As the holiday season draws to a close, I’ve been thinking over how the holidays now are different than they were when I was growing up. For one, computer-generated 3D graphics play such a large part in entertainment, and really in how we envision ideas in general. For example, our family went to see an animated film in 3D and loved it. My son got a video game that is so realistic he feels like the characters actually exist. My daughter’s favorite book is illustrated with computer-generated 3D drawings. And I daydreamed about what our kitchen would look like after a major renovation, using a 3D modeling program to help me design.
This technology opens up wonderful opportunities for many professionals, ranging from visual effects and motion graphics artists to game designers and media design artists, as well as architects and engineers. Many of them use Autodesk 3ds Max, a program that provides powerful modeling, animation, and rendering tools to help you create your vision without stumbling over the technical details. That way your primary focus can be on confidently creating your best work ever.
Are you intrigued, yet uncertain if this is the program for you? Dariush and Randi Derakhshani’s new course Getting Started with 3ds Max is a great way to take this awesome program for a spin. You’ll get an introduction to the software with a glimpse of what it can do, then gain a thorough knowledge of the interface and how to customize it before you get down to work on a hands-on project. Soon you’ll be familiar with features such as the Graphite Modeling tool ribbon, the Command panel, and the Layer Manager, among other tools. As you create a realistic model of an alarm clock, you’ll learn how to make models with 3D objects, edit polygonal meshes, create surfaces and models with 2D shapes and splines, and more.
In this free video, you’ll see how to create 3D objects from 2D shapes, rather than the common starting point of a 3D primitive or object. You’ll use the Create panel to make some simple shapes (including the newly added Egg shape), then go to the Modify panel to edit their parameters and create editable spline objects out of them. I was especially intrigued by the Section shape — take a look and see if you are too!
Overall this is an awesome course that provides a great starting point for anyone who wants to create visual effects, animation, or design. It can be used to solidify so many creative ideas! I particularly appreciated the hands-on project context in which the information is presented — it really helps define not only what a tool does, but why and how you would use it in relation to the other tools and features. Enjoy!