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Where to start, becoming profecient with 3Dsmax for static meshes

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    Where to start, becoming profecient with 3Dsmax for static meshes

    As an aspiring level designer (recreational) one of the most critical tools I need to develop is a proficiency for 3Dsmax, specifically for modeling static meshes. Where would you recommend beginning this journey, e.g. books you might recommend, youtube vidoes etc.

    Also, to become good at modeling static mesh objects such as pipes, cars, or statues does one themselves have to be a good artist grounded in traditional arts? I have an artistic eye but myself I am not an artist.

    many thanks

    #2
    I would start with the tutorials that ship with max. Specially if you're using max 2010 (with the new graphite modeling tools, they awesome!). Its a good start to learn the technique and get familiar with max.

    Once you learned the basics , go on and google for tutorials. Youtube is also a good learning source.

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      #3
      Lol, first person I've seen who actually likes Graphite :P, as for where to start, like Sid said the tutorials that ship with max 2010 are pretty good and give you a overall start to how to model properly. There are also a ton on the web, visit sites like 3dbuzz/polycount/game-artist ect they all have a massive listing of tutorials in varying difficulties.

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        #4
        Aside from what has already been suggested, my recommendation for you is simply practice, practice and practice. Model anything you fancy, start with the simplest (least complex) inanimate objects and work up from there... and always challenge yourself to make the model exactly how you intend it to be.

        Don't bite off more than you can chew by trying to create more complex objects then you can wrap your head around, dont be afraid to experiment with different techniques to achieve the same result, and learn the interface like the back of your hand.

        Right from the start, don't teach yourself bad habits when modeling, or they will come back to haunt you later. Also, after becoming familiar with the basics, hotkey your most common functions to increase your optimize your workflow.

        Some people work well with video tutorials, and some don't (I am one of the folks who don't), so don't rely on them unless they actually make things easier for you. The installed documentation in MAX is remarkably informative and will explain most situations and functions quite well. If you are a traditional artist, use this to your advantage and draw ref images for your own projects whenever possible to gain a more intuitive understanding of their construction. If you are not an artist (or even if you are), make full use of whatever image resources you can for inspiration and reference. The success of a model will be largely dependent on how well you can visualize it in the initial stages.

        Work systematically and in logical steps, much like traditional sculpting or drawing. It is largely a process of beginning with basic shapes and refining them uniformly as you detail your objects.

        Despite many opinions to the contrary, ALWAYS be conscious of your polycounts, and remain conservative wherever possible. Think in terms of triangles, even if you aren't modeling with tris.

        Oh, and practice. simple crates, pipes, barrels, fences, tools and other common objects are a very good way to exercise all of the basic skills needed to create much more detailed objects. Weaponry, vehicles and architecture are all built using the same techniques as simpler models, but it is crucial that you remain organized right from the start.

        There's a few bits off the top of my head, but as having been a modeler for over a decade I still find these basic principles to be the most important things to keep in mind.

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          #5
          digitaltutors.com taught me most of what I know, they're video tutorials are excellent.

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