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Wings3D is a free, open source, subdivision modeler. The program can be used to model and texture low to mid-range polygon models. Wings3D uses context sensitive menus; it is recommended to use a 3-button wheel mouse. It is available for most platforms, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, using the Erlang environment.

Scrabble3D uses three models: board which is obviously the game board, piece for the tiles, and letter that is attached to the tiles (all with the object and material files). If a design contains one of these files it is being used to override the implemented data. That means you can start with just a self-made board and keep the inbuilt tiles. The restrictions you have to bear in mind when creating your own design can be found here.

The following examples were made with Wings3D 1.4.1 under Linux.


1. Create a new cube (right mouse button to open the context menu, and click 'cube').

1. Create a cube

2. After 'body selection' of the complete cube, the total size of the board is defined by 'Absolute Commands' > 'Scale'. Scrabble3D always paint from -10 to +10 so, with a little margin a new size of x=12, y=1, and z=12 makes sense.

2. Scale the cube to the appropriate size

3. The board is being painted at y=0. That means we have to move the cube down by -0.5 units at the y-axis. Select 'Move' from the context menu item 'Absolute Commands' to get the exact position.

4. Now the texture will be applied to the cube:

3. Texturing: UV mapping
  • mark all faces that should be textured (usually all except the bottom)
  • from context menu 'More' start 'UV Mapping'
  • select all objects per ctrl+A in the new window ('AutoUV Segmenting')
  • per context menu 'Continue' > 'Unfolding' the projection area is created and filled by a dummy texture
  • since the area is quite large it makes sense to scale it per context menu 'scale' > 'uniform' (and move the mouse in one direction until the label shows 1000%)
  • (to get a better spatial impression you can rotate the (smaller) side faces)
  • in the form 'outliner' select and right click 'auvBG' (which is the newly created texture) and chose 'Make External..."
  • enter a nice name for the texture, e.g. background.bmp, and save per 'Make external'
  • replace this (dummy) graphic by any other (using the normal file explorer), for instance some kind of mahogany wood
  • back in Wings3D select the texture, open the context menu, and run 'Refresh' to update the image

4. Texturing: Refresh of the texture

5. Per main menu 'File' > 'Export' > 'Wavefront (.obj)' your model will be exported. Use the name 'board.obj' (the material is saved automatically as board.mtl). Do not forget to store (and pack into the dsgn file later) your background image with these two files. It is only referenced in the material file.

5. Export as Wavefront object


1. Start with a new project and create a new cube. Scale it to x=1 and z=1. A height of y=0.2 should be fine for normal tiles.

2. Now you have to place the tile on the right position at x=0.5 and z=0.5. In case of a height of 0.2 you should move the tile up by y=0.1. The function is available via context menu 'Absolute Commands' > 'Move'.

1. Scaling and positioning

3. Now you may assign a texture to the tile, or you enter the reflexive characteristics of plastics for the material. If the tile should stay yellow you could try the following values (use Ignore for 'Vertex Color', 0.75,0.75,0.0 for Ambient and Diffuse, and 0.1,0.1,0.1 for Specular).

2. Adjusting the material properties

4. To have the tiles a little bit separated from each other, we use the function 'Bevel' from the context menu. But first the selection should be changed from all faces to only the top face (deselect by clicking the small icon at the form Geometry Graph, select the top face using the face selection mode). Then activate the Bevel function and move the mouse for the desired extend.

3. Bending the edges

5. Per main menu 'File' > 'Export' > 'Wavefront (.obj)' your model will be exported. Use the name 'piece.obj' (the material is saved automatically as piece.mtl).


What is missing now at last, is the position where letters have to be drawn on the tile. This is just a simple plane but size and orientation matter here. If you want to use the tile with beveled edge on top - this is the exact place for the letter.

1. Mark all faces except the upper plane. To remove all selected, use 'Dissolve' from the context menu.

1. Remove all faces except that where the letter should be shown at

2. Deselect the lower side of the remaining plane (or rather mark only the upper). Per context menu 'More' > 'UV Mapping' plus select all (ctrl+A) and 'Continue' > 'Unfolding' you generate a dummy texture again.

3. This texture should get rotated and mirrored now. Open the context menu, select 'Rotate' and adjust to exactly 180°. Thereafter use 'Flip' > 'Horizontal'.

3. Mirror horizontally after rotation by 180°

4. Go to the 'Outliner' form and rename the material cube1_auv to 'letter'. The actual texture will be generated by Scrabble3D. You don't need to add the dummy texture to the design package.

4. Rename the material into 'letter'

5. Set material's opacity to 0 to make the letter transparent.

5. Adjust transparency

6. Export the object per main menu > 'File' > 'Export' > 'Wavefront (.obj)' with the name letter.obj.

7. If you do not add the dummy graphic to the design package an error message will pop up. To fix the problem you can edit the material file manually. Just delete the line map_Kd auvBG.tga.


The files contain all Wings3D project data as well as object- and material data and the texture.

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