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panthera tigris
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megalodon tooth
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megalodon tooth
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