~ 3ds Max Schoolin’ – Week 1 of 20

While I’ll try not to make every blog article I write for the next 4-5 months an update about my experience taking a professional 3ds Max course, I thought I’d introduce it and give updates as I go. But I’m going to delay in sharing the school’s name, for now. I’m in an evaluative phase about using their online instructional medium as a means to refine my skills and workflow, so if I’m happy with the school as I get to know their program and instructors, I’ll sing their praises, and if I’m not?

Well, I guess I’ll cross that bridge, if it comes.

So, yes, my schoolin’ started this week. The first phase of the overall 20 week program is simply a four week introductory phase. In talking with these folks and seeing their demo reel of the potential quality of work I can achieve, I decided to classify myself as a “seasoned beginner.” That got a chuckle out of them, but I didn’t know how else to quantify my experience. I know enough to create, texture, and animate basic models in Max, but not enough about lighting, scene set-up, and cameras to really make renders photorealistic and animations amazing. In How Silhouettes Changed My Direction, I mentioned my goal throughout all of this is to become confident using 3ds Max to add VFX to live action shots as well as create animated shorts. I’d also like to learn a more efficient workflow. The projects I’ll be doing look as though they’ll have aspects about them that’ll challenge me, and I know that no matter what, I’ll be able to apply what I learn to future projects. So, I look forward to learning as much as I can!

I’ll close by sharing the premise of the first assignment, and then in a few weeks, I’ll share how it went. By the end of the four week introductory course, the goal is to be able to create and render an interior architectural visualization. More specifically, it’s to choose a picture of an interesting interior and then create a 3d model of what the entire floor plan and room might look like. Then render an image from an alternate view.

The image below isn’t the image I chose, but to give you an idea, the final render for this room might be the perspective/view from over by the windows.

daylight living room

Actually, now that I’m looking more closely at it, this image is pretty interesting because of the way the curtain-filtered light is falling on the floor and on the couch. That would be a nice challenge to figure out. But, alas, they recommend choosing one of their approved images.

Wish me luck! 🙂


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