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LinkedIn Learning

3ds Max 2016 Essential Training

via LinkedIn Learning


Start creating advanced 3D models and animation with 3ds Max 2016. Explore modeling, animation, lighting, texturing, and rendering with this powerful and flexible 3D toolset.

Start creating advanced 3D models and animation with 3ds Max 2016. Learn the most suitable techniques for modeling prop, character, and environment objects, from splines and NURBS to polygonal and subdivision surface modeling. Then find out how to construct hierarchies, animate with keyframes, shape function curves, and assign constraints. Author Aaron F. Ross also provides an overview of setting up cameras, lighting scenes within a simple studio setup, and constructing materials with the Slate Material Editor. Finally, learn about your hardware and software rendering options, and make your projects more realistic with motion blur, indirect illumination, and depth of field.

Note: This course updates our 3ds Max 2015 Essential Training to work with the 2016 interface and file formats.


  • Welcome
  • Using the exercise files
1. Getting Started
  • Using project folders
  • Customize user interface and defaults
  • Setting preferences
2. 3ds Max Interface
  • Getting familiar with the interface
  • Using the Create and Modify panels
  • Choosing units of measurement
  • Controlling the grid display
  • Navigating in viewports
  • Using hotkeys
  • Transforming objects
  • Choosing shading modes
  • Configuring viewports
3. Modeling Basics
  • Creating an image plane
  • Controlling Display properties
  • Creating primitives
  • Working with Scene Explorer
  • Understanding level of detail
  • Working with the modifier stack
  • Understanding dependencies
  • Collapsing the modifier stack
4. Polygon Modeling
  • Using the Ribbon with editable polys
  • Working with subobjects
  • Welding vertices
  • Choosing a transform center
  • Detailing with Cut and Remove
  • Detailing with QuickSlice
  • Using soft selection
  • Faceting corners with Chamfer
  • Using Window/Crossing Selection
  • Using Paint Selection
  • Combining objects with Attach
  • Joining elements with Bridge
  • Branching polygons with Extrude
  • Smoothing and hardening edges
5. Subdivision Surface Modeling
  • Understanding subdivision surfaces
  • Creating an editable poly object
  • Adding the Symmetry modifier
  • Adding the OpenSubDiv Modifier
  • Roughing out the proportions
  • Adding features with Extrude
  • Inserting edges with Cut and SwiftLoop
  • Constraining Sub-object transforms
  • Welding the seam
  • Baking subdivisions
6. Free-Form Modeling
  • Sculpting with Paint Deform
  • Using Noise and Relax Brushes
  • Setting Paint options
  • Controlling Brush options
  • Conforming one object to another
  • Sculpting with Conform Transform brushes
  • Duplication with Object Paint
  • Positioning objects with Select and Place
7. Spline Modeling
  • Creating a line
  • Moving a pivot point
  • Revolving a surface with a Lathe modifier
  • Using different vertex types
  • Using axis constraints
  • Extending a spline
  • Snapping an Arc primitive
  • Combining splines with Attach and Merge
  • Rounding corners with Fillet
  • Offsetting a spline with Outline
  • Adjusting level of detail with Interpolation
8. NURBS Modeling
  • Understanding NURBS
  • Converting objects to NURBS
  • Creating NURBS curves
  • Cloning subobjects
  • Creating a U loft surface
  • Rebuilding curves
  • Setting Surface Approximation
  • Grouping objects
9. Hierarchies
  • Understanding hierarchies
  • Moving and rotating pivot points
  • Understanding coordinate systems
  • Setting Axis Order for rotation
  • Linking objects
  • Using the Schematic view
  • Locking transforms
  • Avoiding problems with scale
10. 3D Motion Graphic Design
  • Exporting paths from Adobe Illustrator
  • Importing Illustrator paths to 3ds Max
  • Creating a Text primitive
  • Applying a Bevel modifier
  • Instancing a modifier
  • Editing text splines
  • Viewport clipping
  • Controlling level of detail
  • Editing polygons
11. Layout and Camera Basics
  • Merging scenes
  • Managing display layers
  • Creating a target camera
  • Enabling Safe Frames
  • Choosing aspect ratio in Render Setup
  • Adjusting Field of View
  • Using a free camera
12. Keyframe Animation
  • Setting up Time Configuration
  • Choosing Set Key Filters
  • Creating keyframes in Set Key mode
  • Editing keyframes in the timeline
  • Editing position keys with trajectories
  • Editing function curves in the Curve Editor
  • Creating keyframes in Auto Key mode
  • Building up animation in passes
  • Editing keyframes in the Dope Sheet
13. Controllers and Constraints
  • Understanding controllers
  • Assigning a Link constraint
  • Adding link targets in the Motion panel
  • Animating constrained objects
  • Constraining animation to a path
14. Lighting Basics
  • Understanding CG lighting
  • Creating a target spotlight
  • Adjusting intensity and color
  • Setting spotlight Hotspot and Falloff
  • Correcting gamma
  • Previewing renders with ActiveShade
  • Controlling contrast and highlights
  • Choosing a shadow type
  • Optimizing shadow maps
  • Optimizing area shadows
  • Creating Omni fill lights
  • Using the Light Explorer
  • Excluding objects from lights
15. Materials Basics
  • Using the Slate Material Editor
  • Choosing material and shading types
  • Working with scene materials
  • Adjusting specular parameters
  • Assigning Multi/Sub-Object materials
16. Mapping Textures
  • Applying 3D procedural maps
  • Working with bitmap image files
  • Tracking scene assets
  • Projecting UVW mapping
  • Using Real-World Map Size
  • Mapping a bump channel
  • Adding reflections with a Raytrace map
  • Painting objects with Viewport Canvas
17. Rendering Basics
  • Choosing a renderer
  • Choosing Quicksilver options
  • Enabling Motion Blur in the software renderer
  • Rendering image sequences
  • Playing image sequences in the RAM Player
18. Rendering with mental ray
  • Controlling mental ray sample quality
  • Tuning Final Gather
  • Enabling Motion Blur in mental ray
  • Distance blurring with Depth of Field
  • Goodbye

Taught by

Aaron F. Ross

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