Max Gears 3d Studio Tutorial


Max Gears 3ds is an application for creating virtual three-dimensional models. It also has an animation component that enables users to create sequences of moving images of their models. One of the animation tools is called a constraint. Constraints tie the movement of one virtual model to another. By using this tool, you can simulate the classic simulation of intermeshed, rotating gears.

Create the Gears

Begin creating the gear simulation by opening 3ds Max and navigating to the Front view. Then, create the models of the gears. You can use a variety of object types for this task, but you’ll get to the gear simulation quicker if you use an object that looks like a gear right from its creation. The Star is such an object. You’ll find it under the Shapes category of objects.

Apply the Extrude modifier if you decide to make the gear with a star or other Shape object. Extrude will flesh the two-dimensional shape into a three-dimensional object. Be sure to let Extrude do its job by setting its Amount parameter to any small amount relative to the gear’s size. Also check both the Cap Start and Cap End boxes.

Make the second gear look just like the first by using the Clone tool on the first gear. Then, position the gears so they look intermeshed.

Make the Constraint

You have two gears at this point, but there’s nothing to tell the second gear to rotate when the first gear rotates. You can solve that problem with 3ds Max’s Wire parameters tool. You’ll apply this tool to constrain the rotation of the second gear to the rotation of the first gear.

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Right-click the first gear to get to its Wire Parameters item, then select this: “Transform,” “Rotation,” “Y Rotation.” Hook the dotted line that appears to the second gear, and choose the exact same transformation (“Transform,” “Rotation,” “Y Rotation”).

When the dialog box appears, replace the “Y_rotation” in the right text area with “-Y_rotation.” This action makes the second gear rotate the opposite way of the first.

Try the Rotation

Make the actual rotation constraint by pressing “–>,” then clicking “Connect.” You can view the rotation by selecting the first gear, then clicking the rotation tool. Choose the Z axis to rotate around, and drag to do the rotation. The second gear will rotate in the opposite direction of the first, just as if the two gears were actually intermeshed.