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3ds Max in 24 Hours, Sams Teach Yourself


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In just 24 sessions of one hour or less, Sams Teach Yourself 3ds Max in 24 Hours will help you master Autodesk 3ds Max 2014 and use it to create outstanding 3D content for games, video, film, and motion graphics. Using this book’s straightforward, step-by-step approach, you’ll master powerful 3ds Max tools for modeling, animation, rendering, compositing, and more. Every lesson builds on what you’ve already learned, giving you a rock-solid foundation for ...

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3ds Max in 24 Hours, Sams Teach Yourself

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<>Full Color!

In just 24 sessions of one hour or less, Sams Teach Yourself 3ds Max in 24 Hours will help you master Autodesk 3ds Max 2014 and use it to create outstanding 3D content for games, video, film, and motion graphics. Using this book’s straightforward, step-by-step approach, you’ll master powerful 3ds Max tools for modeling, animation, rendering, compositing, and more. Every lesson builds on what you’ve already learned, giving you a rock-solid foundation for real-world success!

Step-by-step instructions carefully walk you through the most common 3ds Max tasks.

“Try It Yourself” guided mini tutorials offer quick hands-on experience with 3ds Max’s key tools.

Quizzes and exercises test your knowledge.

Notes, tips, and caution s offer extra information and alert you to possible problems.

Learn how to...

  • Quickly get comfortable with the 3ds Max 2014 interface
  • Create, move, and modify 3D objects
  • Edit and tweak the elements of any object
  • Start modeling hard-surface and organic objects
  • Work with materials and textures
  • Explore and create animation
  • Illuminate scenes with lighting
  • Use cameras to control a scene’s point of view
  • Render 3D creations for production
  • Rig and skin objects, making them easier to animate
  • Learn the 12 essential principles of character animation
  • Create devastating dynamic simulations
  • Add visual effects, cloth, hair, and fur
  • Automate repetitive tasks with MAXScript
  • Create a professional-quality showcase

The accompanying DVD/website contain how-to videos for dozens of key 3ds Max 2014 tasks, extensive sample art and models, and additional bonus content.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Sams Teach Yourself 3ds Max in 24 Hours by Stewart Jones is the perfect book to start an artist who has never used 3ds Max and is new to 3D. Stewart has put in enough detail and challenges to give readers a solid grounding in techniques while leaving room to explore on your own. Stewart writes with humor, making something that could be dry interesting and fun to read. I enjoyed going through the book and even picked up a few tips along the way that I didn’t know in Max. I would recommend the book without hesitation to students and artists looking for a great start to quickly feel accomplished instead of frustrated with all aspects of 3D production in 3ds Max 2014.”

--Brad Clark, Cofounder, Rigging

Sams Teach Yourself 3ds Max in 24 Hours--‘challenge accepted!’ If you are looking for a textbook to guide you through the intricacies of Autodesk 3ds Max, this is the 24 for you. Blending a perfect balance of technical and demonstration, Stewart’s witty, stylish, and pointed approach to introducing 3D modeling, animation, and the 3D modeling production environment is well worth staying up all day and night to read.”

--Dr. Tim J. Harrington, Teaching and Learning Applications Analyst

Sams Teach Yourself 3ds Max in 24 Hours is a great way to learn the basics of working in 3D on a computer. This is a fantastic book for anyone who wants to start in this field.”

--Gregory Scott Johnson, Professor of Game Development, SCAD

“For anyone looking to get a solid foot into the 3D industry, Sams Teach Yourself 3ds Max in 24 Hours is the perfect solution to get you started. Stewart Jones puts his years of experience into 24 simple and concise ‘hours’ that make learning the basics fun and then build into more advanced steps as you work your way through. Sams Teach Yourself 3ds Max in 24 Hours is the perfect guide to putting that first foot forward and opening the door to the exciting world of 3D.”

--Matthew Johnson, Principal 3D Artist

Sams Teach Yourself Teach Yourself 3ds Max in 24 Hours not only gets the reader started with 3ds Max, it gives a comprehensive survey of all aspects of 3D. Through clear and succinct tutorials, readers will learn to model, rig, skin, animate, create particles, utilize dynamic, fur, and even experience a little scripting. Sams Teach Yourself 3ds Max in 24 Hours has everything needed to get the successful digital artist proficient in 3ds Max in a short 24 hours. You’ll keep this on your shelf as a go-to resource guide for 3ds Max.”

--Tina O’Hailey, Dean of Digital Media, SCAD

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780672336997
  • Publisher: Sams
  • Publication date: 12/27/2013
  • Series: Sams Teach Yourself -- Hours Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 808,191
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stewart Jones started his visual journey in graphic and multimedia design. He has since moved into the computer graphics industry, where his focus has been on animation and visual effects. Now a company director and freelance VFX/CG/animation consultant for the film, TV, and games industries, he has previously served in multiple roles in media and entertainment, including mentor and course author, animator, technical animator, character technical director, and computer graphics supervisor. Stewart also wrote Digital Creature Rigging.

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Table of Contents

Preface xvii

Hour 1: Introduction 1

What This Book Covers 2

This Book’s Structure 4

What Is Autodesk 3ds Max? 7

Getting Autodesk 3ds Max 7

Extra Stuff 7

Disclaimer and Disclosure 8

Summary 9

Q&A 9

Workshop 9

Exercise 9

Hour 2: Exploring the Interface 11

The Interface Elements 12

Quad Menus 27

Summary 28

Q&A 29

Workshop 29

Exercise 30

Hour 3: Navigating the Viewports 31

3D Space 31

The ViewCube 33

SteeringWheels 34

Viewport Navigation Controls 35

Viewport Configuration 36

The Viewport Layout Tab 37

Summary 39

Q&A 39

Workshop 39

Exercise 40

Hour 4: Primitives and Transforms 41

Primitive Creation 41

Names and Colors 46

Types of Primitives 47

More Than Primitives 50

Object Manipulation in 3D Space 51

Summary 59

Q&A 59

Workshop 59

Exercise 60

Hour 5: 3ds Max Modifiers 61

The Modify Tab 61

The Buttons Under the Modifier Stack 64

World Space Versus Local/Object Space 66

Summary 68

Q&A 69

Workshop 69

Exercise 70

Hour 6: Sub-Object Exploration 71

An Introduction to the Three Sub-Objects 71

Working with Sub-Objects 73

Vertex, Edge, and Polygon Sub-Object Levels 74

Editable Poly Sub-Object Rollouts 76

Normals 81

Summary 83

Q&A 83

Workshop 83

Exercise 84

Hour 7: 3D Modeling 85

Creating a Cartoon Face 85

Creating a Spaceship 93

Creating a Futuristic City Planet 100

Additional Modeling Techniques 104

Summary 106

Q&A 106

Workshop 106

Exercise 107

Hour 8: Materials and Textures 109

The Material Editor 109

Applying Textures to Objects 114

Assigning Multiple Materials 116

UVW Mapping 123

Summary 129

Q&A 129

Workshop 129

Exercise 130

Hour 9: Computer Animation 131

Basic Animation Concepts 131

The Animation Tools 133

First Steps into Animation 135

Pivot Points 141

Summary 142

Q&A 143

Workshop 143

Exercise 144

Hour 10: Illuminating Scenes Using Lights 145

3ds Max Lighting Introduction 145

Standard Lights 148

Photometric Lights 150

Adding Lights to a Scene 151

Summary 154

Q&A 154

Workshop 155

Exercise 155

Hour 11: Adding and Editing 3D Camera 157

Camera-Based Concepts 157

3ds Max Cameras 159

Animating Cameras 164

Cameras and Modifiers 166

Summary 166

Q&A 166

Workshop 167

Exercise 167

Hour 12: Rendering for Production 169

An Overview of Rendering in 3ds Max 169

Quick Rendering 170

Rendering Tools 172

Still Image Rendering 178

Animation Rendering 178

Summary 181

Q&A 182

Workshop 182

Exercise 183

Hour 13: Combining Techniques to Create a Showcase 185

Stages Explained 185

Stage 1: Preparation 186

Stage 2: Materials 189

Stage 3: Camera 192

Stage 4: Animation 193

Stage 5: Lighting 194

Stage 6: Final Changes 196

Stage 7: Rendering 198

Summary 198

Q&A 198

Workshop 199

Exercise 199

Hour 14: Rigging Objects for Easier Animation 201

Hierarchies and Linking 201

Bone Tools 205

Forward and Inverse Kinematics 207

Creating a Custom Rig 210

Using Character Studio (Biped) 211

Using CAT (Character Animation Toolkit) 212

Summary 214

Q&A 214

Workshop 215

Exercise 215

Hour 15: Influencing Geometry Using Skinning Techniques 217

What Is Skinning? 217

Influence Area and Envelopes 218

The Skin Modifier 219

Manual Skin Weighting 223

Setting Up Characters for Animation Use 228

Summary 231

Q&A 231

Workshop 231

Exercise 232

Hour 16: Character Animation 233

The 12 Principles of Animation 233

The Bouncing Ball 242

Summary 252

Q&A 253

Workshop 253

Exercise 254

Hour 17: Dynamic Simulations 255

The MassFX Toolset 255

Creating Keyframed Animation from Dynamic Simulations 259

Causing Destruction with MassFX 261

Summary 266

Q&A 267

Workshop 267

Exercise 267

Hour 18: Particles and Effects 269

Space Warps 269

Non-Event-Driven Particle Systems 273

Event-Driven Particle Systems: Particle Flow 275

Summary 283

Q&A 284

Workshop 284

Exercise 285

Hour 19: Cloth, Hair, and Fur Creation 287

Simulating Cloth 287

Simulating Hair and Fur 292

Summary 299

Q&A 299

Workshop 299

Exercise 300

Hour 20: Mental Ray Rendering 301

Mental Ray Introduction 301

Common Render Settings 304

The Mental Ray Daylight System 306

Daylight and Additional Lights 311

Summary 312

Q&A 312

Workshop 312

Exercise 313

Hour 21: 3ds Max Project Management Techniques 315

Scene Workflow 315

Naming Conventions 323

Project Setup and Folder Handling 325

Project Management in Production 326

Summary 328

Q&A 329

Workshop 329

Exercise 330

Hour 22: Combining Advanced Techniques to Create a Showcase 331

Stage 1: Getting Started 331

Stage 2: Preparation 332

Stage 3: Project Management 332

Stage 4: Creation 335

Stage 5: Layout 337

Stage 6: Camera and Lensing 341

Stage 7: Animation and Visual Effects 342

Stage 8: Lighting 344

Stage 9: Final Changes 345

Stage 10: Rendering and Output 346

Summary 347

Q&A 348

Workshop 348

Exercise 349

Hour 23: Scripting in 3ds Max Using MAXScript 351

Programming and Scripting Basics 351

The MAXScript Tools 352

Basic MAXScript Scripting 355

Using MAXScript to Create User Interfaces 359

Summary 362

Q&A 363

Workshop 363

Exercise 364

Hour 24: Conclusion 365

Hour 24: The Final Hour 365

Developing Your Skills 366

One Piece of Advice 368

Additional Help and Guidance 369

Summary 371

Q&A 371

Workshop 372

Exercise 375

Index 377

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