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Posted: March 21, 2007


The Length readout of the tape object is displayed in the Modify panel only when you select the tape end of the object (as opposed to the target or link line). You can lock the Length display by activating the Pin Stack button while the tape end is selected, and then proceed to adjust any part of the tape objector any other object in your scene.

23. Editable Mesh


The Select Invert command on the 3DS MAX Edit menu is useful for selecting faces to hide. Select the faces you want to focus on, choose Edit > Select Invert, then click the Hide button.

24. Editable Mesh


This parameter is required because of an architectural limitation in the way displacement mapping works. Turning Split Mesh on is usually the better technique, but it can cause problems for objects with clearly distinct faces, such as boxes, or even spheres. A box's sides might separate as they displace outward, leaving gaps. And a sphere might split along its longitudinal edge (found in the rear for spheres created in the Top view) unless you turn off Split Mesh. However, texture mapping works unpredictably when Split Mesh is off, so you might need to add a Displace Mesh modifier and make a snapshot of the mesh. You would then apply a UVW Map modifier and then reassign mapping coordinates to the displaced snapshot mesh.

25. Editable Mesh


You can select all vertices of the same color by first selecting the vertex you want matched, dragging a copy of the Edit Color swatch to the Existing Color swatch, and then clicking the Select button. (If you want an exact match, be sure to set the RGB Range spinners to 0 first.

26. Editable Mesh


The best way to use Flip Normal mode is to set up your viewport to display with Smooth+Highlight and Edged Faces turned on. If you use Flip Normal mode with default settings, you'll be able to flip a face away from you, but you won't be able to flip it back. For best results, turn off Ignore Backfacing in the Selection rollout. This lets you click any face and flip the direction of its normal, regardless of its current direction.

27. Attach


In most cases, use the first option --Match Material IDs to Material-- while keeping Condense Material IDs selected. This maintains the appearance of the objects, and results in the fewest additional sub-materials or IDs.

Use the second option (Match Material to Material IDs) when you need to maintain the original material ID assignments.

Avoid using the third option, unless you need to repeat a 3DS MAX R1 attachment for compatibility with a previous project.

Leave Condense Material IDs selected unless you have an unassigned sub-material that you want to keep for future assignment.

Perform Edit menu > Hold before performing the attach.

28. Patch


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.

29. Patch


Bind is useful for connecting patch objects with different patch resolutions, such as a head and a neck, without the need to create additional patches in the lower-resolution object.

30. Patch


On closed objects like a sphere, you can delete one or more existing patches to create open edges, and then add new patches.

31. Cap Holes Modifier


If the Cap Holes modifier doesn't appear to work, remove it, apply a Mesh Select modifier to select the faces surrounding the hole, then apply Cap Holes to the sub-object selection.

The Cap Holes modifier creates faces with invisible edges unless you turn on All New Edges Visible before you apply it.

32. Delete Mesh Modifier


Try applying a Delete Mesh modifier following an animated Vol. Select modifier.

33. Displace Modifier


Produce interior modeling effects by scaling down the gizmo and moving it inside the object. The outward force shapes the geometry from within.

Animate the modeling process. One result is a roving, magnetic-like field that pushes and pulls on a surface.

Add additional Displace modifiers to an object, using each one to create a different modeling effect.

Collapse a finished model into a plain mesh. This reduces the object's complexity and removes all modifiers, but keeps the modeled surface intact.

34. Edit Mesh Modifier


There are, however, situations where using the Edit Mesh modifier is the preferred method.

You want to edit a parametric object as a mesh but want to retain the ability to modify its creation parameters after the edit.

You want to store your edits temporarily within Edit Mesh until you are satisfied with the results, before committing them permanently to an editable mesh object.

You need to make edits across several objects at once, but do not want to convert them to a single editable mesh object.

You have a modifier in the stack that must remain parametric, and the mesh must be edited after the modifier is applied.

35. Lattice Modifier


You can combine the Scatter compound object with the Lattice modifier to place any object you want as a joint, rather than the provided polyhedra. To do this, create your mesh distribution object and your source object (for example, a teapot). Use Scatter to scatter the teapot at the vertices of the distribution object. (Be sure to use the Copy option rather than Instance.) In the Scatter Display parameters, hide the distribution object. Select the original object that was used as a distribution object, apply Lattice to it, and turn off the joints. You'll have two coincident objectsone providing the lattice struts, and the other positioning the teapots.

36. MeshSmooth Modifier


To better understand MeshSmooth, create a sphere and a cube and apply MeshSmooth to both. The cube's sharp corners become rounded, while the sphere's geometry becomes more complex without changing shape significantly.

37. Optimize Modifier


Because Optimize makes decisions based on angles between faces, it's sometimes best to apply it to selected face sub-objects rather than to an entire object. Avoid applying Optimize to areas where you want to preserve geometric detail.

38. Preserve Modifier


If you want to see the effect of Preserve on mapping, apply a checker-mapped material to the sphere and display it in the viewports before making the copy.

39. Conform Compound Object (Advanced)


When you want to reverse your animation(especially complex animations), just scale your key in Track View with an negative value.

40. Relax Modifier


Positive Relax Values: Moves each vertex in closer to its neighbors. The object becomes smoother and smaller.

Relax Value of 0.0: Vertices do not move and Relax has no affect on the object.

Negative Relax Values: Moves each vertex away from its neighbors. The object becomes more irregular and larger.