3d Palm Tree


For this tutorial I assume that you have the basic knowledge of the 3D Studio MAX surface. For this tutorial no plugins are required! I have created the scene with 3D Studio MAX 3.1 but I guess that it works exactly the same way with MAX 2.0 because no special MAX 3 features are used.

After finishing the tutorial the final result should look like this:


1) Start MAX and reset it!
2) Create a cone with the following figures in the top-view:
radius1 = 30
radius2 = 40
height = 50
3) Go to the left-view and highlight the cone (segment of the trunk of the palm tree).
Click on the button and create 20 segments in the y-axis with a value of 45.

4) Group the 20 segments and give it a name.
5) Now bend the whole trunk with the bend modifier for 30 degrees and rotate is so that the lowest segment stands flat.

6) Let’s go on with the leaves:
Go to “create -> shapes -> line” and create something like the image below in the top-view:

7) Click on “change -> extrude” and choose an adequate value for the thickness of the leaf. Here I used 5.
8) Go to the left-view and add a bend-modifier to the leaf. I used 50 degrees and a direction of –90 to get the following result.

9) Go to “hierarchy” and move the pivot-point to the stalk of the leaf.
10) In the Top-view click on and use the following settings.

11) Repeat step 10 twice more but make the leaf each time a bit steeper and scale it smaller.
12) Group each bunch of leave and rotate each in the top view to make it look more different.
13) Move the bunches of leaves together to make the “head” of the palm tree.

14) Now move all the leaves to the top of the trunk and rotate the leaves according to the top segment of the trunk.
15) Scale it to a realistic-looking size.

16) Now assign an adequate texture to the leaves and the trunk.
17) Create a floor for the palm tree to stand on.
18) Finally create a light and let it cast shadows.
19) Have fun