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Objects such as table legs and wine glasses are best modeled using a technique called a surface of revolution. A 2D spline curve is revolved around a central axis to create a surface. In 3ds Max, this is achieved through a modifier called Lathe. As you may know, a lathe in the real world is a machine that cuts a spinning piece of wood or metal.

This tutorial is very thorough; it will take about two hours to complete. In it, you’ll construct a professional quality model from real-world reference. You’ll learn to create custom curves using Editable Spline, apply and adjust a Lathe modifier, and control the level of detail of your model.

You’ll also learn all about how to set up a 3ds Max scene for the correct real-world scale. This is a very important process, but it’s not obvious to new users. So that is where we’ll begin, setting a scene and establishing good habits for digital asset management. Along the way, we’ll also take a look at customizing the 3ds Max user interface. We will set the color and layout of the viewports to our preferences.

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