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All-In-One Basics Tutorial

By Colin Barnette
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:
3ds Max
Welcome! This Tutorial is for 3ds Max Users with little or no experience at all. Yet, I assume that you have a general knowledge of computers and common sense=). I am using 3ds Max R4. In this tutorial we will cover: Creating & Placing Polygons, Edit Meshes, Various Basic modifiers, Texturing, Lighting, and Rendering. If there are any questions or problems, please direct them to. I also hope you have fiddled around with max before starting.  I have tried to incorporate all of the helpful hints I can. We are going to make a shelf or dresser that should look somewhat like this in the end.


I.  Manipulating the Perspective View

You need to know how to do this!

This is in the lower-right hand corner of the 3ds max window.
1. This is the zoom in button. Also can be achieved by using your mouse wheel.
2. This is the zoom extents button. It zoom all the way to the extent of how your scene.
3. This button pans about on the plane you are on.
4. This rotates your perspective view.

1.  Modeling - The Main Unit
First, load up 3ds max ad reset the view. (File -> Reset)

Press 2 to bring up this tabbar.

Now go to the Objects tab and click the box. (The first button on the row) Now go to your perspective view and make your box any size and shape because we are changing that soon.
With your box made you are going to want to find this properties bar. (It is normally on the right hand side.  If you cannot find it then press).
Select your box and do the following.

Once you get here click on this tab: 900_tid_tab2.gif
This is the modifier or properties tab.
Now you should be able to see this.
Change your values to meet these.

Now make sure you box is still selected and go press the select and move key.
Right click it and this comes up.  Change the values to meet these.

If you cannot see your box in the perspective view, then using your mouse wheel orthe magnifying glass in the lower right hand corner zoom in our out. Here is what mine looks like.

Note: Colors might be different! It has no effect on anything!


If you have this then congrats! If not, then read back and see if you have done anything wrong.  If
you are still stumped then email me at the link above.

Now we move on.

2. Modeling - The Top

Create another box and give it the properties and move it as shown below.


With that a success you should now have this.
Note: Colors might be different! It has no effect on anything!


With the small box on top selected, go to your menu - Modifiers -> Mesh Editing -> Edit MeshOn your Properties Box (900_tid_tab2.gif)
open up the Edit Mesh Subtree and select vertex. (Img Below)

Now go to your tool bar and select this button. 900_tid_scale.jpg
This is the Scale Button. I have placed an animated gif below to show you what we want to do with the vertices. 

And your final should look somewhat like this.  It does not have to be exact.

If you have made it here, congrats!  If not, again, double check and then e-mail me if you still have problems.

3. Modeling - The Drawers

Make another box and place as so and give it these properties.


Now clone (Edit -> Clone) the drawer and move it like this.


Now we have to model the drawer pull.  There is no easy way to tell you how to do this so I am just going to get you started and give you more graphics! On the tab bar, go to the shapes tab and select line. Now goto your top view and find a little empty space off to the side. Fool around wil making lines and try to make an object looking similar to this.

Now, if you have successfully done that goto Modifiers -> Patch/Spline Editing -> Lathe.  Now you can see that your line is a 3d Object. You might have to change some of the setting like the axis you are lathing on, or the Min, Center, or Max settings. You should come up with somthing like this.


Clone it and place it until you come up with something like this.

Congratulations!  You have finished with the modeling part of this tutorial!.

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 235071, pid: 0) Phfilly on Wed, 20 November 2013 3:33pm
Hi! Is it just me or is the gif's static?
(ID: 89930, pid: 0) Mehmet Yagci on Thu, 01 March 2012 9:18am
plase send me e-mail this tutorial video (All-In-One Basics Tutorial)
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