3dsmax Tutorial - Beginners Guide #1 - Introduction to max

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hello everyone and welcome to this quick

introduction to 3ds max I'm going to be

using 3ds max version 2017 if you just

load that up after an install you'll be

asked if you want to choose the classic

or design experience just choose classic

and let the program load once the

program loads there's a few startup

templates let's just choose the original

startup and we should be presented with

four viewports our object selection on

the left and some toolbars on the top

and right viewports are very similar

from hammer editor if you're coming from

there we have our top front left and

perspective viewport when a viewports

selected it you'll see that there's a

yellow outline you can make a viewport

active by either left clicking or

right-clicking in it and if you'd like

to fullscreen it you can press alt W on

your keyboard you may also not like this

default layout the good thing for you is

there are plenty of different layouts

available you should have this viewport

window over on the left but if that's

not there you can right-click on this

empty space and enable the viewport

layout tab once that's enabled you can

click the little plus and choose any

viewport layout that you like my

favorite is actually the one main with

three smaller ones underneath it I'll

switch the smaller one to be top just by

clicking on the perspective word and

I'll make this one be my perspective and

then the perspective viewport usually

has a viewport background of the

gradient color and we can just set that

by clicking on wireframe and going to

viewport background and I'll just take

that away from this viewport here now

you'll notice that we have four

selections up here a plus perspective

standard and wireframe the other three

down here should show wireframe this one

shows default shading I'm gonna set that

one to wireframe and change my

perspective to default shading I'll

maximize my primary just by hitting alt

W and over on the right we have our tabs

to create and modify objects this first

one with the plus is referred to as the

create tab and you can hover on anything

in 3ds Max and it's going to tell you

what it

so if we select box over on the right we

can click and drag anywhere to create

the bottom plane of a box and then once

we let go of mouse one we can extrude

the rest of the box up or down and then

click again to finish creating it you

can right click off of it to get out of

box creation mode if you hit f4 this

will turn on what's called edge phases

it's a little difficult to see here

because the box is green if we go over

to what's called the display tab we're

able to change this box's color and View

mode if I just change the wireframe to

material color quickly the edge faces

will become black so now we can see

these black lines kind of on the outline

of the box this is essentially our

wireframe view we can quickly switch to

wireframe view by pressing f3 or

selecting our view mode up here and just

hitting wireframe override we can also

enable edged faces here you'll be

turning edged faces on and off quite

frequently so it's good to know the

hotkey for that is F 4 we have a few

different options for our viewport mode

and we'll be changing these later on for

now we're just going to keep this on

standard and this is a preset that has a

few things like default shading and

shadowing for our scene if I create

another box will notice that the boxes

get shadowed on the sides as we rotate

our camera if we hold down just middle

mouse button we're able to pan in our

scene if we hold alt and middle mouse

button will rotate

one thing to note is that by default

we're just kind of rotating around the

center of our camera and if we click on

something that you'd kind of want to

rotate around it but that's not exactly

how it works

one of the new features in 3ds max 2017

is called point of interest rotation and

it saves you a lot of headaches over on

the bottom right if we click and hold on

what is orbit sub-object we want to

change this to the little circle with

the dot in the middle this will be point

of interest rotation which means now

when we hold alt and middle click we get

a little ball this is our point of

interest it allows us to rotate around

this central point instead of just some

arbitrary spot in the middle of our

scene we create all objects in 3ds max

the same way if we click to create a

sphere we just click and drag and move

our mouse in some direction and

something will happen on the screen and

then when we let go it will either

commit creating that object or take us

to the next step of creating that object

I've turned edged faces on and we can

see the wireframe around this sphere has

a lot of rings around it these are

controlled by our segments over on the

right we can click down and up on this

to change this for our object another

object that requires two mouse strokes

is the torus so we click and drag to

create the initial circle and then when

we let go it will allow us to create the

thickness and then if we for some reason

don't want that we can just ctrl Z to

get rid of it and we'll be good so we

have our default selection tool which

just allows us to select objects by

clicking on them and that default hotkey

is Q if we hit W this will give us the

select and move tool this will allow us

to grab objects and move them around in

our scene when that's active and an

object is selected we have our x y&z

axis gizmo in the middle we can click

and drag on one of these axis to move

along that axis or if we put our cursor

in the middle we can move along all

three axis at the same time or if you're

clever enough you can do x and y or x

and z whichever one you need to move

your object on if we hit a this will

give us our rotation gizmo which is also

right here this is exactly the same way

which we can rotate objects along any

axis that we need we can also down at

the bottom middle this is the rotation

and positional information for whatever

object we have selected if I go back to

my select and move tool and I click on

this this object's world coordinates are

negative 58 1 4 we can move the object

by moving these spinners as well or if

you want to zero it out you can right

click on these to set it to the center

of the scene this is very useful later

on when we're trying to do some modeling


reference images this also works for a

rotation if I were I click on all these

it will reset this object's rotation if

we at R this will give us the scale

gizmo which again we can scale along two

accesses at a time one axis or all three

and then once again we have our spinners

which will allow us to scale it down

here as well but when you right-click on

it it sets it to zero which essentially

gives it zero scale so you usually don't

right-click to zero out on scale there's

a few other ways that we can select

objects in 3ds max when we hit Q a bunch

of times you'll notice that our

selection mode changes up here by

default it's the regular square marquee

but if we hit it again we can get a

circle or a polygon kind of lasso mode

free draw and then a weird kind of

spray-paint type deal that'll let you

pretty much select any kind of way that

you'll want but they took it a step

further and we also have our window

crossing mode what this means is when

it's in this mode where the dotted line

kind of goes through the box your

selection marquee only has to clip the

object to select it so if I just kind of

make a little tiny box right here it'll

select all three objects but now if I

switch this where that boxes in the

center I have to make a selection over

the entire object to select it

since the sphere is the only object

that's fully inside my selection that's

the only one that's going to be selected

unlike other programs 3ds max does not

have a copy function in fact if you hit

control C by default it's going to place

a physics camera in your scene which

will not do what you want and when you

do that and you eventually will it will

change your view mode to the physics

camera and you can click on it up here

to change back to perspective and that's

what it ends up making in your scene we

can see it in our object selection on

the left and we're just going to go

delete those instead when you want to

copy or duplicate objects you need to

hit control V and this opens the clone

dialog if we just select copy here and

hit OK we can drag that second copy out

but you usually don't just hit control V

you can select an object hold shift and

drag it out this will also open up the

clone options and give us an option for

a number of copies if we tick this up a

bunch of times it's going to create nine

copies evenly spaced out from the

distance that I dragged from the

original object so that's an easy way to

get a bunch of objects at the same time

these objects are all copies of each

other and if we head over to this second

tab here this is the modify tab if you

want to modify an object that's already

been created you have to do it here you

cannot be in the create window if I turn

the segments on this up or down we get

more or less detail but the rest of the

objects remain the same this is where an

instance can come in handy if I shift

copy this again tick this up a bunch of

times and choose instance now if I

select any of these and turn the

segments up they all go up at the same

time these objects are instants of each

other which means that any changes we

make to one will be made to the others

as well this is very good if you're

going to have the same asset in your

scene a whole bunch of times so if you

need to make changes to one for some

reason it happens to all of them at the

same time I've selected these objects

that I've just kind of shuffled around

and now I want to align them back up to

this original sphere if I click a line

and then click on my target object this

will open up the align dialogue this

will allow me to align the objects on

any axis that I want if I tick all three

of these at the same time and choose

center it's going to stack them all on

top of each other we also have our

current object and target object options

with Y is selected we're aligning the

center of our current objects to the

center of our target object along the y

axis we can choose other radio buttons

here to affect how we're aligning these

objects to each other for instance if we

choose minimum of our current object

we're aligning the minimum of our

current objects to the center of our

target objects which means the minimum

which is this kind of edge that's facing

the camera to the center of my target

object we can do this to achieve any

kinds of alignment to objects that we


I'll just put them back in line right

there the last thing that I want to go

over is the reference coordinate system

and pivot options by default were set to

view if I select this object here and

this is kind of aligned to the view the

perspective view if I change this to

screen we'll notice that every time I

rotate the screen this gizmo is adjusted

to whatever view the screen is at which

means I can move this along whatever

axis the screen is facing on if I change

this to world it's going to align to the

world which we can see the world

coordinates in the lower left here by

the little XY and Z lines going into

parent mode nothing really changes until

we drop into what is called a sub object

selection mode to get into the sub

object selection mode we have to first

convert this object into an editable

poly this will allow us to select vertex

as edge loop polygons and so forth for

now I'll just click on vertex and we'll

go into this modifier later now if I

select this vertex and choose parent we

are aligned to the parent object which

is the box itself if I choose world

we're then moving this vertex along the

world AXI if we choose local this will

be the local alignment for the object

this isn't actually super useful when

were in vertex mode because you can see

that the local alignment is a little

strange but if we select our object and

choose local this will allow us to

rotate it or move it along the local


if I select all of these objects here

and use the rotation mode they're

rotating along the center of the

selection we can see this by the plus

sign on the two boxes for a use

selection Center if I change this to be

the multi pluses on each box this will

end up rotating each of these objects

along their local pivot point if I end

up moving these objects off the center

of the world and then choose the two

boxes with the plus that's not on either

of them and then select world when you

change between rotation and movement

you'll have to reset this for each one

so if I go to rotation I'll need to

choose world again and now my rotation

point is at the center of the world

which will allow me to rotate these

objects along 0 0 0 the world origin

another great option here is if we

choose this pick button this will allow

us to pick an object and put our

rotation point along there so if I were

to unselect this box I can now rotate

these boxes along at the center of that

box a very helpful tool when you're

working inside a 3ds max is these snaps

there's four different kinds of snaps

when working in 3ds max the movement

angular percent which is essentially

just scaling and then our spinner snaps

most of these tools up top you can right

click on them to get expanded dialogue

which will give you more control over

whatever option that is the same works

for our rotation and movement dialogues

as well if I hit s to turn on snaps

you'll see that I now have a little

crosshair that kind of appears over all

of the grid points if I right click on

my snaps this is because grid Snap is on

let's turn on vertex snap and I can just

move this right here if I selected this

box I can now snap to any one of these

vertex points you can see that by the

little plus sign that's appearing over

any of the vertex points I can then

click and drag and then just snap that

to a vertex on any of these other

objects and

Sene if you're working in a 2d view this

is a little less good so if I grab this

vertex here and then snap it here one

thing that you'll want to notice is that

this box is behind this other box here

so if I grab this vertex point in my 2d

view now remember this is 2d from the

front so it's only the Z and x axis when

I snap it here this is using a 3d snap

there are three types of snaps 3d is

useful when you're in perspective 2.5 D

snap is very useful if you're in a 2d

view so if I set that to 2.5 D and I

grab this box now when I snap it to this

vertex it's not going to bring this

object forward in that third dimension

we're only essentially working in two

dimensions here the hotkey to turn snaps

on by default is s and you'll probably

end up turning it on and off quite

frequently we have angular snaps again

this is the same thing except for

rotation and we can set our angle here

so if I set this to 15 and then went to

rotate we're rotating this object 15

degrees at a time I can set it to 5 and

now we go 5 at a time if you'd like to

customize your grid you can do so by

doing it right here by just scaling this

up and down I actually keep mine the

default for most times it's usually

situational depending on what I'm

working on but this is where you would

adjust the size of your grid the last

snap type that I'll go over is percent

snap and this is used for when you scale

an object up or down I actually don't

use this one that often but you can turn

the percent up or down here so we can

snap to 50% increases if we'd like I

personally find it easier when I'm

trying to scale if I right-click on the

scale dialog and I can just give it the

scale percent here so if I want 300% I

can just type that in and hit Enter I

find that much easier than kind of

guessing for the angle the last thing I

want to go over is a few little

frustrations that I had when I first

started using 3ds max that if someone

told me these things it would have made

my life a lot easier for starters if we

go to the customize drop down

and select customize user interface this

will give us a list of all of the

hotkeys in 3ds max and there are a

million and a half of these if we click

on any one of these and then under

hotkey hit control-c it's gonna tell us

what this hotkey is currently assigned

to so if I wanted ctrl C to do nothing

instead of create a physical camera I

can just find this create physical

camera and then hit remove you'll end up

rebinding a lot of hotkeys for your own

personal use in 3ds max this will lead

to you not having the same hotkeys as me

as I've already heavily customized my

own install of 3ds max with my own

hotkeys a few hotkeys that I would

suggest unbinding right away would be

the selection lock toggle the selection

lock toggle is spacebar and if you have

a fat thumb like me you're gonna hit it

by accident and if you just hit any

other hotkeys that do something or lock

something you can just come in here and

like I said just see what it's bound to

by putting anything in this hotkey

selection now if I close that out now

when I hit control C nothing happens if

you want to customize your 3ds max user

interface for instance if I let's say I

save this file as test and I reload 3ds

max let's say I'm coming back tomorrow

to work on that same scene when 3ds max

finally loads up again represented with

this I'll just uncheck this because I

actually don't care of seeing this again

and we can open our scene from right

here but before we do that you may

notice that I set a viewport to be the

one big one with three small ones

underneath it 3ds max will not

automatically remember your viewport

layout and if you try to save a custom

UI scheme that's actually not it the way

to customize your 3ds Max's viewport

layout is completely backwards from any

other program that you would expect so

let's reload this scene and when I

reload it you'll notice that the

viewports have stuck this is because

your viewport configuration is saved

inside of the scene file which means if

we want to have this

same viewport layout every time we start

3ds max for a new project we need to

create what's called a max start file so

if I set my camera like this if I go to

file and then save as inside of scenes

if I just save this file as max start if

I close 3ds max now and reload it

3dsmax will load the default layout

quickly and then it loads our max start

file so if you're looking to customize

something in 3ds max and you can't quite

figure it out you may need to look for a

max start so that's the keyword that you

need to look for when you're googling on

how to do something in 3ds max when it

first loads that's gonna actually wrap

up the first look at 3ds max I hope you

enjoyed it thanks for watching don't

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