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Chapter 3: The 3ds Max Interface > What Am I Looking At? - Pg. 56

56 Chapter 3 : The 3ds Max Interface What Am I Looking At? When you start up 3ds Max, you will be looking at a screen full of buttons, icons, menus, tabs and panels, and an empty work area--how daunting! Although it may seem that there is no end to the switches and levers in 3ds Max, you'll be able to master the UI with just a little experience. The more you use 3ds Max to create, the more comfortable you'll become with the UI and all of its nuances. Before you know it, the UI will be a nonissue for you--just give it time and patience. As with many other 3D applications, almost any command or tool can be accessed in a few different ways. For example, you can access some tools through icons in the Command panel by selecting them from the menu bar, by pressing a hot key, or by using context-sensitive Quad menus that appear when you right-click in the interface. With so many different ways to perform any single function, how can you keep it all straight? Having a function or tool in several different places may seem like overload, but ultimately it gives users the most freedom to discover their preferred workflow. You may prefer to work mostly through the Command panel; others may find the menu bar easier to use. In either case, it's important to first experience the most common way to use 3ds Max and then branch out and find your own preference. In this book, we will first present the most obvious way to access a function; later we will give you alternative ways (such as