Using 3ds Max Design with Civil 3D – Part 01 – Introduction

Using 3ds Max Design with Civil 3D – Part 01 – Introduction


Hello everyone, this is Amer Yassine from Autodesk, with another tutorial series that I trust you will enjoy. In this 25-part tutorial, you learn to bring two Autodesk products together, Civil 3D and 3ds Max Design. The idea is to design road works in Civil 3D and then import the scene into 3ds Max Design for superior renderings and animation. The interoperability is made easier via a plugin named Civil View, which has its own menu item in the 3ds Max Design interface. Much emphasis is placed on Civil View as it makes the interoperability between the two applications much easier. It is worth noting that even though Civil View is primarily used as a transition between Civil 3D and 3ds Max Design, it can also be used for general 3ds Max Design functionality. Keep that in mind the next time you work on an architectural or urban 3ds Max project. Back to the project at hand, you play the part of a civil engineer, contracted to build a bridge across a water way. You build the bridge in Civil 3D, and as mentioned, you then import it into 3ds Max Design to create superior renderings and animations. You start the project from a blank page, using Google Earth to study the area where you will build your bridge. You then learn to extract information from that area that will help you find the necessary GIS data and aerial imagery. With that information, you then build the necessary 3D surface in Civil 3D so you can base your bridge design upon it. Once you design and build your bridge in Civil 3D, you then bring it into 3ds Max Design with the help of Civil View. This is when you start working with Civil View and use its functionality and extensive library to add components to the scene. Using Civil View, you can easily and effortlessly add road markings, guard rails and other swept objects for walls and fences, and urban components such as lamp posts, gantries and signs, you will even use simple techniques to animate cars and other vehicles that travel on the road by specifying their speeds. By that point, you will have learned how extensive the Civil View library is, but you learn to extend its range by adding custom objects to it. In this case, you add custom pillars to the Civil View library so you can use them in this project or any other. From that point on, you continue embellishing the scene using Civil View along with other simple 3ds Max techniques. After adding a convincing animated water surface, you add a few background objects such as buildings, and trees. You scatter the trees using 3ds Max’s Object Paint tool to control their positioning. Finally, you create animated camera shots to bring the scene to life. As always, you will be encouraged to add your own vision to the scene. Suggestions are made to add a few animated pedestrians crossing the bridge, and perhaps an animated boat or two traveling the water way. These are only suggestions and very little instruction is given concerning these additional topics. Feel free to experiment with your own ideas. In the end, you would have completed a full civil engineering project that started from a blank page. And so, when you’re ready, move to the next movie to start the project.

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