Window Tutorial – Pt. 1

It seems ambitious to title this part one of a window tutorial.  I guess that will keep me accountable to do a part two.

Here’s a tutorial I’ve been wanting to do for awhile.  I started trying to type it out once, but gave up, and ended up doing it as a video.

If your archviz workload is anything like mine, you’re building windows all the time, and they’re very rarely reusable objects.  There are always the built-in window objects in 3dsmax, but they have some severe limitations (I touch on this in the video), and don’t really have enough detail for today’s level of required realism.

Some basic assumptions for this tutorial:

  • Assumes some decent knowledge of 3dsmax and edit poly tools
  • Some functions are done by keyboard shortcuts.  I tried to give a verbal explanation when possible.

So, without further ado, here’s my first-ever video tutorial.  Hopefully it’s helpful.


So you’re thinking – I don’t know if I want to watch a 10:13 video on how to build a window model.  I’d rather read.  Here’s the short list of directions.

  1. Create a plane.  Use edit poly tools (if necessary) to give it the correct number of divisions.  You should have an edge/face layout that corresponds to your light/muntin layout.
  2. Using graphite modeling tools in the edit poly modifier, use Extrude/Bevel/Inset to split out the faces into the right shapes.  Once you need to move from outer frame into muntins (or is it mullions?), you’ll want to operate at the local face level.
  3. Apply material ID’s and materials.  I like to add a black gasket around the glass to give it a little more pop and realism.
  4. Using transform tools, move your object transform to max Y value.
  5. Mirror modifier to build the “inside” of the window.
  6. Edit poly, select boundaries, then bridge them to seal up gaps.

Good luck and happy modeling!