3ds Max Child Prodigy Ze Kun Chen

This is old news actually. I was organizing my pictures from my recent trip to Autodesk University (Las Vegas) and PlanetPTC (Shanghai) and came across this picture I took using one of the press presentations.

According to the press release:

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) today announced that Ze Kun Chen, a fifth grade student in China, is the youngest person to be certified as an Autodesk 3ds Max Associate. Ze Kun, who is now 10 years old, completed his first 3ds Max software certification when he was just 9 years old. He completed the latest 3ds Max 2010 certification at Autodesk University China, held in Beijing from November 16–17, 2010.

This should serve as a lesson to all of us (including me) who complain that some CAD software are hard to use. We bitch about the user interface, work flow and all kinds of stuff. There are some people still stuck in the 2D CAD world designing 3D things and making all kinds of excuses to remain there.

I assume the two images on the right of the slide are the kid’s creations. I salute this kid. I think you should too.

  • LOL China…..that what you get for propaganda nobody is taking ya serious anymore.

  • Tony

    Marijn, there is that side (not just in China, often from parents/promoters)….but children are capable of learning much faster than the school system pace. And I suspect their memories are better (which is often an important aspect in certification exams).

    I’m amazed that his parents let him take time from his studies to create stuff in 3ds Max.

    • Tony: “I’m amazed that his parents let him take time from his studies to create stuff in 3ds Max.”

      Actually, I’m not amazed at all. Just recently I introduced by seven year old boy to SketchUp. Its the kind of stuff he comes up with that amazes me.

      And frankly, I didn’t quite get exactly what Marijn is trying to imply here.

      • Tony

        A lot of Chinese parents (definitely most I’ve met in Silicon Valley, and I know a lot; China overall might be more mixed, but if the child is playing with 3ds Max, it’s likely his parents are well educated) put total emphasis on school work and grades over everything else.

        Learning 3ds Max and creating scenes with it should take a lot of time, time that won’t (at least in the typical parent’s eyes) help their son get into a prestigious college.

        BTW, I’m in no hurry to get my children into computers; I’d rather they spend most of their time playing with physical objects like Legos and crayons. When they’re older, then it’ll be time for (on the computer side) Lego robots, learning how to program, and (even later) machining.

        Marijn is probably a little skeptical. And sometimes child prodigies abilities’ are over-hyped (IIRC, there are questions whether Mozart was really such a child prodigy as claimed…)

      • Vladimir Malukh


        I used to introduce SketchUp to kids too – our 6-year old then nephew managed to create his first dog house in 40 minutes using TabletPC 🙂

      • Vladimir Malukh


        I used to introduce SketchUp to kids too – our 6-year old then nephew managed to create his first dog house in 40 minutes using TabletPC 🙂

  • Kevin Quigley

    Not a surprise to me either Deelip. A wide range of 3D software is used in primary schools these days. More often than not if the teacher has skills they can start the kids off. One of the issues schools face is the relatively high level of hardware required to even run most 3D systems properly. Not many primary schools here can afford much more than a basic machine. The other issue is software licensing. Again this varies from school to school. I’m not sure what Autodesk offer primary school age kids but certainly this is one of the big advantages of SketchUp – it can be free.

    A few years ago I volunteered to run a training class for the teachers in my kids’s primary school on SketchUp. Most had never heard of it before, but after one hour they were producing some weird and wonderful creations. Now SketchUp is used throughout the school. Combined with Google Earth and 3D Warehouse it ticks a lot of boxes educationally.

    If the parent or teacher has a particular apptitude or enthusiasm (not to mention access to the license!) then the child will follow. My wife (who is a teacher) used to talk about a kid she taught in Reception (age 4/5) whose dad was a graphic designer who worked from home. He used to come in with work he had created in Quark Xpress. That was in 1991.

    • Agree 200%. A kid’s mind is like a sponge. It just absorbs everything it comes across.

      As a parent I want my kid to play around with stuff like SketchUp. But I fear that he will get hooked to it and spend lesser time doing kid stuff. So I need to moderate things now and then.

      • Tony

        Better to play with SketchUp than video games…

  • Nainar

    So true!! Kids can absorb pretty much what ever interests them, how ever complex it be and they really do things which adults cannot imagine, given the baggage we have gathered in the years of our existence. I would prefer my child to play with real life stuff before he gets into computers. They will anyway spend 50-60 years or even more with computers, let them live oblivious of that machine when they can afford to.