Create a Stunning Procedural Winter Landscape in 3ds Max: A 3-Step Tutorial

December 21, 2023 3 min read

Create a Stunning Procedural Winter Landscape in 3ds Max: A 3-Step Tutorial

Creating a visually captivating procedural winter landscape can be a rewarding endeavor for any 3D artist. With the use of 3ds Max and additional plugins like Forest Pack, you can generate a winter scene that not only looks realistic but also affords a high degree of flexibility and control. The following tutorial will walk you through the necessary steps to model a winter landscape with procedural techniques.

Create the Landscape

Begin with a plain mesh in 3ds Max, ensuring that it has a sufficient number of subdivisions for deformation into a landscape. Create a spline to demarcate the path of your stream, then copy this spline, and apply an Extrude modifier to give it depth. Add a Shell modifier afterwards for thickness. With the landscape mesh selected, use a Volume Select modifier paired with a Push modifier to create the stream's recess. This technique allows for the creation of a stream with a natural look, where the banks gradually slope down into the water course. To add more organic variation to your terrain, consider applying a Noise modifier or an OpenSubdiv modifier for a more refined surface. The landscape can then be textured with a simple snow material, which you can source from various tutorials or asset libraries.

Integrate Water

For the stream, duplicate the original spline and use a Renderable Spline modifier to give it the right width and length. Position it properly within the stream bed, and apply a material that emulates water or ice. This will create a realistic-looking stream that complements your winter landscape.

Add Trees and Vegetation

To populate the scene with trees and plants, utilize Forest Pack. For wintry scenes, opt for tree models with snow. Should you not possess snowy tree assets, you can find tutorials that demonstrate how to convert any tree model into one that appears dusted with snow. Create a new Forest Pack object and place it on the landscape surface. Add the trees to the items list, and adjust their distribution to achieve the desired look. To ensure trees do not populate the stream, use the spline to exclude that area. With Forest Pack's capabilities, you can control the vegetation's density and proximity to the stream with ease. You can also layer multiple types of vegetation to enrich the scene. Remember that the process is very flexible; any changes to the original spline will automatically update the corresponding landscape, water, and vegetation.


This tutorial provides a foundational approach to modeling a procedural winter landscape. By using 3ds Max and Forest Pack, you can build a scene that is both visually stunning and easily adjustable. Experiment with different modifiers, materials, and Forest Pack settings to create various seasonal landscapes. For those looking to further enhance their 3D landscape creations, consider integrating additional products that are compatible with 3ds Max. These can include V-Ray for photorealistic rendering, Luxion KeyShot for fast and accurate visuals, or Enscape for real-time rendering and virtual reality experiences. We hope this guide has been helpful in your creative process. For more in-depth details on the newest and most advanced design software technology, do not hesitate to contact our sales team at NOVEDGE. Our experts are ready to assist you in elevating your 3D modeling projects to the next level.

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