3ds Max + V-Ray: 3ds Max PRO in 6 hrs

3ds Max intro course: 3Ds Max and V-Ray for creating 3D architectural imagery.
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  • Lectures 70
  • Length 9 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 8/2014 English

Course Description

*Course Updated 03/03/2016 - now contains resources for moving on to more advanced techniques after finishing this course.

*Much more content coming soon (advanced techniques for arch viz, interior renderings with V-Ray, animation, etc)

*I'll be your technical support - I answer questions every day in the discussion area, and I always respond to your private messages. In these advanced computer programs, you will inevitably run into technical problems. I am always here to answer all your questions and help you troubleshoot. You can't find another course anywhere that gives you this much training, from a practicing professional, who is also at your beckon call to help, for such a reasonable price.

*Recent Student Feedback

"The Missing Link

Having done numerous on-line 3D courses I am always looking for new ways of doing things to speed up production and modeling. The course although basic is very well structured with very few ambiguities. What Adam outlines in the Intro clip is what you should achieve relatively easily by the end of the course. . The only downside is that he hasn't done more advanced Visualisation courses yet. When they do come on stream I will no doubt enroll as his skill and experience within the industry comes through in his presentation." NOTE: I do, in fact, have some more advanced classes now.

"This course is perfect for the beginners in 3ds max and V-ray. The information is clear and easy to understand. The course was a blast..."

About 3ds Max and V-Ray:

Knowing how to use these two programs together is a valuable skill. Seriously, I taught myself how to use these programs many years ago, and now I get paid quite well for my expertise. 3d is not just my hobby, it is also how I support my family. You can learn, and start a career in 3d too. Everything you need to get started is in this course. I will take you through 3ds Max and V-Ray from the very beginning, and by the end you will be well on your way to creating your own images and filling up your portfolio with polished work. Keep in mind, you do not typically need formal training to get a job in 3D. What it takes is an awesome portfolio, so let's get started on yours.

Some Questions To Ask Yourself:

  • Are you currently in a job you do not enjoy?Jobs in 3d are seriously fun and rewarding!
  • Are you an architecture student who feels overwhelmed sometimes trying to learn complicated software just to present your design properly? This course can get you up and running QUICK! Plus, you'll learn it the right way, from a pro.
  • Are you a SketchUp user who is no longer satisfied with the modeling / rendering capabilities of SketchUp, and are ready to take your 3d skills to the next level? SketchUp is great at what it does, but it falls short when it comes to making flashy, photoreal images. Also, bring your sketchUp with you, then learn to import it into 3ds Max and render with V-Ray, the best render engine out there.
  • Are you a practicing architect that needs a better way to portray your designs to clients? You've come to the right place. I am an expert at just that.
  • Maybe you're a gamer who wants to create your own game assets? Even you should learn 3ds Max. It is the industry standard for video games, and I personally have used it for asset creation for my unity 3d games.

Course Structure

  • For absolute beginners, I will show you how to get the software as a free trial and start finding your way around. I will also go over how to customize your UI for a professional workflow, because why learn the slow way to do things, right? I'll also share with you my custom UI files. Of course, you can skip all of this if you are more seasoned.
  • Next we will start with the basics of modeling. I will show you different techniques, and we will begin to work on our project. Again, files will be provided if you want / need them.
  • With modeling down, we will go into V-Ray and start playing with lighting, materials, cameras, render settings, etc.
  • Finally, we will learn how to enhance our images with Photoshop. I give some great post-processing tips in this course.
  • By the end you will be able to create architectural renderings on your own with a completely professional setup and workflow. Then it is your turn to start practicing your skills, creating beautiful work, building a portfolio and landing a job.
  • AFTER THE INITIAL PROJECT - once you have completed your first project and learned the basics, I will then move into more advanced techniques (also, there is fully professional interior V-Ray project coming soon that students will be able to learn along with -- this is for more advanced users, or people who are ready to move on from the initial 6 hrs of instruction)

How Will This Course Benefit You?

If you are a beginner, this class will be a great overview of how to get up and running. It will cut out all the stuff you do not need and show you exactly the workflow necessary to work like a pro.

If you are a veteran user, take this course to polish your V-Ray skills, and also to streamline your workflow. I show so many tips and tricks that I use everyday to pump out arch viz projects fast and on budget. There is no need to sacrifice quality and creativity if you can fly through the project quickly and on budget. I'll show you how.

COMING SOON: If you feel like you have mastered the basics, I have now added more advanced / obscure techniques that can really help your images to stand out, and much more will be coming soon, including a professional V-Ray interior shot that is completely photoreal.

Ready To Sign Up?

What are you waiting for? If you're still not sure, check out the preview videos. Also, check out my profile to the left and see some of my portfolio. Cool, right? Wan't to make some of your own images? Let's get started. 6 hrs is all you need to get started, then take the skills I share and practice, practice, practice.

Remember, I will provide the files and download links that you need for everything. My models are included. Come with nothing, leave with a finished project and a great knowledge base.

Start Your Love Affair With 3d Today!


*If the price isn't right, keep an eye out for Udemy promotions and coupon codes around the web, but I think a 6 hr training for $64 is a pretty good deal. Sure beats a semester at community college :)

*30 day money back guarantee, no questions asked! (If you hate it, get a refund)

-Adam Zollinger

Professional (self-taught and ready to teach you) 3d Artist

What are the requirements?

  • 64 bit Windows operating system
  • Computer and Internet
  • Ability to download / install trial software
  • Basic computer knowledge
  • Knowledge of CAD, 3d software, photo editing, art / illustration -- helpful but not necessary.
  • Previous experience in a design field is helpful, but also not necessary.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • This course is intended to introduce 3d Visualization to the students, starting from the ground up. I will teach all the basic skills for getting you started making awesome images and building a portfolio.
  • Learn to bring your 3D designs to life.
  • Learn 3ds Max basic navigation, customization, transforms, modeling, etc.
  • Learn the basics of rendering using Vray, the industry standard for Arch Viz.
  • Learn Vray materials, lighting and cameras.
  • Learn the basics of using Photoshop to create texture maps, and also post-process your renderings to create beautiful finished images.
  • Provide the foundation for starting a career in 3d visualization.
  • Complete your first photoreal, professional rendering using 3ds Max and Vray.

Who is the target audience?

  • Design professionals who want to learn 3D
  • Architecture students
  • SketchUp users looking to advance their skill set
  • Anyone with a vague interest in 3d
  • Draftsman who are interested in learning rendering
  • Architects
  • Current 3ds Max users who want to learn how to work with Vray
  • Gamers who want to learn to model their own game assets (especially architectural ones) in 3ds Max.

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: Welcome

Welcome to the course! You're going to love it. This video will give you a small idea of the kinds of images that I create using 3ds max. I hope that I can help you along the path to create beautiful images as well. Take a look.


This is a brief introduction to what visualization is. It also gives you a nice resource to check out. I including some resource links in the the supplemental material as well.


In this video, I will give an idea of what knowledge you need before starting this course. Don't worry, if you are here on Udemy, you probably have everything you need.

Generic Video: How To Get The Most Out of This Course

This video will walk you through the basic software we need, and where to get the demo versions. I am adding some other downloads you might want in the supplemental material.


When I originally made this course, I used 3ds Max 2010 and V-Ray 2.0. I am now adding new lectures all the time, including (depending on when you read this) a whole new section of interior renderings done completely in 3ds Max 2016 and V-Ray 3.2. I am also going through and trying to add addendum to the original course as necessary, to help you follow along regardless of what version of the software you are using. Most things are applicable to all versions.

ALL RESOURCE FILES FOUND HERE: copy the link in the article
Section 2: Looking Around In 3ds Max

Yikes! What are all these buttons? Don't worry, this video will help you to start feeling a little more comfortable. I go over basic navigation within Max to show you how to get around.


This video picks up where the last one left off. I go over more about the various buttons and toolbars in Max. Hopefully after this you are starting to feel a little more comfortable. Hang in there, soon this will all become second nature.


Are you concerned that your software looks different than mine? Don't be. I've got you covered. Watch this video to see what you can do. If you want my UI files for download, follow the link below.

SOFTWARE UPDATES: More Info About Newer UIs, and UI Customization
Section 3: The Fundamentals of Modeling

How do we make objects? Well...in lots of different ways. Here are a few of them.


Here I look at splines more in depth. They will be an essential modeling element moving forward.


Here you will learn about modifiers, and the modifier stack. These are an essential part of 3ds Max, and I believe it is the modifiers that make Max perfectly suited for Architectural Visualization.


In this long winded video, with a few too many "uhms," I explain all the important parts of transforms in 3ds Max. I also talk about cloning objects, and the difference between instances and copies. If you're new to 3d, don't skip this video. You need to know this.

Section 4: Setting Up Your First Scene

Hopefully you are feeling a little more comfortable finding your way around in Max, so it is time to start an actual project. I find this is the best way to learn. In this video I will talk about reference images, and show you how to set them up. I will also show you how to set up CAD from .dwg files, if you've got 'em. It is essential to setup your scene right. It will make your life a lot easier as you move forward. If you start to get lost, don't worry. I am going to be making the project file available for download as I go along. If you get stuck, maybe you can just download the file and move onto the next section. Find the downloads in the External Resources for this section. The Max file will coordinate with the name of this section, 4.01.


In this video I finish setting up the scene for the sketch, and finally we start modeling our first project. If you can't get your's set up right, download mine from the supplemental files.


Here I do a few more things to set up the scene, then we're off and running. Let's get to modeling.

Section 5: Modeling The Building

Here we finally get into the meat of the modeling. We continue with the basic walls using splines. I also show you some of the important spline tools that will be a necessity moving forward,.


This video teaches you how to model simple doors, using poly modeling, that can be copied around your scene over and over.


Here I continue modeling the building, specifically the windows. I also show you how to model without those obnoxious gizmos.


In this video, I simply record my screen as I model. It can be a bit tedious sometimes, so I sped it up 4x. Don't get discouraged. You can model it yourself (this is how you will learn best), or you can download my file to catch up. In the following videos, I will focus on some of the more unique problems in modeling, and show some solutions for solving them.


Here I show you a few different ways to model roofs. Of course, the roof on my house is quite simple, but don't worry, I'll show you how to make other roofs too.


Still modeling...still modeling.... Modeling is a pretty important part of all this, so stick with it. This video goes over how to make railings.


Another time lapse of some modeling. I get most the parts in place for the exterior of the model, using the same techniques already described. The video is sped up 5x. I made a few changes to the design as well, because I didn't like how it was looking (the house is still not very attractive). Notice that I don't pay much attention to the sides or back of the house. That is because I am going to take my still shot from the other side. Don't model more than what you are going to see! I did put in a few generic interior walls so that you will see something through the windows. I would suggest modeling on your own and making the house however you want using the previous modeling techniques. However, if you want to use my file, it is available for download.

Section 6: Adding a Camera
Some Clarification for Different Software Updates.

Make sure you install Vray (I'll show you how). Now, we can start to set up for rendering, starting with cameras. I will show you the basics of adding a standard camera, and a Vray Camera. Vray Cameras are better, by the way.


Here I go over all that gibberish in the Vray camera settings. I have to go quick, but essentially, all the settings line up with actual camera settings, except 3d cameras allow you to cheat if you want. Check it out. It will help as we move into lighting our scene.


If you are using a newer software than I am, you will notice that your V-Ray camera doesn't work the same way as I am showing. This is because Autodesk made some updates. This video will explain.

Section 7: Adding Lights

Finally I add some light. For this scene all we need is a simple Vray sun and sky system. We'll also look at our first rendering of the building, and learn what GI is.

More Lighting / Scene Setup
Section 8: Rendering With Vray

Here I skim over the render settings for Vray. I also show you the few that I usually mess with. In addition, I will post links to some other important resources for learning Vray Settings.


In this video, we finally spit out a rendering. Yay!

Section 9: Adding Materials

This is part I of the basic settings for a simple Vray material. Even if you know nothing about making materials, you should be up and running in no time, but don't forget to watch part two too.


The long awaited, and much anticipated part II of the basic Vray materials video. I am also attaching a link to an older video I did, regarding Vray Materials, which goes a lot deeper. Watch that one too, if you feel like you can handle it.


This video shows how to turn random images off the internet into beautiful materials in 3ds Max. The key is texture maps. For this you will need a photo editing software with basic functionality, and you will need to know your way around in it, at least a little bit. You can also purchase really nice textures if you don't feel comfortable creating your own. I will provide links to everything you will need in the supplementary materials.


Here we just pick up right where we left off in the last video. I use the same diffuse map to generate a bump map and a reflection map.


After creating all the maps, I put them all together and applied them to the building. We have our first real Vray Material on the house!!!


Just some more examples of making different types of materials.

Section 10: Modeling Surroundings

In this video I show you some good places to find some 3d tree samples, and talk about what we will be learning in the following videos concerning building a site for our house.


Vray proxies are an important part of any 3d project these days. In this video I will teach you how to properly create them. You will thank me for this someday.


Now we finally start modeling the surroundings of the house. I will show you a very basic and simple way to create terrain. I will then show you how to start cutting up that terrain to create different areas of your landscape. Just watch.


Here we place our proxy trees and finish up the site work.

Section 11: Setting Up For Final Rendering

As we get ready to render the final image, we need to make sure all the materials are tweaked to perfection. I will also show you how to set up a few render channels for compositing.


We're almost there. Here I show you how to set up a few final things, and it is time to hit the big "RENDER" button. My favorite part.

Section 12: Post-Processing The Rendering

Now I show you how to import your render channels into Photoshop, and also how to use them.


Time to use our mask channel to composite in some nice grass. Watch and learn.


Now for the background. I will also show you how to clean up some common alpha channel issues.


Everything you need to know about adjustment layers, and how to use them to make your images look cool. These are the final touches to this epic rendering.

Section 13: Let's Put Your PRO Skills Into Practice

Phew! We have finished the first 6 hrs of the course, and we are well on our way to becoming PROs. Now it is time to really start sharpening our skills through practice. True PROS are always learning and polishing new techniques. So, we have a homework assignment coming up. We are going to dive into more advanced techniques and interior scenes, so buckle up! You are going to love it.


This is the second half of the course, added after the fact for the benefit of the students, and to add value to this course. Before we move forward, there are a few housekeeping items regarding changes to the newer software versions of 3ds Max, etc.

Section 14: PRACTICE: Photo Real Interior Scene

Here is the assignment. Watch the video to see what you are tasked with doing. The basic task is to look at a series of professional photos, then recreate the house in the photos using 3ds Max. We will then create V-ray materials, lights, etc to try and make our interior look professional, clean, and photoreal. Your going to do great, and I will be helping you along the way. Click the "view resources" button during the lecture to get the link to the photos.


Photo reference, cad, and other images are an important part of arch viz in 3ds Max. In this lecture we learn how to use .jpg files off the internet as reference for the model we are going to build.


Here I'll show you how to use our images in 3ds max to create our interior arch viz scene.


We've seen some spline modeling for arch viz in 3ds Max, and a little poly modeling. Here I show you how to use Poly tools to create an interior VERY quickly.


In the last lecture, I showed you how to create the interior model using simple poly-modeling. Now, I show you how to do it with splines. In this case, both methods are quite simple, so you choose what you are most comfortable with. 3ds Max is great for arch viz because of the various different methods that can be used.


The wood floor is the star of the this particular scene, so I really spent a lot of time focusing on it. It required some really good tricks to get it to look right, some of which I will show here. In this lecture we will create the basic model for the floor using simple 3ds Max tools.


Here I will show you the beginnings of how I created the floor material. Hint: It requires some 3ds Max, V-Ray and Photoshop tricks that you might not think of, but don't worry, I'll demonstrate.


One of the hardest parts of this project is the chimney with stacked bricks. There is so much subtlety in the picture, with very slight variations from brick to brick. This creates a unique modeling problem for any arch viz artist in 3ds Max. I give it my best shot, and I will dive much further into poly modeling tools. If you get lost on the poly modeling, please check out my other course, 3ds Max Advanced Modeling - Furniture, as it has in depth tutorials regarding advanced poly modeling.


Unless you are meticulous enough to go in and individually model / adjust each brick, this noise modifier might come in handy. It randomly adds distortion to your models based on a noise pattern. I'll show you how to use it in 3ds Max to enhance our chimney model.


Figuring out how to match the exact camera angle from just a photograph can be difficult. I'll show you a little bit about how to dissect the photo so that we have a better idea.


Here I'll show you the fine adjustments you need to make when placing your camera, so that it will match the photo exactly.


The lighting setup for this particular photo is pretty simple.  It uses a lot of natural light.  So, our main light is going to be the V-Ray sky in our environment slot.  Once we get that right, we can start adding little bits of artificial light, and for this we will use IES lights, both V-Ray and standard.

Section 15: BONUS: More PRO tips for 3ds Max
Importing And Using AutoCAD Files To Create Your 3d Building Models

Many students have wanted to know how to apply our skills to an architectural interior in 3ds Max. This video will help with that, and also teach you more about Vray lighting in general.


I get a lot of questions about the new layer management in 3ds Max 2015 / 2016. I explain that here. Also, I get a lot of questions about my custom toolbars. I will explain those and show you how to make your own.


In response to student questions, I have made this bonus video showing some techniques for how to add snow to your scene using built-in 3ds Max tools.

Section 16: BONUS: Access To My Other, More Advanced Classes

This is a preview of my furniture modeling class for 3ds Max. Why furniture you may ask? Well, first of all, you will often need it for your interior architectural projects. Secondly, it is one of the most complicated things that arch viz artists have to model, so if you learn this, you will know how to model anything. It is great for poly-modeling techniques, plus a bunch of other modeling tricks.


Photoshop is an essential part of any good rendering. Learn the advanced techniques for post-processing in this course. You will master Photoshop and your renderings will really start to improve in their presentation quality.

BONUS: Here are the coupons

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Instructor Biography

Adam Zollinger, Digital Artist & Instructor - 3ds Max / V-Ray / Photoshop

Digital Artist - 3ds Max & Photoshop

Adam has been working as a professional (and award winning) 3d artist for over 10 years, but his expertise does not stop there. He has also authored / illustrated a children's book, and created graphics for numerous mobile games. He has expert knowledge in the following programs:

  • 3ds Max
  • Mudbox
  • Photoshop
  • V-Ray
  • After Effects
  • Various other software programs and plugins

Most importantly, he has dedicated himself to lifelong learning, and he loves to teach others as well.

From the artist:

"I mostly work in the Architectural Visualization industry. This a career which I almost entirely taught myself, and have perfected over several years. In order to save you the trouble of learning the hard way, like I did, I wan't to offer my expertise to you."

Join one of Adam's courses today to benefit from his years of experience creating high-end, professional graphics.

*Follow the social links to connect with Adam on the internet. Keep up to date with the latest course discounts, and free resources available from Adam.

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