Paths to Success Using 3ds Max

3ds Max users can benefit from continued growth in the creative sector. According to the NPD Group, games experienced a 42.5% year-over-year growth in sales rate by month (averaging between March through August this year), while game-related hardware experienced an average 50% increase and accessories grew an average of 33%.  Analysts predict strong growth in the sector for years to come while other technology areas continue to adopt 3D for rendering, visualization, and/or marketing purposes. There are a few ways 3ds Max can learn to take advantage of these opportunities.

First, data still supports the value of college. The Federal Reserve reported someone with a bachelor's degree on average earns one million more than a high school student during their working lives. According to a 2016 report by the College Board, graduates of four-year degrees right out of college earn the equivalent of a high school graduate at 34.  Additionally, in creative industries that involve software like 3ds Max, students learn far more than just software and engage with fellow students and artists that lead to future opportunities.

Second, the internet remains an excellent resource for learning. However, learning without direction is like handing a mouse a picture of a mousetrap and asking it to capture the cheese.  Here we will present areas 3ds Max is used and ways to learn to take advantage of these future opportunities without ending in a lot of pain and suffering.

Visual FX for Cinema, Stage, and TV

FuseFX used 3ds Max to generate content for shows like Agents of the Shield, where they stated 80% of the screen includes CG elements. 3ds Max remains a significant part of their production.

Computer-generated FX involves constructing assets and simulations while understanding the 3-dimensional space better than most. FX artists develop a strong understanding of parallax views and simulate content in a 360-degree environment. Obtaining good results can be a complicated process involving a team of people from diverse backgrounds (animation and compositing, for example).

However, we can get started with simulation and FX in 3ds Max relatively quickly, beginning with the 3ds Max tutorial content. The content dives into simulations like fire, smoke, and liquid. If users wish to dive deeper into FX with 3ds Max, RedefineFX generated 70+ tutorials here:

Understanding how content is composited in a film, stage, or TV environment is key to understanding how to create FX with 3ds Max. So, it's my recommendation that users who want to learn more about FX with 3ds Max also learn to composite.

Content for Game Development

Ubisoft used 3ds Max to help develop the Assassin's Creed® franchise, selling roughly 155+ million units with 100+ million unique players.  From 2019 to 2020, Ubisoft continues to acquire companies and grow. These acquisitions include i3d.Net and Kolibri Games. Additionally, they started a studio in Da Nang, Vietnam, dedicated to mobile and social media platforms.

3ds Max helps build assets for games like Assassin's Creed®, including landscapes, props, characters, animations, and much more.  While it is essential to understand how to create this content using 3ds Max, it's just as important to know how they are used in game engines to target learning efforts toward productive tasks.

Unity and Unreal Engine continue to dominate a large portion of the game development market.  Both companies are incredibly altruistic and entrepreneurial, supporting developers through their creative and technical challenges.  Through this effort, they provide an enormous amount of learning material.  Unity started designed to teach users from introductory to advanced, while Epic Games created for the same. Having supported creators for decades, both companies understand the challenges of learning their software, working with software like 3ds Max, and have set up material so users can learn development from the beginning to the end.


3ds Max is popular with the visualization industry due to its compatibility with CAD software like Revit, while allowing users to take advantage of V-Ray, an external plugin developed by Chaos Group that produces excellent and realistic renders.

Binyan Studios, who uses 3ds Max and V-Ray, grew to be one of the more successful visualization firms in the last decade, having reached revenue in the tens of millions at one point. 3ds Max plays an essential role in their production and many other firms around the world.  Additionally, officials' demand in public and private sectors for 3D representations of projects grows worldwide.

To address this demand, 3ds Max users need to learn efficient methods for producing visual content.  For production, repeatable results are king. Ciro Sannino developed a comprehensive, detailed, and repeatable system to generate extraordinarily professional and realistic visualization content using 3ds Max with the V-Ray plugin.  His experience and all-inclusive understanding of architecture and architectural photography helped him to develop the 5SRW Certification built from 50+ tutorials and testing. Users can sign up for the tutorials and testing at  The steps are clear and concise:

  1. Framing
  2. Lighting
  3. Materials
  4. Final Render
  5. Post-Production

Brian Chapman is an Autodesk Authorized Developer and CAD Applications Specialist for Westwood Professional Services. Brian can be reached at You can review some of his personal work at and

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