Learning how to use a professional 3D computer graphics program like 3ds Max can both be fun and frustrating. This is a complex program and trying to tackle too much can leave one overwhelmed. 3ds Max 2012 Essentials tries to address this by allowing you to work at your own pace while it is showing you how to create artwork whether it is in static or animated form.
The goal of 3ds Max 2012 Essentials is to expose you to all of the facets of 3ds Max by introducing all of the tools and functions, explaining how they work and the concepts behind them through the use of hands-on tutorials aimed to give you the confidence to venture deeper in to this program. 3ds Max 2012 Essentials is 400 pages and is divided into 16 chapters.
Chapter One, "The 3ds Max Interface," starts off with the basic operation of the program and works through all of the important aspects of its interface while getting you up and running. Chapter Two, "Your First 3ds Max Project," walks you through the concepts of modeling using the 3ds toolsets. In this project you will create a dresser using polygonal meshes and modifiers. It is here that you will also get a feel for the 3ds workflow as well.
Chapter Three, "Modeling in 3ds Max: Part I," takes on a more complex modeling assignment by building a child's red rocket ride-on toy. Here you will work with the Editable Poly toolset. Chapter Four, " Modeling in 3ds Max: Part II," completes the model, using the Lathe and Bevel modifiers as well as the Loft compound object. Here you will learn more about splines and shapes.
Chapter Five, "Animating a Bouncing Ball," examines how to animate using the 3ds animation tools by creating a rubber ball and giving it life. Chapter Six, "Animating a Thrown Knife," gives you more experience in animation by working with the Curve editor as well as introducing the concepts of anticipation, momentum, and secondary movement.
Chapter Seven, "Character Poly Modeling: Part I," is the first of three chapters and starts off with modeling the basic form of a character – in this case, a soldier. This is a project that will be suitable for character animation. Chapter Eight, "Character Poly Modeling: Part II," will complete the main body, create accessories, put on the boots, and create hands.