Creating a 3D Waving Flag Animation using 3ds Max


Today we’ll be making a flag of Designzzz and it’ll be waving on the flow of the wind. This tutorial is for intermediate and somewhat advance users. If you have watched my previous 3D tutorials you can do this easily even if you are just a beginner. I am using 3ds Max 2009 for this tutorial. You can use the other versions as well, commands are usually the same.

The response we receive on our 3D tutorials is very appreciative but not huge in amount that’s why we haven’t made a routine of publishing 3D articles. If you want more 3D, just comment.

Final Result

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Lets begin

Open a new file in Max, click front view port and press alt + w to maximize it.

3ds max

Now create a plan from geometry section set its length to 40 and width 70 and set length and width to 40.


Press P to go to perspective view port and create a cylinder with radius=2 and height=80. Set the plan at the height of cylinder.


Select the Plan and go to Modifier List and select Cloth Modifier. This will convert the plan into cloth.

3ds max tutorial

Now click on Object Properties and click on Add Objects.

3ds max tutorial

Select cylinder and click Add button.

creating a 3d flag

From options on left side, select Plan1 and select the Cloth option to convert the plan1 into cloth. Here you can use different type of cloths from Presets roll down menu. I am using the default one. Press OK.

3ds max tutorial

Now select Cylinder and select option Collision object

3ds max tutorial

Click on the + sign of cloth modifier to open it and select group. Now select the first row of your flag. Later on we will connect this group with the cylinder.

3ds max tutorial

Click on make group and press OK to make group with default name.

3dx max tutorial for advanced users

Now click on Sim Node and select the cylinder. This will connect the flag with the cylinder.

creating a flag

You will see the Group01 (simnode to cylinder) message in the box below the buttons shows that your flag is now connected with the cylinder.

flag making tutorial

Our flag is almost ready. Click Simulate Local button to see you flag in action. Click again to stop it and press ctrl+z to undo it. 

creating 3d objects

At this stage flag is not waving. Now will add wind to the scene to wave the flag.
Click on Space Warp button and select Wind button. Then create a wind icon in the view port and rotate it towards flag. The wind will blow in the direction of the arrow.

3d studio max tutorial

While having the flag selected, click on Cloth forces button. A new dialogue box will open. Select wind01 from Forces in Scene and press the > button; add it on the right side which Forces in simulation. Now this wind will affect our flag and it will start waving in a very natural manners.  You can check the simulation by clicking the simulate local button.



Select the Wind icon and set its value Strength=8 and Turbulence =6. You can experiment with these values.

tutorial for creating waving flag

Simulate again and see the result.


It’s time to apply some material on the flag. I have created a very simple Designzzz flag by using Photoshop, you can see it here.

3ds max tutorial

Press M for material editor press Diffuse map button select new and double click on bitmap to select the flag image file.

3d studio max tutorial

Drag the material and drop on the flag. Click on Show map button to view the bitmap on flag.

tutorial of 3d graphics

I used two boxes to make flags base and a cylinder with radius value 500 to make a floor. In the last I put a camera zooming out the flag. Here I am not going in the details of camera because this tutorial aims towards cloth waving flag animation.

Now the time to complete the simulation. Select flag and click on simulate. This will create flag animation in the view port and it will take some time, be patient.

When the simulation is completed click on rendering menu and settings. Select Active Time segment option and click on Files and the give a file name and location to save it and yes don’t forget to specify the file type to AVI. Click render and enjoy!

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Final Result

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  1. K.S.Rajakumar October 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    This Design as narrated in your post ,is right one at right time, with moderen Television cum Smart Tv Zooming into Market I know their are more demand in the market arena.
    your experience and efforts are will never go waste.

    I am posting in face book .
    Excellent and Great Achivement.
    With warm wishes

  2. LoneStar November 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Very nice and easy to follow tutorial.

  3. Abrar Shaikh January 20, 2012 at 11:26 am

    very nice tut

  4. formano January 23, 2012 at 1:03 am

    nice and thank you… really easy

  5. Dave September 2, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Very well explained to a newbie like me

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