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LinkedIn Learning

3ds Max 2021 Essential Training

via LinkedIn Learning


Learn what you need to know to use 3ds Max 2021 to create professional 3D models, animations, and motion graphics.


  • Introducing 3ds Max 2021
  • Using the exercise files
1. Getting Started
  • Choosing a workspace
  • Setting preferences
  • Using project folders
2. 3ds Max Interface
  • Getting familiar with the interface
  • Customizing a workspace
  • Customizing background and grid colors
  • Creating primitives with keyboard entry
  • Creating primitives interactively with the mouse
  • Position objects with Select and Move
  • Rotate and scale objects
  • Navigating in viewports
  • Orbit and viewport Undo
  • Saving time with keyboard shortcut hotkeys
  • Customizing hotkeys
  • Choosing viewport shading modes
  • Advanced viewport settings and presets
  • Configuring viewport layouts
3. Scene Layout
  • Specifying display units
  • Specifying system units
  • Defining the home grid
  • Saving a maxstart.max template scene
  • Merging scenes
  • Duplicating object instances with Array
  • Clone objects with transforms
  • Introducing snap
  • Precision transforms with Grid and Snap
  • Outlining object names with Scene Explorer
  • Collecting objects in groups
  • Managing display layers
  • Controlling object and layer display properties
  • Understanding XREF external references
  • Creating an XREFrecord
  • Moving objects in reference coordinate systems
  • Rotating objects in reference coordinate systems
  • Manipulating objects around a Transform Coordinate Center
  • Using Isolate Selection and Lock Selection
  • Selecting in Window and Crossing modes
4. Spline Modeling
  • Creating shapes
  • Editing Bezier splines
  • Setting shape detail with interpolation
  • Modeling with the Extrude modifier
  • Extruding along a path with the Sweep modifier
  • Exporting paths from Adobe Illustrator
  • Importing Illustrator paths to 3ds Max
  • Adding a Bevel modifier
  • Controlling level of detail for a Bevel modifier
  • Modeling typography with TextPlus
  • Manipulating and fine-tuning TextPlus
5. Parametric Modeling
  • Deforming an object with a modifier
  • Layering deformers in the modifier stack
  • Defining polygon level of detail
  • Passing a selection up the stack
  • Understanding topology dependence
  • Versioning and collapsing the stack
6. Polygon Modeling
  • Preparing Boolean operands
  • Combine volumes with Boolean Compound Objects
  • Adding edges with QuickSlice
  • Adding edges with Cut
  • Hardening polygon edges with the Smooth modifier
  • Using the Modeling ribbon
  • Simplifying geometry with Remove
  • Branching with Editable Poly Extrude
  • Detailing a mesh
  • Rounding corners with chamfer
7. Subdivision Surface Modeling
  • Understanding subdivision surfaces
  • Best practices for modeling subdivision surfaces
  • Box modeling for subdivision surfaces
  • Modeling with the Symmetry modifier
  • Modeling curvature with Soft Selection
  • Refining geometry with SwiftLoop
  • Constraining sub-object transforms
  • Correcting a seam with Non-Uniform Scale offset
  • Sharpening corners with edge crease
  • Baking subdivisions
8. Camera Techniques
  • Creating a physical camera and target
  • First-person camera navigation in viewports
  • Enabling Safe Frames
  • Setting resolution and aspect ratio in Render Setup
  • Creating a free camera
  • Rotating in Gimbal coordinate space
  • Setting rotation Axis Order to emulate a tripod
9. Lighting
  • Previewing renders with ActiveShade
  • Creating photometric lights
  • Adjusting light intensity and color
  • Adjusting light shape
  • Controlling spotlight parameters
  • Using the Light Explorer
  • Illuminating with an environment color
  • Illuminating with an HDRI environment
  • White balancing an environment
  • Separating environment from background
  • Creating a sun and sky
10. Materials
  • Using the Slate Material Editor
  • Assigning materials to objects
  • Managing scene materials
  • Managing sample slots
  • Saving a material library
  • Physical Material color and roughness
  • Physical Material reflection parameters
  • Controlling viewport material shading
  • Controlling material sample size
  • Creating a 3D procedural map
  • Art directing 3D map parameters
  • Mapping bitmap image files
  • Projecting UVs with UVW Map
  • Using Real-World Map Size
  • Restoring links with Asset Tracking
11. Animation
  • Understanding hierarchies
  • Moving pivot points
  • Rotating pivot points
  • Prioritizing rotation axes
  • Linking objects
  • Locking transforms
  • Correcting and avoiding scale issues
  • Choosing frame rate and playback speed
  • Choosing the active time segment
  • Creating keyframes in Auto Key mode
  • Creating keyframes in Set Key mode
  • Editing keyframes in the Track Bar Timeline
  • Editing keyframes in the Dope Sheet
  • Editing keyframes in the Curve Editor
  • Editing interpolation in the Curve Editor
  • Manipulating tangents in the Curve Editor
  • Editing a trajectory with a motion path
12. Rendering
  • Choosing a renderer
  • Choosing render options
  • Rendering an image sequence
  • Playing an image sequence with the RAM Player
  • Tonemapping a high dynamic range rendering
  • Next steps

Taught by

Aaron F. Ross


4.8 rating at LinkedIn Learning based on 105 ratings

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