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3ds Max + V-Ray: 3ds Max PRO in 6 hrs

3ds Max intro course: 3Ds Max and V-Ray for creating 3D architectural imagery, from beginner to advanced
Adam Zollinger
12.750 estudiantes matriculados
English [Auto-generated] Más
Learn 3ds Max + V-Ray from scratch by creating your first arch viz project in the first 6 hrs of the course
Take your rendering knowledge from basic to pro by following along with multiple projects using a pro workflow
Become comfortable creating with the two industry standard software packages, 3ds Max and V-Ray
Learn to use Photoshop for texture creation and post-processing your renderings
Learn Vray materials, lighting and cameras.
Provide the foundation for starting a career in 3d visualization.
Complete your first photoreal, professional rendering using 3ds Max and Vray.
Improve your lighting, composition, and post-processing skills
Start creating professional looking 3d visualization by following along with the course projects.
After learning the basics with the first projects, jump into more advanced projects with the latest versions of the software
New content added regularly
Adjust your knowledge for the most up to date versions of the software

*Course Updated 06/14/2019 – 2 new practice projects being added with more advanced techniques

*Much more content coming soon (advanced techniques for arch viz, interior renderings with V-Ray, animation, etc)

*I’ll be your technical support – I answer questions every day in the discussion area, and I always respond to your private messages.  In these advanced computer programs, you will inevitably run into technical problems.  I am always here to answer all your questions and help you troubleshoot.  You can’t find another course anywhere that gives you this much training, from a practicing professional, who is also at your beckon call to help, for such a reasonable price.

*Recent Student Feedback

“The Missing Link

Having done numerous on-line 3D courses I am always looking for new ways of doing things to speed up production and modeling. The course although basic is very well structured with very few ambiguities. What Adam outlines in the Intro clip is what you should achieve relatively easily by the end of the course. . The only downside is that he hasn’t done more advanced Visualisation courses yet. When they do come on stream I will no doubt enroll as his skill and experience within the industry comes through in his presentation.”  NOTE: I do, in fact, have some more advanced classes now.

“This course is perfect for the beginners in 3ds max and V-ray. The information is clear and easy to understand. The course was a blast…”

About This Course:

When I first made this course, it was to fill a void that I noticed in the arch viz industry. There are not a lot of tutorials out there that help you to learn arch viz from the beginning in a professional way, using the PRO software and a PRO workflow. So, I created this course, and I never could have imagined how popular it has become! It has also evolved a lot since that first time I published. Here are some key things to know:


  • teaches 3ds Max and V-Ray from the very beginning
  • follows a project from nothing, all the way to the end
  • demonstrates the exact workflow that I use daily as a practicing professional (thus the PRO part)
  • uses my UI setup, shortcuts, etc (all downloadable for your use)
  • shows you everything you need to know to create a basic project
  • uses 3ds Max 2011, so as long as you have any version after that, you should be able to follow (updates have been made where necessary to account for changes all the way up to most current versions)
  • contains 6 HRS of video from start to finish


  • brings you up to speed with the latest versions of the software and fills in the gaps where they exist
  • more advanced techniques (i.e. HDRI lighting, etc)
  • more advanced and complex projects
  • currently two additional projects to follow along with, including an advanced interior and exterior.
  • much higher production quality than original videos
  • awesome new content being added regularly to make you aware of new techniques, software updates, etc.
  • new projects coming soon

About 3ds Max and V-Ray:

Knowing how to use these two programs together is a valuable skill. Seriously, I taught myself how to use these programs many years ago, and now I get paid quite well for my expertise.  3d is not just my hobby, it is also how I support my family.  You can learn, and start a career in 3d too.  Everything you need to get started is in this course.  I will take you through 3ds Max and V-Ray from the very beginning, and by the end you will be well on your way to creating your own images and filling up your portfolio with polished work.  Keep in mind, you do not typically need formal training to get a job in 3D.  What it takes is an awesome portfolio, so let’s get started on yours.

Some Questions To Ask Yourself:

  • Are you currently in a job you do not enjoy?Jobs in 3d are seriously fun and rewarding!
  •     Are you an architecture student who feels overwhelmed sometimes trying to learn complicated software just to present your design properly? This course can get you up and running QUICK!  Plus, you’ll learn it the right way, from a pro.
  •     Are you a SketchUp user who is no longer satisfied with the modeling / rendering capabilities of SketchUp, and are ready to take your 3d skills to the next level? SketchUp is great at what it does, but it falls short when it comes to making flashy, photoreal images.  Also, bring your sketchUp with you, then learn to import it into 3ds Max and render with V-Ray, the best render engine out there.
  •     Are you a practicing architect that needs a better way to portray your designs to clients? You’ve come to the right place.  I am an expert at just that.
  • Maybe you’re a gamer who wants to create your own game assets?  Even you should learn 3ds Max.  It is the industry standard for video games, and I personally have used it for asset creation for my unity 3d games. 

Course Structure (Original 6 hrs of instruction)

  • For absolute beginners, I will show you how to get the software as a free trial and start finding your way around.  I will also go over how to customize your UI for a professional workflow, because why learn the slow way to do things, right?  I’ll also share with you my custom UI files.  Of course, you can skip all of this if you are more seasoned.
  • Next we will start with the basics of modeling.  I will show you different techniques, and we will begin to work on our project.  Again, files will be provided if you want / need them.
  • With modeling down, we will go into V-Ray and start playing with lighting, materials, cameras, render settings, etc.
  • Finally, we will learn how to enhance our images with Photoshop.  I give some great post-processing tips in this course.
  • By the end you will be able to create architectural renderings on your own with a completely professional setup and workflow.  Then it is your turn to start practicing your skills, creating beautiful work, building a portfolio and landing a job.
  • AFTER THE INITIAL PROJECT – once you have completed your first project and learned the basics, I will then move into more advanced techniques (also, there is fully professional interior V-Ray project coming soon that students will be able to learn along with — this is for more advanced users, or people who are ready to move on from the initial 6 hrs of instruction)

How Will This Course Benefit You?

If you are a beginner, this class will be a great overview of how to get up and running.  It will cut out all the stuff you do not need and show you exactly the workflow necessary to work like a pro.

If you are a veteran user, take this course to polish your V-Ray skills, and also to streamline your workflow.  I show so many tips and tricks that I use everyday to pump out arch viz projects fast and on budget.  There is no need to sacrifice quality and creativity if you can fly through the project quickly and on budget.  I’ll show you how.

COMING SOON: If you feel like you have mastered the basics, I have now added more advanced / obscure techniques that can really help your images to stand out, and much more will be coming soon, including a professional V-Ray interior shot that is completely photoreal.

Ready To Sign Up?

What are you waiting for?  If you’re still not sure, check out the preview videos.  Also, check out my profile to the left and see some of my portfolio.  Cool, right?  Wan’t to make some of your own images?  Let’s get started.  6 hrs is all you need to get started, then take the skills I share and practice, practice, practice.

Remember, I will provide the files and download links that you need for everything.  My models are included.  Come with nothing, leave with a finished project and a great knowledge base.

Start Your Love Affair With 3d Today!


*If the price isn’t right, keep an eye out for Udemy promotions and coupon codes around the web, but I think a 6 hr training for $64 is a pretty good deal.  Sure beats a semester at community college 🙂

*30 day money back guarantee, no questions asked!  (If you hate it, get a refund)

-Adam Zollinger

Professional (self-taught and ready to teach you) 3d Artist



Welcome to the course! You're going to love it. This video will give you a small idea of the kinds of images that I create using 3ds max. I hope that I can help you along the path to create beautiful images as well. Take a look.

Stay Connected With Your Instructor
What The Hek is Visualization?

This is a brief introduction to what visualization is. It also gives you a nice resource to check out. I including some resource links in the the supplemental material as well.

What You'll Need (Pretty much nothing)

In this video, I will give an idea of what knowledge you need before starting this course. Don't worry, if you are here on Udemy, you probably have everything you need.

Generic Video: How To Get The Most Out of This Course
Download Some Software, Dude!

This video will walk you through the basic software we need, and where to get the demo versions. I am adding some other downloads you might want in the supplemental material.

SOFTWARE UPDATES: Newer Versions of the Software Available. What To Do...

When I originally made this course, I used 3ds Max 2010 and V-Ray 2.0. I am now adding new lectures all the time, including (depending on when you read this) a whole new section of interior renderings done completely in 3ds Max 2016 and V-Ray 3.2. I am also going through and trying to add addendum to the original course as necessary, to help you follow along regardless of what version of the software you are using. Most things are applicable to all versions.

ALL RESOURCE FILES FOUND HERE: copy the link in the article

Looking Around In 3ds Max

Why Does My UI Look Different?

What kind of UI should you use? Why does mine look different than default?

First Time Opening Max

Yikes! What are all these buttons? Don't worry, this video will help you to start feeling a little more comfortable. I go over basic navigation within Max to show you how to get around.

Toolbars, Command Panel and Other Awesome Stuff

This video picks up where the last one left off. I go over more about the various buttons and toolbars in Max. Hopefully after this you are starting to feel a little more comfortable. Hang in there, soon this will all become second nature.

Get With The Program

Are you concerned that your software looks different than mine? Don't be. I've got you covered. Watch this video to see what you can do. If you want my UI files for download, follow the link below.

SOFTWARE UPDATES: More Info About Newer UIs, and UI Customization

The Fundamentals of Modeling

Different Methods Explained

How do we make objects? Well...in lots of different ways. Here are a few of them.

Read Between The Splines

Here I look at splines more in depth. They will be an essential modeling element moving forward.

Let's Add Some Mods!

Here you will learn about modifiers, and the modifier stack. These are an essential part of 3ds Max, and I believe it is the modifiers that make Max perfectly suited for Architectural Visualization.

Transforms (move, rotate, scale) -- More Than Meets The Eye

In this long winded video, with a few too many "uhms," I explain all the important parts of transforms in 3ds Max. I also talk about cloning objects, and the difference between instances and copies. If you're new to 3d, don't skip this video. You need to know this.

Setting Up Your First Scene

Bringing In Reference Images

Hopefully you are feeling a little more comfortable finding your way around in Max, so it is time to start an actual project. I find this is the best way to learn. In this video I will talk about reference images, and show you how to set them up. I will also show you how to set up CAD from .dwg files, if you've got 'em. It is essential to setup your scene right. It will make your life a lot easier as you move forward. If you start to get lost, don't worry. I am going to be making the project file available for download as I go along. If you get stuck, maybe you can just download the file and move onto the next section. Find the downloads in the External Resources for this section. The Max file will coordinate with the name of this section, 4.01.

Setting Up The Sketch -- Ready To Get Started

In this video I finish setting up the scene for the sketch, and finally we start modeling our first project. If you can't get your's set up right, download mine from the supplemental files.

More Project Setup - Start Some Modeling!

Here I do a few more things to set up the scene, then we're off and running. Let's get to modeling.

Modeling The Building

Building Our Walls

Here we finally get into the meat of the modeling. We continue with the basic walls using splines. I also show you some of the important spline tools that will be a necessity moving forward,.

Building Our Doors

This video teaches you how to model simple doors, using poly modeling, that can be copied around your scene over and over.

Building Our Windows

Here I continue modeling the building, specifically the windows. I also show you how to model without those obnoxious gizmos.

Lots of Modeling - Time Lapse So You Don't Get Too Bored

In this video, I simply record my screen as I model. It can be a bit tedious sometimes, so I sped it up 4x. Don't get discouraged. You can model it yourself (this is how you will learn best), or you can download my file to catch up. In the following videos, I will focus on some of the more unique problems in modeling, and show some solutions for solving them.

Building Roofs

Here I show you a few different ways to model roofs. Of course, the roof on my house is quite simple, but don't worry, I'll show you how to make other roofs too.

Building Railings

Still modeling...still modeling.... Modeling is a pretty important part of all this, so stick with it. This video goes over how to make railings.

Modeling Time Lapse Number Two

Another time lapse of some modeling. I get most the parts in place for the exterior of the model, using the same techniques already described. The video is sped up 5x. I made a few changes to the design as well, because I didn't like how it was looking (the house is still not very attractive). Notice that I don't pay much attention to the sides or back of the house. That is because I am going to take my still shot from the other side. Don't model more than what you are going to see! I did put in a few generic interior walls so that you will see something through the windows. I would suggest modeling on your own and making the house however you want using the previous modeling techniques. However, if you want to use my file, it is available for download.

Adding a Camera

Some Clarification for Different Software Updates.
Setting Up Vray and Adding a Camera

Make sure you install Vray (I'll show you how). Now, we can start to set up for rendering, starting with cameras. I will show you the basics of adding a standard camera, and a Vray Camera. Vray Cameras are better, by the way.

More Camera Settings

Here I go over all that gibberish in the Vray camera settings. I have to go quick, but essentially, all the settings line up with actual camera settings, except 3d cameras allow you to cheat if you want. Check it out. It will help as we move into lighting our scene.

SOFTWARE UPDATES: Changes to the camera for Max 2015 and V-Ray 3.0

If you are using a newer software than I am, you will notice that your V-Ray camera doesn't work the same way as I am showing. This is because Autodesk made some updates. This video will explain.

Adding Lights

Let There Be Light - Adding a Sun

Finally I add some light. For this scene all we need is a simple Vray sun and sky system. We'll also look at our first rendering of the building, and learn what GI is.

More Lighting / Scene Setup

Rendering With Vray

Essential Settings

Here I skim over the render settings for Vray. I also show you the few that I usually mess with. In addition, I will post links to some other important resources for learning Vray Settings.

Rendering An Image

In this video, we finally spit out a rendering. Yay!

Adding Materials

Basic Vray Materials Part I

This is part I of the basic settings for a simple Vray material. Even if you know nothing about making materials, you should be up and running in no time, but don't forget to watch part two too.

Part II

The long awaited, and much anticipated part II of the basic Vray materials video. I am also attaching a link to an older video I did, regarding Vray Materials, which goes a lot deeper. Watch that one too, if you feel like you can handle it.

Editing Your Maps in Photoshop

This video shows how to turn random images off the internet into beautiful materials in 3ds Max. The key is texture maps. For this you will need a photo editing software with basic functionality, and you will need to know your way around in it, at least a little bit. You can also purchase really nice textures if you don't feel comfortable creating your own. I will provide links to everything you will need in the supplementary materials.

Creating Bump and Reflection Maps

Here we just pick up right where we left off in the last video. I use the same diffuse map to generate a bump map and a reflection map.

Putting The Maps Together to Create An Awesome Vray Material

After creating all the maps, I put them all together and applied them to the building. We have our first real Vray Material on the house!!!

More Materials - Metal

Just some more examples of making different types of materials.

Modeling Surroundings

Gathering Landscaping Resources

In this video I show you some good places to find some 3d tree samples, and talk about what we will be learning in the following videos concerning building a site for our house.

Turn A Tree Into a Vray Proxy -- Trust Me, It's Awesome!

Vray proxies are an important part of any 3d project these days. In this video I will teach you how to properly create them. You will thank me for this someday.

Modeling a Site and Using Shapemerge

Now we finally start modeling the surroundings of the house. I will show you a very basic and simple way to create terrain. I will then show you how to start cutting up that terrain to create different areas of your landscape. Just watch.

Placing Your Trees

Here we place our proxy trees and finish up the site work.

Setting Up For Final Rendering

Tweaking Materials & Setting Up Vray Render Channels

As we get ready to render the final image, we need to make sure all the materials are tweaked to perfection. I will also show you how to set up a few render channels for compositing.

Linking All Files / Render Settings / Final Rendering. Yay!

We're almost there. Here I show you how to set up a few final things, and it is time to hit the big "RENDER" button. My favorite part.

Post-Processing The Rendering

Setting Up Your Essential Photoshop Layers

Now I show you how to import your render channels into Photoshop, and also how to use them.

Compositing in the Grass

Time to use our mask channel to composite in some nice grass. Watch and learn.

In the Background

Now for the background. I will also show you how to clean up some common alpha channel issues.

Let's Make Some Adjustments

Everything you need to know about adjustment layers, and how to use them to make your images look cool. These are the final touches to this epic rendering.

Let's Put Your PRO Skills Into Practice

Congrats on Making It This Far. Keep Going...

Phew! We have finished the first 6 hrs of the course, and we are well on our way to becoming PROs. Now it is time to really start sharpening our skills through practice. True PROS are always learning and polishing new techniques. So, we have a homework assignment coming up. We are going to dive into more advanced techniques and interior scenes, so buckle up! You are going to love it.

Some Housekeeping Items Before Moving Forward Into The Next Section

This is the second half of the course, added after the fact for the benefit of the students, and to add value to this course. Before we move forward, there are a few housekeeping items regarding changes to the newer software versions of 3ds Max, etc.

PRACTICE: Photo Real Interior Scene

The Assignment: Recreate This House Based on Photos (I'll Help)

Here is the assignment. Watch the video to see what you are tasked with doing. The basic task is to look at a series of professional photos, then recreate the house in the photos using 3ds Max. We will then create V-ray materials, lights, etc to try and make our interior look professional, clean, and photoreal. Your going to do great, and I will be helping you along the way. Click the "view resources" button during the lecture to get the link to the photos.

Getting Started On Your Interior Scene -- Gather Photo Reference

Photo reference, cad, and other images are an important part of arch viz in 3ds Max. In this lecture we learn how to use .jpg files off the internet as reference for the model we are going to build.

Setup Your Reference Images To Start Modeling With

Here I'll show you how to use our images in 3ds max to create our interior arch viz scene.

Creating a Basic Interior Model Using Poly Modeling Tools (Mostly)

We've seen some spline modeling for arch viz in 3ds Max, and a little poly modeling. Here I show you how to use Poly tools to create an interior VERY quickly.

Creating The Model Using Splines + Extrude Modifier

In the last lecture, I showed you how to create the interior model using simple poly-modeling. Now, I show you how to do it with splines. In this case, both methods are quite simple, so you choose what you are most comfortable with. 3ds Max is great for arch viz because of the various different methods that can be used.

Recreating That Awesome Wood Floor in 3D

The wood floor is the star of the this particular scene, so I really spent a lot of time focusing on it. It required some really good tricks to get it to look right, some of which I will show here. In this lecture we will create the basic model for the floor using simple 3ds Max tools.

That Wood Floor Material, Though!

Here I will show you the beginnings of how I created the floor material. Hint: It requires some 3ds Max, V-Ray and Photoshop tricks that you might not think of, but don't worry, I'll demonstrate.

Modeling The Chimney Using 3ds Max Poly Modeling

One of the hardest parts of this project is the chimney with stacked bricks. There is so much subtlety in the picture, with very slight variations from brick to brick. This creates a unique modeling problem for any arch viz artist in 3ds Max. I give it my best shot, and I will dive much further into poly modeling tools. If you get lost on the poly modeling, please check out my other course, 3ds Max Advanced Modeling - Furniture, as it has in depth tutorials regarding advanced poly modeling.

Adding Randomness To The Chimney With Noise Modifier

Unless you are meticulous enough to go in and individually model / adjust each brick, this noise modifier might come in handy. It randomly adds distortion to your models based on a noise pattern. I'll show you how to use it in 3ds Max to enhance our chimney model.

How Do We Figure Out The Camera Angle?

Figuring out how to match the exact camera angle from just a photograph can be difficult. I'll show you a little bit about how to dissect the photo so that we have a better idea.

3ds Max Physical Camera Settings for Matching A Photo

Here I'll show you the fine adjustments you need to make when placing your camera, so that it will match the photo exactly.

Lighting Your Scene: V-Ray Sky and IES Lights in 3ds Max

The lighting setup for this particular photo is pretty simple.  It uses a lot of natural light.  So, our main light is going to be the V-Ray sky in our environment slot.  Once we get that right, we can start adding little bits of artificial light, and for this we will use IES lights, both V-Ray and standard.

PRACTICE II: Exterior Scene Using Latest Software Updates

Exterior Project Introduction
Notes About The UI -- 3ds Max 2017
Modelling To Imported CAD
Place a Physical Camera and Adjust Composition
Add a V-Ray Sun and Adjust Exposure
Lighting Your Scene With an HDRI Using V-Ray
Adjusting Your Lighting For Different Moods
Updated V-Ray Render Settings for V-Ray 3.5 -- Progressive Rendering
Using V-Ray Lens Effects and Fog to Add Atmosphere
Assigning Materials to Your Model and Using MultiSubObject
Editing Your Materials To Be Photoreal Using V-Ray Materials

PRACTICE III: Pool House Dusk Renderings (Complete Model Provided)

Get My Model and Look Around

This lecture begins a new project, an exterior rendering created with my models.

Download the models by going to the resources in this lecture.

Setting Up Basic Lighting

V-Ray Sun / Sky Setup

Getting Exposure levels right with camera settings and V-Ray Frame Buffer

Setup a V-Ray Camera / Complete Camera Settings

Play with depth of field and other V-Ray camera settings

compose your shot

Basic Render Settings

Essential V-Ray render settings that you need to know

Cut through all the stuff you don't need to know

Adding HDRI and Adjusting Light Levels

Use V-Ray dome light to create and image based lighting effect using an HDRI

Go to the resources of this lecture to get your HDRI

Enhancing Our Composition With Foliage

Add plants and other purchased / downloaded objects to your scene to add detail and enhance composition

Getting Ready For A Final Rendering

Turn on your necessary render channels

Get your render settings right

Render a final image

Post-Processing Your Rendering

Import all your render channels

Use them to enhance your image

You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
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