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Creating a Giant Robot Walking in a Live Action Scene

In this multi part tutorial series, I’ll show step wise how to make a giant robot in 3ds Max. I will do unwrapping and apply realistic metallic texturing and lighting to the robot model. 

It will be then rigged using the bone system in 3ds Max and after that I’ll animate it. The live action footage will be then tracked in Boujou and after animation, I will composite all the materials in After Effects.

Preview

1. Creating the Main Body

Step 1

Open 3ds Max.

Open 3ds Max
Open 3ds Max

Step 2

In the Left viewport, press Alt-B key on the keyboard. It
opens the Viewport Configuration window. 

Turn on Lock Zoom/Pan
and Match Bitmap options. Click on Files and go to the reference
file location and load the robot image.

Configuration window
Configuration window

Step 3

This image comes from Aleksey Voznesenski who has made a fantastic
tutorial series based on Cinema 4D. You can see his tutorial Build & Animate a Two-Legged Walking Robot

Cinema 4D
Cinema 4D

Step 4

After importing the reference image in the left viewport, you will see
something like this. I’ll follow the reference image only till certain
extent. Rest will be based on the creativity.

Reference image
Reference image

Step 5

Go to Create > Geometry > Standard Primitive and select Sphere.

Sphere
Sphere

Step 6

Draw the sphere in the perspective viewport with the Radius as 130
and Segments as 10.

Draw the sphere
Draw the sphere

Step 7

Open the Modifier list and apply FFD 4x4x4 modifier onto the
sphere.

FFD 4x4x4 modifier
FFD 4x4x4 modifier

Step 8

Open FFD 4x4x4 rollout and select Control Points. With
the front and back control points selected, reshape the sphere according to the
reference image.

Control Points
Control Points

Step 9

Make a right click on the sphere mesh and convert it into Editable Poly.

Editable Poly
Editable Poly

Step 10

Jump in the vertex selection mode and then rearrange the indicated vertices
as shown in the following image.

Vertex selection mode
Vertex selection mode

Step 11

Press 4 on the keyboard to jump in the face selection mode. Select
the faces as shown in the following image.

Face selection mode
Face selection mode

Step 12

With the faces selected, set the Set ID as 1 and press Enter
on the keyboard. The selected faces get the id no. 1.

Set ID
Set ID

Step 13

Press Ctrl-I key on the keyboard to select the inverted faces. With
the inverted faces selected, set the Set ID as 2 and press Enter
on the keyboard. The selected faces get the id no. 2.

Set ID
Set ID

Step 14

With the id no. 1 faces selected, apply Extrude command twice to
extrude the selected faces a bit.

Extrude command
Extrude command

Step 15

You can see the result in smooth shaded mode after applying the Turbo
Smooth
modifier.

Turbo Smooth modifier
Turbo Smooth modifier

2. Creating the Leg

Step 1

Go to Create > Geometry > Extended Primitive > Chamfer
Cyl
and draw the shape in the perspective viewport as shown in the
following image.

Chamfer Cyl
Chamfer Cyl

Step 2

Convert the mesh into Editable Poly.

Editable Poly
Editable Poly

Step 3

With the indicated faces selected, apply Extrude command to extrude
the faces as shown in the following image.

Extrude command
Extrude command

Step 4

Keep extruding the faces as shown in the following image.  

Keep extruding
Keep extruding

2. Creating the Foot

Step 1

Go to Create > Geometry > Standard Primitive > Sphere
and draw the shape in the perspective viewport as shown in the following image.

Sphere
Sphere

Step 2

Increase the Hemisphere value to cut the sphere in half as shown in
the following image.

Hemisphere
Hemisphere

Step 3

Turn the hemisphere into editable poly. Jump in the vertex selection mode
and adjust the vertices as shown in the following image.

Editable poly
Editable poly

Step 4

Delete the top faces of the foot mesh.

Delete the top faces
Delete the top faces

Step 5

With the help of Connect tool, insert two supporting edges as shown
in the following image. 

Connect tool
Connect tool

Step 6

Following the same way, insert two more supporting edges in the bottom.

Supporting edges
Supporting edges

Step 7

Insert several more edges and adjust the vertices to make the foot mesh as
shown in the following image. I am not following the image reference 100% as I
am adding my own creativity to it.

Insert several more edges
Insert several more edges 

3. Creating the Extra Parts

Step 1

With the indicated faces of the mesh selected, apply Extrude command
to extrude the faces as shown in the following image.

Extrude command
Extrude command

Step 2

Go to Create > Geometry > Extended Primitive > Chamfer
Cyl
and draw the shape in the perspective viewport as shown in the
following image. 

Chamfer Cyl
Chamfer Cyl

Step 3

Turn the mesh into editable poly. With the indicated faces of the mesh
selected, apply Extrude command to extrude the faces as shown in the
following image.

Extrude command
Extrude command

Step 4

Make a duplicate copy of the entire leg system and place it to the opposite
side as shown in the following image.

Duplicate leg
Duplicate leg

Step 5

The basic model of the robot is completed. In the next part of the tutorial,
I will show you how to unwrap and texture the robot with realistic materials
and shaders, lighting and rigging procedure.

Test render
Test render

Conclusion

I am making a very basic robot model for the tutorial purpose. But I will show each and every step in detail which you can follow to make your own detailed version.