3ds Max is a program for creating and animating three-dimensional (3-D) images. Moving images in 3ds Max involves using one of three basic object transformations called translation. The other two operations are rotation and scaling. Moving an image (AKA icon) of yourself can involve using animation keyframes, which are snapshots of an animation sequence. 3ds Max interpolates the remaining frames of such a sequence based on these keyframes. Using 3ds Max to create a moving image of yourself provides foundation skills you can use for more complex modeling projects.
1. Take a digital photo of yourself. Import it to your PC in any common format, such as JPEG or BMP.
2. Open 3ds Max and click “Create” menu heading, followed by the “Standard primitives,” and “Box” items. This will place the program in a mode for drawing boxes. You’ll project your image onto a box to create a moving image of yourself.
3. Drag in the “Perspective” viewport to grow the box’s base to any size, then release the mouse. Drag upward to expand the box’s height, then click again to end creation of the box.
4. Press “M” to enter the material editor, which contains tools for manipulating an object’s appearance, including its color and texture. Click the small, unlabeled button next to the “Diffuse” color swatch.
5. Double-click the “Bitmap” item, then navigate to and double-click the image file you made in Step 1. 3ds Max will load the image into one of the spherical sample slots in the material editor’s gallery.
6. Drag the sample sphere displaying your image onto the box you completed in Step 3. Click the “Show standard map in viewport” button in the material editor to display the photo’s image on the box.
7. Click the “AutoKey” button in the lower middle portion of the screen to enter keyframing mode. The program will now automatically create keyframes as soon as you transform (e.g. move) the box in any way.
8. Press “W” to enter the “Move” mode, then click the animation slider (at the bottom left of the main drawing window). Drag it right until the slider reads “100/100.”
9. Click the box and drag it to any new screen location, then click the “AutoKey” button again to exit keyframing mode.
10. Drag the animation time slider left. The box will move back to its starting position.
11. Play the animation by clicking the “>” (“Play”) button at the bottom right of the drawing window.