3D Modeling is a key Wayfair initiative to generate more digital content in a faster, scalable, and more cost-effective manner. After a lot of experimentation, we have significantly expanded our efforts and today have a very large team of technologists, 3D stylists, and artists creating thousands of high quality 3D models and images a month at a fraction of the cost of traditional 2D photography. Customers are unable to tell the difference between 3D and 2D imagery and these 3D assets can be leveraged across the site in ways that a traditional photograph can’t – whether that be in our A/R and V/R applications, “shop the room” features, and many other ways that enable our shoppers to engage with products.

The goal of this guide is to provide a comprehensive overview of our modeling standards, and the software that our highly-specialized 3D teams have determined to be the best in the industry for modeling tailored to furniture and decor products. We want to share what we have learned so that you can leverage our processes and approaches to effectively create high quality models. We are full believers of the power of 3D technology, and hope you will find these resources helpful in your 3D endeavors.

Why 3D Modeling?

If you want to embark on learning how to 3D model and do photo realistic rendering there are many great resources online. If you’re looking for a place to start and you want to do work specific to furniture and furnishings, our team has put together a great set of resources to help you along. In the interest in getting something out fast that can be helpful to many people, we’ve decided to offer the initial version of our training materials as a read-only Google Doc.


Product shots that have been produced by the artist team at Wayfair©

I’m Sold! Teach Me More!

You will find links into the various sections of our Google Doc in the section list below. You’ll also find that once in the materials you can jump around from section to section. We are continuing to refine and improve these materials, and are planning to add more resources dedicated to certain classes of products. If you have thoughts, feedback, comments or would like to contribute, please get in touch with us at 3DModeling [at] wayfair.com.

If you are a supplier or manufacturer in the furniture industry who already works with Wayfair, and you would like to take advantage of Wayfair’s Model QA and feedback platform to submit models to Wayfair that will be used to help sell your products, please get in touch with your Wayfair supplier contact and ask them about the 3D Model program. We are onboarding suppliers into our curriculum, and would love to hear from you.

Section List

Section 0.0 Getting Started
Section 1.0   Curriculum Overview
Section 2.1 The 3DS Max 2016 Interface
Section 2.2 Modeling in 3ds Max 2016
Section 2.3 Subdivision Modeling Theory and Principles
Section 2.4 TUTORIAL (INTRO): Side Table Modeling
Section 2.5 TUTORIAL (ADVANCED): Bar Stool Modeling
Section 2.6 TUTORIAL (EXPERT): Upholstery Accent Chair
Section 2.7 TUTORIAL: Adding Variation on Cushion Piping
Section 2.8 TUTORIAL: Converting PBR to VRay
Section 2.9 TUTORIAL: Modeling Welding
Section 2.10 TUTORIAL: Creating Tassels
Section 2.11 TUTORIAL: Table Detail Tutorial
Section 2.12 TUTORIAL: Creating 3D Stitching
Section 2.13 TUTORIAL: CAD Conversion Techniques
Section 2.14 TUTORIAL: Modeling Rope
Section 3.0 UV Mapping with 3ds Max 2016
Section 3.1 TUTORIAL (INTRO): UV Unwrapping Basics
Section 3.2 TUTORIAL (ADVANCED): UV Unwrapping Side Table
Section 3.3 EXERCISE: UV Map a Chair
Section 4.0 The Slate Material Editor
Section 4.1 What is a V-Ray Material Made Of?
Section 4.2 Commonly Used Nodes
Section 4.3 Making Everyday Materials
Section 4.4 TUTORIAL: Texturing the Bar Stool Tutorial
Section 4.5 TUTORIAL: Using Displacement
Section 4.6 The Material Library
Section 4.7 Texture Atlas Guidance
Section 4.8 Create Look by Masking and Texture Atlas
Section 4.9 Creating Velvet
Section 4.10 Vertex Painting
Section 4.11 VRay Curvature Map
Section 4.12 Adding Machine Marks to Wood Grain
Section 5.0 TUTORIAL: Rendering in 3DS Max 2016
Section 5.1 Rendering with IPR (Interactive Production Rendering)
Section 6.0 TUTORIAL: Using Photoshop to Edit Textures
Section 7.0 TUTORIAL (ADVANCED): Creating Wrinkles with Textures
Section 7.1 TUTORIAL (ADVANCED): Radial Wrinkles
Section 8.0 General Modeling Standards
Section 8.1 Gold Standard Models
Section 8.2 Modifier Stack Standards
Section 8.3 Geometry Standards
Section 8.4 UV, Materials & Texture Standards
Section 8.5 Product Category Model Standards & Template Models
Section 9.0 TUTORIAL (ADVANCED): Creating Wicker
Section 9.1 TUTORIAL (ADVANCED): Light Fixtures & Bubble Glass Materials
Section 9.2 TUTORIAL (ADVANCED): Modeling and Texturing a Chandelier
Section 9.3 TUTORIAL (ADVANCED): Creating Topiary and Realistic Plants
Section 10 Using V-Ray Fur
Section 10.1 Creating a Basic Rug Using V-Ray Fur
Section 10.2 Creating a Faux Fur Pillow
Section 10.3 Making a Wool Pillow with a Raised Pattern
Section 10.4 Creating Custom Pillows With Physics
Section 10.5 Shag Rug Creation
Section 10.6 Creating a Rug Binding
Assignment 1  Model, UV, and Texture a Bathroom Vanity
Assignment 2  Model, UV, and Texture a Sofa