The Quick access toolbar.
YOU! Yes, You! The Quick access toolbar is one of the most important toolbars in 3ds. Without it, your hours of modelling would be futile. Lets take a look around.
The big button with the max logo in the top left is where you will find standard Save, export, import, new, open etc.
The page directly to the right of the max logo will let you quickly create a new scene. Pretty straightforward.
Next to that is open, and then save. Again, if you don’t know what they do, you shouldn’t be on the computer – never mind complicated 3d modelling.
Then we have the Undo and redo Arrows. These let you go back in time to before you made an action, or back to the future where you already made an action if you decide you want it back.
Now the important one. Project Folder. This is where stuff will be automatically saved. You will want to set this to be a different folder for each model to keep your UV maps, diffuse maps, normals etc all together without changing the location EVERY TIME. Saves time. Lots.
Standard menu bar.
You have a few standard menus such as ‘Edit’ and ‘Tools’ that you will recognise, but many others are serve specific functions. I’d be here all day if I were to describe them.
However, the ‘Rendering’ tab is important. This lets you export textures/normals from your model, or turn a pretty scene into a pretty Jpeg. Also change what type of renderer you use.
Onto more important stuff.
This has all kinds of useful stuff that you can access quickly and easily with it’s big buttons. For example, you can easily choose your transformation method such as translate, scale, or rotate. You can use it to align two objects or mirror them, or snap objects etc. There are also buttons to access the renderer and material editor, which are both highly important.
The ribbon is helpful. This contains a lot of context sensitive actions to pulverise or gracefully model your cube into an object.
This acts similarly to the ribbon, as it lets you create and manipulate your models.
The tab along the top will let you change between the Create Tab, the Modify tab, and 4 others that are less important right now. The create tab will let you summon simple geometry from the planes of oblivion, summon slightly more complicated objects, lights, cameras etc. It will also let you create compound objects from two existing ones (Pictured left) – for example, Boolean lets you take two objects and subtract one from the other, leaving a neat hole.
Next up is the modify panel. This lets you apply modifiers to your lowly peasant-cube, or gives you control to manipulate your mesh – Changing scale and number of segments if it not an editable poly, and edit the poly via faces/vertices/edges and such if it is.
To the left of 3ds viewports is the scene explorer. This lets you see what objects are in your scene, rename them, hide individual objects, freeze objects if you don’t want them to be edited.