Monday, August 16, 2010

Autodesk 3ds Max Design Training - Day One

US CAD, Steve Bennett Instructor
  • Autodesk 3ds Max Design doesn't come with SDK, need 3ds Max to do programming.
  • LandXML isn't fully supported, just brings in surfaces.
  • Set goals.
  • Storyboard to focus what tasks need to be completed, keep from doing things or objects that won't be seen.
  • Journal of key tasks, project size - creates ability on figuring out how long modeling will take.
  • More lights, more rendering time.
  • I'm seeing lots of Star Wars references in the next three days.
  • Need post production work to get the render finished or add features, usually not done once the render is complete. Go in and modify lighting, add effects, etc.
  • Two modification words in 3ds Max:

  • Transform - Move Rotate Scale

  • Modify - Change object's geometry

  • Modifying objects, if Extrude is used and edit mesh things may go bad, Use Hold/Yes to prevent unstable drawing behaviour.
  • Go up to the top before trying to select something else after modifying an object.
  • Fetch - Restore the way it was before the hold was placed. Useful  since Max only has about 20 undo's/redos (not unlimited).
  • Hold - Kind of a snapshot of the model in which you can go back to in case you don't want the changes to be done. Kind of a super undo button that you have to set up.
  • Teapot object - Easy for the developer's to test with complex shapes (Bunnies appear popular now)
  • Middle orbit item suggested to use, orbits around the selected object.
  • Middle Zoom wheel doesn't match AutoCAD. Press:

  • Ctrl + Press Middle Mouse Wheel to (PAN)

  • Alt + Press Middle Mouse Wheel to (Orbit)

  • Shift + Press Middle Mouse Wheel (PAN, constrained in one direction)

  • Alt + Shift + Press Middle Mouse Wheel (Orbit, constrained in one direction)

  • Alt + W Toggles between veiwport layouts.
  • Shift + W to get Steering Wheel
  • Long Live the Steering Wheel!!! It's pretty cool once you get used to it. Rewind Tool is especially cool and useful.
  • Object Selection Methods
  • Transforms on top can be active, which may cause problems by accidentally selecting and moving objects.
  • Paint Selection is cool.
  • Select from Scene dialog box, make sure names are used that make sense. Don't end up with Pyramid01, Pyramid02, Pyramid03, etc... (Keyboard shortcut H)
  • Can do selection by layer if AutoCAD drawing put in.
  • Right click on Modify Parameters to set to default value.
  • Less polygons mean better performance
  • Try to eliminate overlapping objects. Why? I didn't ask.
  • "Hint: It is best not to use the Scale transform directly on objects. Instead, apply an XForm modifier to the objects and then Scale the XForm gizmo. This avoids many problems in animation, because you can define when the scale is taking place at the sub-object level."(essentially avoid scaling objects if you plan on animating it, non animated objects OK)
  • When transforming, to cancel right click the mouse and it will go back to the original location. (While holding on to the left mouse button)
  • Press Q to exit out of Transform items.
  • Rule of 20' for detail. Can not show items if they won't be seen a distance away.
  • Can right click and enter data into the Move Transform Type-in, also works in Zoom, Rotate and Scale. The dialog box is modeless.
  • Add Edit Poly modification rather then convert the object to Poly or Mesh to keep object history. Add the Edit Poly to the stack.
  • No copying, called cloning. Kind of like blocks when using Instance. Reference is copying the block and can add modifications to it (like dynamic blocks but better). A copy is a wholly separate object.
  • Can make unique later on, making it a copy.
  • Make sure not to explode groups which have been animated. The program doesn't attach the animations to the objects in the group, it just deletes it.
  • Press G to hide/show the grid.
  • Use Shift key with the Graphite Modeling Tools to get dialog boxes to show up.
  • Reference, things that change, import items that won't change.
  • On the File Link Settings: DWG Files make sure to "Use Scene material definitions" and "Use scene material assignments on Reload" on the Advanced Tab. (File Link Manager)
  • Lines become Splines in 3ds Max.
  • Press M for materials
  • Can copy objects in Modifier list and paste it into another modifier.
  • Don't let the viewports drive you nuts, it may show up in the rendering.

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