Getting around 3DS Max

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When learning a new software package, most users tend to struggle with the user interface and how they react with the controls of the software.  My biggest learning curve and frustration will probably be manipulating the 3D objects.  Moving the objects from one point to another or rotating, scaling etc.

In 3DS Max I use 3 icons quite extensively.

These 3 icons are from the left –

  • Select and move – Shortcut key is W
  • Select and rotate – Shortcut key is E
  • Select and scale – Shortcut key is R

Now 3DS Max developers have done a clever little thing here….look on your keyboard.  Can you see it?

QWERTY and then the rest of the top line.  (I tried to stick a picture in this place but there was a technical error)

(Technical issue resolved.)

Selecting and moving the object can be controlled either by dragging on the arrows or work planes represented when the object is selected and the move command is active, or by using the numerical controls situated on the bottom of the screen.

These numerical controls will change according to what command you have selected, be it to move the object, rotate the object or scale the object in question.

Move has the mm or in unit visible, rotate does not have any unit visible and scale will start off with 100,100,100 being a percentage of the size of the object in the x,y and z direction.

One more command to be aware of is the absolute and offset mode for the 3 transforms.  This is found just to the left of the x,y and z transform boxes at the bottom of the screen.  When set to absolute this will give you the x,y and z value in the WCS space as you move, rotate and scale.  When set to offset mode you will be able to move, rotate and scale the object relative to the last known transform that was carried out.

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