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How to make a water plane in 3ds Max

So I've been using an old plane mesh I downloaded from a tutorial a while back for my ocean waves (so I never learned how they are setup lol), and I have no idea how to actually make one myself. The few I've tried to make come out extremely blurry and the tessellation doesn't work too well.

I have a working tessellation water/ocean material, but the mesh I used it on is quite small + loses a lot of detail when scaled up.

So how would I go about making/preparing one of these planes for my tessellated ocean material? Step by step instructions if possible so I can finally get this done right lol.

Thanks in advance :)

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asked Jun 19 '14 at 01:17 AM in Rendering

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  1. Create new scene

  2. Edit Units Setup... to make display units be centimeters, and World Units be centimeters (the second is most important)

  3. Click the "sun" icon that creates new geometries

  4. Click the "plane" geometry

  5. Roll out the "Keyboard Entry" panel

  6. Enter the width, height, and tesselation you want of the water plane

  7. Press Create

  8. Add a UVW Map modifier

  9. Set it to Planar mapping

  10. Set the U tile and V tile values to whatever number seems reasonable (say, 1 per 300 units of width/height, so if it's 3000 wide, set it to 10)

  11. Add another UVW Map modifier

  12. Change the UV channel for this modifier to channel 2

  13. Leave the UV tiling at 1 -- this channel is for light mapping

  14. Save your scene, and then export as FBX as per the Unreal FBX content pipeline documentation for Static Meshes

  15. Import into Unreal Engine

  16. Open up the mesh by double-clicking, and change the "light map coordinate" set to set 1 (it defaults to 0) -- coordinate set numbers are 1 lower in UE than in Max

  17. Place a copy of this mesh in the world

  18. Drag the Water - Ocean standard material onto this imported mesh

  19. Success!

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answered Jun 19 '14 at 01:32 AM

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avatar image Wisdomcube2000 Jun 19 '14 at 04:10 AM

Hey so I followed what you said, but my larger version still doesn't quite look right. The tessellation is off still (It moves, but it's very subtle/weak compared to the smaller scale one).

Do I need to change the tessellation in the material when it's used with a larger sized plane? Or is is something else?

avatar image Wisdomcube2000 Jun 19 '14 at 05:00 AM

Fixed it, just needed to tessellate the mesh a bit more. Thanks for your help.

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