3Ds Max Notes.

Posted: April 10, 2013 in Craft & Media Tec 2, Technical Production Skills 2
Tags: , ,

Key Words:

UV Mapping – The UV part refers to the coordinates your 2D image will be placed to on the 3D object because X, Y and Z are already used for the axis of the 3D object. It works in a similar way to gift wrapping an item.

XYZ – X, Y and Z are the axis of the 3D object X being horizontal, Y being vertical and Z being the depth.

Vertex – Is the point’s that make up a shape they are usually located at corners of a shape with straight edges e.g. a 2D triangle has 3 Vertex’s

Polygon – Also referred to as a Poly, a polygon is a face on an object and needs to be made up of at least three vertex’s.

Ambient Light – Is the general light that illuminates the scene. It has a consistent intensity and has no noticeable source or direction. (Source here.)

Ambient Occlusion – Attempts to replicate the way surfaces would reflect light in real life.

Anti-aliasing – Quickly smooths the pixels in a rendered image. (Source here.)


Sub-pixel Sampling – Does the same thing as anti-aliasing but takes much longer because it does it at a higher quality. (Source here.)

Axis – The line that the modal rotates on.

Baking – Is a process that the software does to speed up rendering times instead of re-rendering objects that have been unchanged since the last render it stores the calculations and only calculates the object that changed. (Source here.)

Bitmap – Is a file type used for saving images to texturing objects.

Boolean – Is a tool which allows you to use an overlapping shape to cut a section out of another shape, merge them together removing the overlapped part or removes the outside section and keepes the overlaping part. (Source here.)

Parent – Is the main object that all the other objects that are linked together will follow. (Source here.)

Child – Is an object that will always follow the parent object it is linked with. (Source here.)

Compositing – creating an animation placing your 3D model onto video footage or an image. (Source here.)

Co-ordinates – Are used with every object to help it move and rotate within the modelling environment. (Source here.)

DOF – Stands for “Depth of Field” this effect makes images in the fore ground much more defined. (Source here.)

Extrusion – Is a tool used for precisely extending a face of an object.

Geometry – Refers to the shapes you can create within the 3D software.

HDRI – Stands for High Dynamic Range Image, instead of just storing colours on the screen like normal bitmaps do, the HDR format stores the quantity of light per pixel. Meaning we can have more then 256 levels of luminosity making it closer to the quality of a real camera, with different levels of exposure. (Source here.)

LDRI – Stands for Low Dynamic Range Image and comprises “normal” bitmaps e.g. JPEG, TIFF, BMP. These bitmaps which have 8 bits per pixel, with values between 0-255 in RGB mode. Which means that there are only 256 levels of luminosity, which doesn’t cover the range that can be achieved by a real camera, with different levels of exposure. (Source here.)

Inverse Kinematics – Also known as IK inverse kinematics is were the parent objects positioning is controlled by moving the child object in a 3D rig. (Source here.)

Forward Kinematics – Is were the child objects positioning is controlled by moving the parent object in a 3D rig. (Source here.)

Material – Are used to provide surface properties like colour, opacity, reflective index, roughness, etc. to an object in 3Ds Max.

Mesh – This is like a wire frame version of your 3D object.

Orthographic – Refers to the view of the object 3Ds Max has three orthographic view ports showing the top, side and front of your object in a 2D perspective. (Source here.)

Perspective – Is a way of showing things how they would be in real life with objects in the foreground appearing larger than objects in the background.

Particle – In 3D are used to create, animate, and destroy objects according to a set of rules. These rules can be very basic, like “create 10 spheres per frame, starting at frame 0″. (Source here.)

Quads – Refers to a four sided polygon.

Tris – Refers to a three sided polygon.

Tiling – Uses textures that are repeatable making it look like it is covered in one seamless image. (Source here.)

Types of Maps:

Diffuse Maps (AKA Colour Maps) – Used to add colour or texture to the surface of a model.

Projection Mapping – Allows you to create a detailed high poly model and map it to a low poly model of the same shape faking the detail.

Specular Maps (AKA Gloss Maps) – Allows you to add a shine of different intensity to areas of your model.

Normal Maps (AKA Bump Maps) – When used allows the computer to calculate the high and low spots of your model adding extra detail even though it is a flat surface.

Reflection Maps – allows you to add a reflection to the model.

Alpha Maps (AKA Transparency Maps) – Allows you to make parts of your model transparent.

Adding Collisions:

UCX_ – To add a collision in 3Ds Max all you need to do block out your object using basic primitives. Then group them together and name them the exact same thing as your original object except you add UCX_ to the front. Here is an example original object = House Collision = UCX_House. Collisions are invisible when you export them in the model to UDK so don’t worry about them showing up on the render in 3Ds Max.


Export Types:

.FBX – This is the optimal file type to export a model to when using UDK.

.TGA – This is the optimal file type to save textures as.

Texture Sizes:

1024×1024 – The highest resolution texture map that we have been allowed to use to far. Most suitable for big objects with lost of detail like a building.

512×512 – This is the best texture size to use when working on assets that are of a decent size and are seen up close.

256×256 – This is a texture size more suited to small assets or things in the background that will just be glanced over.

128×128 – This texture size is best suited for objects far off in the distance were detail will not be noticed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s