Graphics Software and Drivers

When you first install Max 8, it asks you in which video mode you want the program to run. With an NVIDIA GeForce 2 or greater video card installed, you should choose Direct3D. Then click on the Advanced button, make sure DirectX 9.0 is selected, and click OK (see Figure 2.1). This enables software rendering

Figure 2.1 Be sure to configure 3ds Max's graphics driver to Direct3D before proceeding so that you can render your character models with real-time shading, simulating the end results in a video game.

Direct3D Driver Setup

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by Max using DirectX, thereby simulating the real-time rendering environment produced with modern 3D video games.

If your video card doesn't support DirectX 9, this option is unavailable, but you can still texture and real-time render your character models. (The render quality isn't that good, however.) If you've already installed Max and need to change to the proper Direct3D driver setup, in Max just choose Customize, Preferences, Viewports, and in the Configure Driver section, click Choose Driver to select Direct3D. Be aware that you'll need to restart Max before you use the selected driver.

After you install and configure Max, it is also advisable that you download and install the latest Max 8 service pack (SP1) from http://www. This patches any bugs found after the final release of Max. Also, some video cards don't render or display graphics properly in Max or other video games unless you have the most recent video card drivers installed in Windows. You can download these from your card's manufacturer. (See Appendix B, "Related Web

Sites and Links," for more hardware sources.)

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