There are multiple ways to project a UV map automatically using standard geometric projections (project via box, sphere, cylinder, etc.). 3DS Max has two ways of interacting with these projections – the first is with the UVW Map Modifier and the second is the Unwrap UVW Modifier.
For details on how to use the UVW Map Modifier you can watch this video (LinkedIn Learning). For details on what each option in the modifier does you can read these help files (Autodesk).
However at Wayfair we recommend using only the Unwrap UVW Modifier. This modifier has all the same automatic projection options as UVW Map (except “Shrink Wrapping” which is rarely used) but it also has many more and allows you to manually edit the UV projections. For information on how to use the Unwrap UVW Modifier you can watch this video (Cellygon) and read these help files (Autodesk).
Once you are in the Unwrap UVW Modifier you will be spending a lot of time in the Edit UVWs window.
Also see more detail on subsections in this Modifier by visiting these Autodesk Knowledge Base articles.
Within the Unwrap UVW Modifier there are a lot of automatic unwrapping options to help you unwrap your model more quickly. Take a look at this video (Autodesk) to learn how this is done. Some help files are available on unwrapping UVs by automatically selecting faces based on their direction using the “Normal Mapping” dialog in the UV editor. There is also an automatic tool called the “Flatten Mapping” tool which will automatically split apart your object’s UVs to minimize the amount of distortion. You can read about how to use it here.
Once your model is unwrapped you will want to eliminate stretching. This is done by “relaxing” the UVs which can be found in the “Relax Tool” dialogue box.
Other useful tools found within the Edit UVWs window:
UVW Editor Dialogs: