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As the most widely used 3D animation software in the world, 3ds Max is capable of creating stunning visual effects for a broad range of purposes. It can be used to create effects for everything from video games and feature films to architectural walkthroughs and mechanical designs. In 3ds Max 2009 Essential Training, instructor Steve Nelle provides a thorough introduction to the principles of 3D modeling, while also sharing practical techniques that experienced users can apply to their own workflows. Steve establishes the principles and best practices of the 3D production process, introduces the 3ds Max interface, and explores modeling in depth. He also demonstrates how to create and transform primitive objects, use specific modeling techniques, work at the sub-object level, and apply a variety of modifiers. Example files accompany the course.
Special Note: Further 3ds Max 2009 features, such as materials, lighting, cameras, animation, and rendering, will be covered in 3ds Max 2009 Beyond the Basics, coming soon.
Max also offers a couple of very handy grid options you need to be aware of. Now in creating objects for your scene beware that by default each will be constructed in relation to what we call the home grid sometimes referred to as the construction plane. So if I was to go to the Box command, drop a box into my scene, you will notice the bottom of the box lays flat up against the grid and that will always be the case irrespective of what you make. So here is a column and you can see the same holds true. Now if you would like to build objects at a different angle, you can create and activate something called a helper grid.
Let's remove the objects from our scene. Let's go on to the command panel, we will stay in Create column but helpers. From here, we will go down to the grid option and again we will make a grid directly up against that construction plane. Now if we take our new grid and maybe rotate it around a few ways, you can see we are at now quite a different angle than the construction plane, we can now with that new grid selected right click and from the menu choose Activate Grid. So this temporarily disables our home grid and will now enable us to create new objects in relation to the helper grid.
Let's go back to our objects. Why don't we again choose the Box command, you will notice the new helper grid shows in the same and as I build my object, it's made in relation to that new grid. Why don't we also try that with cylinder and you can see how that works. Now when you finish using the helper grid, you can reactivate the home grid by simply going to the tools pull-down, going into the grid and snaps category and choosing Activate Home Grid. Our construction plane has now been reactivated and you can see anything now built will be made in relation to that.
Now another neat feature in Max is something called Auto Grid. The button can be found directly at the top of the object type category. Let's go and turn it on. Now when we move our mouse over the scene, you will notice the 3 colored axis tripod actually rotates as we move our mouse around the object. This is going to give us an opportunity to actually construct in relation to other objects already in our scene. So with the Cylinder command active, if we go ahead now and click and hold down, a new temporary grid forms and we will now build directly on for that.
And you can see what happens if we do it to the box and then maybe over to the top of the other cylinder. So that will give you a couple of handy grid features you can activate when needed.
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