Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)

The history of creation.

Hello everyone!

I am presenting to you the tutorial on 3d geometry modeling of the “Foliage” sofa created by famous Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola for the popular Italian furniture brand Kartell.  


By designer’s idea, the style of sofa symbolizes a tree, where legs are the branches and the leaved canopy is the cushioned leaf-shaped fabric. The real sample of this sofa has been presented on the April exhibition Salone Internazionale del Mobile which took place 2011 in Milan.

Its complex shape, the featured tufting, and the abundance of folds cut even the experienced modeler’s claws, say nothing about novices. At first, I couldn’t decide myself from which side to start the modeling from. However, if you look closely, everything is not so complex as it seems. This is what I plan to show you in this tutorial. Let me assure you that this sofa can be done by anyone who has basic skills of 3ds Max and Marvelous Designer. Besides that, you could use the described here methods on other similarly complex shapes, what will widen your overall experience in 3d modeling.

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

References Lookup

First thing needed for any competent modeler are of course reference images of the real object. Ideally, it is the accurate blueprints from the manufacturer. But practically it is very hard or impossible to obtain this kind of blueprints, so we have to be pleased with the photos found on web. The more of them, the better. The references must be as variative as possible, so the object is presented from different views (front, back,side). This is what I got from the internet:


Also, for better understanding of the shape, it is very useful to meet with the technology of real product manufacturing. Luckily, I have found the photo of disassembled frame:

Here are the author's hand sketches, which we could use as a substitute for blueprints:

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Creation of the base frame in 3ds Max


The size and the shape of real sofa vary, depending on the year of manufacture I think. I like the red model with the size of 900x1850x900mm. Let’s do this one!

The base frame will be created in 3ds Max. Open 3ds Max and make sure the millimeters set for both Display Unit Scale and System Unit Scale:

We have to do this to follow all known dimensions accurately during modeling.

Next thing we need is to setup viewport reference planes to serve us as landmarks for modeling. Lets create two standard Plane primitives of 1200x1200mm size, position them perpendicularly relative to each other, and put two materials with reference images in Diffuse slot on them. Its done easily by drag-and-dropping the needed images on the corresponding planes just from the file browser.

You need to set the planes in a such way so the sizes of actual sofas on them, match. You can scale planes to have all the views matching size sofas. This should look something like this:

As the side view is the hand sketch which doesn’t really accurate representation of the real product, we will consider it aiding to see the main incline and corner lines of the shape.

To prevent the reference planes from interrupting our modeling workflow, they are need to be frozen. To do this, we have to right mouse click the selected plane and choose Object Properties item. Check the option Freeze and uncheck Show Frozen in Gray right here, so we freeze our planes to disable them from unwanted selection during further work, and have them stay colored to nicely show the references on the contrary to the standard white-frozen look.

Now lets set the Shaded display mode in the Front and Left viewports.

Turn of the grid in these viewports by pressing G on keyboard.

In 3ds Max we will create only the sofa base frame, while the fabric part will be done in clothes designing software Marvelous Designer.

Start the shape building from the standard plane with 1x1 segments.

Then roughly fit and make the mesh more complex polygon by polygon. This method of modeling is named Poly by Poly.

Having the selection on newly created plane, press Alt+X to change the object display mode to See-Through. This is the special mode that makes any object semitransparent regardless of its actual color or material. It’s just what we need for reference modeling, so we see the created geometry as well as the reference image on the plane behind.

Actually there is an alternative to the Display as See-Through. We can obtain similar effect by object material setup. To use it, open the Material Editor by pressing M on the keyboard, create VrayMtl with a slight opacity and apply it on the Edited object.

Sometimes that is the better choice, because of availability to set varying transparency and color of the object.

Also, do not forget to enable Edged Faces viewport display mode by pressing F4 on the keyboard.

Lets convert our Plane to the Editable Poly.


Editable Poly allows us to do very flexible edits to the shape.

Select side edge and pull to the left while pressing Shift:

In this way we will pull-out the needed shape polygon by polygon, and then fit it. The same technique is used for the Left view also, where our plane looks as a barely noticeable stripe at the moment.

Here we will act similarly.

There is no reason for me to show you every new polygon, so I will sequentially add polygons, move vertices and pull out new edges in Front and Left views trying to give the overall shape to the sofa frame, but I will show only the key steps of shape change, which you can do easily without thoughtless repeating my steps.

It is worth noticing that frame is quite symmetrical and for the start we need to create only it’s half to mirror the other half with the Symmetry modifier later.

Try to do mesh evenly, so every polygon is close to square shape and is comparable to neighboring ones in size.

It is time to apply Symmetry modifier:

This modifier clones existing geometry and mirrors it on pivot your model. When the pivot is not

In the logically correct place, Symmetry may “eat” useful polygons. To avoid this, go into the modifier and shift its center manually to desired place.

There is no reason to convert geometry to Editable Poly right now, you can continue you polygon work under the Symmetry modifier.

Continue to fit the mesh watching for shape smoothness. Look at references as much as possible. When main rough shape is ready, you have to rework it and add details, by rounding corner between backrest and seat for smoother transition.

To see the final shape during current work (we are working for further subdivision by TurboSmooth) I have cloned sofa in Reference mode. This allows the new geometry be the example of the old one by keeping all its modifiers in stack as well as have own ones simultaneously. To make such a clone, I have pressed Shift and moved the Reference-copy to the side so it is seen, but not interfering with the other:

Add the TurboSmooth modifier on top of the new object:

We will work with the non-smoothened models, but in the same time, see all changes in nice and smooth shape.

Add the Shell modifier:

The result of Shell looks bad, so lets make things better by chamfering edges along border of the sofa.

Maybe we could do the corners more pointy? Add the segments there using the same chamfer edge tool.

By this time, the sofa frame is done. We need its dimensions to match with the correct ones. To do this, clone the reference plane with the image of red sofa (unfreeze it first). As you remember, the sofa is 1850 mm wide, 900 mm deep and 900 mm height with legs. Create the Box primitive with these dimensions and make is transparent using technique described earlier. Scale the photo reference plane so the  sofa matches the just create box. Do everything roughly, as we have a usual photo with its perspective distortion and inaccuracy, not the strict blueprint. We now have something like this:

The box has served its purpose and now can be deleted. Proportionally scale the smoothened sofa geometry matching it with the red sofa on reference plane.

Increase the number of TurboSmooth iterations to 2.

We do not plan to do modification to the frame mesh anymore, so I choose to convert it to Editable Poly with all modifiers altogether:

One more important moment is in that despite the visual dimensions of the frame have changed, its original units size in millimeters is of original. To reset this effect and have units size equal to factual visual size, use the Reset XForm utility.

Convert the model into Editable Poly and set the Pivot to the actual center.

Lets remove all object from the scene, except our prepared backrest. Set it to the center of world coordinates, but above Z axis. Do not forget to enable grid display for better understanding the position of the mode (keyboard G).

It is already a time to send our frame for tufting! We will do this in OBJ format. To do this, select our object and go to File => Export => Export Selection:

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Loading the sofa frame in Marvelous Designer.


So we have already done basic shape, which we have to add fabric to, and fill it with the soft material. There are at least two suitable softwares for this purpose: Marvelous Designer and Clo 3D. The programs come from single developing company, and are very similar, even identical for me personally. But Clo 3D is more oriented for human clothes creations, we can see additional tools and slightly another interface. Marvelous Designer is simpler from one perspective as there are less tools, and more complex because of the same reason. It is usually harder to get same result without additional tools. For our exact goal, the fucntionality of Marvelous Designer is quite enough, so I will do all further actions in this software piece. However, you can apply almost everything to Clo 3D.

In this part of the tutorial I wil try to get in details. But as you may remember, I assume you are known with the user interface. Here is some refreshing:

Use Ctrl+Z whenever needed, it is a Undo hotkeys.

You can learn some things about this sofware interface in my previous tutorial on Roman Blinds creation in 3d. I recommend this tutorial to everyone.

Let us begin. Open Marvelous Designer. There are two windows: left is with the woman avatar, right is the windows for fabric tailoring:

We want to have our sofa frame as an avatar, that is why we need to remove the womans default avatar:

We can see woman disappeared, but their clothing is still there. We dont really need the dress, so lets remove it:

Finally, we have empty scene, which will be the file for our work:

Obviusly, we have to work with something. We have done our sofa frame for a reason! Load it by selecting File=> Import=> OBJ first, and then selecting saved version of the frame in OBJ format:

Load it as avatar and use default mm units:

After importins, we have neon-green avatar:

Personally, I do not like to work with such color, but I just do not waste my time for decorating temporary dummy: we'll get rig of it once the fabric it applied. If you are really bothered by this color, do not apply V-Ray materials to hte exported objects in 3ds Max, use standard materials instead. Or better just leave the object without material.

If you have already applied some material to the object in 3ds Max, you can easily clear it. Use your object and go to the  Utilities=> More=> UVW Remove=> Materials:

Please note that Marvelous Designer have very stict cut-off plane at Z = 0. This is the reason we have raised our object in 3ds Max over the grid. Everything below Z=0 woudlng be affected by (needed for us) gravity or will fly away in unpredictable direction. We want a controlled situation, so if the cloth falls, it stays on the floor level.

For own convenience, set Gizmo to World Coordinates:

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Creating sewing pattern for sofa back in Marvelous Designer.


Now we can get our hands on fabric making-up, and for this, look again on references of sofas. How are they sewed? How many parts? What is the pattern? Look closely.

For example, on this reference image we can see the seam on the sides, which goes over the front part of the seat slightly:

Also we see the seam on transition of the back to the seat. At the top of the seat there is a seam definetely, at the center of back side I'm not sure, probably no seam.

Totally we have 3 pattern pieces to wear our sofa with.

Lets try to build them in 3d. To do this, create rectangle at the right side of the screen:

Begin to fit it to needed shape. Do the side shift by moving vertices and also try to replicate the shape curves:

Next, we have to work on corners of the top of the seat. Select one side of the fabric just by clicking on it, and then having side selected, Right Mouse Button => Split:

You wil have an vertex on that side. Select it, if it is not already (yellow is selected), and move it to the sofas corner. Also, do similar on the other corenrs:

We'll remove the corner vertex itself.

Move vertices so they resemble shape of our avatar:

Add a curve to the corner line using Simple Curve tool:

Make side more detailed by Complex Curve tool:

Th the left screen, move fabric closed to the sofa and tilt it appropriately. It looks smaller that we thought here:

In the right screen, shift the bottom edge lower while pressing Shift:

Fix the lower vertex:

Select object, Right Mouse Button=> Copy:

Do the Right Mouse Button click on an empty space => Symmetric Paste:

We have got first fabric sheet of two pieces. We know that there are no seam at the middle, so I merge them together. Select on of the halves, Right Mouse Button => Symmetric Merge:

Now it is a single stymmetrical piece of fabric. The vertices at the center are not necessary, so we'll remove them:

But we are loosing the curve there:

Lets bring back the curve using a special aforementioned tool:

We know that back side has the similar shape as the front one. Copy the front piece and bring the new one to the top. in the right window:

After looking at back closely, you may note that back side is larger than the front one. That is because the seat is convex.

In the left view move the fabric pieces accordingly to their sides:

In the right view take the scaling tool, select back side, click on the central point (meaning the proportinal scaling) and increase its size a little:

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Creating sewing pattern for sofa back in Marvelous Designer.


It is time to do the seat part of the sofa in fabric. It is quite complex.

Create the template for our farbic piece. Let's do simple rectngle:

Position it nicely over the avatar:

Using same tools, add vertices, round corners and add curves to the needed places over the avatar:

Everything similar to back part.

Copy entire piece and paste it like a symmetrical one:

Join in one:

Remove central vertices and restore curvature:

In the right view, rotate this piece 90 degrees and shift it a little lowe, so it doesnt overlap on other parts, and do the symmetry:

We have the template done.

Next, we need to do the new fabric piece basing on this template. It should be same sized, but without break in the middle. I have painted the new piece in contrasting color for better distinction:

Move the new piece somewhere and delete the previous template:

In the left view, rotate the piece 90 degrees. In the right view, position it centered horizontally to the front piece. Like that:

Like in the back, because of similar convex shape, the lower part must be bigger, so move vertices a bit, thus enlarging this zone. Do it approximately, that is not very crtitical thing currenlty.

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Tailoring soft jacket for sofa avatar in Marvelous Designer.


Are you tired already? No? Lets move on.

The preparation stage of work is completed and we are going towards the most interesting part: sewing together!

The first thing to seam up is the top part:

Then sides:

Next, back and seat:

Try to place the fabric as close to geeometry as possible, but without intersections..

Warning: The most important thing on which the whole result depends is the pressure intersity. We have to jacket sofa in a way that fabric repeats its shape identically!

After specifying what to sew together with what, do the sewing simulation. Select all pieces in the right view and set the most negative pressure (-70):

As for the back seat part, the pressure must be +70 as its surface is inverted and we see its seamy side.

Press the simulation button on the left sie, or just press Space in keyboard, and see how fabric gradually fits itself over the frame:

The simulation wouldnt be ideal and somewhere cloth penetrates through the avatar. It is OK, just needs some manual manouvres. While having simulation going, drag the cloth out of the bad places so it lays out nicely:

If you can cope with this task yourself, take a look at my video screengrab, where this process is showed:

I hope this video answers all questions regarding the process of jacketing sofa avatar with dress-pattern in Marvelous Designer.

Turn off the simulation after you done.

Its the best time to correct some imperfections of the cloth pieces as we see how it behaves when dressed over our avatar. Adjust curvature, make corners more smooth, make the cloth exact as it sits on the sofa. It is similar to the previous process when we adjusting the cloth pieces. After changes start the simulation and look if its better, do the changes again until you have a grat result. This is how I managed to fit the fabric:

This is how my dressing-pattern looks like:

By the way, sew those pieces on corners also.

If you have done everything following my instructions, you have back side darkened. It is the seamy side of the cloth, backside of the 3d surface, or as it also called professionaly, flipped normals:

Just select and flip normals into correct side:

Now we need to increase the fabric density for quality result of simulaton. Select all pieces of fabric and increase parameter Particle Distance:

Start the simulation again and let the software to do its cloth calculations in a higher quality:

The main part of the work (it is also the most fiddly one) is done.

Advise: Do not forget to save intermediate results of your work regularly (File=> Save as=> Save as project). It is sometimes very convenient to go back to one of them.

Save the program file JIC and delete the sofa avatar; we do not need it anymore:

Next step is to freeze all cloth, it becomes bluish:

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Making folds on sofa's soft jacket in Marvelous Designer.


In this part of the tutorials, we will preen feathers of our sofa, do creases and tufting...

To understand the pattern of the main tufting, which is similar all over the surface, we need to see the reference agian. You do not want to do realistic details too approximately, it is way better to reproduce them basin on the reference image. Thats why we have to add texture of tufting on our fabric. It will be the starting point for all the tufting. Select the seat part and apply frontal sofa image onto it:

It will look like this:

To match the texture size with the piece size, use the texture scaling tool and position it as precisely as possible:

Take the inner lines tool and draw the first line. Pay attention to the smoothness and repeatedness of the tufting, it is all the same:

The lines look similar, if not identical.

Make our line curved using know to us complex curve tool, so the curve repeats the row of a tufting:

Do the lower line similarly:

Everything further on tufting lines creation are just copying, their mirroring ang placing them on the correct places as per reference. You can do it without my help. You will have something like this:

The tufting on the back rest side is done roughly using same principle. There is no need to create lines from scratch, just copy existing ones and slightly adjust  to the cloth piece edge:

Same for the seat:

Attention: do next steps exactly the way I describe. The process is complex and have many details, which you can miss easily.

So, lets select the frontal rest part in the left view.Go to the 2D Pattern=> Edit=> Layer Clone Over:

You can see rightaway the new sheet. This is the copy of the old one and in the right view lays over it. Keeping the selection, move it to the side:

Before this moment, the main piece was freezed. After copying, the copy will also be frozen as it inherits all parameters from original. To have ability of editing, unfreeze it by selecting and Right Mouse Button=> Unfreeze:

Do the same operation to the other parts of the sofa:

Remove texture from the fabric:

To add softness to the sofa, we need to inflate it. For that, select all upper unfrozen cloth pieces, set the Pressure and start simulation:

For getting nice creases, apply following parameters to the upper cloth pieces:

Increase Pressure to maximum and set type of fabric to Windbreaker:

Start simulation again:

The result is already better, but not realistic enough. Let's enhance it by descreasing parameter Particle Distance:

Simulate once more. It's getting better:

For more realism, we can add label without effert:

For those who need quad mesh, it's time to set it to quads in parameters:

The simulation with current parameters will take some time. If your PC not responding that is ok, let it calculate everything. Keep patience and wait till the very end.

To see the mesh after simulation, press this button:

Here we are done with sofa tailoring.

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Export "soft parts" of the sofa Marvelous Designer back in 3ds Max.


Actually, the most difficult stage to create the sofa «Foliage», namely the modeling of the soft partare completed. We have left to do the export it to 3ds Max and modify the final model to be ready for rendering inside of interior scenes.

So, select all upper frozen fabric sections and save them as an OBJ with the following parameters:

Close Marvelous Designer and open the 3ds Max scene with the old frame, which we have used as an avatar.

Through Import place the model done in Marvelous Designer into 3ds Max:

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Joining soft part seams and legs creation in 3ds Max.


Look at what we have now:

It is obvious that base frame and newly created fabric match approximately. This means we haven't mistaken and can move on.

Delete the frame and hide the jone part of the backrest. The geometry on each piece is double-sided as we have transfered here the frozen fabric pieces as well.:

We do not double geometry, so let's clean the 3d model. Convert the model to Editable Poly and isolate one part of the sofa, the back side of the rest, for example:

Then, inside Editable Poly go onto Elements level, select the excess element and remove it:

Do the same fot all the sofa parts.

Look closely to the edges on the fabric parts. Usually, edges aren't sewed enough and there are gaps in geometr. Like here:

We need to join these torn cracks by welding vertices. Select Border:

Keeping Ctrl pressed, go to the vertices level, thus automatically converting selected edges into vertex selection:

Join vertices together by clicking Weld, picking best value by trial:

Do the same for all other parts of the sofa and then weld all pieces together by first attaching one to another. You will have in result the single Editable Poly object, consisting of two elements: soft sofa part and small label at the side:

It's the leg's turn. Essentially, we have just to create few ChamferCylinder primitives and place them as per reference photos. I assume if you had strength to come so far with me, you will do great legs by yourself. This is what I came up with:

That's all! The sofa geomtry is done. The fabric mapping is already good, as Marvelous Designer gernerates it automatically:

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Ajdusting the 3d model to universal 3ds Max standards.


Many of us have noticed that the downloaded 3d models of someone's authorship are not convenient in use. The reasons for that are very simple. 3d models have non-realistic scale. The Pivot POint is not in the center of the model, or object is very far from the coordinates center. Diferent parts of 3d models may be not grouped and done as a separate objects and so on.

Since we are highly civilized artists, we wouldn't allow ourselves such inadvertancies. In the following, I describe details which help to avoid mistakes and 3d models done by youself are very comfortable in everyday work in any type of scenes.

Join soft part of the sofa and its legs together, using Attach tool.

Make the sofa of exact size using Edit=> Transform Toolbox, where we choose Size group and set neeed values to the each of the axes. Do not forget to press button Set Size:

This operation makes the 3d model have the exact size, as well as lets to reset all relative transforms without using Resert XForm. After setting size, convert the object to Editable Poly.

Using the same Edit=> Transform Toolbox, set Pivot to zero by Z axis:

Thus we'll have Pivot of the model at the center and on the floor level.

The finishing touch here is to set the object to the very conter of the world coordinates:

As a result, you get accomplished 3d model, as a signle object with correct size, with commfortable transform center, and standing in the very center of the scene on own legs at zero by Z.

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Setting up virtual photo studio form materials setup for «Foliage» sofa in 3ds Max and V-Ray.


Theoretically, we have done the main work at current stage. The 3d model of the sofa is done and we can actually end the tutorial, but to cover all stages of complete 3d asset creation, I just cannot skip the materials setup stage and the look of the sofa on the final rendering. The realiscti shader is the necessary part of the professionaly made model. That is why, as a bonus for all those who have gone this far modeling this sofa with me, I will show how to setup the 3d model for rendering.

This may sound logical, but you indeed cannot setup materials in a clean scene. To see how materials behaves on the rendering, you have to do that rendering. And for that, you need to create the test studio environment with lighting. That's what we'll do further.

As as test rendering studio you can take any of your doen interior and render the 3d model there. This makes even more sense, if you have done 3d model for particular interior rendering project. In such a case, you do not need do anything special, just tune materials there and see the rendering results. But this way is not always rational, as you will have to render everything present in the interior every time you test the set parameters; this will waste your time alot. It's often more convenient to create the testing scene once, with the white background and local lighting. Later you will use this studio for setting the materials of other 3d models.

We'll begin creating our studio from the so called backdrop, it basically is the background that extends from the back to the floor under the shot object. In the Left view create the Rectangle shape with size similar to shown on my screenshot:

Right Mouse Click on selected Rectangle and Convert To=> Editable Spline:

Select all vertices of the Editable Spline and set their type to Corner:

Delete top and front segments:

Select remaining corner vertex and fillet it:

Increase spline interpolation steps for nicer radius:

Set lower vertices to 0 on Z axis exactly, so the sofa legs do nor fall through neither float above the floor level:

Use Extrude on the spline to make from it the curved surface to serve us as a backdrop:

When the background is ready, sofa stands on it, there is a perfect time to pick the best camera angle using VRayPhysicalCamera:

Next step is to make BG of a light color by applying plain white VRay material:

Basic preparation of vitrual photo studio is done. Now we step into the studio lighting by creating VRay Light of a  Dome type and placing it anywhere in the scene  and putting parametrical VRayHDRI map into its slot:

Next, set spherical (full dome) property to the VRayHDRI and link to the Material Editor by dragging map onto any sphere of the Material Editor (M on keyboard), set copy method to Instance:

Remember that VRayHDRI is just a container with some setups of the HDR file representation; it is NOT the hdr image itself. That is why we also have to load actual HDR file inside:

Put there any of yours spherical HDR map. I took «Chelsea Stairs» map from

After choosing HDR file, specify to the VRayHDRI container that this is a Spherical map. Also you can ajdust brightness exposure level and rotate the map to somme degree so you have bright spots lighting the actual sofa, not being behind. For example, I have set horizontal rotation = 110 and gamma = 0.75 for my map:

Considering our studio rendering on the white background, the lighting with different colors is not a good idea. But in the same time, my map is colored actually. To correct this, integrade our VRayHDRI into the Color Correction map. Just change the type of the map and save current VRayHDRI as a sub-material. In Color Correction drag the Saturation slider to minimum (-100):

Regarding the render setups, you will do great with any draft setups. In our case the rendering is not a goal, it's just a preview mean.

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Creation of the V-Ray materials for the «Foliage» sofa.


It's a time for sofa materials.
We'll have two materials, one for soft part and one for legs, so let's assign these parts different IDs. Let the soft part be =1, and the legs = 2:

Create Multi/Sub-Object materials with two sub-materials and put VRayMtl into the each of them. Go to the first sub-material and place Composite map into the Diffuse slot:

In Composite material create 3 layers, putting the fabric texture inside the 3rd layer, set 25/25 tiling and then copy it and paste into other two layers:

Here is the fabric texture:

For third and second layers of Composite set Falloff maps with the following parameters:

Press on third, then on the first layer the Color Correct button and correct their gamma:

Back to the upper VRayMtl of the soft sofa part level and put hte same texture with the same tiling into the Bump slot:

Go upper to the Multi/Sub-Object level, and from there fo into the second VRayMtl (sofa legs) and set it up as follows:

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
21 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Test rendering of the V-Ray materials for the «Foliage» sofa.


Press render button and wait for the result:

Your result can differ slightly from mine because of different shape, render parameters, studio lighting, other HDR map and many other tiny details, but generally it may look similar to mine.

If you are not satisfied with the result, do necessary adjustments to the material. For example, change the color so it closer to the reference image; add or remove the legs reflecting parameters, alter the steepness of the Faloff material of the soft part. Watch for the every change on test renderings and every time compare the result to the reference sofa.

When you are fine with the material look, take the last rendering and do post-processing with it, any type of it. This step may seem absurd, because what is the post-processing of the test rendering is performed for? But still there is a purpose. First, you will see how your 3d model looks on the final rendering, which inevitably will be post-processed.  Second, this will show the potential of the materials and if it's possible to pull off the gem using post-processing out of it. If not, you have to work under this material more.

In my work, I use Photoshop for renders post-processing. After slight manipulations, this what I could obtain:

If desired, the wireframe rendering can be done also:

Sometimes such image is very useful for doing thumbnail for your own 3d models library.


That's all.


Hope this tutorial is useful and everyone can find something new and interesting in it. Please give a feedback, ask the question, I will be glad to help you. Good luck all!

29 Aug, 2016 Daniil
29 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Cool, but I'm confused by additional softwares. How hard is their mastering?

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
29 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Not complicated. If you follow the tutorial, then even less complicated 🙂 🙂 🙂 You will never know until you try it yourself.

29 Aug, 2016 Daniil
29 Aug, 2016 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

🙂 I'll show how it works out.

10 Jan, 2017 Valya
10 Jan, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Great thanks !!!Everything is clear, described in great detail. Huge work, great tutorial!!! 👍

15 Apr, 2017 Aydar
15 Apr, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Good afternoon! Thank you for the lessons! In this lesson, the fabric does not fit the sofa. Tell me in what error

Thank you in advance

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
15 Apr, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Attention: The most important moment on which the success of the whole operation depends is the force of pressure. The divan-avtar must be tightened so that the fabric clearly repeats its shape!
After we have indicated what to sew with, it is necessary to carry out the actual stitching simulation. To do this, select all pieces of fabric in the right window and set the maximum negative pressure force (-70).

Select your canvases and give them a negative value of inflation. Pressuer must be signed with a "-" (minus). You have a positive value. Assume 70, and you need -70. 😉

6 May, 2017 Yuriy Ye.
6 May, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Everything is good, but the cat on the final picture does not look believable, it comes out of the overall picture. I suggest add a slight glow out of its contour (even for smooth-haired cats) and make own shadow more red:

Anyway, everything is very cool.

I've heard a lot about the Marvelous Designer, I thought it was some kind of super-complex, terrible simulation software ðŸ˜„

From now on, if I suddenly need it (hopefully not🙂), then I'll start with your lessons 🙂. Thank you!

Post Scriptum: Probably, it would be simpler to say that the "force of pressure" is if we pump the air out (when negative), or blow the air in (when positive).

9 May, 2017 Stanislav
9 May, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Thank you very much for such a wonderful lesson! Everything is described in great detail, like in the previous lessons. Before, I didn't want to use Marvelous Designer, because it seemed very difficultg to me. But in fact, everything is very intuitive and understandable. Here's the result:

Thank you again!

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
17 May, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Yuri E,

What about the lesson how to photoshop animals into interior? Probably I'll learn some new skills too?

If serious, perfect fit some photo-hooted object from one environment to the image with other environment (lights, reflections, color bleeds) it is to lot of hard work and I'm not sure that every user needs and wants to spend such a huge amount of time only to achieve perfectly looking cat / dog / snake … or any other secondary and definitely not important detail.


But if you know some really quick and easy way how to do that, it would be a great life relief for any 3d-artist.

6 May, 2017 Yuriy Ye.
18 May, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch


In fact, it is not so hard work as you just described 🙂 I don’t think there is need to write whole lesson about this. You need to keep in mind three things doing any 2d post-work:

- environmental lighting conformity (shadows, half-shadows, lights and highlights direction and nature)

- colors corresponding (color bleeding, white balance)

- contours sharpness (if added object sharper than rendered image, need to blur it and vice versa)


Unfortunately, after PSD to web-GIF conversion the difference between you and "my" picture is barely visible.


Also, I guess that you rather ironic over me, but I wouldn't be diminishing the importance of details. When you've spend hours to create such a great model it would be a pity to ruin it just because you don't want to spend a few additional minutes on detail enhancement.

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
18 May, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Yuri E,

I agree with you, but the cat was added a little later by Anton during he prepared lesson to the publishing. So all claims to him 😊

9 May, 2017 Stanislav
19 May, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Hello Anya,

I wanted to ask you a question about creating sofa of this kind:



As I understand it consists of two parts, the basic sofa frame with minor padding on a bottom and the highly padded top part as the external soft shell.

So the question is how to stew up that shell and "put on" it only on top of the sofa frame? Then I try to do this, the Marvelous Designer is cover whole base, not only the top part as I want to.


Here is a link to the high-res pictures:

Dropbox - Ligne_Roset_Cover_2

Thank you.

21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
19 May, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Stanislav, hello.

That's an interesting sofa. First of all I would like to see your progress by now to see the mistakes.

In such sofa, as you have noted, are two shapes: the sofa itself and a cover with a stitching. In Max you need to model the basic shape of the sofa, which we will put the cover on. In Marvelous we need to: ​​1 - sew the cover, 2 - put it on a sofa, 3 - freeze, 4 - create a stitching (internal pattern), 5 - duplicate layers of fabric via Layer Clone and unfreeze the top one, 6 - simulate, having set the degree of inflation. This is a brief instruction. In your case, we do not need the sofa to be fitted with a sheath at all. The cover must lay on the exact sofa shape. I can assume your cover doesn't fits over the sofa, as you can't find the exact pattern outline. Here I can give you a little tip. UNwrap the base shape of the sofa in Max with the Unwrap UVW modifier tools. Doing that, make sure the unwrap seams go where the actual real seams do. After having the unwrap (you can even save it as an image), you will have a clear understanding of how particular part of the cover fabric should look like, so the sewing everything together will be much easier.


28 May, 2017 Arc_fresky
28 May, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch


thank Goodness I found this

10 Aug, 2017 Dasha
10 Aug, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch


I made a sofa like this, but to me is still unclear two things:


  • folds for some reason don’t want to move onto the 3d object, although when the sofa is selected, it clearly seen that folds is highlighted. Why?

  • I am not understanding why we need to clone the sofa fabric and only then adding to the simulation this clone?


By the way, I do not have a half of the buttons. Maybe I have different version of the program, but in fact I don’t know what buttons I must to press to achieve expected results.


21 Aug, 2016 gus_ann (3dsmax vray expert)
20 Aug, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch
Dasha hello. It's not quite clear what buttons you do not have and why, in your screenshot, not a single toolbar has been captured. I have only to guess the current state of affairs. As in any program, Marvelouse Designer has toolbars that you can show or hide. In order to display lines of stitching (in your post "folds "😉, you must turn on their display like this:

In order for additional tools and buttons to appear, you also need to turn them on here (2d- is responsible for the nesting window, 3d for tools in the 3d view window)

At the expense of defrosting - you've got it right. The lower frozen areas should now perform the role of avatar, keep on their sewn on canvas. And the upper ones must be defrosted and simulated with inflation.

28 Oct, 2017 Bestviz
28 Oct, 2017 # Re: Realistic Sofa Creation in 3ds Max, Marvelous Designer, V-Ray from scratch

Here's what I get:


I think that would be a great idea to turn the internal seams on 90 degree, otherwise the seams will be too rounded.

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