Autodesk 3ds Max training
3ds Max Essentials training

3 days
In centre:
£595+ VAT
Live online:
£495+ VAT


Dates and booking

Live online training


Birmingham / Bromsgrove training centre


Bristol training centre


Reading training centre

Key details

Key details

3ds Max training course for beginners teaching core skills for creating 3D models, rendered images, animations and games.

Autodesk 3ds Max is used in a wide range of industries. Architects, interior designers and engineers use 3ds Max to produce comprehensive 3D models and visualisations. The gaming, film and television industries use the application to produce stunning 3D animations.

Our 3ds Max Essentials course teaches the key functionality, features and principles behind 3ds Max, and the key theory and techniques that you need to use the application effectively. You’ll learn to:

  • Set up your projects.
  • Create 3ds Max models.
  • Apply materials and use maps.
  • Understand and apply lighting and materials for realism.
  • Use cameras.
  • Create rendered images.
  • Create desktop animations.

The course includes a session looking at the most popular renderers used with 3ds Max, including ART, Arnold, V-Ray and mental ray, to help you ascertain the one that best meets your needs.

In-class or online

This course is available in-class at eight centres or live online.

Upcoming course dates

Live online training
Birmingham / Bromsgrove
Milton Keynes
View all course dates and book

Who should attend?

This course is ideal for new users of 3ds Max from all industries, including:

  • Architects, interior designers and engineers.
  • Game developers.
  • Artists and animators who produce film and video content.

Where possible, delegates carry out exercises relevant to their industry.

Accredited 3ds Max training

Armada is an Autodesk authorised Training Centre (ATC), and our 3ds Max training courses are accredited by Autodesk.

3ds Max courses are hosted by Autodesk Certified Instructors who are experts in 3D design, CGI and the production of visualisations and rendered images. For details, see Expert trainers.

How will I learn?

3ds Max training is hands-on and practical.

Our trainers teach the necessary theory then demonstrate techniques step-by-step. You then practice the techniques taught on a computer running 3ds Max.

There is plenty of time to ask questions, and you can take away all the files you create.

3ds Max training guide and certificate

Course delegates receive:

  • A comprehensive training guide for 3ds Max, to refer to throughout the course, and to use as a refresher afterwards.
  • An e-certificate confirming successful completion of an accredited 3ds Max training course. Click here to see an example of the certificate you receive.

3ds Max certification exams

When you attend 3ds Max training, you’re not assessed and there is no exam to sit. We teach you practical skills you can use in the real world, not prepare you to sit a test.

If you want to gain an industry-recognised credential in 3ds Max, we offer an Autodesk certification exam that you can sit on a future date.

Exams are sat online, from your place of work or home. For further details, see Certification exam.

After course support

Following 3ds Max training, delegates are entitled to 30 days’ email support from their 3ds Max trainer to help with any post-course issues. For further details, see Support.


No prior 3ds Max or 3D modelling experience is required

3ds Max version

Training is based primarily on 3ds Max 2025. It is relevant to users of 3ds Max 2020 and later.

Our guarantees to you

We offer:

On-request 3ds Max training available

3ds Max Essentials training is also available on-request, i.e. one-to-one training or a ‘closed course’ for your group, hosted at one of our centres, your venue or online.

On-request 3ds Max training can be tailored to take into account any existing knowledge you have, and the work you’re going to be doing. Please contact us for a quote.

General information

General information

Course times



Payment for 3ds Max training can be made by:

  • Bank transfer. Please call 01527 834783 for our bank details.
  • Card. All major credit and debit cards accepted. Payment can be made securely online or over the phone. Card payments are processed by Stripe. Armada doesn’t record or store your card details.

Purchase orders

We accept purchase orders from UK-registered companies and public sector organisations.

Cancellations and transfers

You can cancel a booking on a scheduled training course, or transfer to a later course, without penalty providing you give us 10 working days’ notice. Any fees already paid will be refunded.

If you cancel a booking on a scheduled 3ds Max Essentials course giving less than 10 working days’ notice, or request a transfer to a later course, a cancellation/transfer fee is payable. The fee charged depends on the notice period given. For details, see cancellation terms.

Different terms apply for the cancellation or postponement of an on-request course (one-to-one training or a ‘closed course’ for your group). For details, see course cancellations.

Terms and conditions

Training course bookings are subject to our terms and conditions.

Expert trainers

Expert trainers

3ds Max Essentials training courses are hosted by:

Rod Cleasby

Rod Cleasby Autodesk Certified Instructor

Rod has over 25 years’ experience working as a designer, visualisation expert and artist. His specialist areas include architecture, interior design and the production of photorealistic 3d virtual environments. 

AutoCAD, 3ds Max and SketchUp have been the mainstay of Rod’s professional work for 20 years. He is also an expert in various related tools and technologies, including Photoshop, and he has expert knowledge of a wide range of renderers, including V-Ray, ART, Arnold and LightUp.

Rod has extensive experience training experience. He has worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster on their Computer Visualisation course, and he is a long-established Autodesk Certified Instructor.

Away from his professional work, Rod is an accomplished artist and musician, and a prolific writer of novels, novella, poetry and prose.

Stewart Cobb

Stewart Cobb Autodesk Certified Instructor

Stewart began his working life as a junior draughtsman, and progressed through to Design Director leading a studio of designers working on both 2D and 3D projects.

He then worked for himself for over 25 years, completing around 100 design projects per year for a myriad of clients, including household names such as Vauxhall and McDonalds.

More recently, Stewart’s focus has been on training. He has been an Autodesk Certified Instructor since 2010, hosting courses in AutoCAD, Revit, 3ds Max, AutoCAD Plant 3D, Civil 3D and Advance Steel. He’s also an expert user of Trimble SketchUp.

In between courses, Stewart uses these applications professionally when carrying out project work for clients. Using the applications regularly helps him to keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and practices. He also specialises in the production of photorealistic rendered images and visualisations using renderers including V-Ray.

Outside of work, Stewart enjoys music (he runs the sound desk for a number of local bands), reading and playing with any new piece of technology he can lay his hands on!

Andy Roe

Andy Roe Autodesk Certified Instructor

Andy has worked in CAD for over 30 years in roles including Draughtsman, CAD System Manager, Project Manager and Design Engineer.

In recent years, Andy has focused on developing and delivering training courses. He is a long-established Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), and he focuses primarily on Autodesk applications including AutoCAD, Inventor, Fusion 360, 3ds Max and Sketchbook, as well as Dassault Systemes SolidWorks.

Andy continues to undertake project work to keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and practices. He specialises in modelling complex 3D designs from prototype to production, including the development of visuals and animations for a range of engineering projects.

Industries in which Andy has significant experience include aerospace, defence and automotive.

Nebille Al-Wahid

Nebille Al-Wahid Autodesk Certified Instructor

Nebille studied architecture at University, achieving a high-grade BSc and an MSc distinction.

Over the last 20 years, he has worked for architectural practices, local authorities and numerous blue-chip clients in the construction and related industries.

Roles Nebille has carried out include Architectural Technician, Visualiser/Animator, Revit/BIM Coordinator, Software Developer and Consultant. He specialises in project setup, family creation and team structures/collaboration.

Alongside his hands-on work, Nebille hosts regular courses in 3ds Max, AutoCAD, Revit and NavisWorks. He has been an Autodesk Certified Trainer since 2006.

Wolf Winter

Wolf Winter Autodesk Certified Instructor

For over 30 years, Wolf has worked as a professional Visual Effects Artist, specialising in Motion Graphics, 2D and 3D animations and compositing, mainly in the film and broadcast television industries.

Wolf has worked as a professional trainer and university lecturer for over 15 years, equipping hundreds of people with skills to bring their ideas to life.

He trains people to a professional level in a range of industry-standard applications, including Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya, Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro and Audition, and Maxon Cinema 4D.

Course content

Course content


  • Understanding the 3D environment
  • The 3ds Max user interface
  • Command panels
  • Other UI elements

Getting started

  • Setting preferences correctly
  • Viewport navigation and configuration
  • Object creation and selection
  • Scene management

Assembling project files

  • Starting a project
  • File linking
  • Holding/fetching
  • Merging files
  • Importing/exporting

Basic modelling techniques

  • Basic concepts
  • Modelling with primitives
  • Modifiers and transforms
  • Reference coordinate systems and transform centres
  • Cloning and grouping
  • Polygon modelling tools


  • Modeling with 3D geometry
  • Spline theory
  • Working with splines
  • Create 3D models from 2D objects
  • Using shape modifiers
  • Using lofts
  • Creating multiple model concepts from one idea
  • Polygon theory
  • Creating and editing 3D polygon objects
  • Using snaps and align tools for precision

Materials and Mapping

  • The principles of materials and surfaces
  • Introduction to the materials editor
  • Different types of material
  • Applying materials
  • Using 2D maps
  • Introduction to UVW mapping
  • Editing UVW map coordinates
  • Applying materials and maps


  • Introduction to direct lighting
  • Creating 3 point and dome lighting rigs
  • Shadows and shadow theory
  • How to get the most from using shadows by adjusting their parameters
  • Using sky light and light tracer for external scenes
  • Colour light theory
  • The daylight system


  • Physical camera
  • Target and free camera parameters
  • Camera paths


  • Review of the renderers available in 3ds Max: ART, Arnold, Scanline
  • Review of populat third-party renderers: V‑Ray, mental ray.
  • Render scene dialog
  • Scene states
  • Batch render
Live online training

Live online training

Online training lets you participate in a live 3ds Max course from your place of work or home.

We do everything possible to make your online training experience as close as possible to actually being in the classroom. You can:

  • See and hear our trainer, and the other delegates participating in the course…
    Live online training - see your trainer and the other course delegates
  • Watch our trainer demonstrate techniques in 3ds Max.
  • Interact by speaking, or using chat.
  • Share your screen with our trainer, and allow them to take control to explain something.

Like our in-class courses, online 3ds Max Essentials courses…

  • Are presented by Autodesk Certified Instructors.
  • Give you plenty of opportunity to carry out assisted, practical exercises using 3ds Max.
  • Offer 30 days’ email support from your trainer.

All you need is an Internet-connected computer with…

  • 3ds Max installed. If you don’t have a current subscription to 3ds Max, you’re entitled to a 30-day trial that’s ideal for participating in training. We’ll send you a link to this. If you’ve already used your trial, we can lend you a license for the duration of your course.
  • A webcam and audio capability. If your computer running 3ds Max doesn’t have these, you can use a second device, such as another computer or tablet. See Hardware recommendations for live online training for further details.

If there’s anything you’re not sure about we’ll do our best to help you. We won’t be able to assist with your 3ds Max installation, but we can provide details for Autodesk support who’ll be able to help you with this.

We provide everything else…

  • Links to download the files, resources, etc. you’ll use in your course.
  • A training guide. For most courses, you can choose from a printed copy that we post to you, or a PDF.

In the week before your course, we’ll send you an email containing everything you need to prepare for and participate in the training. Then, a couple of days before your course, we’ll give you a courtesy call to make sure you have everything in place and answer any questions you may have.

Please note that we are not able to record scheduled online courses for privacy reasons.

When you attend live online training, you’re participating in a real course, hosted by a real trainer, in real time




To make your 3ds Max training as affordable as possible, we offer:

Training discounts

Multiple places

If you book multiple places on any courses, we can offer you:

  • 10% discount if you book two places.
  • 15% discount if you book three or four places.
  • 20% discount if you book five or more places.

This can be for several people attending one course, one person attending several courses, or a combination.

These discounts are available for both classroom-based courses and live online training.


We offer a 10% discount on scheduled 3ds Max course places to:

  • Students, teachers and lecturers.
  • People who work for a registered charity.
  • ISTC members.

These discounts are available for both classroom-based courses and remote training.

Please call us if you qualify for a discount. Evidence of your status that entitles you to a discount may be requested.

Terms and exclusions

Only one of the above discounts can be applied to any booking.

The above discounts are not available for on-request course bookings (one-to-one training or a ‘closed course’ for your group).

Price guarantee

When you book training with Armada, we want you to be certain that you’re not paying over-the-odds. So, if you book a place on any scheduled (public) course and then find the same course at a lower price elsewhere, we will match that price.

To qualify for the price match:

  • The course you find must be comparable. By this we mean it must:
    • Cover the same subject.
    • Be the same duration or longer.
    • Hold the same accreditations as our course, i.e. it must be provided by an Autodesk Authorised Training Centre (ATC).
    • For classroom-based courses, be in the same region, i.e. within 50 miles of our centre.
    • For online training, be a live course, i.e. not pre-prepared e-learning content.
  • The lower price must be advertised on the other company’s website.

To claim a price match, just call any time before attending your course and tell us where you saw the price.

Certification exam

Certification exam

Armada is an Autodesk Certification Centre offering exams that lead to industry-recognised qualifications. For 3ds Max, we offer an Autodesk Certified User (ACU) exam.

Whether you’re a student or a professional,  achieving 3ds Max ACU status validates your skillset, providing enhanced credibility and accelerated professional development.

Successful candidates receive:

  • An e-certificate (PDF) from Autodesk confirming your 3ds Max-certified status.
  • An official Autodesk-Certified badge that you can use to market your skills, e.g. on your business cards, in your email signature, on your website, etc.

To read more about the benefits of achieving Autodesk-certified status in 3ds Max, read Lyndsay Mann’s blog What benefits does Autodesk certification bring?

3ds Max ACU exam summary

  • Entry level exam to validate your knowledge of fundamental concepts and procedures in 3ds Max.
  • Qualification: Autodesk Certified User in 3ds Max.
  • Sat online, from your place of work or home.
  • Length of exam: 50 minutes.
  • Recommended preparation: Attend 3ds Max Essentials training, and have 150 hours’ hands-on experience using 3ds Max.
  • For further details, and for a list of the topics and features you’re likely to be tested in, see 3ds Max ACU exam guide.

Approach to online exam sittings

Exam sittings are monitored by a proctor from Armada.

All you need is a computer (Windows or Mac) with:

  • A strong Internet connection (min. 5Mbps).
  • Screen resolution at least 1200 x 800.
  • Chrome browser.

You don’t need to have 3ds Max installed – you’ll access 3ds Max on a virtual computer during your exam. No webcam is required.

Practice test

A practice test is available that reflects the questions you’re likely to be asked in your 3ds Max ACU exam. The practice test is taken online, from your place of work or home. The test has two modes:

  • Testing mode, which replicates your exam.
  • Training mode, which provides step-by-step help on questions.

The practice test can be retaken up to 30 times in a one-year period. (You’re asked the same questions each time.)

Practice tests are only available for installation on Windows computers running 3ds Max version 2016-2022. For further details, see

Practice can only be purchased from Armada along with an exam.


3ds Max ACU exam: £150 + VAT.
Discounted price available to Armada training delegates: £100 + VAT.

3ds Max ACU exam/practice test bundle: £200 + VAT.
Discounted price available to Armada training delegates: £150 + VAT.

3ds Max ACU exam retake: £75 + VAT.

When can I take my 3ds Max exam?

You can take your exam in one of our regular 3ds Max exam sessions.

Dates of forthcoming 3ds Max exams: 25 Oct.

Exam sittings usually take place in the afternoon, at 2pm. We confirm your exam time one week before your sitting.

Booking an exam and payment options

To book an exam, please email providing details of the exam you’d like to sit, or call 01527 834783.

Payment for AutoCAD exams can be made bank transfer or card.

We accept purchase orders from UK-registered companies and public sector organisations.

Q and A

  • What version of 3ds Max am I tested on?
    You can choose to be tested on the 2023, 2024 or 2025 application version.
  • What is the pass mark for 3ds Max ACU certification exams?
    You will be notified of the pass mark prior to your exam starting.
  • When do I find out if I’ve passed?
    Immediately, when you complete your exam. Your result is displayed on-screen.
  • What happens if I do not pass?
    You will receive a diagnostic score report that indicates areas for improvement. You may then retake the examination as needed. Should you need to retake an exam, simply re-book. Discounted prices are available for retakes.
  • Who can I contact if I have more questions?
    Email any questions you have to

See also…

Exam Ts & Cs

See Exam Terms and conditions.



“Great course, would strongly recommend. Rod is an excellent teacher, very patient and very thorough in explaining processes.”

Rachel G

“Thank you so much for the last three days. Thank you for your thoroughness, knowledge and patience throughout the course. It was incredibly helpful and appreciated. I went in there feeling very intimidated by the program but was quickly made at ease and motivated to carry on.”

Kailey M

“I was skeptical about how much I'd be able to grasp onto in the short time of the course but was surprised with how easy to follow everything was and I am now overall a LOT more confident with my capabilities in 3Ds max.”

Kailey M

“The trainer, Rod, has been an absolute delight. Thank you for an introduction into this software.”

Benedict S

“Great course, Rod was fantastic and super helpful, would definitely recommend.”

Roland T

“Very impressed with every aspect of this course. Right from my initial email, I received very quick, clear and personalised answers to my questions. The organisation, software and set up was brilliant. Rod was a fantastic teacher, unbelievably knowledgeable, very clear in his instruction and method of teaching, engaging and nice to chat to over lunch! Excellent lunches too! Thank you I learnt so so much it will be incredibly helpful for the future.”

Dorrie S

“Great course, great instructor. Feel much more confident with the software. Highly recommended.”

Connor W

“Very good course and an excellent instructor. Will take time to develop skills in the longer term.”

Barry C

“Andy was a fantastic trainer who made things very easy to understand. The course was brilliant ”

Kelly M

“Great answers to all questions asked and good knowledge to understand any issues. ”

Martin J

“Rod did a great job of explaining and guiding us through a complex program. Helped create an initial start point to go on to learn more by ourselves or with a further course.”

Fraser M

“Brilliant course, which didn't feel like we were learning from a textbook, which can often feel like the case. Rod was an absolutely brilliant tutor who had a huge amount of knowledge, and not only made it easy to understand, but was happy to go in depth and answer questions in and amongst the other course material!”

Hannah S

“The course ran really smoothly through Zoom and was easy to follow.”

Kate M

“Excellent course, would love to continue learning this software.”

Reginald J

“Overall good course and it will help me move on and develop my skills further. ”

Adujah E

“Really enjoyed the course, excited to put it to use!”

William B

“Rod was very patient and explained the new concepts in an easy to understand manner. I would recommend this course to another, and would be interested in participating in further training if it were an option with my work.”

Richard S

“This course helped me understand the essentials of 3DS Max. I would also highly recommend Rod Cleasby to anyone who wants to learn in depth about 3ds Max. I will look forward to arrange for the next class as I'm interested to learn more after I apply first what I learned of course! Thank you.”

Konstantinos K

“Very impressed with the course instructors delivery of the training and I am very interested in developing my skill and understanding of 3dsMax further.”

Aaron J

“Stewart was very clear, patient and concise in explanation. He was also very useful in being able describe multi-platform uses between different software.”

Joshua W

“A fantastic introduction to 3ds Max. After attending this course I will now be able to use the software confidently at home to start my own projects. The instructor was very knowledgeable, informative and helped us to understand each process very clearly.”

Matthew D

“Very pleased with the training and the instructor, very pleased with what I have learned and overall experience.”

Nigel L

“Geoff was a fantastic trainer, full of energy and enthusiasm.”

Jemma S

“The trainer was very easy to follow and extremely supportive.”

Gail D

“An excellent introduction to 3ds Max with a range of practical activities completed. The practical activities were very beneficial and the knowledge of the instructor was outstanding. The best parts were the creation and editing of 3D models.”

Kevin K

“Good instruction at an appropriate pace for the group, good individual and small group support and guidance to help develop skills. The session moved in an logical order to progress skills. Good facilities provided by training provider. Thank you for two good days.”

Craig T

“Just a quick email to say that I was very pleased with how the 3ds Max training went last week. Many thanks.”

Carla I

“I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed the Autodesk 3ds Max Essentials course last week at Armada. I feel the trainer's tuition has gone a long way to de-mystifying the user interface for me. Before the course, I was quite daunted by the thought of sitting down and learning to use the software. However, after the excellent teaching I feel confident about exploring the program and it's possibilities. The facilities at the centre were great too. Thank you very much.”

Vinod G

“Geoff was an excellent tutor and his explanations were very useful into understanding what and how it affects the rendering results. The training space was very good, with lovely staff.”

Sarah W

“Thoroughly enjoyed the course, very informative. Geoff was fantastic, very knowledgeable and didn't move too quickly or slowly over the topics. As an introduction to the software, it was perfect and will allow me to experiment with the software; before this was impossible.”

Rowan C

“Was very pleased with what I have learned over the past few days. Geoff, our tutor, was very friendly and informative.”

Matt C

“The trainer was fantastic, very good course!”

Imran L

“Thank you so much to our trainer Geoff for providing us with such a fantastic experience. His extent of knowledge is totally amazing, he is truly one of a kind. Thoroughly enjoyed learning this course.”

Jennifer W

“Good instructor and venue. Helped me remember the fundamentals of the program.”

James T

“Stewart is a fantastic tutor who is able to put the training and objectives of the course into real-world scenarios. I thoroughly enjoyed learning 3DS Max having never used it before!”

Luke D