A Nationally Accredited Educational Institution

Introduction to 3ds Max Modeling

20 Clock Hours 18 Days 20 AIA LUs


Online Dates

Grading Option



Computer Hardware Requirements




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.

Intended Audience

The course is primarily designed for architects, interior designers, engineers, and others involved in the construction industry looking for an overview of building information modeling (BIM) using Revit Architecture.


Class participants will receive a grade based on their competency proven in the assessments (quizzes and tests) and their participation in the discussion forums.

Class grades will be determined by the total number of points achieved in the following categories:

Reading Assessments 10%
Discussion Forums 10%
Hands-on Assessments 20%
Midterm 20%
Final 40%

Final grades are determined using the following scale:

Letter Grade Percent Grade Points
A+ 98 - 100 4.00
A 94 - 97 3.67
A- 90 - 93 3.50
B+ 87 - 89 3.33
B 83 - 86 3.00
B- 80 - 82 2.67
C+ 77 - 79 2.33
C 73 - 76 2.00
C- 70 - 72 1.67
D+ 67 - 69 1.33
D 63 - 66 1.00
D- 60 - 62 0.67
F 0 - 59 0.00

The weighted values will be summed into total points achieved.

Open Labs

Open labs are available for use in completing homework assignments and for additional "practice time" for all of our students who are within a convenient driving distance of our San Diego campus.

There is an additional cost for technical support setting up your computer system loading the Autodesk software, if you need that additional support. Please contact our Program Manager at 619-758- 9300 or learn@cadteacher.com to receive that information.

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

Certification / Accreditation

  • Autodesk Course e-certificate: The VDCI onsite and online courses are approved by Autodesk.
  • CadTeacher/VDCI is an Authorized Autodesk Training Center (ATC)
  • State of California Approval: Our Technology Certificates and our technology-based courses are approved by the State of Californiaäó»s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) for both online and onsite learning.
  • National Accreditation: Our individual courses, training bundles and technology certificate programs are nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). All of our courses are regulated and reviewed by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
  • Autodesk Professional Certification Exams: For many of their software programs, Autodesk offers Associate adn Professional Certification Exams which test your skills and knowledge. cadteacher/VDCI strongly encourages our students to take the exams and become Certified Autodesk Professionals. As an Autodesk Certified Professional, you can enhance your credibility and can accelerate your professional development. Many employers insist on hiring Autodesk Certified Professionals.

Course Prerequisites

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

Computer Hardware Requirements

Materials Required


  • 3ds Max


  • Autodesk 3ds Max Essentials

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 will be downloaded directly onto your machine. Instructions are provided in the VDCI Student Portal for your course.

While you are taking classes at VDCI, it is very important that you have access to good-quality internet bandwidth with a download speed of 10 Mbps.

Our classes are fast-track, accelerated courses.

If you have ANY CONCERNS about your computer competency, we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you improve your computer skills before attending the class.



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



cadteacher / vdci online course – ALL COURSES

2019 Quarter 1
Quarter 2
May 10 - May 27, 2019 ONLINE
May 31 - Jun 17, 2019 ONLINE
Jun 21 - Jul 8, 2019 ONLINE
Quarter 3
Jul 12 - Jul 29, 2019 ONLINE
Aug 02 - Aug 19, 2019 ONLINE
Aug 23 - Sep 09, 2019 ONLINE
Sep 13 - Sep 30, 2019 ONLINE
Quarter 4
Oct 04 - Oct 21, 2019 ONLINE
Oct 25 - Nov 11, 2019 ONLINE
Nov 15 - Dec 02, 2019 ONLINE
Dec 06 - Dec 23, 2019 ONLINE
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