Modeling a Tire in 3ds Max

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In this demonstration, Jeremy Baldwin takes you through the process of creating a highpoly tire in 3ds Max.


June 7, 2011 - 9:27pm

Another good one Jeremy. this can definitely come in handy for some quick hard surfacing. Laughing out loud

virendra (not verified)

June 8, 2011 - 12:35am

Good One Jeremy, like always very good techniques.


June 8, 2011 - 4:53pm

Glad it was useful. These techniques are good if your project is based more towards an in game bake. The shortcuts I used (example: Not connecting certain rubber elements together) Are good areas to cut corners because they can easily be fooled in the texturing process. This will save you time, and time is money Smiling Plus, why spend hours modeling the extra elements, when you could achieve almost the exact same result in a few minutes of texturing. I guarantee your boss will love you a hole lot more if you take the road to texture lol.

(Now, if your purpose is more photorealism and accurate HP showcase work, then you will want to spend the time to connect everything together so it looks accurate for showcase / folio work.)



June 10, 2011 - 1:47am

Thank you for the good tutorial!


June 10, 2011 - 10:10am

Your welcome bud Smiling Glad you got something out of it.




June 13, 2011 - 6:08am

Great tut mate!



June 13, 2011 - 12:39pm


Hopefully everyone will use some of these techniques as a spring board for something even better. 



muff (not verified)

June 16, 2011 - 3:13pm

Nice one! How did you add the support edges? It looks like quick slice but works great with complex planes...

Bob sess (not verified)

June 23, 2011 - 12:01pm

Does the file that you can purchase show how the tire was rendered for the image? Thanks Jeremy.


June 25, 2011 - 11:51pm

No it doesn't, but I can tell you how I rendered it. 
For this specific shot I simply:

1. Loaded model into Zbrush

2. Used Pewter Material (Available at Pixologic Library)

3. Rendered BPR (Custom settings) example: Occlusion, alias, etc.

4. Rendered Occlusion Pass using Custom Occlusion Material

5. In Photoshop, I applied the occlusion on top of the Pewter and set to multiply (Roughly 40%)

6. Grouped and duplicated. Then Merged Duplicated group (Merge Down) Shortcut = ctr + E

7. Applied Sharpen filter and desaturated 2 pixel radius.

8. Set it to Overlay. 

 - Done (Really simple and fast Smiling)

Hope that helps!



June 25, 2011 - 11:55pm

I also have demonstrated a second resulting design using these same methods. I have attached a 3DS Max File that has the tread design in it. 

Just in case you are interested in different topology and design Smiling\


Gerrons (not verified)

June 27, 2011 - 10:02am

Hi. I've the same question as muff - how to make a support edges? It's in vertex mode, but that isn't quick slice.. Its mean, i think it isn't

Anonymous (not verified)

June 27, 2011 - 11:19pm

To those asking, the way he does the support edges is by using swift loop.

Conor (not verified)

June 29, 2011 - 5:38am

Hi Jeremy, a very quick question if you would.

When your creating the new mesh, say at 19 mins, what function are you using so that you can create new mesh with just the scale/move tools? Its driving me nuts since i use extrude and it generally ends badly and its quite a slugish workflow. Have you hotkeyed a function in and if so what one?

Thanks for any help.

Conor (not verified)

June 29, 2011 - 5:41am

Sorry ignore that, i was being a idiot and had it constrained to faces so the hokeys i was using didnt work. *shift* if anyone else asks.

Anonymous (not verified)

July 8, 2011 - 11:37pm

Very nice workflow... if i may ask, which version of max are you using? are you using any additional tools or scripts to make the modeling process faster than normal?

Thank you!


July 20, 2011 - 12:43pm

I am using Max 2011 in this video. And there are no scripts or plugins, just basic max tools Smiling


Andreas Zinonos (not verified)

August 17, 2011 - 12:04pm

I have a criticism for your free videos. They are too fast paced and lack information, and it really really makes it difficult to keep up with them. I started watching this video and recreating the wheel, but from 0:30 when he started adding edges without explaining how to, he lost me. I kept watching the video and he also did a lot of things I didn't know how to do, so I just gave up Sad

Sami (not verified)

August 18, 2011 - 8:44am

Thanks for sharing this. Best tire modeling video I've seen.


August 22, 2011 - 11:28am

@Andreas Zinonos

The goal of this video is not to explain the tools I am using, its more geared on how I use them. So explanations of shortcuts and functions were short if none. There are a ton of videos and documentation though on the tools and their uses all over the net. We also have a great beginner dvd for 3ds max if you are just starting with the software:

Its packed full of awesome information and I would highly recommend it! Smiling

I can also try to explain some of the things I didn't really cover in the video. I believe the first thing you said was the looping tool I was using?
That is called "Swift Loop". I gave it a hotkey via Customize User Interface. (My shortcut is Shft+D) for swift loop.

If you have any other concerns please voice them and I will do my best to explain them to you. Thanks!


Anonymous (not verified)

September 27, 2011 - 4:21pm

I lost you at 2min03sec Did you unwrap the original tire cylinder that you made?

Anonymous (not verified)

October 3, 2011 - 8:02am


Isaiah Sleziak (not verified)

October 10, 2011 - 8:27pm

What is the tool you use to reinforce your edges? (quick slice? mine doesn't act like yours) what hot key is it?


October 11, 2011 - 6:10am

@Isaiah Sleziak,

The tool Jeremy was using is called "Swift Loop". He gave it a hotkey via Customize User Interface.

Behnam (not verified)

November 17, 2011 - 9:38pm

Your Tutorial was great mate! Thank you very much. I knew all the tools you used, but I didn't know how to combine them in modeling. Watching your tutorial gives me good ideas of how to use them better.

MrBlack (not verified)

January 6, 2012 - 6:21pm

Hi i got the whole tutorial except the first few seconds.
After you make the cylinder did you unwrap it or something to get the plane, cuz i didnt see you create the plane that you used as reference.

If you did unwrap how exactly did you do that.
Sorry if its a newbie question, im relatively new to max I used to model in Rhino and im trying to jump straight into 3DS max so some of the features are still a mystery.

Anonymous (not verified)

February 14, 2012 - 2:31am

Thanks, lots of great info here!

Ozzy (not verified)

June 2, 2012 - 6:00am

Wow nice one, I would like to know what shortcuts did you use

heljoshin (not verified)

June 19, 2012 - 3:58am


Anonymous (not verified)

September 19, 2012 - 11:50pm

wow nice tutor, great job. Laughing out loud
I'll use these techniques..

Anonymous (not verified)

January 30, 2013 - 5:03am

But treads are not uniforn in real, they are zigzak.