Introduction to 3d Computer Graphics and Animation

Week 1



  • Course introduction
  • A very brief overview of the process
  • Become familiarized with the interface
Key Points:
  • Course Introduction
    1. Introductions
    2. Outline
    3. Projects, grading, class work
  • Overview of the 3d graphics and animation process - how long does it take?
    1. Modeling - Types of software, sources of data
    2. Materials and Textures - Painted, procedural
    3. Lighting - Real world vs. digital world
    4. Animation - Key framing, motion capture, procedural
  • Getting Started
    1. Accessing and saving files
    2. Crash!!! - Save often, save versions
    3. When to start over, When to play - Use your time wisely!
  • 3d Studio Max - A few points to keep in mind during the first two weeks
    1. Complexity - Take small steps
    2. Learn the vocabulary - Its makes finding things and communicating MUCH easier
    3. Help each other
    4. Use
    5. Play, play, play
  • Modeling and interface basics
    1. Menu bar, user windows, command panel, viewing options, time slider and play controls. Switch to small icons.
    2. Standard primitives
      1. The active window, note the cursor type, select teapot, note cursor type, click and drag, right in the active window to stop creating otherwise each click is a new teapot.
      2. Change from wire frame to smooth and highlight. Right click ON the view name.
    3. Viewing options - note the change in options when switching between T, L, F and P
      1. Pan - nothing is moving
      2. Magnify - move the mouse up and down
      3. Region zoom - click and drag a box
      4. Min/Max toggle - use perspective view
      5. Arc rotate - only in P view, if accidentally done in T, F or L view they change to a perspective window. To change back, highlight the window and type "T", "L", or "F".
      6. Use the whole screen!!
    4. Selecting and moving and object
      1. Is the object select? Look for the bounding box. Deselect by right clinking in the active window but not on the object
      2. Select by name icon
      3. Zoom extents all - for a selected object
      4. Zoom all
      5. Use the whole screen!!!
      6. The Modify tab
        1. Switch between Primitives and Modify tab
        2. Object must be selected to modify, change its parameters
        3. A few words on segments and polygon count
      7. The move icon
        1. X, Y, Z or in a plane
        2. The cursor must be on the axis
      8. Rotate
        1. Change to Legacy R4 type
        2. By X, Y, or Z
        3. Right click on spinners to return to home position
  • Materials
    1. The material editor
      1. Diffuse color, Specularity and glossiness
      2. Apply to selected
      3. Hot and cold materials
      4. to be continued .....
  • Animating
    1. The story of key frame animation
    2. The time slider and time
    3. Using Auto Key to set keys
    4. Moving and rotate
    5. Moving and deleting keys, speeding up and slowing down
  • Rendering
    1. The render scene dialog box
    2. Time output, output size
    3. SAving as AVI file, select default CoDec
    4. The active window will be rendered!!
  • Anti-Aliasing? Inverse Kinematics? NURBS? You will quickly realize that the world of 3d computer animation has a vocabulary unique unto itself. Here is a nicely compiled list of some terms we'll be using. Click Here