The book is divided into the following parts:
✦ Quick Start — This single chapter is an entire animation project presented in several focused tutorials. It is designed to whet your appetite and get you up to speed and producing animations immediately.
✦ Part I: Getting Started with 3ds max 4 — Whether it’s understanding the interface, working with the viewports or dealing with files, the chapters in this part will get you comfortable with the interface so you won’t get lost moving
about this mammoth package.
✦ Part II: Working with Objects — Max objects can include meshes, cameras, lights, Space Warps, and anything that can be viewed in a viewport. This part includes chapters on how to reference, select, clone, group, link, transform, and modify these various objects. It also includes a chapter on all the various modifiers.
✦ Part III: Modeling — Max includes several different ways to model objects. This part includes chapters on working with spline shapes, meshes, patches, NURBS, and a variety of specialized compound objects like Lofts and Morphs.
✦ Part IV: Materials and Maps — With all the various material and map types and parameters, understanding how to create just what you want can be difficult. These chapters explain all the various types and how to use them.
✦ Part V: Lights and Cameras — This part describes how to control lights and cameras as well as several lighting special effects and the camera utilities. There is also a chapter on using the Camera Matching and Camera Tracking utilities.
✦ Part VI: Particle Systems and Space Warps — Particle systems can be used to create groups of thousands of particles, and Space Warps can add forces to a Max scene. Chapters in this part explain and provide examples of working with these two unique object types.
✦ Part VII: Animation — To animate your scenes, you’ll want to learn about keyframing, the Track View, and controllers. I cover all of these topics here. I also cover expressions and dynamic simulations in this part.
✦ Part VIII: Inverse Kinematics — I cover creating and working with bone systems and give complete coverage of the various Inverse Kinematics methods in this part.
✦ Part IX: Rendering and Post-Production — To produce the final output, you can render the scene or composite it in the Video Post dialog box, as described in this part. In addition, this part discusses environments, Render Elements, Render Effects, and network rendering.
✦ Part X: Customizing Max — This part provides details on customizing the Max interface and environment. This part also includes a chapter on using Max’s scripting language — MAXScript.
✦ Part XI: Extending Max with Plug-Ins — Plug-ins provide a way to add to and extend the features of Max. The chapters in this part explain how to use plug-ins, and one chapter explains how to create your own plug-ins.