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Improving your workflow

From: 3ds Max 2009 Essential Training

Video: Improving your workflow

The 3D animation is one of the most intense and complex tasks that you can ask a computer to perform, and because of that, when working in 3ds Max, it's vital that you will always be contentious of ways that you can lighten the load. You see as your scenes continue to get larger and larger, Max will constantly be pushed to do more and more. And the more you shove down the programs through, well the more likely, things are going to start slowing down. Your computer, no matter how fast or how much RAM you have, will begin to start showing signs of fatigue. And that means, when you move something, it will take a little longer before it's ready for the next move.

Improving your workflow

The 3D animation is one of the most intense and complex tasks that you can ask a computer to perform, and because of that, when working in 3ds Max, it's vital that you will always be contentious of ways that you can lighten the load. You see as your scenes continue to get larger and larger, Max will constantly be pushed to do more and more. And the more you shove down the programs through, well the more likely, things are going to start slowing down. Your computer, no matter how fast or how much RAM you have, will begin to start showing signs of fatigue. And that means, when you move something, it will take a little longer before it's ready for the next move.

When you go to take color pictures, a process referred to as rendering, well the picture will take longer to complete. Even when it's time to save your file, that process slows down too. Everything becomes harder to accomplish. It would be like going an uphill hike with 50 pounds in your backpack instead of 5. That 50-pound load would certainly make you work a lot harder. Well, Max is the same way. Well, the more you add to its backpack, the more you expect it to gobble up, the tougher and slower the process becomes. And all of a sudden, you are waiting instead of working and nobody likes that.

So the question then becomes "are there things that you can do to lighten the load?" The answer is "absolutely." These little lines you see on the ball are referred to as segments. They control a couple of things, how smooth or blocky the object is and just how hard the computer has to work to do its job. Now, some jobs require you to create objects that consist of hundreds, if not thousands, of those little wide lines. Creating a detailed character for a feature film would be a perfect example. Other jobs like working on a video game will demand that the line count be kept to a minimum simply so the game can play in real time.

So, above all else, realize that different jobs will have different requirements. But even with that understanding, it will always be important for you to think as light as possible, creating objects that have the detailed they need but using the least or fused amount of lines to achieve that detail. Remember, as the number of objects in your scene go up, even the light lines, the one with just a few lines will add up to what Max has to calculate and display. Notice also that Max only displays one of its viewports and what it's referred to is shaded mode, meaning that you can see the surface or the skin, you can see that in a lower right hand view.

All the other three views are by default displayed in what is called wire frame representing a wire or a line only view of your scene. Now, why do you think that's the case? Well, the answer ought to make sense. It's less for Max to have to calculate, just less to slow down the process. Now, it doesn't mean that all your views can't be shaded mode or all the views in wire frame mode for that matter as we have done here. It's just a matter of the way that Max sets up the interface to try to work as efficiently as possible. It still gives you the information on the screen that you need.

Now, those are just two of the issues you need to be aware of in your attempt to optimize your workflow. Those issues being the line count the way that viewports are displayed. Other things to take into consideration, how many lights in your scene cast shadows, how many objects have a bumpy or reflective surface, and here is a big one, how many special effects you have added into your scene, things like explosions and smoke and fire. Each of those issues if not monitored is capable of bringing your scene to a complete standstill. So, that will give you something else to store when that list of things to remember lighten up on what Max has to deal with whenever possible.

Again, try to optimize your scene at every turn. Now, sometimes, those heavy objects, those bumpy surfaces and shadow casting lights, they are just necessary, there is really no way of getting around them. But other times, just working a little smarter and thinking ahead of it can really pay off in both speed and efficiency. In our next video, I would like to introduce you to a great way to get answers to your questions directly inside Max. The software has one of the most comprehensive built-in help systems in the business and you need to know how to get the most out of it. Let's go take a look.

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This video is part of

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3ds Max 2009 Essential Training

90 video lessons · 10495 viewers

Steve Nelle
Author

 
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  1. 3m 52s
    1. Welcome
      2m 38s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 14s
  2. 17m 8s
    1. Understanding the production process
      3m 54s
    2. The importance of traditional art concepts and principles
      2m 5s
    3. Using reference materials
      1m 46s
    4. Understanding 3D space
      3m 48s
    5. Improving your workflow
      3m 48s
    6. Getting help
      1m 47s
  3. 23m 33s
    1. Understanding the interface
      4m 40s
    2. Working in the viewports
      6m 4s
    3. Changing the measurement system
      1m 52s
    4. Using snaps
      2m 20s
    5. Using grids
      2m 21s
    6. Customizing the interface
      3m 39s
    7. Right-click features
      2m 37s
  4. 22m 13s
    1. Starting a new project
      3m 38s
    2. Importing and opening files
      4m 46s
    3. Saving and exporting files
      6m 33s
    4. Holding and Fetching
      4m 0s
    5. Summary info and object properties
      3m 16s
  5. 1h 18m
    1. Selection techniques
      9m 50s
    2. Naming objects
      2m 37s
    3. Reading the Transform Gizmo
      4m 44s
    4. Moving objects
      10m 17s
    5. Rotating objects
      2m 43s
    6. Scaling objects
      5m 12s
    7. Understanding coordinate systems
      10m 23s
    8. Introducing pivot points
      4m 11s
    9. Working in Pivot mode
      3m 39s
    10. Hiding and freezing objects
      5m 32s
    11. Cloning objects
      13m 20s
    12. Grouping objects
      5m 37s
  6. 1h 27m
    1. Creating standard primitive objects
      13m 48s
    2. Creating extended primitive objects
      10m 56s
    3. Creating shapes
      19m 35s
    4. Creating compound objects
      8m 31s
    5. Creating architectural objects pt. 1: Walls
      3m 0s
    6. Creating architectural objects pt. 2: Doors and Windows
      5m 2s
    7. Creating architectural objects pt. 3: Railings
      3m 18s
    8. Creating architectural objects pt. 4: Stairs
      2m 58s
    9. Creating architectural objects pt. 5: Foliage
      3m 14s
    10. Project: Creating a video camera
      16m 44s
  7. 1h 27m
    1. Extruding objects
      5m 28s
    2. Lathing objects
      6m 11s
    3. Changing the lathe axis
      6m 56s
    4. Lofting objects
      7m 10s
    5. Common lofting errors
      3m 36s
    6. Loft deformations
      3m 43s
    7. The Boolean command
      4m 27s
    8. The Pro Boolean command
      4m 47s
    9. Box modeling
      10m 25s
    10. Building a plane with box modeling
      8m 38s
    11. Paint deformations
      4m 40s
    12. Patch modeling
      6m 58s
    13. NURBS modeling
      4m 8s
    14. The NURBS Fillet command
      2m 51s
    15. Surface normals
      7m 34s
  8. 48m 11s
    1. Building a floor and walls
      8m 35s
    2. Building a table with legs
      7m 45s
    3. Building a lamp with a shade
      10m 59s
    4. Building a door
      4m 15s
    5. Building a doorknob
      3m 6s
    6. Building curtains
      7m 40s
    7. Adding plants
      5m 51s
  9. 1h 0m
    1. Sub-object types
      3m 50s
    2. Sub-object selection
      6m 26s
    3. Converting vs. using a modifier
      4m 10s
    4. Sub-object transformations
      9m 16s
    5. 2D sub-object modeling commands
      6m 55s
    6. 3D sub-object modeling commands
      12m 39s
    7. Ignore Backfacing
      4m 10s
    8. Soft Selection
      3m 28s
    9. Project: Building a low polygon flying saucer
      9m 40s
  10. 1h 17m
    1. What is the modifier stack?
      3m 50s
    2. Important things to know
      5m 34s
    3. Copying and pasting modifiers
      4m 2s
    4. Understanding the importance of modifier order
      3m 8s
    5. Applying modifiers in the middle of the stack
      6m 49s
    6. Collapsing the stack...how and why
      8m 44s
    7. Using the Displace Modifier
      3m 53s
    8. The Flex modifier
      2m 45s
    9. The Morpher modifier
      6m 43s
    10. The Noise modifier
      7m 5s
    11. The Slice modifier
      3m 18s
    12. The Symmetry modifier
      3m 41s
    13. Using the Symmetry modifier for character modeling
      2m 41s
    14. The TurboSmooth modifier
      3m 42s
    15. The Hair and Fur modifier
      5m 30s
    16. Applying modifiers at the sub-object level
      6m 31s
  11. 26s
    1. Goodbye
      26s

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