Creating a Simple Realistic Looking Scene using Simple Objects

This is my first tutorial for 3DTotal, and I'm trying to help all beginner modellers (like myself) to achieve what they call photo realistic renderings.


Some people always want to be like others, for example, when you browse the image galleries of 3DTotal, you'll see there are a lot of great renderings. Then those peoples say, "Damn! What a bloody good renderings! What realistic! Can I do things like that?"

Then they start their 3D software up, but suddenly, they came to a stop, and start asking themselves, "How the hell am I supposed to go about creating a table?"

Some people don't know the basic moves, and too lame to learn the minor things, they just think, "I have to understand those expert moves!" but even experts learn from basic.

In this tutorial I'll show you some basic moves in creating simple object and try to make them realistic.


Create three planes or boxes to act as the walsl and floors. In my configuration, the floor properties are: Plane, 117, 117, Walls properties are: Plane, 100, 117

And I set the scene like this.

This kind of scene should fit our target

Now, let's prepare our simple objects.

1. Barrels

Properties: Cylinder, 13.0, 36.0 Segments 7,1,18
Then we convert it to editable poly so we can edit it more easily.

Finally, we make some adjustments to the vertices, so our cylinder looks more like a metal barrel.

Adjust the vertices for a little bit

Select the gaps surfaces so we can extrude/bevel them.

You can add some more chamfers at the edge to make the surfaces looks smoother.

Select the cylinder's cap and inset for 0.700 amounts. Extrude 'em inside for about -1.1 amounts. Then again, chamfer the edge near the cap.

And it finally looks like this

Finished! Looks a little bit smoother now

1. Cardboard/Crates

Properties: Box (the measurement is all up to you!) just makes heights and length equals.

For example, my box here is 20.0 and has two segments for each side.

Convert it again to editable poly and let's do some adjustments to the box! Select all surfaces and start insetting and beveling it so we have a result like this:

The crate is finished!

Let's move along and I'll show you to put the stuff into the scene and make it more reasonable.

Setting up the Scene

Let's set our scene so the set looks more lifelike and dramatics.
First thing to do is setting up the camera viewpoint. This step is very helpful to you to advance to the objects placements.

I set my camera like this

Then start clone those barrel and boxes to fill up the scene, then put them in a realistic order. And start doing some research on how nature put things up! :p and my final set looks like this:

Just make it simple, but natural!


This is the most awesome moments in modeling a scene!

I gather some resources for my scene, for the barrel I use this image:

For the wall:

Just concrete and Ground texture from MAX default materials, but amazingly remixed with some dirt and graffiti from the 3DTotal textures CD.

And for the box I use this image:

Then let your creativity and great dirt maps from 3DTotal textures CD finish em off!

I remix those standard textures using Photoshop blending moves and some textures are using the blend materials from MAX.

After few hours finishing on the textures. I add 1 light source from 1 omni light, put the shadow checked, and finally, my simple scene become like this:

Not too good, but enough

Not too good, but enough


This is the final part! Where lightings and camera effects make our simple scene become realistic.

I have rendered my scene using some techniques, like GI and DOF, and the final part look like this:

Try to put and play around with global illumination, there's a lot of GI renderers you can found in the internet, for example, Brazil, V-ray, final render...

And there's also a lot of GI and lightning tutorial you can found in 3DTotal, read them, learn them, and practice them with your scene.

Now go ahead and try it for yourself. If you have any questions about this tutorial, please feel free to email me, or post a topic in the forum.

Final Words

This tutorial are created and dedicated to those amateur and newbies on 3Dmodeling. I hope this tutorial isn't hard for you to follow. Many thanks to 3DTotal for great tutorials and Textures!

Many thanks,

Okii Shirow

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