A Nationally Accredited Educational Institution

Introduction to 3ds Max Modeling

20 Clock Hours 18 Days 20 AIA LUs

Online Dates

Grading Option






In this online Introduction to 3ds Max course, you will acquire a basic understanding of the 3ds Max User Interface, and become comfortable with the 3dsMax work environment. For your course project, you will explore different methods of creating and modifying standard primitives by modeling furniture for a residence. You will also apply materials and add lighting to your scene to create a terrific presentation of a condomium.

3ds Max is the premiere professional 3D environment modeling, material, lighting, rendering and animation software package. You will learn the basics, giving you a solid working foundation. We will focus on Architectural modeling and rendering.

Your instructor is an Autodesk Certified Instructor and also an experienced working professional who uses 3ds Max on a daily basis, meeting client deliverables and creating renderings and animations to help their clients visualize their upcoming projects.

VDCI encourages a strong online engagement between you, your instructor and your classmates. You will participate in group discussion forums, connect with your instructor and message your classmates. You are also invited to join us in the VDCI Student Lounge, where our instructors, staff, current students and alumni share information and help one another.

You will be provided source files, which you will use to start each of your course projects. You will be provided videos which your instructor has created to guide you through the learning process. There will be quizzes relating to your project as well as to your reading assignments. There will be discussion forums in which you will be participating. There will be regular progress submissions of the work you completed and there will also be 1:1 time with your instructor.

Learning Objectives

  • Acquire basic understanding of the User Interface to become comfortable with the 3ds Max work environment.
  • Explore different methods of creating Standard Primitives.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in modifying Standard Primitives to create furniture for the class project.
  • Discover methods of applying materials to objects in a project.

AutoDesk Certification Objectives


  • Differentiate camera types
  • Edit FOV (Field of View)


  • Differentiate common file types and usages
  • Use the import feature to import model data


  • Compare Attenuation and Decay
  • Identify parameters for modifying shadows


  • Identify standard materials


  • Differentiate reference coordinate systems
  • Differentiate workflow
  • Identify Clone Types Differentiate standard versus extended primitives
  • Identify and use line tool creation methods Identify Vertex types
  • Use object creation and modification workflows
  • Use polygon modeling tools Use ProBoolean


  • Differentiate Renderers
  • Identify rendering parameters


  • Describe and use object transformations
  • Identify Selection Regions and methods
  • Use Viewports
  • Set up and use Scenes



  • Fundamental working knowledge of the Windows environment
  • Some CAD, BIM, drafting experience or work with other 3D programs is highly recommended.


Free Access to the Software

While you are a student at VDCI, you will be provided free access to the software needed to participate in your course. Throughout your studies at VDCI, it is very important that you have access to good-quality Internet bandwidth with a download speed of 10 Mbps.

Materials Required


  • 3ds Max


  • Autodesk 3ds Max Essentials
  • For International Students, VDCI does not ship textbooks internationally. Please click here to obtain the ISBN number and order the book from Amazon in your home country.

Can I work at my own pace?

Yes. You can work at your own pace. Each course is 18 days long. You will have two weeks and three weekends to complete the course. There are set deliverable schedules which are addressed in the course syllabus.



Free Access to the Software

While you are a student at VDCI, you will be provided free access to the software needed to participate in your course. The software provided will either be downloaded directly onto your machine or you will access the software on one of our Virtual Servers. Throughout your studies at VDCI, it is very important that you have access to good-quality Internet bandwidth. It is also very important, if you are accessing our Virtual Servers, that you pay special attention to the MP4 and PDF guidance provided regarding saving your project files (datasets) onto your local machine.

Discussion Forums

There are two discussion forums for the course, the Student Forum and the Graded Forum.

The Student Forum is for you to interact with your fellow classmates, to discuss issues you are having, and get to know one other much like you would in a classroom environment.

The Graded Discussion Forum requires an initial post and a response to another student. These will be part of your final grade.  Your initial discussion post is due Monday, one week from the beginning of class, by 11:55pm Pacific Time. Your second discussion post must be a response to another student, and it is due by the end of the course.

VDCI Student Lounge

The VDCI Student Lounge is open to all VDCI Students and Alumni. In the Student Lounge, you are welcome to ask general questions to your VDCI colleagues. Instructors and VDCI staff regularly chime in. This is a great center of engagement for our VDCI community.

Course Lessons

Students will receive a detailed syllabus once they are enrolled in the course.

Lesson 1 - Equivalent of five (5) On-Site Clock Hours
Students become familiar with the 3ds Max User Interface and begin creating standard primitives. They will also create an end table to be used in their final.

  • PROJECT: Model an End Table

Lesson 2 - Equivalent of five (5) On-Site Clock Hours
Students model a couch and a chair that will also be used in their final model.

  • PROJECT: Box Modeling a Couch and Arm Chair

Lesson 3 - Equivalent of five (5) On-Site Clock Hours
Students model a coffee table and a lamp that will be used in their final model.

  • PROJECT: Modeling a Coffee Table and Lamp

Lesson 4 - Equivalent of five (5) On-Site Clock Hours
Students model a condominium interior using the elements previously modeled in lessons one through three.

  • PROJECT: Modeling the Condominium


Online Course Start Dates

Please click here to see the online course schedule. Online courses begin every three weeks, on a Friday and are 18-days long.

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