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Making Of 'Drum Kit 101'

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(Score 4.71 out of 5 after 7 Votes)
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:


This was a personal project that I went ahead with; I've been using 3ds Max for two years, and more recently I've started using more than just Mental Ray. For this project, I decided to use V-Ray, simply for its fast calculations and realistic results. Plus it's easy as hell to use once your passed rendering a million spheres just because you can and just for the hell of it!

Now, this is my first ever tutorial so be kind... I will be using textures from the 3DTotal Textures V1: R2 DVD Collection. So let's get on with it!


First of all, I had to come up with a concept that I was capable of. I'm a drummer and know drums like the back of my hand, but I still used reference images for help. I used a photograph of my own drum kit (Fig01), plus a reference image which I found on the Internet (Fig02).

Fig. 01
Fig. 02


I started off with a simple cylinder, five segments in height. I created a cylinder for each of the pieces of the drum kit, so that was 5 cylinders in total.  I then created another cylinder which was much skinnier and taller, and placed it in the centre. I went to Create Compound Objects and ProBoolean (if you're using a version of Max 8 or lower, use Boolean). I then had the shell of a drum, then all I had to do was to instance it five times and re-size them - there's no point in actually making five separate pieces for a model like this (Fig03 & 04).

Fig. 03

Fig. 04


Next to be modelled were the details of the kit. All the fixtures are the same on a drum kit - screws, bolts and so on, so all I had to do was to make them once and duplicate them for as many as required!

I kept duplicating the required parts until I achieved what can be seen in Fig05, 06 and 07. Don't skimp on the details as these are what really make an image!

Fig. 05

Fig. 06

Fig. 07

I continued with the same process until my drum kit took shape and looked like what can be seen in Fig08.

Fig. 08

continued on next page >

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Narratorway on Thu, 18 July 2013 11:14pm
Actually, if you leave tons of holes in it, it IS a bad tutorial. And this is a bad tutorial. In point of fact, considering how much he DOESN'T explain, I'd call it a terrible one.
Logan Bailey on Wed, 13 June 2012 7:06pm
It's not a bad tutorial but you've left tons of holes in it. Like how you made the accessories. Sizes of things like the drums. This is of course for someone who is not as familiar with drums as you. The type of lighting at the end. It goes from point a to point be without explaining much of a procedure.
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