Basic Tools of 3ds Max, Senor Style

Greetings my students, I'm Professor Crouch and welcome to my Furry Classroom. I will be your instructor as I take you step by step about basic IMVU developing. For those who are completely new to this fascinating world of developing, I encourage you to take some time and read over the knowledge I set up for you all. If you are serious about making things on IMVU then you have come to a perfect place to start learning.

Down below is an introductory tutorial to give you the basic knowledge you will need to build a mesh and a skeleton in 3ds Max.

This is a 2 part tutorial: 1) Basic 3ds Max Tools. 2) The Dummy Node.

Part 1: Basic Explanation of the 3ds Max Tools

1) This is your move tool, it will move your object up, down, left, right, forwards, and backwards according to where you have your camera placed.

2) This is your rotate tool, it will rotate your object in all manner of ways.

3) This is your scale tool, it will enlarge or shrink your object to the desired size.

4) This is your create tab. From this tab you can create basic 3D objects.

5) This is your modify tab. From this tab you can take basic 3D objects and turn them into very complex pieces of art.

6) This is your camera's zoom in/out lens. With it you can zoom your camera in close or far out.

7) This is your camera's zoom in/out all lens. With it you can zoom in and out of all four of your cameras all at the same time.

8) This is your camera's default position lens. With it you can return the camera back to it's default position, it is almost like a reset button if you lose sight of your object because the camera got zoomed in or moved too far.

9) This is your camera's default position all lens. Same as 8 except it effects all 4 cameras at once. Sort of a mega reset button.

10) This is your camera's move lens. It allows you to drag the camera up, down, left, and right.

11) This is your camera's rotate lens. It allows you to rotate the camera angle in all sorts of ways.

12) This is your camera's focus lens. It allows you to focus on one of the 4 different camera angles you have to chose from, click again to back out, showing all four views again.

13) This is your align tool. It takes one object that is highlighted and aligns it to the object that is clicked.

14) This is your materials editor tool. From it you can put colors onto your 3D object.

15) This is your render tool. It will take your 3D object and add the texture and color to it, sort of like a preview of your progress at that moment. This helps to check your work when you finally add color to your object.

16) This is your hierarchy tab. In this tutorial it is basically used just to center the "pivot" (basically from where the object moves and rotates around) of your object.

17) This is your Select and Link tool. This tool allows you to link an object to another object. This is mostly used to link dummy nodes together when building a mesh.

18) This is your Unlink Selection tool. This tool allows you to unlink an object to another object.

19) This is your Select by Name tool. This tool is especially useful when you are working with a lot of dummy nodes. It will open up a window and will show all of your skeletons, meshes, and nodes. From here you can select and link objects together.

20) This is your Angel Snap Toggle tool. This tool will help with your Rotate tool as it will rotate rotate your object by 45 degrees.

21) This is your Dummy Node creation button. This button is found under your Creation Tab, under the Helpers Sub-tab (tab right next to the Camera Sub-tab). This is how you create a Dummy Node.

Part 2: The Dummy Node

You see this node all over IMVU's Education Center. This Node is very important as it is the skeleton of furniture items, avatar accessories, and rooms. So for one who is thinking about becoming a Mesher, most likely one will be using the Dummy Node. I do not go into great detail on the exact functions of the Dummy Node in this tutorial, however in more advanced tutorials of mine you will be using them a lot. This section will teach you how to build a Dummy Node and a basic understanding of how one Node can perform multiple functions.

Now let's get into building a Dummy Node in case you ever have to manually build a Dummy Node yourself. X3

Go over to the Create Tab. Then select the Helpers Sub-tab. From there you will see the button named Dummy. Select and highlight the button. Then you can create a Dummy node on your canvas.

Wewt! You built a Dummy Node! But does a Dummy Node know to become an Attachment Root for an accessory or a Room Skeleton for a room or a Seat Node for a couch? That's the secret now isn't it?

You want to know the secret? Don't worry, it's a secret to everybody. X3

THE NAME! :D The name is the secret. How a dummy node and more importantly how IMVU's Previewer/Client knows to become all these specific things is the Dummy Node's name. X3 As you can see in the picture above the default name to any Dummy Node is "Dummy01"

Think of the Dummy Node as an Eevee from Pokemon.

An Eevee changes forms depending on the elemental stone you give it. Well it works the same way for a Dummy Node. A Dummy Node changes it's function depending on the name you give it.

Each part of the Name has significance. If you aren't quite sure of the exact functions of the Dummy Nodes, do not fret the point of this tutorial was to just teach you how to create a Dummy Node. If you wish to understand more about the functions of a Dummy Node in IMVU please check out the more advanced SCTutorials.

Feel free to come back to this lesson any time as a reference point to any tool you may have forgotten. Good luck.