3ds max Mentor: Getting Started in 3ds max

Guided bootcamp on the 3ds max basics from 3D modeling to animation.
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  • Lectures 51
  • Length 4 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 6/2013 English

Course Description

The overall goal of the course is to get you confidently working in 3ds max to create some portfolio pieces that demonstrate your creativity and skills in the software.

Aimed at those with little to no experience with 3ds max who are looking for a 3D coach to provide a learning path that navigates them through the wealth of training material. providing you someone to answer your direct questions and help to avoid a traumatizing learning curve. It’s a great course for those taking a college class involving 3ds max as it will get you working confidently in 3D space so that you can create 3D rendered scenes and animation. It is also a useful for instructors that provide instruction to beginners in that it identifies some of the best free 3ds max related resources on the web and provides creative assignment ideas.The course will cover basic 3D modeling, Materials, Lighting, & Animation in 3ds max.

The course is organized in a way so that you can create portfolio items along the way as you are learning the software. Videos will introduce you to several tools and techniques and at different points there will be exercises for you to do to practice what’s been demonstrated.

This course is not a series of tutorials and every little facet of 3ds max will not be explained.

However, the course is designed so that it invites you to come up with questions about how to do something or why something is occurring. As your mentor I can connect you to answers to the questions or in some cases ease your frustrations you experience as you go along. In that way you will be much more prepared to freely create from your own imagination or be able to deliver on the demands from a client.

What are the requirements?

  • Autodesk 3ds max 2012+ software

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Work in 3D space
  • Create basic animation
  • Create basic 3D models
  • Work with materials and textures
  • Basic Lighting and render setups including Image based Lighting

Who is the target audience?

  • Beginners

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction
Course Overview
2 pages
Instructor introduction and the approach of the course is explained. Your encouraged to join the 3ds max mentor course community to share the results of your progress in the course.
Tips on creating useful and accessible notes.
Course Google+ community
Section 2: Working in 3D space
Two beginning videos to watch and take notes on to get you started

Quirks on using the scale tool reviewed.

Quick tips on Viewport controls, How to handle disappearing Transform Gizmo (x key), & Question on which method of switching between Transform modes is faster(main menu, quad menu, or hot keys).

Avoiding Scaling Related Issues
Demonstration on duplicating objects.
Demonstration on how to link (parent) objects and the benefits of using Transforms in local coordinate system mode.
Consider how the composition and lens of the viewport impacts the mood, meaning and impact of an image. Creating a camera object from a perspective view using control + C is covered.
This lecture covers how to generate an still image from a viewport. There are also tips on how to create a cleaner better looking viewport still image grab. 
1 page
Suggested content for further explanations on setting up projects, creating and selecting objects from 3rd party resources. 
Section 3: Exercises ->Working in 3D space
1 page
Exercise details and instruction. Check out the external resource for a quick tip on a 3ds max Autogrid feature that could be useful on this type of exercise.
Primitive Table and Chairs
1 page
The Stack
1 page
Section 4: Shape Modeling
Quick Intro to Rendering
Renderable Shapes
Extruding Shapes
Importing Shapes from Photoshop and Illustrator
Tracing Shapes using Reference
Sweep and Bevel Profile Modifier Introduction
Sweep Modifier Applications
Shape Modeling -> 3rd party resources
1 page
Section 5: Exercises: -> Shape Modeling
WordPlay: a 3D Text Layout Exercise
1 page
3D Mandala Shape Exercise
1 page
Art Gallery Shape Exercise
1 page
Logo Modeling Exercise
1 page
Section 6: Animation

Custom Toolbar Creation
Creating Animation Preview files
Adding a Sound Track
Animation -> 3rd party resources
2 pages
Section 7: Exercises -> Animation
Animated Bounce exercise
2 pages
Logo Animation Exercise
2 pages
Animated Beat Exercise
1 page
Section 8: Shading & Lighting
Clay Render Setup
Ambient Occlusion Rendering part One
Ambient Occlusion Rendering part Two

Shows a method of implement Image based lighting through the skylight in 3ds max with HDR images.

Here are some sources for finding free HDR dome images:

HDRI’s -> http://jeffpatton.net/2012/05/sharing-a-few-more-hdrs/






what is HDRI



Shows a method of setting up a backplate and the mental ray matte material for compositing purposes.

Comp versions of backplates are available at:


UV unwrapping
Shading & Lighting 3rd party resources
1 page
Section 9: Exercises -> Shading & Lighting
Clay Rendering Exercise
1 page
Lighting & Rendering Challenge
2 pages
Section 10: Modeling

Fixing Geometry: Flipped Normals
Fixing Geometry: Avoiding Overlapping Surfaces
Fixing Geometry: Resolving Topology for Better Turbosmoothed Surfaces
Rendering and Presentation
Section 11: Course Conclusion

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Instructor Biography

As a 3D artist I’ve been working with 3ds max since 1997. I have also been a college adjunct instructor on and off for almost fifteen years. I've been a computer graphics and animation community leader in the Detroit area for the past decade through the Detroit ACM SIGGRAPH chapter.

There is a passion I feel in crafting lessons that are accessible to students so that they can focus on being creative and solving problems, not fighting the software every step of the way. I also love story and idea development and am willing to provide feedback and guidance on any creative project.

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