TUTORIAL: 3ds Max for Beginners – Introduction

TUTORIAL: 3ds Max for Beginners – Introduction
23. januára 2017 peterjanov

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog. In this very first post I will introduce you 3ds Max, as this is a main tool of my workflow and I spend 90% of time working with this software. My goal is to create some tutorial series dedicated to basic techniques in modeling, texturing and lighting, maybe also in postproduction. Also I will try to bring you some extra blog posts, that will be about my current projects or experiments.

If you are new in 3ds Max and you never did any piece of work on it (neither a teapot which is an easiest way to create some beutiful model in Max), you need to know something about User Interface. If you already worked with this software, you can skip it and just check my suggested shortcuts in the end of this post. So let’s check out these pictures below, where I’m trying to describe buttons and functions that I mainly use. As you can see I don’t use all of them, and to be honest, I really don’t know what some buttons do. I’m not saying it’s good, but this is the way I do it and I never felt limited by it, so I suppose it’s not so important.

Basics of User Interface

Here you can see how is layout of user interface divided into several palletes.

Main Toolbar

This is the main toolbar. You can do most of actions here, for instance select, move, rotate, mirror, or render. At the end of this post I will show you also easier way to select this functions – by shortcuts. It’s a lot more effective and once you get used to do it, you will never stop 🙂

Command Panel

Again, here are geometry and shapes that I mainly use to create objects in my scenes. As you can see I prefer creating objects from simple geometry, so that’s the reason why I choose options below. Also, here you can see how to create shapes (which are usefull while creating wires, vases or windows/doors), lights, or cameras. So Create Tab is the most important tool, and second one is Modify Tab, where you can control your objects. You Can choose parameters of your basic objects, and add a lot of modifiers to them. But I will talk about it later.

The good thing to do when creating new scene is to check your Units Setup (Customize -> Units Setup), where you can choose what units you want to work with. I recommend to set System Units same as Display Units. Personally, I like to work with centimeters.

After your units are set, it’s time to create first object. So let’s select Box in Create Tab and then just click and drag to draw a lenght and width of the box. When you release your mouse button, you can choose height of the box. When your box is created, you can still edit its parameters in Modify Tab.

Now let’s practice main controls. So select Select and Move function and hover above the object to select axis on which you want to move the box. After click and drag to move with it. Do the same with Rotate and Scale functions. These are the main three commands you will use in combination with another functions during modeling complex scenes.

As I mentioned above, it’s really useful to memorize few shortcuts including these 3 actions. Here is a short list of basic shortcuts that I highly recommend to use if you want to work effectively:

So this should be everything for now, I hope you like my first tutorial. I will try to regulary add antoher tutorials, not only for beginners, but also for advanced users. The next one will be about basic modeling technique and we will practice it on creating walls of the house according to CAD files.

Thank you for reading and have a beautiful week 🙂