3ds Max

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Course Aim

This easy-to-follow course is a perfect hands-on accompaniment to learning, aimed at helping novices and all practitioners, whatever their role or skill levels, to quickly become proficient in the production of still and animated visualisation using Autodesk 3ds Max. Individual modules contain clear learning objectives and practical, task-based step-by-step examples, covering the software's core features and functionality, ensures you are productive from the very start of your learning. Either work through every lesson to complete the full course, or individual lessons on the specific skills you need. The course contains helpful tips and tricks and will be an invaluable reminder of the topics covered in your learning and a source of reference for years to come.

3ds Max (3 days)

Module 00

3ds Max in a Nutshell

Module 01

Introducing 3ds Max as a BIM tool

What is BIM and what does it mean?

The benefits of BIM

What will BIM and 3ds Max deliver?

Industry drivers

Introducing Levels of BIM

Promises in terms of visual improvements

Module 02

Introduction, UI Tour and Tool Navigation

Introducing the menu and screen layout

Interrogating the model and viewports

Standard screen and command panel

Modelling toolbars

Time and animation controls

Track and Status bar

Exercise on modelling, viewports, saving files and configuring the User Interface

Module 03

Working concepts, Key tools and basic file setup

Important working concepts

Surface modelling, object and material naming

3ds Max workflows

File management, units, backup, saving options

Exercise on object selection and manipulation, snaps and cloning objects

Module 04

Basic object creation, transform and modify

Creating - the panel, names and colour

Transform - move, rotate, scale, gizmos, type-ins and angle snaps

Modify - overview, the panel, parameters, the modifier stack, gizmos and mesh density

Exercise on creating, modifying and transforming an object

Module 05

2D spline and 3D modelling basics

Modelling background

Mesh density

Object manipulation tools

     2D and 2.5D snaps

     Alignment tool


Exercise on creating a stool and a table before using text

Module 06

Creating and Manipulating Editable Polys

Poly modelling and the ribbon

Editable Poly

     Poly sub-elements

     Normals and backfacing

Exercise on selecting and manipulating the Mesh in Polys, using an Edit Poly modifier

Module 07

Importing and working with DWG & MAX files

DWG files

Layers and 3ds Max

DWG file layers

Exercise on tracing off 2D plans, importing a .DWG file and working with Layers

Module 08

Creating and Applying Materials & Textures

Basic workflow


Material Editors and material interoperability

Exercise providing practical application of materials and working with their libraries

Module 09

Creating light and shadow

Basic lighting methodologies

Types of light, their use and three-point lighting

 Shadows - options and Map shadows

 Exercise on controlling lighting, omni, spot and direct light types

Module 10

Camera setup, clipping and manipulation

Camera types - target and free

Viewport derived cameras


Length and stock lenses

Exercise on setting up the camera and using a spline to create an animated camera

Module 11

Rendering images and simple animation

Choice of renderer

Relationship of aspect ratio and image aspect

Output size and test renders

DPI for printing

Animation sizes

File types

Exercise on configuring render parameters, merging a MAX file and setup of an animation

  • Learn and apply the techniques to carry out mesh & surface modelling; efficiently make parametric & organic objects; do textures mapping, baking, and layering; accelerate shading & material design.
  • Understand how to get better interactive and playback performance; segment models for downstream compositing; iterate more effectively with interactive rendering; generate better physical simulations in less time; make simulations with combined simulation solvers; create water, fire, spray, and snow effects, and create strand-derived effects like grass.
  • Demonstrate use of configurable user interface to access multiple views with tabbed layouts; get efficient 2D/3D data exchange; get single-step data transfer; choose from several compositing options; use containers to override object properties.

This course is designed for users of Autodesk 3ds Max.