Friday, February 27, 2009

Intro to 3D Studio Max Class

[This post was written by one of our designers, Mike Nielson. Thanks Mike!]

The teacher for this class was the lovely Shannon Blitz, one of our artists. Basically, NinjaBee decided to do this class, per Shannon’s request, as a response to designers and programmers ALWAYS having to ask artists to make temp art for them when the artists have better things to do. In Shannon’s own words, “laziness” was the motivation for this class.

The class basically covered the basics of how to create simple 3D objects in 3D Studio Max. We started by talking about how to create what are called “standard primitives” – shapes like boxes, cones, cylinders, etc. Next we talked about how to edit said shapes. This included rotating, moving, sizing, distorting, mirroring, etc. We also talked about how to attach simple objects together to make more complex objects.

The next phase of the class was a low-level rundown of how to texture (apply color to) an object. We pulled out the materials editor, unwrapped our UVWs and went to town. It was most informative.

Finally we discussed how to export objects from Max into game projects. She showed us step-by-step how to export objects from max using the NinjaBee exporters. She also walked through how to put .png textures into projects and how to get objects showing up in the game viewer.

It was a pretty awesome class for designers, programmers, and others that have had little exposure to the labyrinthine miasma that is called 3D Studio Max. The basics were covered nicely and I think that I and my fellow designers/programmers are much closer to creating ugly temp art of our very own to be used in future games.

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