Even though I'm still new, I've been asked to write up a tutorial explaining how I make 3D characters in Max, so I've duly obliged. Since I'm working on the Warhammer FB mod, the character I'm making is one from that setting, but obviously it could be anything. Woodelf has kindly supplied me with a Word .doc of the tutorial for easier viewing, which you can download here. STEP ONE - PREPARATION! First things first: If you're modelling anything without reference material, stop it right now! Just about every artist in every medium uses some sort of reference, be it prelimenary sketches, blueprints, even those little wooden mannequins you can move into sex positions. It's very easy to use references with 3D graphics, so if you've got into the habit of just opening up Max and modelling blind, get out of it as soon as possible. The first thing you should do is draw up what you want to model, as a template to work over later. Since I'm making a humanoid, I drew him in the universal position from the front and the side. Note that I tried to keep the proportions equal in both pictures, so that the body parts line up. Essentially, you want this picture to be a schematic of your character. Also note that it doesn't have to be a GOOD picture, nor does it even have to be complete. There was no point drawing a second arm, when I can just make one in Max and copy it. The next step is to get that picture into Max to use as a template. In Max, Create a Plane and drag it out in the Front viewport. Since we're doing this for Civ, line the Plane up so the bottom touches 0 on the X co-ordinate (the thick black horizontal line on the grid) and the middle of the Plane is at 0 on the Y co-ordinate (the thick black vertical line) like so: With the Plane selected, switch over to the Modify tab and click the pull down Modifier List menu. Find the "UVW Map" and select it. This allows you to project an image onto your plane, which we'll do in a second, but first we need to tweak it a tiny bit. On the right hand side, with the UVW Map modifier still selected, scroll down and click the Bitmap Fit button. This basically tells Max to fit the modifier to a graphic file of your choosing. You'll be asked to pick a 'bitmap' (really it's any image file, it doesn't have to be a .bmp file), so go and find the template you drew earlier, and select it. Now we need to actually apply the image to the plane, so open the Material Editor (just press the M key on your keyboard) and click on this little button: It'll ask you to pick a Material, so pick Bitmap right at the top, and find the template picture you drew. You'll see the picture appear wrapped around the sphere in the Material Editor. Click and drag that picture onto the plane in your scene and it will apply it. However, you probably won't be able to see it, because the Material isn't set up for it, so we click this little button: This changes the Material to make it show up in your scene. You should be able to see it applied to the plane now. If you still can't see it in your Front viewport, you might need to change the viewing options to Smooth & Highlights. Right click on the viewport name in the top left corner, and select Smooth & Highlight. The picture should now show in your Front viewport. However, it probably won't be centred, and we need it to be, so there's still more tweaking to do! In the Modifier Stack, which is the list on the right side of all the modifiers you've applied, expand the UVW Map modifier and click on Gizmo. The Gizmo is a little device which controls the exact placement of the UVW Map. When you click it, you should notice a little yellow box appear on the Plane, with a green line on one edge. Click the Move tool and move your Gizmo over so that the Goblin (or whatever you're modelling) is centred, like so: Note that I also moved it down so that his feet actually lie on the 0 co-ordinate. That's the end of tweaking the UVW Map, but now we need the side view too. Luckily, we don't have to go through all that hard work again, because we can just copy the existing plane, including all its modifiers. Press Control + V on your keyboard and you'll instantly Clone the selected object. We now have two Planes, but we need to turn the cloned one to a right angle. So, in the Top viewport, with the new Plane selected, right click on the Rotate tool. You'll get a little dialogue box with 6 options. In Absolute:World, in the Z box, type -90 and press enter. You'll see the Plane turn, so the two Planes look something like this: Note, I moved the new plane over to the side a little, so the two Planes form a T shape instead of a + shape, but that's really just personal preference. If the side-on picture of your character isn't centred in the new Plane, then just go to the Gizmo like we did before and move it to the side. You should get the idea from the above picture. And then you're done with the Planes! Theoretically, you could just leave it there and start modelling your character, but you'll probably regret it in the long run as it can be hard to make out details, and the texture can warp slightly as you move around in 3D. It pays to take a few more steps and make life much easier in the end, so on we go. Click back to the Create tab, and click the Shapes button to see the below set of objects. Pick Line. Now you simply start to draw lines around your templates in the Front and Side viewports, sketching out the details with Lines as if you were tracing it on paper. Keep going until you've drawn many lines all over it to form the picture, as shown below. If you find that you've started drawing a line and suddenly you're at the edge of the screen and have no way of scrolling over ot keep drawing, simply press the I key on your keyboard. That will centre the viewport on your cursor, wherever it is. That way you can keep drawing lines without needing to stop,close the line, scroll and then start again. Great timesaver! Also, at any point you can right-click on the viewport name and change back to Wireframe so that it's easier to see which lines you have. When you have all the lines for both side and front views completed, you can delete the Planes because we don't need them anymore. But they're still an inconvenient jumble of lines, so let's put them together. In the Front viewport, right click on any of the Lines and select Convert To: Editable Spline. Once that's done, you can scroll down on the right side to the Attach option. Click that. Now click on all the other lines in the Front viewport. You'll slowly attach them all together into one big super Line! Be carefuly not to select any of the Lines that make up the side view, though, as you want the two to be separate. When that's done, go to the side viewport and repeat the process, attaching all those Lines together. You should end up with two Lines, one is the front view of your character and the other is the side view: Again, I moved them apart because I prefer it that way, but you get the idea. And that's the end of this first section of the tutorial. Now that we have those two templates properly adapted into Max, we can use them to make life much easier when we start to create our character, which I'll go into in the next step.