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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.
We have got control over the viewports now. Let's take control of objects themselves and move them and rotate them in the scene. These are called the Transform tools in computer graphics. Transform is a term that means position, rotation, and scale. And the Transform tools in 3ds Max are found on the main toolbar, and they are called Select and Move, Select and Rotate, and Select and Scale. So all you have to do is just click one of these buttons and click on an object, and you will see what 3ds Max calls a Gizmo, and that's just a vernacular term for a manipulation tool.
So using this Move Gizmo, I am able to move an object in one of the directions in 3D space. So you see I have got the X-direction, Y, and Z, and by the way, in 3ds Max Z is elevation or height. So I can dolly back in my scene with Ctrl+Alt+Middle, dolly back a little bit, so I can see more. And then I can move objects around with the Move tool or the Move Gizmo.
I can also move just the same way in the orthographic views. I can move in different directions. Likewise, I can also rotate. So I have got a Rotate tool up here, Select and Rotate. Click on that and I can rotate an object by clicking on one of these three gray circles here. So I can rotate around one axis, so that's the Y axis.
If I want to undo, of course I can hit the Undo button or I can hit Ctrl+Z, which is the standard Undo command for most programs. So I am rotating in different directions. I can hit Ctrl+Z to Undo. If I click in the center of the Rotate tool, it's going to operate like a trackball, and I don't have as much control that way. So I don't tend to use that much. Ctrl+Z to undo.
Instead, I do want to just click on one axis at a time. You will note also that I am seeing values displayed at the bottom of the screen. This is called the Transform Type-In area. So if I rotate my box, you will see it now has a Y Rotation value of -62 degrees. The Transform Type-In area is dependent upon which transform is currently active.
So if I switch back to the Move tool, you will see I have different values. These are the position values for the selected object. If I go back to the Rotate tool, I can restore my object back to neutral rotations by simply selecting this value here and typing in a 0 and pressing Enter. The last control for Transform is Scale. And for reasons that may become apparent later when we start working with hierarchies, we want to try not to scale objects directly.
We will see in a moment how to control the shapes of these primitives without scaling. I know that it seems kind of strange that the Scale tool is right here, and it seems so primary, but again for reasons that will become apparent later when we start linking objects together, you need to stay away from the Scale tool and find other ways of changing the shape of your objects. So for now I would recommend that you just use the Position or Move and Rotation transforms only.
The shortcut keys are important here too, because you will need to transform objects all the time. And these are the Q, W, E, and R keys on the keyboard. Q is just Select, so that's just the Select tool. W is Move. E is Rotate. And R is Scale. But again, I want to try to lead you away from the Scale tool for now. So I am going to hit Z to undo. So those are basics of how to transform objects in 3ds Max.
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