• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Introduction

Introduction

Welcome, fellow artists, to the latest installment of the Inside series. Our goal in writing Inside 3ds max 7 is to take you beyond the shipping tutorials, to show you how to take advantage of each tool's strengths (while avoiding any weaknesses), and to bring you up to speed on the latest tricks, tips, and battle-tested techniques in use by CG artists today. We assume that you have some familiarity with 3ds max; this is not a beginner's book. An effort has been made, however, to present tutorials clearly and completely, so if you are learning about a new tool, only an occasional side trip to the online help docs may be necessary.

This book does not follow a single production process throughout; our artists have each been given the freedom to choose the very best exercises to illuminate their subject matter. You will find a wide variety of subject matter, from architecture to volcanoes, from alien invasions to splashing dolphins. This menagerie of subject matter is used here to demonstrate workflows familiar to many in CG filmmaking and game development. Our intent is to provide techniques that can be of use no matter what your job is—an exercise on blasting an airplane with a lightning bolt could just as easily show you how to make your giant spider target it's lunch. Our aim is to teach you what 3ds max is capable of; how to apply those lessons is up to you.

The latest version of 3ds max continues the expansion of max as a serious game development tool. max has long been a favorite tool of game artists, and in adding tools specifically targeting game development, as well as making game-friendly enhancements to existing tools, discreet has made clear their intentions to maintain their domination as the 3D tool of choice for game developers. In this book, actual production game artists have shared their most successful workflow techniques and shortcuts to give help make 3ds max an even more essential tool for game development.

The visual sophistication of games have improved by enormous bounds during the past few years, narrowing the visual gap between are created for games as opposed to broadcast. Even 3D models intended for real-time deformation, such as characters, are beginning to rival the complexity and texture depth of their pre-rendered counterparts. This allows us to present detailed analyses of the most powerful and useful 3ds max tools, in a manner that will be useful for both disciplines. In cases where the uses of max for film or broadcast are distinct from game creation, we have treated these two branches of CG art separately, so that hopefully this book will be useful for artists interested in real-time graphics, pre-rendered animation, or both.

I have been a user of 3ds max since Release 1, and have gotten excited with each new version of max, and the production improvements and incredible new features introduced each time. The last few releases have seen some amazing advances in sophisticated particle systems, powerful modeling, custom scripting tools, lighting and rendering, character rigging and even the inclusion of Character Studio. In this book, our talented artists examine these powerful features and more, taking you inside their processes as professional CG artists.

Enough introduction—the first tutorial awaits!

—Sean Bonney

NOTE

Just as this book went to press, Autodesk, the parent company of discreet, has announced a name change for both discreet and 3ds max 7. Discreet's new name is Autodesk Media and Entertainment. 3ds max 7's new name is Autodesk 3ds Max® 7.


  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint