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Autodesk Stingray is a relatively new addition to the Autodesk visualization toolset. Essentially it is a game engine, and what makes it especially compelling for building visualization is that it includes a plugin for 3ds Max that allows for a direct link between your 3ds Max scene and a Stingray environment, providing an entirely new and more interactive way to view and experience your design. For more information on the Revit-3dsMax-Stingray workflow there are a series of videos on YouTube - a very short overview is provided here. Recently I decided it was time for me to start becoming familiar with Stingray, so I installed it and started working through a few tutorials. I realized very quickly that the raw tutorials that come with Stingray were not geared for building visualization using Revit and 3ds Max, so I started looking around for more. I found some very good ones on... you guessed it... YouTube again, but right away I noticed something missing. The videos all referenced a "Stingray" pull down menu in 3ds Max - a menu that I did't ...

Wind, gravity, and kinetics... we can incorporate all of these into a scene in 3ds Max Design. Lets start with a simple example of a bouncing ball, rolling down a sloped ramp, and the ball running into dominos that, once struck, will topple over, and make a series of dominos fall over, until it hits against a large domino at the end, that topples over.First we create a sphere, ramp and dominos and copying several of them to make a row to fall against. These are all made using standard creation tools of sphere for the ball, and box tools for the ramp and dominos.Next is to use the MassFX tools. These are tools which apply Rigid Body conditions to the objects. Allowing them to react and react to movement and collisions from other objects. The ball and dominos can all be applied as Dynamic Rigid Bodies. This make the an object that will not pass thru another object, but "bump" against them with some kind of reaction. For the object, especially the ball, we will enable gravity, so ...

Having a 12 year old son, I have a deep love for legos.  This is just an amazing video.Enjoy,Mike MasseyLego Millennium Falcon Stop Motion Assembly 3d from Francisco Prieto on Vimeo.

No, I did not make that word up.  It is a tool within 3ds Max Design for simplifying geometry from unnecessary faces, which could possibly be triangulated elements, to reduce the faces of an object. Or in other words: a tool for converting triangles to quadrilaterals. Using this tool could be important to reduce rendering times of scenes where a flat surface doesn’t need all of the faces and verticies.After converting the object to an editable mesh. Go to the Graphite Modeling Tools tab, and then to Geometry (All) panel and click on the dropdown arrow to display the Quadrifying options. Choices include Quadrifying All, Selection, Edges, and Edges from Selection.

Hold and Fetch within the realm of 3ds Max Design is used for placing a timestamp "Hold" in your scene, which can be retrieved "Fetch" at a later point down the road in your scene. This includes cameras, lighting, viewport configs, geometry and selections sets.You can only Hold/Fetch to one point in your scene, and if you Hold for a new point your previous Hold is lost. Hold is a useful tool when exploring different design ideas or work that may not be saved. Be advised Fetch dumps all operations in the Undo/Redo history list.See a short video on Hold/Fetch in action: Hold-Fetch

For 3ds Max Design software users who are new to the world of rendering, there are several options to choose from. At first glance in using the software you have to choose what “type” of rendering process you are going to use… the default Scanline renderer or mental ray which many folks refer to as “bucket rendering”. It is known as bucket rendering because the computer processor or multiple processors work on renderings one square area at a time, verses the scanline rendering which is a pixel row, starting from the top one row at a time. The image below shows the rendering in progress. 3ds Max Design will render a low level quality pass over the scene, which looks pixelated or like mosaic tiles. This is to help you determine the camera shot, angle, and if the scene is the correct one. This quick pass allows you to cancel the rendering, and not have to wait several minutes for a non-desired rendering. The next image shows additional progress on the rendering. The front of the car ...

Autodesk Labs announced today a labs product tool for sending AutoCAD files to 3dS Max Design with a quick transfer. This is a Plug-in that shortens the process of sending AutoCAD data traditionally to 3ds Max Design. This preview in Labs will be available up to March 1, 2012. In several cases these Labs technologies end up in the new release.You need to download the "AutoCAD Quick Send to 3ds Max Design" from the Autodesk Labs Preview site. But first you must have the latest Service Packs install in AutoCAD and 3ds Max Design or it will not work. The image example at the top is the "Workflow" panel for sending the data to 3dS Max. Within the panel are options to "run" or "edit" the settings on how data is transferred. The actual "Quick Send..." button is a dropdown for additional workflows you can create. These workflows can be shared to other users.A nice feature is that the workflow can run in the background and you can continue being productive working in AutoCAD. A helpful notification will pop-up ...

Backburner is a batch network rendering utility that comes with 3ds Max and Maya. This is used when you want to render multiple images to several computers/nodes.It has 3 main pieces. Manager, Monitor and Server. The Manager and Monitor are usually installed on the same computer. This is typically your computer that is running 3ds Max, but does not have to be. Some companies have a dedicated Graphics computer that would work well to have this installed on. Also the Server piece needs to be installed on all the computer nodes. The name Server is a bit misleading, because it in fact gets installed on the workstation. A true network server doesn't really have a part in all of this. Also, 3ds Max needs to be installed on the computers with the Server piece. 3ds Max is needed to process the information. It does not need to be registered or licensed. You can install up to 9,999 installations of 3ds Max for the Rendering farm.So the concept is that you have a 3ds Max model and want to render ...

Project folders in 3ds Max Design are a great helpful tool! By setting the project folder, this allows 3ds Max to search, or look, in the folder of that project directory. This works well for when other people are working on a project with you, or if you have to come back to a project after a few weeks. Setting the project to be active then re-paths the search folders in 3ds Max to look for presets, scenes, import/export and other project specific folders.Found under the Application big "M", and then Manage, setting the folder is easy, either to an existing folder, or creating a new one.

Hereare a couple of quick tips from a recent 3ds Max Design classthat I was teaching...3d model rotate - hold down the Ctrl key and mouse wheel to spin the model.Cloning - Move tool, hold down Shift. This will duplicate the object, but giving you the option of Copy, Instance or Reference. Instance vs. Reference... Instance you can change any of the object copied and it updates all of them. Reference, you need to change the original, to update the others.Save Copy - This saves your scene and adds a number sequence to the end of the file name.

Need a stand-in for your objects? This can help save time for rendering and when working in a scene file. What is it? mentalray Proxies in 3ds Max. They are a placeholders that are only loaded into memory and are processed per bucket during rendering. Files that used to lock up or freeze should now render quickly!Go to the Create Panel , select "mental ray" in the Primitives drop down. Pick the "mr Proxy" button and place a box in the scene. Go to "Modify" panel and pick the "none" button to select the source object in the scene. Then pick the "Write Object to File..." button to save the data of the object for rendering time. At this point everything is in place. Now you can copy, clone, or array the Proxy in your scene. You will see several boxes, but when you render they will all be nice rendered copies of the source object.