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3ds Max Tutorial - Index
3ds Max Tutorial - The User Interface
3ds Max Tutorial - Working with Files
3ds Max Tutorial - Object and Transformation
3ds Max Tutorial - Modeling
3ds Max Tutorial - Materials and Textures
3ds Max Tutorial - Basic Animation Techniques
3ds Max Tutorial - Lights
3ds Max Tutorial - Cameras
3ds Max Tutorial - Rendering
3ds Max Tutorial - Scene Creation

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  Home > Courses, Tutorials & eBooks > 3DS Max Tutorial > Objects and Transformations

3DS Max Tutorial - Objects and Transformations

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Keyword Entry Rollout

Keyboard entry rollout can be used for creating a primitive by entering precise values for the location and dimensions of the object.

When all the dimension fields are set, click the Create button to create the actual primitive.

You can create multiple objects by clicking the Create button several times.

After a primitive is created, altering the fields in the Keyboard Entry rollout has no effect on the current object, but you can always use the Undo feature to try again.

Modifying Object's Parameters

The parameter rollout holds all the various settings for the object. Compared to the Keyboard Entry rollout, which you can use only when creating the primitive, you can use the Parameters rollout to alter the primitive’s parameters before or after the creation of the object.

The parameters are different for each primitive object, but you can generally use them to

control the dimensions, the number of segments that make up the object, and whether the object is sliced into sections.

You can also select the Generate Mapping Coordinates option, which automatically creates material mapping coordinates that are used to position maps.

After you deselect an object, the Parameters rollout disappears from the Create tab and

moves to the Modify tab. You can make future parameter adjustments by selecting an object and clicking the Modify tab.

Tranforming Objects

The three different forms of transformations are translation, rotation, and scaling. These actions are called transformations because they transform the object to a different state.

Transformations are different from modifications. Modifications change the object’s geometry, but transformations do not affect the object’s geometry at all.

The three transform buttons located on the main toolbar are

  • Select and Move
  • Select and Rotate
  • Select and Uniform Scale

Using these buttons, you can select objects and transform them by dragging in one of the viewports with the mouse. You can access these buttons using three of the big four keyboard shortcuts— Q for Select Objects, W for Select and Move, E for Select and Rotate, and R for Select and Scale.

Figure 3-4: Transformation buttons


Translation of moving objects is the first kind of transformation. An object can be in any of the three directions i.e. x, y, or z.. To move objects, you have to click on the Select and Move button on the main toolbar, or press the W key. Then you select the object to move, and drag the object in the viewport to the desired location. Translations are measured in the defined system units for the scene, which may be inches, centimeters, meters, and so on.


Rotation is the process of spinning the object about its Transform Center point. To rotate

objects, click the Select and Rotate button on the main toolbar, or press the E key, select an object to rotate, and drag it in a viewport. Rotations are measured in degrees, where 360 degrees is a full rotation.


Scaling increases or decreases the overall size of an object. Most scaling operations are uniform, or equal in all directions. All scaling is done about the Transform Center point.

To scale objects uniformly, click the Select and Uniform Scale button on the main toolbar, or press the R key, select an object to scale, and drag it in a viewport. Scalings are measured as a percentage of the original. For example, a cube scaled to a value of 200 percent is twice as big as the original.

Transform Gizmos

The Transform gizmos are viewport icons that let you quickly choose one or two axes when transforming a selection with the mouse. You choose an axis by placing the mouse over any axis of the icon, then drag the mouse to transform the selection along that axis. In addition, when moving or scaling an object, you can use other areas of the gizmo to perform transforms along any two axes simultaneously.

Move Gizmo

In each corner of the Move Gizmo are two perpendicular lines for each plane. These lines let you transform along two axes simultaneously. The colors of these lines match the various colors used for the axes. Selecting one of these lines highlights it. At the center of the Move Gizmo is a Center Box that marks the pivot point’s origin.


Figure 3-5: Move Gizmo



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