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Before we embark on learning 3ds Max, I'd like to mention that there are few prerequisites that you would probably want to have under your belt before you proceed. Specifically, 3ds Max is a Windows application so you need to have prior experience with the Windows operating system. And if this is the first time you've gone into 3D, you'll need to have some prior graphics experience. In other words, you should already know Photoshop and maybe a couple other image editing programs before you start trying to work in 3D.
Also, it really helps to have some background in art. For example, if you're trying to model characters, then hopefully you will have taken some drawing classes or have some sort of art background first because without that background, you're not going to get very good results just trying to work in a 3D program as complex as this. And then finally, if you're trying to reproduce something from the real world, you'll need to have some reference materials, some photographs or plans or drawings, so you have something to base it on.
Even if it's not from the real world, you'll still need to have some reference material. So pre-production and design is a very important stage that can't be ignored. So these are just some of the prerequisites you should think about before leaping into this new world.
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