Making Unit Cards with 3ds Max

By Private Clark


Part I : 3ds Max

Step 1: First of all, start off by importing your model and texture. For this tutorial I will be using the Etrurian Hoplite from Primo’s Rise of Etruria mod. Why? Because that is the only model I happen to have in my 3dsmax folder at the moment. You are free however to use whichever you like.

When the import has finished, you should have a screen like this:

Step 2: Pose the unit. To do this, go down to the Import Menu, and import an Animation. When they are unpacked they can be found in the RTW\\Data\\Animations folder. Then you can use the slider across the bottom of the screen to cycle through the different stages of the animation until you find a stance that looks good.

Step 3: Go to “File>Save File As” and save the scene.

Step 4: Now, open the zip attached to this post and open “Unit Cards.max” in Unit Cards Templates. Ignore the ground textures for know. The loading should take a bit, just click OK to all of them.

Step 5: You should now have a scene like the image above. Now, go to “File>Merge”, and merge the scene with the max
file of your unit in pose.

Step 6: Select all the items on the list and click “OK”, you should now have this

Step 7: Resize and rotate/move your model around until it fits into the rectangle. WARNING: DO NOT MOVE THE ACTUAL VIEW OR YOU WILL SCREW UP THE ANGLE!. Check the image to see how the model should be proportioned.

Step 8: (optional) If you like the ground texture and grass texture currently applied to the ground, then leave it as it is. To get rid of the grass simply delete it. However, if you want a different ground texture, press “M” to bring up the Material editor and select a new texture (most are JPG) inside of the folder. Most are from Mount & Blade .

Step 9: Once everything is set up as you like it, press “F9” to render the scene, you’ll notice the background color is already set and all. You’ll have something like this.

Step 10: Save the image as a TGA file and name it “Big Unit Card”.

Step 11: Now that we’ve taken care of the big unit card, all thats left is the small one. Open “Render>Render Scene” and change the Width to 48 and Height to 64.

Step 12: Usually, you might want to edit the pose a bit for nicer small unit card. Again, I cannot really explain how to do it, but you should leave about an inch of space between the top and the soldiers topmost point (not including Alpha textures). At the bottom, you should cut off the unit card at about 1/4 of the skirt.

Step 13: Time to render! press “F9” again and save it as “Small unit card” TGA along with your other render.

This concludes the 3dsmax portion of this tutorial, close 3dsmax without saving the scene and now its time to move on to Photoshop! Yay !

Part II : Adobe Photoshop

Step 14: After you’ve opened Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro open both “Big Unit Card” and “Small Unit Card”.

Step 15: Select the small unit card and go under “Channels” near the “Layers” tab. Select the Alpha Channel layer and set your magic wand tool to the same settings as mine.

Step 16: Select the black portion and move back to the RGB layer, click again on the “Layers” Tab. Now right click and click “Layer from background”. you should still have a part of your image selected. Now press the delete key, your left with a soldier with a transparent background. Save this over your small unit card.

Step 17: (optional) To make a preview image. Drag and drop the small unit card to the big unit card and place it in the corner. Then save the whole as a JPG.

Step 18 (Conclusion): Well, this is the end of the tutorial, you should now have a folder with 4 files:


  • Ground Textures : Internet & Mount & Blade.
  • Original render scene was made by CA.
  • Primo for his Hoplite Texture.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy this tutorial.