3ds Max Mastery in 7 Hrs: Project Based Intro for Beginners
4.3 (1,301 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
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3ds Max Mastery in 7 Hrs: Project Based Intro for Beginners

Use 3ds Max to follow along with these diverse 3d projects and finish with a strong knowledge of 3d software and tools
4.3 (1,301 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
6,963 students enrolled
Created by Adam Zollinger
Last updated 3/2020
English [Auto], Indonesian [Auto], 4 more
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Current price: $90.99 Original price: $129.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 8 hours on-demand video
  • 6 articles
  • 4 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Create your own 3d projects from scratch within a few hours
  • Gain a strong understanding of 3d concepts and 3ds Max tools in just 7 hrs
  • Be comfortable finding your way around the 3ds Max UI
  • Create multiple 3d projects from beginning to end
  • Create their own models, materials and renderings in 3ds Max
  • Use built in poly modelling tools to create photo real 3d models
  • Create basic 3d models for video games
  • Animate objects and cameras in 3ds Max
  • Understand the concepts of 3d graphics and know how to apply them using 3ds Max
  • You will need to be very familiar with computers and comfortable learning and navigating in a complex software program. You will also need a computer capable of running said program (MOST will work, but some might be slower than others). I will show you how/where to get the software and you will need to be able to install it and check your computers specs to make sure they're fit for the job. It will also be helpful to you if you have access to photo editing software (i.e. Photoshop or similar). We will not use this extensively in the course, but we do use it some, and if you want to get serious about 3d graphics you will eventually need this. Knowing how to use photo editing software already will also be helpful, but is not entirely necessary. I demonstrate what to do, and I can also offer you additional resources to help you learn it. Other than that, feel free to come as a complete beginner to 3d graphics and 3ds Max.

**Updated 10/2019 with new bonus project

3ds Max is an industry leading 3d software used widely in various different fields of 3d, including but not limited to: video games, film, medical illustration, architectural illustration, animation, industrial design and concept art.

Regardless of what field you are hoping to go into with 3d graphics, this is the place to start.  Here are some of the reasons:

  • In the course we will use 3ds Max. Anyone can get access to this software for free (limited time), and it is one of the most widely used 3d packages used throughout all industries.

  • This course is comprehensive, in that it covers all the major concepts of 3d.  At the end you will be able to create your own graphics.

  • We start slow, and from the absolute beginning, so don't worry if you are new to this.

  • This is a project based course.  We won't get too caught up in all the theory, but instead we will jump right in and start creating things.  

  • The projects include techniques that will be useful in various different disciplines, so regardless of what you are learning 3d for, there is something here for you.

  • All course models and texture maps are available for download, so it is easy to stay caught up with the instructor.  

  • Many additional free resources will be available to enhance learning.

  • Videos are high-quality.  They are presented in full HD with crisp sound, and they also include key-stroke overlays to help the student understand clearly.

  • All default settings are used in 3ds Max, so the student screen will look just like the instructor screen -- no surprises or secret short cuts!  This course is very easy to follow.

All these things, and many more, make this course the premiere place to learn 3d graphics on Udemy. After joining this course, you will see that after about 7 hours of video and practice projects, you will come to have a firm grasp of 3d graphics in 3ds Max.  You will understand the theory behind 3d graphics as they apply to various different fields.  You will also be able to navigate around in the software comfortably -- a big achievement for such a powerful and complex software.  Most importantly, you will be able to confidently create your own projects, whether it be modelling, animation, game content creation, or whatever.

More important notes about the class:

  • You will have access to the instructor, who is a practicing 3d professional, through the course forums.  He will answer questions for you directly and help wherever necessary.

  • This course will be continually updated with new content which will all be free to existing students

  • This course will stay up to date and add additional information continually to stay up with the latest software releases.

  • There is a 30 day money back guarantee on this purchase.  *Full refund for any reason.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is great for people who are beginners in 3d graphics, and/or 3ds Max. Regardless of what industry you hope to go into with 3d, this class will be a good comprehensive introduction. We do projects that cover techniques from various different disciplines. This course is NOT for you if you are already proficient in modelling, lighting, materials and animating in 3ds Max. Students, aspiring game designers, architects, graphic artists, illustrators, etc. who have not done 3d graphics before, but want to increase their skill set, please take this course.
Course content
Expand all 84 lectures 07:58:58
+ Introduction
7 lectures 08:40

-Meet me, the instructor

-What we're going to do in this course

-How we are going to learn

-What you will have / know by the end

Course Introduction

Here we will explore the video player for this course, and also the Q & A section.  It is important to know these things because they need to work in order for us to maximize our learning.  Please use the Q & A section liberally.

Preview 02:01

Here you will see how to get your free version of the software so you can follow along with me.  The latest version is 2017, and that is what I will be using during the course.  If you have a previous version, it will work as well with a few minor things being slightly different.

Preview 00:45

Here is where you will need to come to find all the downloads (models, maps, etc) that I talk about in the course

Preview 00:07
+ Jump In To 3d Graphics: The Basic Building Blocks
4 lectures 11:28

An intro to section 2 where we will get our feet wet with 3d graphics.  We will cover some of the basic principles of 3d, learn some of the applications of 3d (and possible career paths), and we will also create our first basic rendering in this section.

Preview 00:44

Here we will create a basic model using available default objects called standard primitives.  We will also see how to place a light in our scene and render out an image.  This is where we will create our very first rendering!

Preview 05:56

A little more about the building blocks of 3d and an explanation of how we can take these basic standard primitives and turn them into complex scenes.

More About What We Just Created

3d can be used for so many things, and it all starts with the basic elements we have discussed in this section.  In this lecture we will revue what we have learned, and also take a look at examples of what can be created using 3d graphics.  This will give you some good goals to aim for as far as what kind of things you might want to create in 3d, and what kind of career path you might want to pursue.

From Standard Primitives to Complex Effects: Applications and Careers in 3d
+ Navigate 3ds Max With Ease
5 lectures 22:04

In this lecture we will touch on the various different elements of the 3ds Max UI.  There is kind of a lot to look at, and it can be overwhelming, so it is worth taking the time.  We will learn the difference between the viewport, file menus, command panel, other tool panels, etc.

Preview 04:47
Oh Snap! Get More Accurate With Object Snaps
Scene Organization
Navigating 3ds Max Review
+ More About Modelling
6 lectures 32:03

Modelling Introduction:

-spline modelling

-standard primitives

-modifier panel

-polygon modelling

Modelling Section Introduction

This lecture covers basic spline creation.  Within splines, as you will see, there is a built-in ability to make any shape we want.  To accomplish this, we will use sub-object modes and explore the various different types of vertices that can be created with splines. 

Preview 09:14

This is an opportunity to look at some more of the standard primitives that are available in 3ds Max.  We will see various different types demonstrated.

More Standard Primitives

Once we have created the basic elements of our models, we need to be able to adjust them and modify them.  Enter, the Modify Panel.  Here we can change the parameters of basic primitives, change properties of splines, and also add various different types of adjustment modifiers to our objects.  You will learn about sweep, FFD and more.

Introduction to the Modifier Panel

Here you will be introduced to polygon modelling, which gives you the maximum control over your objects.  It is the basis for most complex models in 3d.  You will learn how to enter sub-object mode and individually control the different elements of an object with poly tools such as extrude.

Basic Polygon Modelling

In this lecture we will dive deeper into polygon modelling, and see a demonstration of the basic tools that will be the foundation for some very complex, custom objects later on.  Poly modelling is very powerful, and the this lecture will give us a good look at some of its capabilities.

More Polygon Modelling: Create a Complex Object From A Single Rectangle
+ The Modifier Panel In-Depth
1 lecture 08:01

In this lecture, we will get even more comfortable with the modify panel (it is really essential) by seeing various modifiers applied to our objects.  We will see various different settings and what they do.  Modifiers demonstrated include: lathe, FFD and noise.

Important Modifiers and Mastering the Modify Panel
+ Project #1: Create A Basic Still Life
7 lectures 38:47
Project #1: Still-Life Scene Creation Intro

It is time to polish our models and get them ready for rendering. To do this, we will use more modifiers (I told you they are important), and more poly modeling.  Generally, we will be adding small details that make our models more physically accurate, because this will help them to render more realistically.

Refining Our Objects

Previously we learned how to create objects from a simple rectangle using poly tools.  Here we will use the same techniques to model the table for our still life models to sit on.

Use Our Poly Modelling Techniques To Create The Table

Up to this point, we have been modelling independent of any specific units or scale.  In this lecture, we will remedy that as we prepare to start rendering.  We will also see how to fix scale problems if they arise in our projects.  

Units and Scale: Make Sure Everything is the Right Size

Here we will add a simple studio backdrop for our models.  This will be important when we get to lighting and rendering our scene.  It will add to the realism, and also to the look and feel that we are trying achieve with our final rendering.

Create a Studio Backdrop for Our Scene

In this lecture we finally create another rendering, and this time we are getting a lot closer to something that looks finished, especially on the modelling part.  We will learn again how to put in a simple light and camera, and then how to use basic render settings.  In later lectures, we will then go back and start to review these areas in more depth.

Preview 07:31

For those of you who have later versions of 3ds Max where Arnold has been introduced instead of Mental Ray, this video will adapt our project to that render engine. We will put in some Arnold compatible lights and render with the default settings of that engine to preview our scene. We will also show how to render the scene with the ART render engine.

UPDATE FOR NEWER VERSIONS: Render The Same Studio With Arnold or ART Renderers
+ Let There Be Light
6 lectures 29:58

-Different kinds of lights in 3d

-Mental Ray / Standard / Photometric

-Which one to use when

-Benefits of different kinds

Introduction: Lighting in 3ds Max
UPDATE FOR NEWER VERSIONS OF MAX: Use ART or Arnold to preview your lighting

Here we start to get a little more in depth with lights and their associated settings.  This first lecture covers standard lights; spotlights, direct lights and omni lights.  These are the standard 3ds Max lights, and will render with basically any render engine.

Standard 3ds Max Lights

Area lights are more accurate than standard lights.  We will cover them here as we attempt to create more realistic shadows and lighting effects, again with built-in lights that come with every copy of 3ds Max.

Area Lights

Photometric lights are probably the most physically accurate.  They can actually perfectly mimic specific lights in the real world, per manufacturer specs.  We'll learn how in this video.  When we are done here, we will have learned about all the different kinds of lights available to us in 3ds Max.

Check the resources of this video to grab the .ies files that we talk about in the lecture.

Photometric Lights

For those of you using a newer version of the software with Arnold, this lecture gets you up to speed with Arnold lights. Arnold lights can replace all the other lights that we have talked about in this section. They can act as area lights of all different shapes and sizes.

ARNOLD UPDATES: Using Arnold Lights for Area, and all Other Types of Lights
+ Cameras and Composition
6 lectures 20:52

- Theory behind photography

- How it applies in 3d

- Setting up cameras in 3ds Max

- Camera Settings

- Composition

Introduction to Cameras in 3ds Max

Before using a camera in 3ds Max, it is helpful to understand how actual cameras work.  The settings on a real-life camera will translate straight across to 3d, so understanding one helps us understand the other.  Here we will discuss the essential settings and the theory behind them so that we can improve our 3d scene.

Photography Basics

Now we see how to apply photography principles to the 3ds Max physical camera.  We'll go over all the basic settings that are important to our scene.  Some things that are discussed include exposure, depth-of-field, motion blur and more.

3ds Max Physical Camera Settings

Depth-of-field can be a great tool for adding an artistic flare to our scenes.  It also helps to guide the eye to the focal point of our image.   Here we will put it into use.

Depth of Field: Adding Interest and Realism to Our Scenes

When we create new cameras in 3d, it often means that we see new parts of our models that we hadn't focused on before.  In this lecture, we adjust the scene and composition to fit with our new camera from this section.  We will also make sure that the lighting makes sense with the new camera.

Improving Our Scene Based on New Camera Settings

We have learned a lot about cameras and photography in this section.  Here we will review what we have learned, and I will also give you additional material for you to reference if you wish to explore photography further.

Camera Section Review
+ Creating Materials for Your Models
11 lectures 01:13:11

Here we will take a look at some different types of materials, and try our hand at adjusting some of them.  We will start to learn the basic construction of materials so that we can begin to start creating our own, custom materials.

The Basics of Different Types of Materials - Mental Ray, ART, etc.

In this introduction, you will see the basic theory behind materials.  We will also cover some basic terminology, plus see the theory behind UVW mapping, which is the process of mapping 2d images (maps) onto 3 dimensional geometry.

Preview 05:38

Use the provided .jpg files as bitmaps to create a complex rustic wood material.  This lecture is a great introduction about using bitmaps for diffuse, reflection, glossiness, bump etc.

Create Your Own Material and Apply It To An Object

Now use what you know about making materials and adapt to Arnold Materials. In this lecture, we change the table material into an Arnold material that will work with the Arnold renderer.

ARNOLD UPDATES: Create an Arnold Material

We have looked at bitmaps, but now we will use procedural maps to create some interesting effects.  These maps are generated using mathematical algorithms. We will use them to create a brushed metal material here, but they can be used for many different things in 3d materials.

Create a Brushed Metal Using Procedural Maps

In this lecture, we will create a basic glass material and explore some of its settings.  We will also experiment a little bit more with some procedural maps, and introduce refraction to our materials.

Refraction: Create a Glass Material

Here we will finish up the materials for our scene with final tweaks.  We will also look at a new type of material, the Fast SSS Mental Ray material. When we are done with the lecture, our scene will be fully materialized.

Finishing Up Our Materials + Adding a Sub-Surface Scattering Effect
TEST: Try Recreating Our More Advanced Materials Using Arnold Material Settings

3ds Max includes a scene converter, so regardless of what render engine you are using, you can convert it to another. It can convert materials and lights so they will be compatible.

ARNOLD UPDATES: Use the Scene Converter to Change Any Mental Ray to Arnold

We have already used and applied UVW maps to our objects, but here we will review them and learn some of the theory behind them.  Watch this lecture to ensure that you always have your materials looking right on your objects.

UVW Mapping Basics
+ Setting Up Your Rendering - Render Settings
2 lectures 16:57

This lecture demonstrates for us the simplicity of Mental Ray render settings so we can be on our way with rendering our own scenes.  Mental Ray makes it fairly simple to quickly adjust the essential settings.

Basic Render Settings in Mental Ray - Get High Quality Renderings Fast and Easy

All the essential render settings for Arnold

ARNOLD UPDATES: Arnold Render Settings