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Have You Ever Used The Teapot Primitive?

In over 7 years of messing around with gmax I can't say I've ever found a use for it, lol. I mean, what the heck? It's not "manifold", it has a bunch of zero-area polys in the bottom of it? The lid doesn't even fit? I admit to replacing my Cessna 172 model with a gigantic teapot back in FS9 when I was trying to get the gmax-to-sim stuff ironed out, I had gigantic AI teapots in gmax colors flying around in the sim for a while, but for the life of me I can't see any practical use for the teapot in modeling.

Can you? Have you ever used it? :)


Resource contributor
Only an American could ask such a question. The more important question is why there isn't a matching teacup and saucer?. It's not due to Gmax being an emasculated version of Max because it doesn't have 'em either!
A teapot primitive is considered the equivalent of a "hello world" program

I'll be dipped, I didn't know there was a history. Sort of a "software nostalgia" thing in a way, the actual teapot that was modeled is in a computer museum in Boston! ...and my AI teapots were indeed a "hello world" moment for me so I guess it works. :)

Tom, seriously Max doesn't have a cup & saucer primitive? What a ripoff! :)
Hi Folks.

Jim -
Yes :laughing:
I'll admit to using the teapot.

As one of the objects in a demo BGL
for an as yet unwritten Wiki article.

Demonstrating that FSX's switching of LODs
is explicitly 'rendered pixels in viewport' based,
and not distance specific.

What you see, isn't nescessarily what the end user sees.

Also to emphasize that a LOD remains active
from its initial display, up to the next LOD.

For an object with LOD of 5 and next LOD of 20.
At a zoom-level where -
the LOD 5 displays at 5 rendered pixels
and the LOD 20 displays at 20 rendered pixels.
That LOD 5 remains visible from 5 through 19 and up to 20 rendered pixels.

Maybe not particularly relevant on small objects, like aircraft,
but important on massive objects, like oilrigs. :laughing:

Attached demo BGL & FLT positioned offshore near EGNL Walney.
Rename the .txt as .flt

IIRC the teapot is intended for use with the GMax tutorial on materials.



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Resource contributor
Actually, ACES used the ubiquitous teapot in the SDK to demonstrate how the various FSX Material options work. It's really quite an impressive inter-active set of images!

If one really wanted to go nuts, creating such primitive objects isn't all that much of a task. Could you imagine having a set of cars, trucks, or other 'decorative objects' all to the same scale and available in Max for scenery?


Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
Yes, I have also used it as a test object during my tool development. When working on the 3d preview of modelconverterx I used the teapot to see if I could recreate the material settings from the sdk in my rendering.
I always was asking myself the same question till I found a tutorial about compositing a teapot into a photograph with max and then I understand all :)


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