Autodesk 3ds Max training
3ds Max Essentials training

3 days £625+ VAT


Dates and booking

Birmingham / Bromsgrove training centres


Bristol training centre


Milton Keynes training centre


Reading training centre


Sheffield 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 how to:

  • Configure and render scenes.
  • Create and edit 3D geometry.
  • Understand and apply lighting and materials for realism.
  • 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.

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.

Upcoming course dates

Birmingham / Bromsgrove
Milton Keynes
View all course dates and book

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.

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. This is emailed to delegates directly from Autodesk. Click here to see an example of the certificate you receive.

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 knowledge is necessary.

3ds Max Version

Training is based primarily on 3ds Max 2018, running on Windows. Most techniques taught are relevant to all recent versions of the application.

Our guarantees to you

Our price guarantee is your assurance that you’re getting the best value for money.

Our training guarantee ensures that you learn the concepts and skills you need.

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 venues in Bromsgrove, Reading, Milton Keynes or Sheffield, or yours anywhere in the UK.

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

General information

General information

Course times



Payment for 3ds Max training can be made bank transfer or card.

We accept purchase orders from UK-registered companies.

If you’re self-funding your training, you can pay in staged payments, interest-free, over 12 months.

For further details, see training course payment options.

Cancellations and transfers

If a booking on a scheduled 3ds Max Essentials course is cancelled giving less than 10 working days’ notice, a cancellation fee is payable. View cancellation terms.

If a delegate requests a transfer to a different scheduled 3ds Max Essentials course giving less than 10 working days’ notice, a transfer fee is payable. View transfer terms.

Terms and conditions

Training course bookings are subject to our terms and conditions.

Expert trainers

Expert trainers

3ds Max courses are hosted by Rod Cleasby, Stewart Cobb and Andy Roe.

Rod Cleasby

3ds Max trainer Rod Cleasby

Rod has over 20 years’ experience in the production of rendered images and animations using 3ds Max.

He is an expert user of the most popular renderers used with 3ds Max, including V-Ray, mental ray, Arnold and ART. He’s also a skilled user of many related tools, such as AutoCAD and Photoshop .

Rod is an Autodesk-Certified Instructor, and he spends the majority of his time these days hosting courses. He does, however, continue to undertake project work to keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and practices.

Away from training and visualisations, Rod is an accomplished artist and musician.

Stewart Cobb

3ds Max trainer Stewart Cobb

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

Stewart then worked for himself for many years. He specialised in the production of rendered images using 3ds Max and V-Ray, completing around 100 projects per year for clients that included household names such as Vauxhall and McDonalds.

Stewart is an expert user of other Autodesk applications, including AutoCAD, Revit and AutoCAD Plant 3D.

More recently, Stewart has focused on training. He has been an Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI) since 2010. In between courses he continues to carry out project work to keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and practices.

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

3ds Max trainer Andy Roe

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

He is an expert user of 3ds Max. He uses the tool extensively in his project work, both for 3D modelling, and to produce photorealistic rendered images and visualisations from projects he’s created in AutoCAD and Inventor, other Autodesk applications he’s an expert user of.

In recent years, Andy has focused on developing and delivering training courses. He is a long-established Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI).

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

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


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

Training discounts

Multiple places

If you book multiple course places, 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.


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.
  • Delegates self-funding their training for career progression purposes.

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 training bundles or on-request course bookings (one-to-one training or a 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).
    • Be in the same region, i.e. within 50 miles of our centre.
  • 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 exams

Certification exams

When you attend 3ds Max training at Armada, you’re not assessed. Our courses have been developed to teach you skills you can use in the real world, not pass an exam. Separately, and in addition to our training, you have the option of taking a certification exam that leads to an industry-recognised credential in 3ds Max.

There are two levels of 3ds Max certification which are suitable for users at different stages in their careers: Autodesk Certified User and Autodesk Certified Professional.

Successful candidates receive:

  • A personalised e-certificate (PDF) from Autodesk confirming their 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.
  • The option of appearing in Autodesk’s publicly-accessible database of certified 3ds Max users.

Autodesk Certified User (ACU) exam in 3ds Max

Entry level exam covering the fundamental concepts and procedures in 3ds Max, as well as specific skills that are appropriate for ensuring a base level of proficiency in 3ds Max.

  • Qualification: Autodesk Certified User in 3ds Max.
  • Cost of exam: £100 + VAT per candidate.
  • Length of exam: 75 minutes.
  • Recommended preparation: Attend 3ds Max Essentials training, and have 50+ hours’ experience using the application.
  • Further details: download exam guide.

Autodesk Certified Professional (ACP) exam in 3ds Max

Covers a broad range of skills and requires you to perform more complex tasks and design challenges in 3ds Max.

  • Qualification: Autodesk Certified Professional in 3ds Max.
  • Cost of exam: £150 + VAT per candidate.
  • Length of exam: 2 hours.
  • Recommended preparation: Attend 3ds Max Essentials training, and have 400+ hours’ experience using the application.
  • Further details: download exam guide.

Practice test

If you book an ACU or ACP exam with us, a practice test is available. The test reflects the questions you’re likely to be asked in your exam; you can take this test online from 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 fee is £45 + VAT.

The practice test can be retaken up to 100 times in a one-year period.

When can I take my exam?

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

2019/2020 exam dates: 25 Oct, 13 Dec, 31 Jan, 27 Mar, 22 May, 24 Jul, 25 Sep, 27 Nov.

Start time: ACU exams: 10am. ACP exams: 2pm.

You can take both an ACU exam and an ACP exam on the same day.


Exam sessions are hosted at our Saxon Business Park, Bromsgrove centre.

Further details about Autodesk certification can be found at:

“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

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

James T

“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

“The trainer was fantastic, very good course!”

Imran L

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

Matt C

“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

“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

“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

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

Carla I

“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

“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

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

Gail D

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

Jemma S

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

Nigel L

“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

“Enjoyed Rod's teachings very much. Very insightful and interesting.”

Dan H

“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

“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

“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

If you’re self-funding your training, you can now pay in staged payments, interest-free, over 12 months.