Intro to 3ds Max

Welcome to 3ds Max. Below you will find the basics of navigation and object manipulations  in 3ds Max. Or watch the video where I walk through some of the basic of this program.

basic Geo Modeling video

Basic geo moding - Broadband from Trance Lion on Vimeo.


 This is the default 3Ds Max view screen. You have 4 viewports to observe your model. To the right is the Command Panel which has all you object generation and manipulation. The top shelf has basic selection and object gizmos: Translate, Rotate, and Scale. Holding down on these buttons will expand further options. For example the Scale tool will offer options for uniform scale or scale on different axises. Holding down the Marquee button will offer other options for selection like square, circle, and geometric.
In the lower right corner is the expand view port button. Which ever viewport is selected will maximize on the click of this button

Basic Primitive Creation
Creating a Primitive
In the first Tab of the Command Panel there are several options for Primitive shape creation. Click the button of the shape you wish to create. Then drag it onto the grid. Depending on the shape you will have to define certain parameters. For a Cube it is simply dragging the 2D square on the grid and then creating the height. 

Adjusting parameters
Once generated there are options to modify the primitive before beginning the model. Height, Width, and Length, if each set to the same number, will give an equal sided Cube. The Segments refers to how many edge loops and on which axises will be added to the base Cube. 

Naming and Color
Just above the parameters options is the naming and color of the primitive. Naming it important for keeping the objects in a scene organized, especially when a model or environment becomes more complex and consists of numerous objects. 
Changing the color of an object is purely preference. By default Max will assign different colors to each object unless it is a duplicate. To change the color, simply click on the color box as you would in Photoshop and the color options will open.

 Shading Options

In the upper left corner of the viewport are the camera and shading options. Under shading options there are several choices to assist while modeling, such as wire frame and flat. The option of edged faces allows the visibility of the wire frame on top of the model.

Manipulating the Object: 
convert to editable poly

 To begin editing the primitive, right click and hold. The menu that opens will have the option of Convert To at the bottom. Choose editable Poly. Once the cube is converted the command panel will open options for object manipulation.

Creating Edge Loops:

Depending on the part of poly you are working in, you will have different options in the Command Panel. With an edge selected sequential edges can be highlighted by using any of the buttons under the selection tab. Grow and Shrink add or subtract from the current selection. Ring and Loop will be useful selection tools as they assist in making and manipulating edge loops.

Select one edge on the cube. When you press the ring button, all parallel edges will be highlighted around the object.

The Loop button will continue the selection of the highlighted edge until the loop angles past a certain degree.

With a Ring of edges selected the Connect tool will create edge loops perpendicular to the ring of selected edges. Just to the right of the Connect button is the settings. Pressing this button opens options for creating the loops. The setting from the previous tool usage will be the default. The 3 sliders allow adjustment of number, pinch, and location of the rings.

Making Extrusions:

Now that edge loops have been added they can be used to create windows in our primitive building. This can be accomplished using the Bevel and Extrude tools. Select each polygon that will be the windows. Be careful that only polygons you have chosen to extrude are selected. Extruding faces unintentionally can cause numerous problems as the model gets more complicated.
Press the Extrude button and bring up the settings. Under the top option be sure to extrude by polygon not by group. The options below will determine the depth of the extrusion. 

Now that the window are created repeat these tools to add more unique designs to the building. Modeling can be a bit of trial and error as you discover the best techniques for creating the look of the model.


Under the Rendering Menu there is the sub menu for Environment. In this menu the background color of your renders can be changed from the default black.


The button with the teapot in the top right corner is the render button. Click on this and it will open the Render window. Before the image shows up the Render Button in the top right corner of this view port much be clicked as well. Saving the image can be done by clicking the disk icon in the upper left of this menu.

We will go into more detailed rendering in future classes