How to Create Grass in 3ds Max

After having posted the tutorial on how to create a night rendering I’ve been asked a several times through both comments and emails, how I did the grass in that rendering. Therefore, I’ve decided to do a little tutorial about creating grass as well.

1) Create a plane, or a surface that will lately become the grass.
2) Apply whatever tilebale texture on the diffuse chanel.
3) Apply a planar UVW modifier to the plane or surface you have just created.
4) Apply a vray displacement modifier above the uvw in the modifier stack.
-under “paramenters” check “2d mapping”
-under “common params” select a displacement map for your grass.
This is actually the most important factor; if your displacement map is not good, you will never get the grass to look right, regardless of the texture that you have used for the diffuse slot.
I have actually obtain good results only by using a procedural “smoke” map with various shades of green, without actually using a texture. If you don’t have a good displacement map, you can use mine.

Download grass displacement texture.

-next to “amount”, type in how much you want the grass to be displaced. For this scene (since I’ve chose meters as units),I have typed 0.18
-under “2d mapping”, “resolution” type 1024 (if you leave it at 512 it will look more like boulders than grass).


5)If necessary you can adjust the tiling of the vray displacement map. You can do that by dragging the texture to an emty slot in the material editor and select “instance” when the question will pop.

That’s it! As simple as that.

I always look forward to hearing your suggestions reagarding what tutorials should I write, so if you have any ideas feel free to contact me either by commenting here, or by email (cgdigest(at)gmail.com).

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31 Comments
  1. What would you do different for just mental ray?

  2. To be honest, I haven’t touched mental ray in about 3-4 years, so I’m really not the one to be giving advices about that.
    Sorry…

  3. dania says:

    would you help us in creating curtains in 3d max?

  4. Thanks for the suggestion. Generally I do curtains using the simcloth plugin that is very simple and intuitive. I will try to do a short tutorial on that though.

  5. Thank you so much for the tutorial, been modelling Engineering stuff for years, my effective grass and plants modelling is not so good, and this helped lots, thank you once again.

    Anthony James

  6. Kt says:

    How do you make your grass different levels, say one part of your scene had the grass at the height you have set, and in other parts on the plane it is trampled right down… Is there a way to create a custom displacement map in photoshop for this? That’s the only way I can think of doing it…

  7. Yep.. the only way around it would be to create the displacement map with that in mind…

  8. morteza says:

    hi,its not working when i give the vraydisplacementmod to the plane
    how i must to do/?

  9. Hello morteza,

    Either you have missed one of the steps, or you are not working with the correct scale. For example, if your plane has 1000m x 1000m and you are trying to fit it entirely in the viewport, than the displacement is not noticeable.
    Please double check and let me know if it works for you.

    P.S. Have you assigned vray as current renderer?

  10. AL says:

    Nice one thanks, works well.

  11. MF says:

    Can you explain how to change the color of the grass? I need to get kind of green yellowish color…
    Thanks

  12. Juan says:

    Simple and effective. Thanks a lot for your tip (and texture, btw).

  13. Lois says:

    Hi thanks for this tutorial. However I dont have vray in my 3ds mAX 2010. Tried to look for vray download. Can you help me? Thank you! Architect from Philippines

  14. Hello Lois,

    Vray is not included in the 3ds max package. It is an additional rendering engine that you need to purchase from chaosgroup.com

  15. Shivender Chauhan says:

    Hi thanks for this tutorial. please tell me how can i put cars,peoples and plants in my projects which my file may not heavy. if i use Rpc the whole object is written Rpc which is so ridiculous.tell me some tips & tricks how can i get free license or how can i render objects without rpc watermark in demo version.thanks.. help me..

  16. You get the rpc watermark because you are using a demo license. The only way to get that out is to buy it.

    Personally I don’t think RPCs are the way to go though… I always prefer to use vray proxy.

  17. tania says:

    Thanks! It helped a lot!

  18. Deenanath says:

    Dear Sir,

    I cant find the vray displacement modifier in my modifier list can you give the soloution for me..

    Thanks
    Best Regards
    Deenanath

  19. Emiko says:

    Hi, I really need help to design a restaurant. I have ideas about what I want, but I dont know how to draw it into 3D model. I tried some software, but it is about home building, not restaurant and I want to build 2 storey one with glass wall.

    Can you give me some advice. I am hopeless.

    Thanks in advance.

  20. farrokh says:

    great displacement texture.thanks alot ;)

  21. KelbyKiller says:

    may i ask where i should conduct the 2nd step? coz im confused. what does tilebale texture mean? Is the 2nd step done in the material editor? Thank you!

  22. subhash says:

    thank you

  23. fouzi mohammed says:

    hi alex…
    it is really helpful…bt would u please give me an idea abt using displacement maps for stone walls?like what kind of mapping (2d or 3d )should b used.by the way ur tutorial about LWF was really helpful too…

    thanks n regards…

  24. fouzi mohammed says:

    hi alex…
    it is really helpful…but would u please give an idea about using displacement maps for stone walls?like what kind of mapping (2d or 3d )should b used?…by the way your tutorial about LWF was really helpful too…

    thanks n regards…

  25. Hello Fouzi,

    Thank you for the feedback. I really appreciate it.
    Regarding the stone displacement, there is not much to say. You can use either 2d or 3d displacement, but it really depends on the quality of the displacement map.

    You may want to check out the procedural stone material I wrote some time ago http://www.cgdigest.com/stone-material-3dmax/ although I think it is not exactly what you are looking for.

    @kelby – sorry for the late reply. At step 2 I am talking about using a pre-made texture that does not show visible seams when tiled.
    http://www.cgdigest.com/tileable-texture/

  26. me says:

    how do you adjust the length of the displaced grass?

  27. You can adjust the length of the grass with the “amount” parameter in the vray displacement modifier.
    Also keep in mind that the texture that you use for displacement is also very important. White areas are displacement more.

  28. jim says:

    really great.. Thank u Alex

  29. great grass tutorial. thanks alot

  30. Krzysztof says:

    “5)If necessary you can adjust the tiling of the vray displacement map. You can do that by dragging the texture to an emty slot in the material editor and select “instance” when the question will pop.”
    is much better (for me) to do it via UVW Mapping => U Tile / V Tile

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