Creating a Compass in 3DS Max

Problem: How would members of the rebellion navigated in 1875? Would the power of the tesseract have changed their access to technology?

This week, we were tasked with creating a compass using 3ds Max for our project, But there is a limit to how many tris are allowed in a room being limited to 70,000 tris.

First of all, we researched some compass to get an idea of how it should look and this is the image, I used as reference when creating mine.

gold_26 - gold compass;

We started off by making the base of the compass, that was created using a cylinder. The cylinder was edited using edit poly, by selecting each edge, looping the selection and then scaling it down and moving it to create its shape, and we also used bevel to get the bases dip.

After that was created, we next worked on the pointer which was simply a plane with a segment in the middle, this made it easier to make the shorter edges attach at the corners and create a point to give us the north and south of the compass.

The next part that was created was the glass on top, this was created using a sphere that was halfed using edit poly by selecting half of the sphere and deleting it so we only got the top. then we lowered the other polys to create to semi flat look that is has. we also textured it with a clear texture with a  slight shine to it. The part that holds it to the base to the pointer was a small cylinder.

The next part that was created was the the top of the compass that was created with a modified cylinder making the top have a smooth spherical look. the last bit was created using a ring model.


So far, I like how far the model has gotten. while i didn’t find the model difficult, I fought adjusting the smoothness of the compass got quite tedious.


UsenetAddict. (2008). Gold Compass. Available: Last accessed 12 Feb 2015.