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LinkedIn Learning

3ds Max 2018 Essential Training

via LinkedIn Learning


Discover 3ds Max to create professional 3D models, animations, and motion graphics. Learn essentials like spline and polygonal modeling, plus texturing, lighting, and rendering.

3ds Max is best known for its modeling and rendering tools. These strengths come into play in architecture, manufacturing, game development, industrial design, and motion graphics. There are dozens of features and techniques to master, from sculpting and texturing to lighting and rendering. This course covers 3ds Max from the ground up, providing an overview of the entire package as well as essential skills that 3D artists need to create professional models and animations.

Learn how to get around the 3ds Max interface and customize it to suit your production pipeline. Discover how to model different objects using splines, NURBS, polygons, subdivision surfaces, and tools such as Paint Deform. Then, find out how to construct hierarchies, add cameras and lights to a scene, and animate with keyframes. Author Aaron F. Ross also takes an in-depth look at materials and texture mapping as well as the rendering options, including an introduction to Arnold, the new production renderer.


  • Welcome
  • How to use the exercise files
1. Getting Started
  • Choosing a workspace
  • Customize user Interface and defaults
  • Setting preferences
  • Using project folders
2. 3ds Max Interface
  • Getting familiar with the interface
  • Using the Create and Modify panels
  • Navigating in viewports
  • Transforming objects with Move and Rotate
  • Using hotkeys
  • Specifying display units
  • Specifying system units
  • Defining the Home Grid
  • Choosing shading modes
  • Configuring viewports
  • Customizing colors
  • Customizing hotkeys
3. Manipulating Objects
  • Choosing a coordinate system
  • Choosing a transform center
  • Duplicating objects with Array
  • Duplicating objects with Clone
  • Using Isolate Selection and Lock Selection
  • Working with the Scene Explorer
  • Selecting with Window/Crossing
  • Collecting objects in Groups
4. Using the Modifier Stack
  • Understanding level of detail
  • Moving a pivot point
  • Selecting sub-objects
  • Building a modifier stack
  • Understanding topology dependence
  • Using a Volume Select modifier
  • Clearing a selection in the stack
  • Collapsing the modifier stack
5. Spline Modeling
  • Creating a line
  • Editing vertex types
  • Revolving a surface with a Lathe modifier
  • Editing Splines
  • Adjusting level of detail with Interpolation
  • Understanding NURBS
  • Importing Illustrator paths to 3ds Max
  • Rendering splines
  • Adding a Bevel modifier
  • Creating a TextPlus primitive
  • Lofting with the Sweep modifier
6. Polygon Modeling
  • Creating an image plane
  • Tracing an image plane
  • Creating solid geometry with Extrude modifier
  • Adding edges with Cut
  • Correcting topology with QuickSlice
  • Preparing Boolean operands
  • Cutting with Booleans
  • Creating doors and windows
7. Sub-Object Polygon Editing
  • Constraining sub-object transforms
  • Detailing with Chamfer
  • Branching with Extrude
  • Simplifying geometry with Remove
  • Welding vertices
8. Subdivision Surface Modeling
  • Understanding subdivision surfaces
  • Preparing for subdivision surfaces
  • Adding the OpenSubDiv modifier
  • Shaping with Editable Poly Ribbon tools
  • Baking subdivisions
9. Freeform Modeling
  • Sculpting with Paint Deform
  • Using Paint Deform brushes
  • Setting paint options
  • Controlling brush options
  • Conforming one object to another
  • Sculpting with Conform Transform
10. Hierarchies
  • Understanding hierarchies
  • Transforming pivot points
  • Rotating in Gimbal coordinate space
  • Setting rotation Axis Order
  • Linking objects
  • Locking transforms
  • Avoiding problems with scaling linked objects
11. Layout and Modeling
  • Merging scenes
  • Referencing scenes with Xref Objects
  • Managing display layers
  • Creating a target camera
  • Creating a free camera
  • Enabling safe frames
  • Choosing aspect ratio in Render Setup
12. Keyframe Animation
  • Setting up Time Configuration
  • Creating keyframes in Auto Key mode
  • Creating keyframes in Set Key mode
  • Editing animation in the Timeline
  • Editing animation in the Dope Sheet
  • Interpolating keys in the function Curve Editor
  • Moving position keys with Motion Paths
13. Lighting
  • Creating photometric lights
  • Controlling viewport quality
  • Adjusting light Intensity and color
  • Adjusting exposure control
  • Using the ART renderer
  • Adjusting light shape
  • Adjusting light distribution
  • Creating a sun and sky
  • Previewing renders with ActiveShade
  • Using the Light Explorer
14. Materials
  • Using the Compact Material Editor
  • Using the Slate Material Editor
  • Managing scene materials and sample slots
  • Adjusting standard material parameters
  • Adjusting physical material parameters
  • Assigning multi/sub-object materials
15. Mapping Textures
  • Placing 3D procedural maps
  • Mapping bitmap image files
  • Tracking scene assets
  • Projecting UVs with UVW Map
  • Using Real-World Map Size
  • Painting on objects with Viewport Canvas
16. Rendering
  • Choosing a renderer
  • Choosing render output file options
  • Rendering a preview animation
  • Playing image sequences in the RAM Player
  • Setting Arnold render options
  • Rendering an image sequence
  • Next steps

Taught by

Aaron F. Ross

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