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3D Studio MAX 3ds lesson tutorial

Chapter 1 - Getting started with 3D Studio MAX ( 3DS MAX ) (Beginner tutorials & video lessons)
Author - Saju Asokan
Last Updated: Aug 02 2008
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  Key Topics
I’m going to give you a primer training on 3D Studio MAX ( 3DS MAX ) through these beginner tutorials. It will help you get started and will give a fairly good idea about how to work in 3D Studio MAX ( 3DS MAX ). You will find more free advanced training lessons as well as cutting-edge 3ds max techniques in the contents page of this free training. Before you begin, make sure that you have enough time to complete one complete lesson at a time, without interruption.

Before anything else, we need to launch 3D Studio MAX ( 3DS MAX ).

Launching 3D Studio MAX ( 3DS MAX ): Choose 3D Studio MAX ( 3DS MAX ) icon from the program group (Discreet/Kinetix depending on version) within the Start Menu in your Windows system. It shows a splash screen and in a few moments 3D Studio MAX ( 3DS MAX ) gets loaded fully equipped. On the way, if you are loading it for the first time, you might be prompted to choose the real-time rendering platform. Choose ‘OpenGL’ or ‘Direct3D’ as your 3D card supports. If your card has no support for these platforms, simply choose ‘Software renderer’. If no such screen for selection appears, don’t bother.

So now we got 3D Studio MAX ( 3DS MAX ) loaded. right? Don’t faint looking at the big four divisions on the center of the window and the whole lots of tools and menus. They are really simple once you get to know them through these lessons. Trust me. And the best part is that you wont need most of them until you cross the intermediate level tutorials. Lets do it like building a nice home. First we lay down the foundation instead of thinking about the balcony. Don’t think much about the complex tools for now. Lets start simple.

3D Studio MAX 3ds
Fig: 3D Studio MAX ( 3DS MAX ) Startup window
TIP: You may need to switch between the software and this webpage often to see for yourself what I’m talking about and also for trying it out. It would be easier if you use Alt+Tab key stroke to switch between the windows. Simply press Alt+Tab simultaneously and release it. You will switch to the next window. Pressing it again shuttles your view back and forth.
Lets have a look at the most elementary items of the 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max) interface now.
Download the FREE Training Video which introduces you to the interface of 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ) here
The download is a RAR file which contains the free 3ds max training video file compressed using MPEG-4 codec. Click here for instructions on viewing the video.
Viewports in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ): The four squares that you see at the center region of the window are the viewports. A 3D scene has the third dimension or depth and this enables us to view the model or the scene from any angle we like. Four preset views are provided by the viewport. We can change them which I’ll explain later.
Top View
The top left viewport in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ) shows the label “Top” at its topleft corner. What you see through that viewport is nothing but the top view of a scene. Its just like you looking at an object from above. Remember you having looked down at the street from the top of a tall building? That’s the top view exactly.
3ds max top viewport
Front View
The front view has the label “Front” on it and is the one at the top right position among the four viewports. This viewports displays the front view of an object in the scene in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ). Just imagine a person standing in front of you. You are looking at him. What you see is the front view of the person - a model having width, height and depth – ie: X- axis, Y- axis, Z-axis – the three elements that make up 3D

Note: I expect that you would have the elementary concepts of 3D.

3ds max front viewport
Left View
It has the label “Left” on top of it and is present at the bottom left location among the viewports. As before, the left view is nothing but the view you can see when you watch the left side of an object or a person. The choie of left is arbitrary 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ). You can choose to see Right side in the viewport which I’ll explain in the free Advanced Interface lessons & tutorials.
3ds max left viewport
Perspective View
All the views we have seen till now are orthographic views. In brief, orthographic means we are observing the object along perpendicular planes. In the case of perspective view, we have the added advantage that we can rotate the view in 3D Studio MAX ( 3ds max ) to change the angle at which we look. For example we can watch a tea-pot at an angle from the top instead of straight down.
3ds max perspective viewport
Now that you have got an idea about the views, lets learn to work with them in the next page
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