How to Create a Deserted Landscape in 3ds Max


This is a tutorial for creating a landscape in 3ds max. I chose the theme “deserted” but with a bit of tweaking, you can create absolutely any landscape in 3ds max. One thing I noticed after creating this tutorial is that it looks a lot like I’ve created landscape of Mars. (yes, the planet!)

I am going to use the inner power of 3D-Max to create a beautiful realistic terrain even without using any plug-in and bitmap, so we’ll take 3ds max to limits.

This tutorial is evenly helpful for the beginners as well. Here you will learn the essentials of creating a 3D landscape from scratch.

Designzzz never really focused on 3D-Max but if you want more interesting tutorials, just comment. Your wish is our post.

Tutorial: Deserted Landscape in 3ds Max

Final Result

3ds Max Designing tutorial

Create 500 x 500 width and length plane with 50 segments length and width.

3ds max

Open material editor and click on diffuse small square button;  select smoke procedural map and set the values as seen in the image below.

3D Desgining


From modifier list apply Displace modifier and set its strength to 180 and click on image map button select Mtl Editor option and select diffuse color map. This is the smoke map which we have just created.

Landscape designing tutorial

3d design tut

Now you will se the plane like this.

This is a pretty low poly model of your terrain. You may increase it segments to 200 to see its high poly result if your machine support it or you can increase it later just before rendering it. Let us see how it looks after increasing 200 segments.

3ds tutorials

Now create a new material and click diffuse map button and select mix type. In the mix material set first color to R:40 G:15 B:0 and the second color to

R:255 G:200 B:100 and apply to the plane in viewport.


landscape desinging tutorial

Now click on non-button in front of mix amount and select falloff map type. Set the Falloff direction to world z-axis and now from the mix curve tab add a point on a curve and make it Bezier smooth and set the point curve as show in the image.

3d design tutorial

Learning 3d landscape

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You will see this result when you render it.

3ds studio max

Drag diffuse map to bump map and copy it  to generate more details.

3ds studio max tutorial

Go to bump map and click color 1 and add noise map to it and set values as show in the image.

learning 3d studio max

3ds studio max

In the same way go to color 2 and select noise map and set its values according to the image shown below and set the bump value to 60.

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creation 3d studio max

press F9 to see the result.

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Apply Turbosmooth modifier and set the angle of the scene at human eye level and render it again for the time being apply a gradient background by pressing 8.

3ds max graphic designing

Place an omni light in the scene and turn its shadows on with .5 intensity Add a camera and set its fov to 60. This will create a wide angle view of the scene. add some Fog and background map of clouds from the Environment tab (press 8 to go to environment and effect dialog box)  and set it to Layered, a color of R:165 G:150 B:135, then set Top to 120, Bottom to -100, Density to 20-40 what you like and Falloff to Top.

creating Landscape in 3ds max

Press F10 to bring up the Render options, go to the Renderer tab, and find it in the Antialiasing subtab over at the Filter dropdown list select Catmullrom for sharp rendering result.

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Final Result

3ds Max Designing tutorial

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  1. enblanco June 12, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Great tutorial, thank you very much!!

    1. Aamir Baig June 14, 2011 at 9:35 am

      Thank you for your comments. i will like you to come back again.

  2. bangaramnarina August 10, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    ver nice tutorial keepitup.

  3. chackochan November 30, 2011 at 5:00 am


  4. digital phyoe April 22, 2013 at 9:16 am

    very nice tutorial

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