Chapter 1. Landing a Space Vehicle

When you first got your hands on 3ds Max, you were probably focused on one goal—creating cool 3D images and animations. I know that many of you bought Max to make money, claim a tax write-off, earn a way to Hollywood, or impress your girlfriend or boyfriend, but I'll just ignore those reasons for now. The goal is to create something cool.

If you've perused this book's Table of Contents or thumbed through its many pages, you've seen sections on modeling, materials, dynamics, and other topics. But if you're like me, you don't want to wade through tons of material before you have something to show off to Mom. (Actually, if you're like me, you've opened straight to the special effects section, in which case you won't be reading this.)

The purpose of this Quick Start is to give you a taste of what Max can do. This soaring view of the software from 20,000 feet is intended to show you the big picture before you delve into the details. It exposes you to some of the most common features and, I hope, whets your appetite for the more in-depth chapters to follow.

This part of the book is intended for those new to the software. If you're an experienced user, then your mom no doubt is already impressed with your work, so you can happily advance to whichever chapter appeals to you. (Forgive me for catering to the "newbie," but ...

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