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Understanding 3D space

From: 3ds Max 2010 Essential Training

Video: Understanding 3D space

If you're new to the world of 3D, it might take a little time to get used to the fact that although you're working on a flat two-dimensional computer screen, you're actually living in and controlling a three-dimensional environment. And that means you'll be manipulating not just a world that goes up and down and left and right, but also an area that goes in and out. You have got a dimension of depth to deal with, in other words. And for many, that additional depth takes a little bit of time to get used to, both in the way you see things and in the way you think about going about your work. You know, looking at things in 3D might be a little easier if you approach your computer screen in the same way you approach driving a car.

Understanding 3D space

If you're new to the world of 3D, it might take a little time to get used to the fact that although you're working on a flat two-dimensional computer screen, you're actually living in and controlling a three-dimensional environment. And that means you'll be manipulating not just a world that goes up and down and left and right, but also an area that goes in and out. You have got a dimension of depth to deal with, in other words. And for many, that additional depth takes a little bit of time to get used to, both in the way you see things and in the way you think about going about your work. You know, looking at things in 3D might be a little easier if you approach your computer screen in the same way you approach driving a car.

You know how in driving your ability to navigate is made much easier if you keep your eyes looking out all the windows and not just the one directly in front of you. You look at the entire picture, right? From all angles? Well, working in 3D ought to be approached the same way. You see, when you create something on the screen, that object will be displayed in a series of windows, each window typically being referred to as a Viewport. Those Viewports represent the windows into your 3D world, each pointing in a different direction and just like with the windows in a car, each offering a different look or angle of the world you are living in.

So as you begin building your 3D scenes, in order to avoid both confusion and possibly an obstacle or two that might pop up, you got to keep your eyes not just open but continually moving from one window to another, in order to take it all in. To get all the angles, in other words, that's going to be essential. Now, as we get a little deeper into the title, I'll be talking about the fact that Max assigns each of those three directions on your screen a specific letter, those letters being X, Y and Z. It works pretty much the same in all 3D programs. And before you know it, you will be feeling pretty comfortable with thinking and working with those letters in mind.

For the time being though, we are going to keep things real easy. So until you get your feet a little more firmly on the ground, I will be identifying those three directions as simply up and down, left and right, and in and out, something you are a little more familiar with. We will be meeting X, Y and Z but we will keep those official labels off to the side until we have got things down a little bit better. Now when you start moving things around, you are going to find that Max gives you a very helpful little icon that will pop up on what you're working on. That icon is called a Transformation Gizmo or Gizmo for short. The Gizmo displays as a little three- color device that tells you that you're ready to move, scale, or rotate the object you are working on.

Let's take a closer look at what that Gizmo actually looks like. The Gizmo works kind of like a compass and that it shows you the three directions within your scene, the directions of your X, Y and Z, if you will. Once you get comfortable with how you read it, you'll find it indispensable when it comes to keeping your bearing straight as the Gizmo makes it easy for you to get your object to go up and down, in and out, and back and forth. We will be going over all of this in detail.

So for now I just want you to get the overall concept of what the Gizmo is and what it's used for. So, here's what's important to know as we get going. First, you got to think of your Viewports as like windows in a car, and just like when driving down the road, you'll be wanting to keep your eyes moving from one Viewport to another in order to ensure that you get the big picture, to see the entire scene, in other words. That's going to be vital if you want to keep your bearings straight. The other important thing to remember is that when you do start moving things around, you want to use the Transformation Gizmo to make your job a little easier.

You got to take advantage of that little sucker. That's why its there. I promise. You will come to really appreciate what it does. So you keep those two things straight, eyes on all windows and get to using the Gizmo, and you will be up and running. Yeah, it might take a couple of times to get the routine down, but once you got it, that's when the fun begins, as you start getting down to business and making things for your scene.

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This video is part of

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3ds Max 2010 Essential Training

134 video lessons · 11325 viewers

Steve Nelle
Author

 
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  1. 5m 30s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. How to use this title
      1m 59s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 31s
  2. 25m 1s
    1. Getting a handle on the production process
      4m 32s
    2. Understanding the importance of traditional art concepts and principles
      3m 13s
    3. Using reference material
      2m 46s
    4. Understanding 3D space
      3m 51s
    5. Improving your workflow
      4m 45s
    6. The built-in help system
      5m 54s
  3. 31m 25s
    1. Getting to know the interface
      5m 54s
    2. Getting around in the viewports
      10m 39s
    3. Controlling how 3ds Max measures
      3m 5s
    4. Customizing the interface
      7m 13s
    5. Useful right-click commands
      4m 34s
  4. 25m 45s
    1. Starting a new project
      5m 10s
    2. Opening, importing, and merging files
      5m 57s
    3. Saving and exporting files
      7m 6s
    4. Holding and fetching files
      4m 24s
    5. Summary info and object properties
      3m 8s
  5. 1h 24m
    1. Selection techniques
      8m 23s
    2. Naming objects
      3m 23s
    3. Reading the Transform Gizmo
      5m 0s
    4. Moving objects
      13m 33s
    5. Rotating objects
      6m 44s
    6. Scaling objects
      6m 13s
    7. Coordinating systems
      10m 8s
    8. Understanding pivot points
      6m 35s
    9. Hiding and freezing objects
      4m 57s
    10. Making copies
      13m 20s
    11. Grouping objects
      6m 41s
  6. 1h 22m
    1. Creating standard primitive objects
      19m 3s
    2. Creating extended primitive objects
      12m 39s
    3. Creating shapes
      12m 7s
    4. Creating lines
      9m 3s
    5. Creating architectural objects
      11m 0s
    6. Project: Creating a car axle and wheels
      18m 37s
  7. 1h 31m
    1. Extruding objects
      8m 33s
    2. Lathing objects
      9m 7s
    3. Lofting objects
      10m 54s
    4. The Boolean commands
      6m 45s
    5. Box modeling
      8m 43s
    6. Building a chandelier with box modeling
      7m 59s
    7. Paint deformation
      9m 39s
    8. Patch modeling
      10m 4s
    9. NURBS modeling
      13m 33s
    10. Surface normals
      6m 36s
  8. 31m 55s
    1. Building the stand
      6m 49s
    2. Building the motor housing
      3m 16s
    3. Building the fan blades
      6m 36s
    4. Building the fan blade cage
      4m 38s
    5. Adding the electrical cord
      5m 54s
    6. Adding the hardware
      4m 42s
  9. 49m 56s
    1. Understanding sub-object types
      3m 48s
    2. Selecting sub-objects
      7m 9s
    3. Converting or using a modifier
      4m 9s
    4. Transforming sub-objects
      7m 18s
    5. Using 2D sub-object modeling commands
      7m 4s
    6. Using 3D sub-object modeling commands
      12m 38s
    7. Ignoring backfacing
      4m 44s
    8. Making soft selections
      3m 6s
  10. 1h 10m
    1. Understanding the modifier stack
      3m 25s
    2. Working with the modifier stack
      4m 35s
    3. Understanding modifier order
      4m 4s
    4. Applying modifiers in the middle of the stack
      6m 26s
    5. Copying and pasting modifiers
      5m 20s
    6. Collapsing the stack
      8m 43s
    7. Using freeform deformation modifiers
      7m 18s
    8. Using the flex modifier
      5m 12s
    9. Using the lattice modifier
      5m 49s
    10. Modifying hair and fur
      7m 43s
    11. Using modifiers that reduce geometry
      6m 14s
    12. Applying modifiers at the sub-object level
      5m 56s
  11. 2h 29m
    1. Building materials
      3m 54s
    2. Understanding the material editor interface
      5m 15s
    3. Controlling the main body color
      5m 0s
    4. Adding and controlling shine
      4m 6s
    5. Controlling transparency
      3m 26s
    6. Using self-illumination
      3m 17s
    7. Applying materials
      7m 13s
    8. Retrieving a scene material
      3m 50s
    9. Designing a complex material
      7m 31s
    10. Creating rough surfaces with bump maps
      8m 19s
    11. Using reflection maps
      7m 24s
    12. Using opacity maps
      7m 51s
    13. Editing maps
      11m 53s
    14. Building a multi sub-object material
      10m 30s
    15. Taking advantage of material libraries
      8m 15s
    16. Mapping coordinates
      12m 32s
    17. Using sub-object mapping
      7m 53s
    18. Using the UVW unwrap modifier
      10m 58s
    19. Using Photoshop to edit maps
      8m 0s
    20. Applying materials to an oscillating fan
      11m 55s
  12. 1h 19m
    1. Comparing real-world and computer lights
      3m 20s
    2. Identifying the types of lights in 3ds Max
      6m 43s
    3. Applying omni lights
      6m 46s
    4. Using spot lights
      10m 12s
    5. Controlling shadows
      10m 12s
    6. Adjusting how far a light shines
      8m 41s
    7. Excluding objects from light
      4m 8s
    8. Using projector lights
      6m 6s
    9. Setting light volume
      4m 51s
    10. Setting global illumination
      5m 52s
    11. Lighting a scene
      12m 42s
  13. 57m 23s
    1. Comparing real-world and computer cameras
      1m 17s
    2. Identifying Max's camera types
      9m 51s
    3. Camera viewport navigation
      5m 59s
    4. Changing a camera's lens length
      3m 36s
    5. Controlling focus with depth of field
      4m 46s
    6. Applying motion blur
      8m 34s
    7. Using clipping planes
      3m 21s
    8. Activating a show safe frame
      5m 3s
    9. Putting a camera on a path
      11m 6s
    10. Locking a camera onto an object
      3m 50s
  14. 1h 46m
    1. Understanding the principles of animation
      5m 41s
    2. Understanding the animation process
      2m 29s
    3. Controlling animation
      5m 14s
    4. Animating with auto key
      8m 42s
    5. Animating with set key
      10m 58s
    6. Moving keyframes
      8m 26s
    7. Copying keyframes
      5m 21s
    8. Deleting keyframes
      5m 39s
    9. Using the Dope Sheet
      9m 15s
    10. Using the Curve Editor
      12m 29s
    11. Linking and unlinking objects
      10m 6s
    12. Animating an object along a path
      13m 44s
    13. Animating an oscillating fan
      8m 51s
  15. 43m 45s
    1. Rendering techniques
      8m 10s
    2. Using active shade
      5m 25s
    3. Creating previews
      4m 23s
    4. Using the RAM player
      5m 49s
    5. Saving a rendering
      5m 24s
    6. Loading background images
      7m 18s
    7. Using mental ray
      7m 16s
  16. 31s
    1. Goodbye
      31s

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