(Thumbnails may seem dead but if you click on them you'll see the actual image.)

This is part two of my knotted net tutorial. In the first part we created a single knot.
Check it out here:

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(You can get all files of this tutorial for free - scroll down to the end of the article to find out how)

Things You Will Need

*3ds max or another 3d authoring software

Step 1


Now we'll place the pivot of our knot in the center of the object and put the knot itself in the very center of the grid. Select the knot and go to the Hierarchy tab. There click Affect Pivot Only and then Center to Object. Now CLOSE the Affect Pivot Only button by clicking on it again(this is important - otherwise you'd continue to manipulate the pivot).

Now you can manually bring the knot to the center of the grid OR you can use the fields that I have highlighted in the lower part of the image. Make sure you have the Move tool selected and change all fields to 0.0 (Tip: if you right-click on the little arrows next to those number fields, their value will automatically go to 0.0 - this can be used throughout MAX) .

Step 2


To more easily create a net out of this single knot we'll need to rotate it slightly.

Select the Rotate tool (E-key) and turn on the Angle Snap Toggle (shortcut: A-key). The Angle Snap Toggle allows you to rotate objects with more precision - rather then smoothly the object will rotate in 5 degree "steps". In the top view rotate the knot 45-degrees on the z axes.

Step 3


For the next few steps it would be easier to work with no thickness added to the spline. In the Modify panel / Render rollout uncheck Enable in Viewport. You can bring down the number of Steps in the Interpolation rollout although it's not absolutely necessary. Also if you have the Show Vertex Numbers option checked, uncheck it as it is not needed and, at least in my case, it was noticeably slowing down my machine.

Step 4


Time to start building the net.

Select the knot and switch to Spline-mode (shortcut: 3(three)-key). Select ALL splines and copy the selection once by holding SHIFT and moving it in some direction. Just put this first copy aside - we'll need it a bit later.

Next create four more copies of the original knot and place them as shown in the lower part of the image. The four end-vertexes of the original Knot are now touching with four end-vertexes of the copied knots. Those need to be welded together. Switch to Vertex-mode (1(one)-key), select the touching vertexes and in the Geometry rollout find the Weld button. You'll probably have to increase the value of the field next to Weld slightly. With that the first piece of our net is completed! :)

Step 5


Again in Spline mode select the piece of net we just created and copy it three more times as shown. Again there are some vertexes that need to be welded together.

Step 6


Obviously there are some holes in the net. We'll fill them using the copy of the original knot we made in Step 4. Place five copies of it as indicated in the image and weld all vertexes that need welding :)

Step 7

You can continue this process of expanding the net for as long as you wish or need. For the purpose of this tutorial I'll stop here.

Finally repeat what we did in Step 1 - center the pivot and then put the whole object in the center of the coordinate system.

To see the result turn Enable in Viewport back on.

In the next part we'll add some more detail to the rope.

You can get all files of the tutorial for free (you will have to register to turbosquid though. Sorry, wish there was a way around this :) )

Go to part three

Tips & Warnings