Learning a 3D visualization software is a daunting task under any circumstances and while it may be easy to find online tutorials that tell you what to do to perform certain tasks you'll seldom learn "why" you are performing the steps. This book approaches training from a top-down perspective way you will first learn important concepts of 3D visualization and functionality of 3ds Max before moving into the finer detail of the command structure. By learning how things work and why you might choose one method over another the book will not only teach you where the buttons are, but more importantly how to think about the holistic process of 3D design so that you can then apply the lessons to your own needs. The goal of the learning presented here is to familiarize the new user of 3ds Max with a typical workflow from a production environment from planning to modeling, materials, and lighting, and then applying special effects and compositing techniques for a finished product.

Preface; Introduction; Part I: Pre--planning Chapter 1: Storyboarding; Chapter 2: Project organization; Chapter 3: Project deliverables; Part II: Concepts ; Chapter 4: User interface; Chapter 5: Creating objects; Chapter 6: Object transformation; Chapter 7: Object selections; Chapter 8: Object cloning; Chapter 9: Scene setup; Chapter 10: 2D shapes; Chapter 11: Modifiers; Chapter 12: Lofting; Chapter 13: Lighting basics; Chapter 14: Materials; hapter 15: Mapping coordinates; Chapter 16: Camera basics; Chapter 17: Rendering basics; Part III: Workflow; Chapter 18: Creating 3D primitive objects; Chapter 19: 3D procedural modeling; Chapter 20: Sub-object editing; Chapter 21: Types of surfaces; Chapter 22: More object cloning; Chapter 23: Graphite Modeling Tools; Chapter 24: Compound objects; Chapter 25: Exterior lighting; Chapter 26: More materials; Chapter 27: Multiple materials; Chapter 28: Introduction to animation; Chapter 29: Intermediate modeling; Chapter 30: Intermediate animation; Chapter 31: Global illumination; Chapter 32: Effects; Chapter 33: Introduction to Inverse Kinematics; Chapter 34: Character animation; Chapter 35: Introduction to Dynamics; Chapter 36: Introduction to scripting; Chapter 37: Intermediate rendering; Part IV: Post Production; Chapter 38: Scene assembly; Chapter 39: Introducing Composite workflow