Autodesk 3dsMax tutorial by Saud-Create and animate Analoge Clock

Autodesk 3dsMax Tutorial

Requirements: 3DS Max (v 6.0 or higher recommended)
  3DS Max 7 or higher is required for using files provided for download
  Basic knowledge of working in Max
Special Notes: I used 3DS Max 7(in 1024x768 res.)
  I leave space b/w text lines because it make reading easy
Tutorial Type: Basic

Greeting! in this tutorial we create analog clock,remember that modeling is quite easy but the important is animation for the clock.As you should know a real clock contains 3 hands for hours,minutes, and seconds (called second hand) which move according to each other.As the real one works our model will work in the same way.

As in tutorials the reader (that's you) cannot ask question directly to the author(that's me)so I try my best to define every step in detail.

Lets start!

Start and/or reset 3dsMax

Select the Front viewport and create a box set its parameters to Length 150 Width 4 Height 2

As we are modeling a clock not a fan we need to move the pivot point of the box to the bottom. Pivot point is the spot about which a rotation takes place, or to and from which a scale occurs or spot which hangs the object in 3d space.

Go to the Hierarchy Panel ,click on the "Affect Pivot Only" button.

Move the pivot to the bottom be careful to drag only in Y axis. Click on the button again to exit from the pivot move mode.

Rename the box as "sec_hand" and right click on the move(F12) button and enter lucky number zero 0 on xyz field of Absolute world.This set the box in the center of the 3d space.Transform Type work according to the coordinates(or directions eg X,Y,Z)of the 3d space.

Create two more boxes for the hour and minutes hands keep the Height to "2" But set length segment to 5.Set there pivot point to bottom and convert the boxes the editable mesh or poly.And name them as "min_hand" and "hr_hand" respectively.

Go to the vertex level and select the top two visible vertices and right click on the "Select and Scale" button enter zero again.This give a sharpness the hand.

I hope you are smart enough to model 3 clock hands.My hand look like these (seconds,minutes,hours) these don't look good but I am not designing these for the beauty contest.:)

Move these hands to the zero point of 3dspace by (hey I already told you! Ok don't angry)Remember we already moved the seconds's hand

Select the minutes hand (medium box) and right click on the "Select and Move" enter zero in X and Z field and -2.5 in Y field.This place minute hand 2.5 points ahead of the second.And enter -5 in Y field of the hour hand.Three boxes should look like these.


For the body of the clock create a smooth cylinder in the front viewport.Give it 250 radius and -6 height 48 sides ,right click on select and move tool

and enter 0 in x,z and 2 in Y Field

We have to put numbers on the body the clock (cylinder) I will do it by copying a text object ,if you know other method then email me.

Create panel > Shape > Text..create on the front viewport change it Font to "Ariel" and size 75 type 12 in text..right click on the move tool again...enter zero x,y and 180 in Z.Place this "12" on the clock body on the top side like the real clock.

Select the "12" text,open on the "Affect Pivot Only" button pivot now adjustable ,press Alt+A for align tool click cylinder,Align Selection dialog box appear,select the "Pivot Point" under both Current object and Target Object. you can see the the "12"'s pivot (blue box) jumped to the center of the cylinder.Click the "Affect Pivot" button again to exit from the pivot adjusting mode.


I think we finish the modeling first then animate the clock.Select the "12" text object.Open Tools>Array.Dialog box or option box appear.Look clumsy at first.

Place it on the screen so can see the cylinder,click on the preview button, as we want 12 text for hours place evenly in circle (360 degree)we use this formula 360/12=30.

Type 30 in the rotate value of Z and set the Count to 12 and choose Copy under "Type of Object" OK to exit.

Clock should look like this...this a bit frustrating we have to change text and rotate all eleven text objects.

Start the lengthy work by selecting the text on the right of the original and enter 1 in the Text box under the parameter group.Keep continue this for the rest of texts(every one knows how clock look like).

To rotate these texts go again to the Hierarchy Panel and select 1 (it should be renamed 1 already) click the "Affect Pivot only" button and click the "Center to Object" this move the pivot to the center ,repeat this step for the others.

Fixing these also require 11 steps :) but don't worry this is the last time we doing it. Select"1" and right click on select and rotate and enter 0 in Y.Keep doing it for the rest of text.

That's better....v....V....v but that flat i think you should add small dots for the seconds and medium for the to do that just create small sphere (radius=2,segments=10 or less)center sphere on x and z .....use array tool again and clone again using this data...count=60, rotation = 6 (360/60=12)

.Also Group all the numbers ,click "Select by Name"(H) and select all the text01~12,Open Group menu >click Group name it as" Numbers"

Apply Extrude modifier to the Group.Modify Panel >Modifiers Drop down list >press E until you see extrude.Just set amount to 4 and leave other values to default.

Move the Text group "Number" slightly close to the cylinder set Y=2.5

My Final clock look like this ....maybe you end up in more fancier model ..

This is End of Modeling of Analogue Clock in 3ds Max, If you are interested  in animating the clock hands then read the Page 2