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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.
Before I begin animating, I'll need to set up my time configuration, how long is my animation, and what format do I want to use in my Timeline? And also to make my life easier, so I don't accidentally select and keyframe things that I don't mean to, I'm going to freeze some of these objects in the scene. So, a frozen object is one that's untouchable. Now, frozen objects, by default, are going to display in gray in the Viewport. I won't be able to see my texture maps, or anything really. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to select everything in my scene, except for the camera and the logo, and that includes the lights.
I've selected all of those. I'm going to go to the Object Properties. One way to do that is from the Edit menu > Object Properties. I just want to turn off this switch that says Show Frozen in Gray. That way, once the objects have been frozen, I'll still be able to see them properly. So I'm going to turn that off, and say OK. Then with all those selected, I'm going to right-click and choose Freeze Selection from the Quad menu. Now those objects are untouchable.
I can't select them until I unfreeze. If you do need to unfreeze, you can always go into the right-click Quad menu again and Unfreeze All. I'm not going to do that now. I'm going to leave them frozen. Okay, so I can't accidentally select anything and keyframe it. All I can select are the unfrozen objects, which are the logo and the Camera. Cool! All right! Now I want to set up my Timeline. So I've got the 100 frames down here. By default, 3ds Max is going to operate at 30 frames a second.
So I want to change the number of frames, and I also want to change the display here, because it's showing in frame numbers. I might want to show it in seconds instead. So to control the Timeline, you'll go down into the Time Configuration dialog. You'll find this down here near the Transport controls. Here it is, Time Configuration. So I'll click on that. I get a dialog opening up. Here is where I can do things like change my Frame Rate or the length of my Animation.
So Frame Rate is shown here. NTSC is the US standard, which is 30 Frames Per Second. I'm going to leave it at 30. What I want to change here is the Animation duration. So currently, I've got 100 frames. Well, if you're not familiar with animation, or you haven't done a lot of animation, you may not be able to translate frames into time. How long is 100 frames? So you might choose to display timecode instead of Frames. So this acronym SMPTE is smpte.
It stands for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. That's time code, which is going to display in minutes, seconds and frames. So I'm going to activate that option. Now my Start and End times are all displaying in minutes, seconds and frames. So this is a lot more intuitive for many of us. So what I can do here is I can set my End Time to a value of 10 seconds, so 0 minutes, 10 seconds, and zero frames. Press the Tab key to get out of that field.
You'll see that it updates immediately in my timeline. Click OK. There I've just set a new animation duration. By the way, if you go back into that Time Configuration dialog and change the Animation duration, that's not going to affect any keyframes that you've created. So you won't lose anything by changing the duration of the Timeline. It's just choosing what you wish to see in the Timeline.
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