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Making Of 'It's Time for Bullets!'

By Lior Avivi
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:
3ds Max


Well, this tutorial will not deal with the making of the Matrix®-style bullet time effects, or any animation tips and tricks, but this tutorial will cover the wide spectrum of creating (i.e. modelling, a bit-mapping, texturing, shading and rendering) this rather nice scene containing lots of bullets.

This tutorial will be created using 3ds Max and V-Ray. For other software users, simply use your imagination.
For all those sharp-sighted people out there, you may recognise that the bullet is a 0.5cm M2 Browning Machine Gun Bullet (going way back to WWI era, and yet still widely spread today!).

First of all, let's review the anatomy of a bullet (Wikipedia - (Fig.01):

Fig. 01

  1. Bullet - meaning, the Projectile
  2. Casing - meaning, the Shell
  3. Propellant - for example, gunpowder or cordite
  4. Rim - part of the casing used for loading
  5. Primer - ignites the propellant

Let's begin!

First up, the key for every successful model lies in the details, which requires good references. I took the following 2 photographs to use as reference for this project (Fig.02 & 03).

Fig. 02

Fig. 03


Open the material library, choose an empty slot, and add a bitmap map to the diffuse slot. Choose the side image of the bullets. Create a plane with a 4 x 3 ratio and drag the material onto it. Click on the "Hungarian Cube" icon in the material editor ("Show map in viewport").

Modelling the Shell
Use Line (Create > Splines > Line) to create a half silhouette of the shell.(Fig.04)

Fig. 04

Zoom in on a detailed area. (Fig.05)

Fig. 05

Notice that the lines in the Rim part aren't straight. I used Bezier-Corner.

Add a Lathe modifier. You'll need to move the Axis (in my case, the Y-axis) in order to fit the Lathing to the width of the bullet. (Fig.06)

Fig. 06

Add a smooth modifier. Enable the Auto smooth option and increase the threshold spinner a little. (Fig.07).

Fig. 07

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