How to create geometry roof tiles in 3ds Max

When you have to make an exterior visualization often there are buildings with tiled roofs in the scene. If you want to create these roof tiles in 3ds Max, then you have two choices.

The first option is to use a map (image) and displacement. This method is very fast to achieve – not much modeling or implementation of different materials, but the results are not very good and it is always visible that the tiles are not completely genuine. Furthermore, using displacement may increase the rendering time, which is not good. If you want to try this method, then Displacement Roof Surfaces script may be useful.

The second way is to build them from geometry, i.e. each tile is single geometric object. This method contributes to a more realistic view of the final images. You can create the tiles manually or by using plug-ins and scripts.

Manually creation of roof tiles …

Italian Character artist Manuel Manfredi has made a good tutorial, from which you can learn more about manual modelling of roof tiles.

… or with script or plugin.

By using scripts or plugins you can make your work much easier. Below you can see the most popular and useful plugins for geometry roof tiles creation in 3ds Max. The first two are paid, but the last one is completely free. They all work without any problem with V-Ray materials.

Batzal Roof Designer (paid, no longer supported)

I guess a lot of people have heard or used this plugin. I have tested it some time ago and, in my opinion, it is the most difficult from all. The bad thing is that you need to model the roof base from plane, and then to define the angles of inclination through plugin`s menus. For more complex roof shapes, this can be a bit difficult to achieve. The good thing is that you can choose from 11 tile presets and you can also add your own models if you wish.

  • Official webpage:
  • Compatible with 3ds Max: from 9 to 2013 (x86 & x64)
  • Price: 55$

FuturArch Roofing (paid)

If any of you use LightWave 3D, then you might be familiar with the plugin LWCAD. It appears to be quite popular among users of this software. And for this reason the developers from W-Tools Inc decided to transfer its functionality in 3ds Max by creating a new version of the plug-in, called FuturArch. It is divided into several basic sections, but for purpose of this article we will discuss only one of them.

With FuturArch Roofing, creation of roof tiles is much more easier than Batzal Roof Designer. The base could be done ​​in minutes, no matter how complex it is. You can also choose from several ready to use roof tile types, or you can add your own to the library.

  • Official webpage:
  • Compatible with 3ds Max: from 2010 to 2013 (only 64-bit versions)
  • Price: 225$

ATiles (free)

ATiles is a script for 3ds Max, created by Aviz Studio. It offers much more than just building tiled roofs. You can make flooring, brick walls, fences and any other objects composed from repetitive elements. You can also choose from several predefined types or select any geometric object, from which you want to make a wall or floor. For base can be used spline or poly object.

ATiles is easy to use and has much to offer. It can be downloaded from Aviz Studio without registration.

  • Official webpage:
  • Compatible with 3ds Max: from 7 to 2013 (x86 & x64)

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