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In 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training, author Aaron F. Ross demonstrates how to use this top-tier application for digital content creation, widely used in diverse industries such as architecture, industrial design, motion pictures, games and virtual worlds. This course covers modeling with polygons, curves, and subdivision surfaces, defining surface properties with materials and maps, setting up cameras and lights, animating objects, and final output rendering. Exercise files accompany the course.
Let's dig just a little bit deeper into viewport configuration in 3ds Max. One of the most common things you will need to do is just make the viewport big, so that it will fill the whole screen. The button for that is at the very extreme lower right-hand corner of the interface. It's called Maximize Viewport Toggle. When I click on that, the active view fills the screen. Once again, however, you are probably going to want to use the keyboard shortcut for that instead. And that is Alt+W. So hold down the Alt key and press W and that will minimize or maximize the currently active view.
Additionally, let's look at the Configuration menu. So you will see there's a little plus sign in each viewport, and when you click on that, it gives you a little bit more to work with. For example, from within here, I can enable or disable this so-called ViewCube. And I don't tend to use the ViewCube because it kind of gets in my way. But you do have this as an option.
And one thing that is handy about it is that it has a Home button that will take you more or less back to the default position that viewport is supposed to be in. But I don't tend to use the ViewCube because it's really easy to accidentally click on something here. So I can Disable it from this menu, ViewCube, Show the ViewCube, and turn it back off again. Additionally, there is a Configuration dialog for the viewports.
So if I go into Configure, we will get a pop-up dialog here that gives us many options for the viewport configurations. And the most important one here I just want to point out to you is the Layout. So you have different layout options. So we are going to be using the default layout in this course, which is the Perspective view and then the three ortho views, the typical 4-viewport layout. But just to illustrate you can also choose different options.
So here's a different layout. And if you want to change which view appears in a certain panel, you will just click in that panel and then you could choose a different view. And when I click OK, now you'll see I have got a different layout. Additionally, by the way, you can actually drag these bars in order to change the size of the various views. And if you right-click in the center of one of these intersections, you can reset the layout.
What you don't want to do in 3ds Max is if you want to make one view larger, and I've seen students do this sometimes, where they will just drag this all the way over like that that's not really a very effective way of doing it. Instead, you should maximize the view with Alt+W. So I am just going to switch back to the default viewport layout, which is the four views, back in Configure, and click OK. There's a lot more in the viewport configuration.
That's all that we are going to do right now, just so that you will get a taste of where you can go to tweak out all those fun settings in 3ds Max to make the viewports look just the way you want.
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