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If you ask me, 3Ds Max is really the best 3D modeling software for architects. It is highly flexible and gives you a gorgeous result. Lately, I came across several people in online forums and in my school who are struggling to learn 3Ds Max. On that account, I have decided to give you the quickest method to learn it with least effort.

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Since we’re too lazy to read boring details, let’s get straight to the point. What is The Lazy Way to Learn 3Ds Max from Scratch? Read on to find out!

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3Ds Max from Scratch:

1. Do Not Take Classes!

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You heard that right! Do not enroll in a 3Ds Max course! That is the most time consuming and the least rewarding way to learn it. They will probably teach you things you do not immediately need for your project. So, get that option out of your mind if you’re short on time.

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2. Just YouTube Whatever You Need!

Don’t ever undermine the power of YouTube. It’s got everything! Literally! “How to extrude on 3Ds max”, “how to make a curved mesh on 3Ds max’, “how to view just one part of the model to edit it”, etc., etc.

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This does not mean you watch a 40-minute tutorial and forget whatever you learned by the time the video ends. No, no, no! Just start modeling your building straightaway, from scratch, and YouTube whatever you need to get to the final form.

Going step by step is the key, which takes us to our next friendly advice: “Apply as you watch!”

3. Apply as You Watch!

Let me elaborate a bit. You got a submission deadline in 2 weeks. Just type in whatever you want to know and apply as you watch. This is crucial. If you let the tutorial end and then start applying, you’d find yourself lost in a world of mathematics.

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Pause the video, apply what you saw, then resume, then pause again, apply, and so on and so forth. You can begin by YouTubing “how to import an AutoCAD plan to 3Ds Max” and go all the way to making that tiny pyramid at the tip of your building, for example.

As a starter, take this 6-minute lesson about making walls with doors and stuff and try doing it:

4. Google When 3Ds Max Goes Nuts!

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If your building suddenly disappears in the dark, press Z. If that does not work, google it!

Likewise, if your custom panel vanishes or the option you need to click on is grayed out, Google will find your way. It has got the answers to all such silly problems.

Don’t be afraid to start your journey with 3Ds max. YouTube and Google have got you covered.

5. Do Not Waste your Energy, Sweat, and Blood on Render Scenes!

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Usually, people who give the rendering tutorials also attach their final max scene by the end of the tutorial JUST FOR YOU. So why don’t you take it? Replace their building with yours and render! You may also simply search for 3Ds max exterior scenes on your browser and download free files!


If this does not work for you, Photoshop is the quickest path to take:

  1. For realistic materials’ effect, download V-Ray for 3Ds Max.
  2. Learn how to apply materials to your building from YouTube
  3. After applying materials, render your shots using the V-Ray Physical camera and save them in a PNG format.
  4. Open them in Photoshop and enjoy adding a scenic sky with pigeons in the background.
  5. Also add some contextual images, greenery, and human figures to accessorize it.
  6. If you’re not that good with Photoshop, the following easy-peasy tutorial will help you to achieve a realistic render in a matter of an hour or 2.

Complying with all these steps will give you highly professional renders within a few weeks!
Believe me, been there, done that!

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