3ds Max Interface Overview

Main Toolbar
The main toolbar provides quick access to tools and dialogs for many of the most common tasks in 3ds Max.
Quad Menu
When you click the right mouse button anywhere in an active viewport, except on the viewport label, a quad menu is displayed. The options available in the quad menu depend on the selection.
When you start 3ds Max, the main screen contains four equal-sized viewports. The one in the lower right is a perspective view, and the others correspond to the three views: top, front, left. By default, the Perspective viewport displays your scene in Smooth + Highlights mode, and the other three show wireframe views. You can choose different views to display in these four viewports as well as different layouts from the viewport right-click menu.
Command Panel
The command panel comprises six user-interface panels that give you access to most of the modeling features of 3ds Max, as well as some animation features, display choices, and miscellaneous utilities. To switch between the different panels, click their respective tab at the top of the command panel.
Time Slider
The time slider lets you navigate along the timeline and jump to any animation frame in your scene. You can quickly set position and rotation or scale keys by right-clicking the time slider and choosing the desired key from the Create Key dialog.
Status Bar Controls
The 3ds Max window contains an area at the bottom for prompt and status information about your scene and the active command. To its right, is the coordinate display area, in which you can manually enter transform values. To its left, is the MAXScript listener window, where you input single-line scripts.

Animation & Time Controls

Between the status bar and the viewport navigation controls are the animation controls, along with the time controls for animation playback within viewports. Use these controls to affect your animation over time.
Animation Playback Controls
Use these buttons to see your scene in motion through time.
Viewport navigation controls
Use these buttons to navigate your scene within the viewports.
Rendered Frame Window
The rendered frame window displays a rendering of your scene. Press F9 to trigger the rendering process.
Material Editor
The Material Editor, which you open with the M key, provides functions to create and edit materials and maps. Materials are assigned to objects and create greater realism in a scene by using different maps.