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Posted: March 21, 2007
When I was reading MAX 3's reference, I was collecting tips inside it and then when I finished and looked at what I have collected so far,: 185 tips for MAX, through I dont know which of you remember these by seeing them for the first time in the help file...

Yes enough of talking also sorry for missed ones (if there is/are)


3D Studio MAX R3 Tips, Tricks and Techniques


1. Modifying Multiple Objects


Choose the pivot setting before you apply the modifier. You can't change the pivot point afterward, although you can delete the modifier and start over without deselecting the selection set.

2. Instanced Modifiers


Sometimes you might apply modifiers to a selection set, perform some other operations, and select the set again, only to find its modifier stack is empty. This happens if you applied a modifier to an individual object in the original selection set. When you select the set again, the modifier stack is empty because all members of the set no longer have all modifiers in common. You can still access the instanced modifiers by selecting a single object in the set. The individual object's stacks still contain the modifiers you applied to the set as a whole.

3. Motion Blur


When blurred objects overlap, blurring doesn't work correctly and there are gaps in the rendering. Because image motion blur is applied after rendering, it can't account for object overlap. This is true even if the foreground object is transparent. To fix this problem, render each blurred object separately, to a different layer, and then composite the two layers using the Alpha Compositor in Video Post.

NOTE: Image motion blur doesn't work with any objects that change topology. This includes NURBS objects that are animated so their tessellation (surface approximation) changes. Regular tessellation doesn't change in this way. This also includes Displacement mapping and Optimization.

4. Patches


When connecting two patches edge-to-edge, first line up as many pairs of vertices as possible, and use Weld to connect them. Then use Bind to connect the remaining vertices. Bound vertices cannot be manipulated directly, although their handles can.

5. Place Highlight


Place Highlight works with any kind of selected object. It can be used to move objects based on a combination of face normals and initial distance from the face. You can also use Place Highlight with a selection set that contains more than one object. All objects maintain their initial distance from the face. In this case it has nothing to do with highlights, but is simply being used to position objects.

6. RingWave


To produce the best "random" results, use prime numbers for major and minor cycles that differ by a multiple of two to four. For example, a major wave of 11 or 17 cycles using a width flux of 50 combined with a minor wave of 23 or 31 cycles with a width flux of 10 to 20 makes a nice random-appearing edge.

7. Morph


When you create Loft objects that you want to use as morph seeds and targets, make sure that Morph Capping is on and Adaptive Path Steps and Optimize are turned off. All shapes in the Loft object must have the same number of vertices.

8. Particles


Generally, Use Rate is best for a continuous flow of particles, like a trail of pixie dust, while Use Total is better for bursts of particles over a short period of time.

9. Particles


Image motion blur (see Object Properties > Motion Blur group) is known not to work properly with instanced particles. Use object motion blur with instanced particles, or use image motion blur with standard particles.

10. Particles


When in doubt, leave this option off. If you think all your particles are contiguous and want to save time, turn on One Connected Blob, and then display various frames to see if everything appears.

11. Particles


There is no automatic way to hide the distribution object that explodes into fragments. To create the illusion that an object is exploding, you must either set the original object to be invisible at the start of the explosion (see Add Visibility Track ), or move or scale the original object so it doesn't remain in view.

12. Particles


InterParticle Collisions, Deflector Binding, and Bubble Noise do not get along well together. Particles may leak through the deflector when these three are used together. Instead of bubble motion use animated mapping. Use facing particles with an animated map of a bubble, where the bubble is smaller than the map size. The bubble is animated moving around the map. This simulates bubble motion at the map level.

13. Lights(At last)


By using the Diffuse and Specular check boxes you can have one light color the specular highlights of an object, while not coloring its diffuse area, and then have a second light color the diffuse portion of the surface while not creating specular highlights.

14. Lights


In outdoor scenes, attenuation can enhance the effect of distance. In an indoor setting, attenuation is useful for low-intensity light sources such as candles.

15. Lights


If Inverse Square decay makes the scene too dim, try increasing the light's Multiplier value. You can also try using the Environment dialog to increase the Global Lighting Level value.

16. Lights


Because decay continues to calculate dimmer and dimmer values as the distance of the light throw increases, it's a good idea to attenuate at least the end of the light to eliminate unnecessary calculations.

17. Lights


The hotspot and falloff borders are not visible in shaded viewports. Use the cone values to adjust hotspot and falloff in the viewport. Render the scene to see the full effect of the light's border.

18. Lights


You can animate Blur Offset to have a projected map go in or out of focus.

19. Lights


To better simulate radiosity and variations in radiosity due to the varying reflectivity of objects in the scene, you can add more lights to a scene and set them to exclude the objects you don't want them to affect. You can also set up lights to affect only the ambient component of surfaces.

20. Lights


When you adjust lights, it can be useful to turn on Degradation Override. If Override is off and 3D Studio MAX begins to display shaded viewports in wireframe, you can't see the result of the changes you make to lights.

21. Lights


In general, it's best to use a free camera when the camera is to move within the scene; use a target camera when camera position is fixed.