Choose units of measurement.
- Scene layout is the process of setting up a scene in 3D, and it usually means importing objects and positioning them in a larger context, and that's what I've done here. I have a scene already laid out with a lot of objects. And, I'm going to use that to demonstrate the most important principal, the very first thing that you need to get under your belt with scene layout, is scale. The size of the world, and the size of objects actually matters. Especially, when you get to physical materials and lighting.
So, you can't expect good results, if you have random scale to your objects and it's really advised that in 3ds Max, you model everything to unity scale. In other words the object in the 3D scene is measured the same as it would be in the real world. If you have a scene open, and you don't know the scale of objects, there's an old trick to just find out, basically what the scale is by just building a box. I'll go in to the create panel, geometry, standard primitives, box, click and drag in the perspective view to set the footprint of the box, and then drag up to set the elevation, or height and then click to end the box.
Right click, to exit box creation, and with the box still selected, go to the modify panel and you see we have a numerical readout here. But, it has no particular units attached to it. And, I've set up this scene specifically to emulate the way 3ds Max behaves by default. Which is, so called generic units. What is a generic unit? Well, actually it's an inch. Let's look into our units setup and verify that. Unit setup is found in the customize menu, units setup.
And in the dialogue, we have the display units scale And, you can see that, it is currently set to generic units, and that's the default. And we see over here, we have a length of 46.549. Just to prove that generic units are actually inches, I'm going to switch the display units scale over to US standard and from the pull down list, choose decimal inches. And, when I click OK here, we should see this update.
Click OK, and now it says 46.549 inches. Alright, those are generic units. You will almost always want to explicitly set your units per scene. I'll go back into the customize menu, to unit setup and I'll choose metric. With the pull down list here set to centimeters, and click OK and now it reads out in centimeters. The size of the object did not change. We're merely measuring it with a different system.
And, if I wished I can type in values here to make this a cube exactly one meter on a side. Type in 100, press tab, 100, tab, 100 and press enter, and now that box is one cubic meter. If for some reason you do need to use US Standard units, in feet and inches. Then, when you go into that customize units setup and choose US Standard you can choose feet or inches as your units.
If you choose feet, either with fractional or decimal inches then you also have the ability to choose a so-called default unit. And that's merely how 3ds Max will interpret your data entry. In other words, if it's set to default units of feet, and I type in a one, then 3ds Max will interpret that as one foot. If the default units are inches and I type in a one, 3ds Max will interpret that as one inch.
So, I'll choose feet, click OK and over here I'll set the length to three. Just type in a three and press enter. So, it's interpreting that keystroke as three feet. Okay, so that's how the units work. I'm going to use metric, with centimeters throughout most of this course. So, that the scenes will be compatible with international audiences. If you're an architect or interior designer working in the United States, you'll probably use US Standard.
But, otherwise I recommend using the metric system. Click OK, and set this back to a value of 100 centimeters. That's how to set up the display units, or units of measurement in the scene.
AuthorAaron F. Ross
Learn how to get around the 3ds Max interface and customize it to suit your preferences. Discover how to model different objects using splines, polygons, subdivision surfaces, and freeform sculpting. Then, learn to construct hierarchies, add cameras and lights, and animate with keyframes. Author Aaron F. Ross also takes an in-depth look at materials and texture mapping, as well as options for rendering engines such as Arnold and ART.
- Customizing the interface
- Selecting, duplicating, and editing objects
- Modeling with splines
- Parametric modeling with the Modifier Stack
- Polygon and subdivision surface modeling
- Freeform sculpting
- Framing shots with cameras
- Lighting with photometrics and daylight
- Building materials
- Mapping textures
- Linking objects in hierarchies
- Creating and editing keyframes
- Rendering an image sequence
Skill Level Intermediate
3ds Max 2017: Advanced Materialswith Aaron F. Ross2h 34m Intermediate
3ds Max 2018 Essential Trainingwith Aaron F. Ross10h 10m Beginner
2. 3ds Max Interface
3. Scene Layout
4. Spline Modeling
5. Parametric Modeling with Modifiers
6. Polygon Modeling
7. Subdivision Surface Modeling
8. Freeform Modeling
9. Camera Techniques
12. Mapping Textures
14. Keyframe Animation
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