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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.
Once you've exported your file out of Illustrator, then you can import it into 3ds Max. I'm still using the same Exercise Files project folder. So, I just hover my mouse up there to illustrate that to you. I've got a blank scene here and I can go ahead and import the document. So, in the Application menu, you'll see Import. If I hover my mouse there, you will see there several different flavors of Import. I just want to mention the Import command will let you bring in anything that's not .MAX file. That includes any kind of NURBS file, like IGES or STEP, and it includes some stereolithography files in different polygon formats like OBJ and also Adobe Illustrator.
Merge is for Max files only. Okay, so click on Import and you'll see where it takes me. Immediately to the import folder. That's within my current project. So, that's why I saved into that folder. So I'll just select that and click Open. I get to choose whether I want to merge it into the scene or just start a new scene. I'll go ahead and completely replace the current scene. Do I want it to be a single object or multiple objects? Well, if I'm going to extrude or bevel it, it needs to be a single object. And there it is! So now at this point, I can go ahead and play around with it.
It's an editable spline and I can edit it in all the same ways I normally would, or I can just go ahead and drop an extrude or bevel on there, just to show that we can create 3d text. You'll notice that the text is reversed out here. In other words, it's negative space rather than positive space. That's because my logo here had a big ellipse around it. So, 3ds Max recognizes that. It's very smart about it and it knows that, okay, you've got a shape that's nested inside another shape, oh, therefore, this is going to be the positive space and then inside the nested shape is going to be the negative space.
So, if this is not the result that I wanted, then I would need to go back and change my Illustrator art or adjust it here in 3ds Max. But that's the basic process of importing an Adobe Illustrator file. I also want to finally mention that when that is imported into 3ds Max, there is no dynamic link back to the original AI file. So, once it's been imported in here, it's now encapsulated inside this .MAX file and it makes no reference to the AI file any longer. There you have it! That's bringing in Illustrator art to 3ds Max.
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