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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 > The User Interface

3DS Max Tutorial - The User Interface

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Rollouts contain most of the controls, buttons, and parameters in the Command Panel. Each rollout title bar includes a plus or minus sign (a minus sign indicates that the rollout is open; a plus sign shows closed rollouts). Clicking the rollout title opens or closes the rollout. You can also reposition the order of the rollouts by dragging the rollout title and dropping it above or below the other rollouts. But you cannot reposition some of the rollouts, such as the Object Type and the Name and Color rollouts found in the Create panel.

Figure 1-7: Rollouts

Right-clicking away from the buttons in a rollout presents a pop-up menu which you can select to close the rollout you’ve clicked in- whether it is a Close All, Open All, or Reset Rollout Order. The pop-up menu also lists all available rollouts within the current panel, with a check mark next to the ones that are open. Expanding all the rollouts often exceeds the screen space allotted to the Command Panel. If the rollouts exceed the given space, then a small vertical scroll bar appears at the right edge of the Command Panel. This scroll bar can be dragged to access the rollouts at the bottom of the Command Panel, or can be clicked away from the controls when a hand cursor appears. With the hand cursor, you can click and drag in either direction to scroll the Command Panel. The Command Panel can be also be scrolled with the wheel on the mouse.

Using the Lower Interface Bar Controls

Lower Interface bar is a collection of several sets of controls located along the bottom edge of the interface window. These controls cannot be pulled away from the interface like the main toolbar, but they can be hidden using the Expert Mode (Ctrl+X). These controls, include the following from left to right:

Time Slider

The Time Slider, located under the viewports, enables you to quickly locate a specific frame. It spans the number of frames included in the current animation. Dragging the Time Slider can move you quickly between frames.

Track BAr

The Track Bar displays animation keys as color-coded rectangles with red for positional keys, green for rotational keys, and blue for scale keys. Parameter change keys are denoted by gray rectangles. Using the Track Bar, you can select, move, and delete keys.

Status Bar

The Status Bar is below the Track Bar. It provides valuable information, such as the number and type of objects selected, transformation values, and grid size. It also includes the Transform Type-In fields.

Prompt Line

The Prompt Line is text located at the bottom of the window. If you’re stuck as to what to do next, look at the Prompt Line for information on what Max expects.

Key Controls

These controls are for creating animation keys and include two different modes- Auto Key (keyboard shortcut, N) or Set Key (keyboard shortcut, ' ).

Auto Key mode sets keys for any change made to the scene objects. Set Key mode gives you more precise control and sets keys for the selected filters only when you click the Set Keys button (keyboard shortcut, K).

Time Controls

Resembling the controls on an audio or video device, the Time Controls offer an easy way to move through the various animation frames and keys. Based on the selected mode (keys or frames), the Time Controls can move between the first, previous, next, and last frames or keys.

Viewport Navigation Controls

In the lower-right corner of the interface are the controls for manipulating the viewports. They enable you to zoom, pan, and rotate the active viewport’s view.

Figure 1-8: Lower Interface Bar



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