Autodesk 3ds Max training
3ds Max Essentials training

3 days
In centre:
£495+ VAT
Live online:
£345+ VAT


Dates and booking

Live online training


Birmingham / Bromsgrove 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.

In-class or online

Our centres are open for in-class training, with full safety measures and comprehensive sanitisation implemented.

We continue to offer all courses in our popular live online format.

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. This is emailed to delegates directly from Autodesk. 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 Autodesk certification exams that you can sit on a future date.

Exams can be sat at our Bromsgrove centre, on online. For further details, see Certification exams.

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 2022. It is relevant to users of 3ds Max 2016 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.

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

Purchase orders

We accept purchase orders from UK-registered companies or 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 and 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.

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

Live online training lets you participate in a real 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 see the other delegates participating in the 3ds Max training…
    Live online training - see your trainer and the other course delegates
  • Interact by speaking, using chat, or raising your ‘virtual hand’ if you need assistance.
  • Share your screen with our trainer, and allow them to control it to demonstrate something.

We endeavour to provide you with the best online training experience…

  • Online 3ds Max Essentials courses are presented by Autodesk Certified Instructors, following the same syllabus as our classroom-based courses.
  • You receive comprehensive training materials.
  • Your training is hands-on. You carry out assisted exercises using 3ds Max.
  • If you don’t have access to 3ds Max software, we’ll send you a link to fully-functional trial software that you can download and install.
  • You’re entitled to 30 days’ email support from your trainer.

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

All you need is an internet-connected computer and a webcam – see Hardware recommendations for live online training. The setup is simple, but if there’s anything you’re not sure about we’re here to help.

For a limited time, we’re offering discounts for bookings on live online courses.




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 exams

Certification exams

3ds Max certification exams, leading to industry-recognised credentials, available to sit in-centre or online

Whether you’re a student or a professional, 3ds Max professional certification validates your skillset, accelerating career advancement and helping you stand out in a competitive job market.

There are two certification exam levels for 3ds Max, which are suitable for users at different stages in their careers:

  • Autodesk Certified User (ACU): entry level exam testing fundamental concepts and procedures.
  • Autodesk Certified Professional (ACP): for those with advanced skills who can solve complex workflow and design challenges.

Successful candidates receive:

  • An e-certificate (PDF) from Autodesk confirming your 3ds Max-certified status. Your certificate is available anytime through your Certiport exam account.
  • 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.

You also have the option of appearing in Autodesk’s publicly-accessible database of certified 3ds Max users. This facility lets you:

  • Prove your certified status to prospective clients and employers.
  • Make yourself available to companies looking to appoint  or commission a Certified User or Professional in 3ds Max.

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 exams in-centre or online

3ds Max exams can be sat at our Bromsgrove (Saxon Business Park) centre, or online from your place of work or home.

To protect exam integrity, both in-centre and online exams sittings are monitored by proctors. ID verification is required.

To sit an online exam, 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 test. No webcam is required.

Autodesk Certified User (ACU) exam in 3ds Max

3ds Max ACU examEntry level exam to validate your knowledge of fundamental concepts and procedures in 3ds Max.

  • Qualification: Autodesk Certified User in 3ds Max.
  • Length of exam: 50 minutes.
  • Recommended preparation: Attend 3ds Max Essentials training, and have approximately 50 hours’ experience using 3ds Max.
  • Further details: download exam guide.

Autodesk Certified Professional (ACP) exam in 3ds Max

3ds Max ACP examFor those who possess more advanced skills, who can solve complex workflow and design challenges in 3ds Max.

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

Practice test

A practice test is available that reflects the questions you’re likely to be asked in your ACU or ACP exam in 3ds Max. 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.


3ds Max ACU exam: £100 + VAT. Discounted price if you’ve attended training: £85 + VAT.

3ds Max ACP exam: £150 + VAT. Discounted price if you’ve attended training: £125 + VAT.

3ds Max practice test (ACU or ACP): £50 + VAT. Discounted price if booked at the same time as an ACU or ACP exam: £30 + VAT.

3ds Max ACU exam retake: £50 + VAT.

3ds Max ACP exam retake: £75 + VAT.

When can I take my 3ds Max exam?

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

In-class exam dates: TBC.

Online exam dates: 14 Oct, 18 Nov, 2 Dec, 16 Dec.

ACU exams usually take place in the morning, and ACP exams in the afternoon, giving you the opportunity to take both exams on the same day should you want to.

We confirm your exam time(s) 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 is the pass mark for 3ds Max 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. You 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.


“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 is extremely informative and I have learnt a vast amount in 3 days. Rod has been an excellent Instructor, taking his time to explain everything thoroughly but in a simple, easy to understand way.”

Lynsay 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

“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

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

Dan H

“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

Our centres are open for in-class training, with full safety measures implemented. All courses available live online.