Load a scene in the 3ds Max Interactive realtime engine.
- [Instructor] 3ds Max Interactive is a standalone application for developing 3D games, and virtual worlds. You can download 3ds Max Interactive from your AutoDesk account, and it uses the same licensing as your 3ds Max subscription. It's deeply integrated with 3ds Max, and also with Maya, making it convenient to create interactive 3D worlds, for delivery on various platforms, such as the Windows desktop, Android, iOS, Playstation, Xbox, and even the humble Web browser.
Today, we'll take a first look at 3ds Max Interactive. We'll simply load in and test one of the sample scenes provided online. When you first open 3ds Max Interactive, you'll get the Project window, and you can choose to create a new project from scratch, by going to the My Projects tab, and this will create a default folder structure, including places for assets and compiled files. But we're going to open up one of the templates and take a look at some content created by the team at AutoDesk.
If you go to the Templates tab, you'll see that there are a few templates that are provided on your hard drive. So when you download the 3ds Max Interactive, these were included, but there are some even more interesting projects available online, if we go to the Online Projects tab. And if we scroll through here, there's one I'd like to show you, which is an architectural visualization example of a pool room. If you click on that Poolroom Example to select it, you'll see that it's got a download size of one gigabyte.
So it might take a little bit of time to download, if you're on a slow connection. If that's the case, you might want to try a different example, that's smaller. Also, once this is unpacked, and finally compiled, and prepared, it's going to balloon this size, on your hard drive, to four or five gigabytes, so just make sure you've got lots of space before you download. So I'll go ahead and click the Download button, and we need to specify a name and a location for this project. And I've got it already in here, it's just my desktop.
By default it will point at the current user's Documents folder. This is just what I want. The name of the project will be "Poolroom_Example", and it will be saved to my desktop. So I'll click Download, and that'll take a few moments to download, and I'll pause the video and resume, once it's finished. Once the files have completed downloading, we'll need to wait a little bit longer, as those files are extracted, or decompressed, and then they'll need to be compiled, in the 3ds Max Interactive game engine.
In the meantime, we see a window for tutorials. I can go ahead and close that window, and we'll monitor the compilation process, down here, in the lower-right. So we'll just have to sit tight while that compilation process concludes. Once the data is compiled, the level is loaded, and we see a preview in the Level Viewport, here. Let's take a tour of the interface. Most importantly, if we want to open a project, we would go to the File menu, to the Project Manager, and here, we can see our active project in My Projects.
There's a toolbar on the left, which includes some navigation tools, as well as a tool for testing the level. If we look around in this scene, we can see that there are some strange silver objects. These are light probes, for reflection maps, and we also see some cameras, and so on. We see this in the sort of creator view, here. If we want to see what our players, or the people who experience our virtual world, are going to see, we would need to actually test the level.
That level includes anything that we see in the Explorer window, over here. And these are all the various entities. Down here, we have the Asset Browser, and this has links to the actual files. And so, this is the Poolroom_Example directory, on my desktop, and it includes other folders and other files. In the Asset Preview window, we can see what that model or texture would look like, before we add it to the level, and the Property Editor, here, will show us the attributes, or parameters, properties, for any selected entity or file.
So for example, if I select one of these reflection probes, down here, I get information, such as its position, and its settings. Okay, let's navigate around, in our creator view, in the Level Viewport, here. The hotkeys for viewport navigation are similar to those in 3ds Max. To pan, or move the camera, left to right, or up and down, use the middle mouse button. To tumble, or orbit, use Alt and left mouse.
To dolly forward and back, Alt and right mouse. But there are no constraints on where you can move. We can fly over objects, or through objects. If we want to navigate using a game mode, then hold down the right mouse button, and that allows you to look around, panning and tilting, and with that right mouse button still held down, you can also hold down a hotkey to move in various directions. So to move forward, hold down the right mouse and W.
To move backwards, right mouse and S. We can move side to side with the A key and the D key. We can change our elevation, or height, with the E and Q keys, all those with the right mouse button held down. To see what this would look like to an actual viewer of our game, or virtual world, we can test the level. But before we do that, I want to change the resolution of the project. It's currently set up for a 1920 by 1080 pixel window, which will not fit into my current capture area.
So let's make a small change to the project. In the Asset Browser, select "Poolroom_Example", and then choose "settings.ini". And over in the Property Editor, open up the "win32" section, and scroll down, if you need to. Open up the "renderer" setting. Down further, under "screen_resolution", we'll change the first field to 640, and the second field, or the width, to 360.
And when we made those changes, we can see that the "settings.ini" file is lit up in orange, meaning that it has changed, but those changes are not saved. So to overwrite that file with the new screen resolution, click on the Save object button, or the little floppy disk icon, in the Property Editor, and now "settings.ini" is no longer highlighted in orange. And we're ready to test this, and see what the AutoDesk developers have given us. We can press the Test Level button, on the toolbar, or use the keyboard shortcut of F8.
That'll take a moment to launch, but once it does, we'll get a separate window. In the upper-left of my screen, we can see the little movies that have been prepared. These are cinematics with camera movements, called Stories, in 3ds Max Interactive. And we'll just let those play through with all the sound effects and music, and once that's finished, we'll be able to actually navigate through the scene, as if we were a player or a viewer.
The transition was a little bit rough, there, but we are now in control of the viewpoint. And we can move forward, just in the normal way, just press the W key, and we're able to fly. And I don't need to hold the mouse down, just move the mouse around, and I'm able to change my direction. So even without holding down the mouse key, I can just move the mouse. We can also walk, so that we don't crash into things.
Press the F2 key, and then the W key, to move forward, and we're not able to actually go through objects. When we're finished testing the level, we can escape out of this window by pressing the Escape key, on the keyboard. All right, that's a very basic introduction to 3ds Max Interactive, which is an authoring environment for games and virtual worlds. Of course, we've only scratched the surface, here, and, as I said before, it's very deeply integrated with 3ds Max, so you have the ability to load assets in real-time.
And that's our first look at 3ds Max Interactive.