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Autodesk 3Ds Tutorials

11/17/2011 07:07 by MikeChin

First answer posted by JonLuu at 11/17/2011 07:07
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  • JonLuu
  • 3Ds, or 3D Studio Max, from Autodesk, is one of the most widely used 3D modeling and animation tools available. Its versatility, powerful toolset and extensive library can make it as difficult to use as it is useful, though. To overcome the steep learning curve associated with the program, you can access a wide range of tutorials covering everything from the user interface of the program, to the advanced techniques of 3D development.


    Free Tutorials

    You can find a large number of tutorials available for 3Ds online, beginning at the Autodesk website. Autodesk offers tutorials for download for each of its releases. While useful in learning the nuances of the program, they aren't for those looking for either basic or specific information. To find tutorials geared towards the beginner or very specialized techniques, the 3Ds community of users is the best place for you to look.

    Since there are so many people using 3Ds it's fairly easy for you to find groups of them congregating online looking to share tips and techniques of the program. Some of the larger places are forums like CGSociety and 3dtotal (see Resources). Sites like these often offer tutorials geared towards all levels of 3Ds users with the added advantage of a community of other users willing to help you understand anything a tutorial may leave unclear.

    Pay Tutorials

    While you may find plenty of free tutorials scattered around the Internet, the best sources for 3Ds tutorials will cost you. For 3Ds tutorials that cover every single aspect of the program from exploring the user interface, to modeling a 3D object, to lighting and animation, you will find many training courses available. Along with instruction, they'll provide you with professional quality tutorials that guide you step by step through the creation process.

    There are several training libraries available to you as a 3Ds user. is well-known for its training software and has been creating 3Ds training videos with tutorials through several versions of 3Ds releases. In 2009 offers complete access to its training library online for $25 a month, while DVD-ROM versions of its 3Ds training programs are available for $99.95.

    For those wishing full-fledged training courses, there are university course offerings in 3Ds, complete with tutorials and personalized instruction. These courses can be taken both online and offline and gives you the best chances of taking away from the tutorials as much as possible.

    University courses and training programs are geared towards those pursuing 3D work as a career though, and the prices reflect this. Expect to pay university course rates if taken through your local college, but you'll receive university credit for doing so. Online training is offered through programs like the one at the 3D Training Institute of New York, which holds a full 16-week training session in 3D modeling and animation using 3Ds (as of 2009, the price was $4,650).

    Free tutorials are good for beginners looking for general usage, and for finding techniques that address specific situations you may find yourself in, but the best tutorials are found using paid services.

    Other 3D Packages

    As a final place to look for tutorials for the 3Ds software package, you can find useful information in tutorials geared towards general 3D modeling and animation, or even those for other 3D software packages. Most 3D tools are aimed towards the same output results, and those that are capable of expansion often use the same extensions. A good place to start the search for general animation tutorials is with the sites listed in the resource section. 3d Total is especially useful for beginners, and CG Society (see Resources) contains tutorials suitable for users of all levels.

    Choosing between 3D modeling and animation suites is largely a matter of personal taste, as they generally contain the same type of work-areas, process, and capabilities. Due to this, a tutorial made for software other than 3Ds can still have information useful to you in using 3Ds itself. It's just a matter of discarding the information that's package-specific, and applying the rest.




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