3ds max Mentor: Getting Started in 3ds max
4.3 (7 ratings)
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3ds max Mentor: Getting Started in 3ds max

Guided bootcamp on the 3ds max basics from 3D modeling to animation.
4.3 (7 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
83 students enrolled
Last updated 9/2013
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  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 5 Articles
  • 17 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 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
View Curriculum
  • Autodesk 3ds max 2012+ software

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.

Who is the target audience?
  • Beginners
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Curriculum For This Course
51 Lectures
4 Lectures 09:39

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.
Preview 2 pages

Tips on creating useful and accessible notes.
Preview 07:05

Working in 3D space
9 Lectures 38:26
Two beginning videos to watch and take notes on to get you started

Essential Skills Movies: 1.UI & Viewports 2. Create Objects

Quirks on using the scale tool reviewed.
Scale Tool

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).

Tips on Viewport and Transform Controls

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.
Linking objects and Using the Local coordinate system

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. 
Creating a viewport image snapshot

Suggested content for further explanations on setting up projects, creating and selecting objects from 3rd party resources. 
Working in 3D space ->3rd party resources
1 page
Exercises ->Working in 3D space
3 Lectures 00:00
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 Sculpture
1 page

Primitive Table and Chairs
1 page

The Stack
1 page
Shape Modeling
8 Lectures 01:08:42
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
Exercises: -> Shape Modeling
4 Lectures 00:00
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
5 Lectures 17:01

Animating Transforms

Custom Toolbar Creation

Creating Animation Preview files

Adding a Sound Track

Animation -> 3rd party resources
2 pages
Exercises -> Animation
3 Lectures 00:00
Animated Bounce exercise
2 pages

Logo Animation Exercise
2 pages

Animated Beat Exercise
1 page
Shading & Lighting
7 Lectures 53:26
Clay Render Setup

Ambient Occlusion Rendering part One

Ambient Occlusion Rendering part Two

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

Comp versions of backplates are available at:


Backplates and the Mental ray Matte material

UV unwrapping

Shading & Lighting 3rd party resources
1 page
Exercises -> Shading & Lighting
2 Lectures 00:00
Clay Rendering Exercise
1 page

Lighting & Rendering Challenge
2 pages
5 Lectures 20:40
Intro to Box Modeling

Fixing Geometry: Avoiding Overlapping Surfaces

Fixing Geometry: Resolving Topology for Better Turbosmoothed Surfaces

Rendering and Presentation
1 More Section
About the Instructor
Randall Rockafellow
4.3 Average rating
7 Reviews
83 Students
1 Course
3D Artist

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.