Leonardo Computer Systems

3D Studio Max 9 and VIZ

Leonardo Computer Systems

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Important information

Typology Course
Methodology Distance Learning
Class hours 20h
  • Course
  • Distance Learning
  • 20h

Learn the essentials of modelling, materials and animation.

Course programme

Course Features

This tutorial series is divided into 3 sections. Modelling, Materials and Lighting, Animation and Scene Assembly.

Your instructor Ted Boardman is an Autodesk 3ds Max training consultant and Autodesk Certified Trainer. Ted's training increases productivity and efficiency in the 3ds Max pipeline for both new and seasoned users by focusing on critical fundamental workflow techniques and has helped provide training and support for clients range from disciplines in architecture, aerospace and manufacturing, television, to computer gaming. Ted has authored nearly a dozen 3ds Max and VIZ books, including the current 3ds Max 8 Fundamentals by New Riders Publishing, and has published monthly columns on visualization topics and presents at Autodesk University and Siggraph for Autodesk.

Ted helped develop and implement an ongoing 3ds Max instructor evaluation program for Autodesk.

Package Includes

  • 1 DVD-ROM
  • 296 lessons with over 20 hours of training by Certified AutoDesk Instructors.

Course Outline


Getting Organized
Introduction to 3ds Max and VIZ Modeling
Introduction to the Project
Concept: Project Organization
Overview of User Interface
Project Organization
Display and System Units Setup
Adjust the Home Grid in Viewports
Save a Prototype file
Backup files
Increment File Names when Saving
Hold and Fetch
Object Organization
Giving Logical Names to Objects
Select objects quickly and efficiently
Select objects by the name you assigned
Objects by the names you assigned
Organize Objects by Layer
Organize Objects by Group

Reference Coordinate Systems
Workspace Coordinate Systems
View RCS
Screen RCS
World RCS
Local RCS
Pick RCS
Alignment tools
Align to View
Align bounding boxes
Align centers of bounding boxes to start
Align to extremes of bounding boxes
Align Pivots
Align Local Reference Coordinate Systems
Align Surfaces to Surfaces

2D and 3D Objects
Efficiency and Flexibility
Primitive Objects
3D Primitive objects
Align 3D objects in space
2D Primitive shapes
Positioning objects accurately
Creating Clone Objects
Transform and clone objects
Introduction to Compound Shapes
Creating Compound Shapes
Using Splines for other Shapes
Sub Object Editing
Editing Vertices and Segments
Hold and Fetch
Vertex Tangency

Modifiers and Modifier Stack
Applying Modifiers for Flexible Editing
Extrude and Bevel Profile modifier
Extrude Modifier
Wall Align
Bevel Profile Base Shape
Bevel Profile Profile Shape
Bevel Profile Modifier
Modifier Stack Introduction
Modifier Stack Navigation
Reorder and Remove Modifiers
Create a Window
Cloning Objects as Instance
Array and Spacing Tools
Tape Measure
Array Tool
Edit Clone
Shift Transform Clone
Spacing Tool

Adding Detail and Editing
Spline Trim
Vertex Weld
Primitive Door
Primitive Cone
Lattice Modifier
Align Antenna
Box modeling
Edit Poly Bevel
Edit Poly Inset
Scene Organization

Create a Light Tower
Introduction and setup
Create Primitives
Align Primitives
Apply the Taper Modifier
Add a Window
Align Window to Base
Activate Angle Snap
Clone with Pick Reference Coordinate
Create Roof Shapes
Apply Bevel Profile
Array Railing Balusters
Lofting Introduction
Path and Shape
Get Shape
Shape Orientation
Lofting Optimization
Shape Editing

Create an Outbuilding
Box modeling
Setting Up the Scene
Assign Material ID 1
Slice Plane
Connect Settings
Inset Settings
Multiple Connect Settings
Inset By Polygon
Polygon Bevel
Polygon Extrude
Edit Poly Modifier
Multi/Sub-Object Material


Materials I
3ds Max and VIZ Materials Concepts
Project Description
Exercise Goals for
Definition of Materials and Maps
Introduction to the Material Editor
Material Editor Overview
Assign Materials to Objects
Blinn Basic Parameters
Specular Colour
Specular Highlight
Specular Shader
Create a New Material
Create a Grass Material
Assign a Parametric Map
Noise Map Parameters
Adjusting the Noise map for Grass
Introduction to Map Coordinates
Material Libraries

Lights I
Introduction to Lighting Concepts
Create a Room for Standard Lights
Standard Light Types
Omni Light Type
Direct Light Type
Spot Light Type

Lights II
Reposition the Direct light
Angle of Incidence
Adjusting the Angle of Incidence
Hotspot and Falloff
Light Lister
Standard Light Intensity

Lights III
Lighting the Landscape
The Sunlight System
Modify panel and Motion panel
Reposition the Sunlight
Sim Bounced Atmospheric Light
Exclude, Include Objects
Front Fill Light
Optimize Raytrace Shadows

Materials II
Materials for Tower and Lighthouse
Open Tower Scene
Rename Objects
Introduction to Bump Mapping
Choose New Tiles Pattern
Resize the Map
Adjust Bump Amount
Gradient Ramp as Diffuse Colour
Adjust the Gradient Ramp Map
Create Concrete Material
Create Copper Metal
Create Black Paint
Apply Multi/Sub-Object Material
Create a New Material Library
Creating Materials for the Lighthouse
Opening a Material Library
Material Assigned to Objects
Material ID Numbers
Editing Sub-Object Materials
Replace a Sub-Object Material
Assign a New Material to the Walls
Add Tiles Map to Diffuse Colour
Show Map in Viewport
Correct Brick Aspect
Apply UVW Map Modifier
Change Fade Variance
Fix Repeating Brick Pattern
Clone Tiles Map to Bump Slot
Clone a Copy of the Brick Material
Gap Setting for Diffuse and Bump
Use Map Scaler Modifier
Create a New Paint Material
Material ID Numbers for Polygons
New Multi/Sub-Object Material
Clone the Window Material

Materials III
Define Sky Colour
Set Show Safe Frame in Viewport
Compress Gradient Ramp Vertically
Offset Gradient to Fit View
Create Appearance of Clouds
Create a Water Material
Adding a Wavelet Bump Map
Define Ccolour with Smoke Map
Adjust the Specular Highlights
Adding Reflections
Optimize Raytrace Reflectiolns
Create a Rock Material
Create a Blend Material
Mix Amount in Blend Material
Apply a Mask Map in Blend
Adjust the Mask Map
Introduction to Falloff Map
Change Falloff Direction
Adjust Falloff Mix Curve
Add New Materials to Library

Materials IV
Open the Outbuilding Scene
Materials from Existing Libraries
Create a New Material Library
Complete the New Material


Introduction to the 3ds max project for fundamental animation and production workflow
Learn why scene assembly is an important workflow
Preview the fundamental topics important to scene assembly
3DS files can be imported for versions of VIZ and Max that won't open the Max 8 files.
Scene objects can be managed by placing them on appropriate layers which can be hidden or have other properties set
You can increase production by rendering parts of scenes quickly and then composite them together later
Xref scenes allows you to include entire scenes in a master file and when the original scene is edited it will update in the master
Xref scenes can be removed, bound to the existing file, and the geometry will respect snap options. Xref's can become unstable and should be bound when editing of the original is finished.
Xref objects allows you to choose which objects to import and then you can select and apply new modifiers or materials to the object in the current master file
Learn to merge objects from other files, there is no editing connection to the original and the objects can be edited in the current file in any way.
Use the merge command to bring the lighthouse tower into the current scene. Make sure you choose the objects you want to merge in the list
Objects that have been created in space relative to the current scene are positioned correctly when merged.
Learn to use Resource Collector utility to archive files with all geometry, bitmaps, etc to send to colleagues or to archive at the end of projects
Xref scenes and object can be unstable and I recommend you bind them to your scene when editing is complete

Animation I
In keyframe animation you will learn to cause an event to take place in time to generate a keyframe to record the event. The software will generate in-between frames to make the animation.
Learn the important fundamental interface options for keyframing
Learn to record a position keyframe with AutoKey to animate the boat moving
You can return the boat to it's original starting point by cloning the key at frame 0
Learn to adjust the velocity of moving objects by repositioning the keys on the timeline
Learn to clone position keys on the timeline to stop objects from moving
Learn to record the rotation of an object and how to use Hold/Fetch for safety
Learn to create keys by right-click on the time slider to record current transform information
Review the keyframe process and what animation controllers are

Animation II
Learning to use animation constraints allow outside data to describe animation properties
Learn the interface elements that will come into play in this chapter
Learn to change from a PostionXYZ controller to a Noise Position controller on the boat
Learn to apply a Path Constraint to an object and see that it can no longer be moved manually
You need to tell the Path Constraint which path the object will follow. Two keys are created automatically.
Learn to adjust the position of the boat to stay perpendicular to the curvature of the path and face the right direction (automatically rotate)
Have a little fun by turning on Bank to have the boat bank into the turns defined by the path
Learn to use the curve editor to change animations
Learn to apply an Ease Curve to superimpose control over the Position curve
Learn to move keys to adjust the curve to change velocity
Learn to add keys to the ease curve to adjust velocity
Analyze the curve and set the basic velocity and timing
Finish roughing out the curve for the boat's velocity
Learn to adjust tangency in and out of keys
Make final adjustments and slow the animation with time configuration

Learn to create special effects to enhance your story
Open and save the outdoor scene with the lighthouse
Learn to create a atmospheric gizmo to contain clouds
Add an Fire Effect from the Environmental dialog for the cloud
Learn to assign the Fire Effect to the scene gizmo
Change the colours of Fire Effect for appropriate clouds
Learn to experiment with Fire Effect parameters to form clouds
Parameters are dependent on each other and must be adjusted often
Experimentation is essential to building clouds
Move the cloud gizmo to the water surface to create ground fog

The goal will be to create a flock of seagulls with particles
Learn to create and adjust the emitter that will emit particles
The behaviour of particles is changed in Particle View
Operators that define particle behaviour are stored in Events
Learn to adjust the of the particles and the direction of travel
Learn to replace viewport ticks with various physical particles
Merge the seagull objects into the scene that will replace all particles
Learn to remove an operator and add an operator to the event
Adjust seagull's rotation to the direction of the boat
Learn to have the emitter follow the boat as it moves forward
Learn to adjust the birth rate of particles for more even distribution

Learn the fundamentals of rendering scenes for images and animations
The default scanline renderer in Max and VIZ is very fast
Learn to adjust the number of frames to be rendered; from a single frame to a series of frames
Learn to adjust the size of rendered images in pixels
Learn to display the exact render output size in the viewports
Learn to render for printing with the Print Size Wizard
Learn what Alpha channel transparency is and how it is used to enhance compositing
Prepare to composite background, midground, and foreground images
Learn to use Video Post to composite two images
Learn to output the final composite from video post
Learn to save files from the Render Scene dialog and save them to disk
Highly compressed, medium to low quality image file
Highly compressed, high quality image file
AVI and MOV animation files are good for testing only
Render sequences of still images for safe and flexible editing

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