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iancamarillo
02-16-2004, 10:21 PM
I use Lightwave. I want to use Max. These questions are simple and I would appreciate it if a Max user can explain them to me and shut me up. I have a fresh install of Max 5.1 with nothing customized.

Question 1.
Please explain to me why the Y axis does not point in the Y direction. Instead it points in the Z and the Z points in the Y. It's almost like I need to model my objects laying down on the grid.

Question 2.
Do I have to click in a viewport every time I want it active? It's my understanding that Zooming,Min/Max Toggle etc. would be much easier if the mouse focus dictated the window that is active.

Question 3.
Is there anyway to hide/show my windows instead of having to minimize them each time? Or is there any easier way to get around this real estate issue without having to get a second monitor?

Question 4.
Is there any way to get rid of the pretty icons in the interface and use buttons with their button name on them?

Thank You for reading this and I hope to hear from you!

PEN
02-17-2004, 05:27 PM
Get used to it, your not in Lightwave anymore.

Q1
The Z axis is up in Max, why would you model objects on thier side???? Max comes from the arch biz which is Z up.

Q2: Yes, no way around this.

Q3: I assume you mean things like that material editor and track view. Hot key them so that you can close them each time. If you mean a viewport you can't float them but you can switch them with default hot keys l,f,b,k,p

Q4: Best thing to do it make them the small icons. In the prederences setting window turn off the "Use large icons" check box.

All packages work differently and you are just going to have to get used to the way Max works. I use Max and Maya every day and have to remember the fastest way to work in each.

iancamarillo
02-17-2004, 06:25 PM
Dude, you are the man. Thank you for your quick and accurate response.

~ ian

LFShade
02-17-2004, 06:33 PM
Paul is absolutely correct. What's this got to do with Maxscript, though?

;)

RH

iancamarillo
02-17-2004, 08:48 PM
I figure MaxScript artists know the program the best and are basically the cream of the crop.

Thanks again for your support!

gusar
02-17-2004, 11:30 PM
he, second opinion,
1- y is up on screen in view coordsys, ( except in cam or persp ), and z is depth, if you are lets say in front and move object along y axis, you really moved it in z
2-
3- if you mean toolbars, you can set keyboard to show/hide toggle them ( i use numpad +/- for main tolbar and command panel )
4- you can rclick button ( but not all of them ) and edit butt appereance and choose txt instead of icon, but whyyyy ?

LFShade
02-18-2004, 07:37 AM
It's all terribly off-topic, but I'll sound off anyway:

I've actually been of the opinion (for a long while, in fact) that Max should switch to using the Y-up coordinate system. Max may have its roots in the arch/viz business, but it's grown a long way from that world and is now widely understood to be an FX and character animation tool. Going to the Y-up system makes more sense for these uses because Y is generally up in camera space, and because almost all other major 3D packages that are geared toward cinematic and game production use Y-up as a standard.

RH

Bobo
02-20-2004, 10:27 PM
Beware, can of worms!

Y-up is illogical, but unfortunately has become a standard in some industries just like the VHS tapes and Fahrenheit temperatures (in some places).
I would vote for the OPTION to use Y-up or Z-up and convert internally in a transparent way, so everybody would be happy.

Btw, IMHO Max is not widely understood as an FX package, but this does not stop us from using it as such ;o)

my 2 cents.

Bobo


Originally posted by LFShade
It's all terribly off-topic, but I'll sound off anyway:

I've actually been of the opinion (for a long while, in fact) that Max should switch to using the Y-up coordinate system. Max may have its roots in the arch/viz business, but it's grown a long way from that world and is now widely understood to be an FX and character animation tool. Going to the Y-up system makes more sense for these uses because Y is generally up in camera space, and because almost all other major 3D packages that are geared toward cinematic and game production use Y-up as a standard.

RH

LFShade
02-20-2004, 10:38 PM
Y-up as an option sounds like a fine compromise to me;)

I think Max has been used in enough high-profile FX shots to qualify as a capable FX package, so if it's not understood to be as such then there's a lot of misconception out there!


RH

p.s.: Y-up is only illogical in a Cartesian context, not a cinematic context. The camera doesn't often point straight down at the ground; the camera plane's Y is usually "up" in the world. If Z-up were so overarchingly logical, it surely wouldn't have been ignored by almost every 3D animation software on the market. Comments?

Bobo
02-20-2004, 10:45 PM
Originally posted by iancamarillo
Question 2.
Do I have to click in a viewport every time I want it active? It's my understanding that Zooming,Min/Max Toggle etc. would be much easier if the mouse focus dictated the window that is active.
[/B]


There is a good reason for this - as you noticed, there can be an unlimited number of floating windows on top of the viewports in max. Having the viewports change focus by just moving the mouse would mean that every time you move the mouse to reach some dialog, the viewport focus could change. Imagine having the Render dialog open over the upper left viewport, while you want to render the lower-right one. Move the mouse to make some changes in the dialog could result in a different viewport to be active when you hit Render!

Btw, you should right-click to activate a viewport, otherwise you might deselect your current selection...

Bobo
02-20-2004, 11:17 PM
Originally posted by LFShade
Y-up as an option sounds like a fine compromise to me;)

I think Max has been used in enough high-profile FX shots to qualify as a capable FX package, so if it's not understood to be as such then there's a lot of misconception out there!


RH

p.s.: Y-up is only illogical in a Cartesian context, not a cinematic context. The camera doesn't often point straight down at the ground; the camera plane's Y is usually "up" in the world. If Z-up were so overarchingly logical, it surely wouldn't have been ignored by almost every 3D animation software on the market. Comments?


Sure :o)

We are talking about WORLD COORDINATE SYSTEM here, not camera coordinates. The world for a human has North-South, East-West and a VERY important vertical axis (called Zenith, with Z!) which is parallel to the gravity. In human perception, this axis has the highest priority, caused by our life on Earth. Your own local vertical axis is usually aligned to the world vertical axis (except when sleeping or making love, well, at least mostly).
This makes your own local viewing direction very variable relatively to the world directions, but rather fixed to the vertical.

Floorplans in XY were the basis of 2D graphics, with elevations adding a 3rd, Z axis to them. You can imagine that we are not talking about User Coordinate Systems here, but of WCS where X is East and Y is North . So this is an almost ABSOLUTE coordinate system defining a fixed ortiantation, at least on planet Earth.

On the other hand, the Camera has its own XY plane (the projection plane) with -Z running out of it in the depth. The first rendering packages looked at the world ONLY through a camera , making the XY plane of the projection rather important. Usually, by default they looked from south to north into a small fixed "room" like a TV studio, and completely ignorred the world paradigm with its N-S, E-W and up-down directions. After a couple of years, these programs started transferring the camera paradigm to the whole "virtual world" of the application, forcing the World Coordinate System to assume the illogical Y as up, although the local Z axis of the camera is highly variable relatively to the Z axis of the world, except in the rare occasion of looking straight to the North along the -Z axis!

So I would say the Y-up is very subjective and "ego-centric", while the Z-up is more general and "looking at the world from above", thus divine, concept ;o)

Obviously, a cinematic context assumes everything around us is just props (created in the Matrix?), and that Star Wars is being made mainly in large indoor studios.
"Our" concept comes from recreating worlds, and when a package makes its money mainly in the architectural and visualization industry, with just few of us fighting in the movie trenches, I can see it being the more real-world oriented and thus more logical for most people out there.

Of course, once you get used to a certain POV like Y-up or Z-up, (or certain religion, music or political party), you start believing it is the way to go for everybody. (and from there it's a very small step to violence and wars :o)
That's why I am for the freedom of choice and the pain being moved to the programmers who should do some matrix transformations internally!

Last but not least, there is the myth about some Yost Group members watching a Star Trek episode where Kirk mentioned an enemy ship hiding in a nebula to be having a relative position in Z and then actually appearing above Enterprise! But this is just insider humour... :o)

LFShade
02-20-2004, 11:50 PM
Bobo, you really know how to make an irrefutable point:D


RH

gusar
02-21-2004, 02:00 AM
eh, maybe I`m stupid so dont understand....
what is discussion here ?
is it OK that max has view coord sys as default and force you to understand Y as up ? well that Y up stuff in max is just temporare transformation which is in fact written as Z up in "real", it is Y only while you perform it and after that it becomes Z, so all ppl who have habit to use Y as up will feel cmfrtbl, maybe not knowing that what they did was actually Z "action...
how, then, describe modifiers and their performing based on axes ?
if you draw box in top, or front, taper will behave differently, it will look objects local coords, choosing Z with same parameters will make same objects but differently oriented, or you suggest that it should make diff objects with same absolute deformation ( like world modifier )
so IMHO it is very simple, who wants to have Zup allways, there is world coordsys, and who wants to feel like in comp app, there is view csys....

Bobo
02-21-2004, 02:37 AM
Originally posted by gusar
eh, maybe I`m stupid so dont understand....
what is discussion here ?



It is a cultural problem we are discussing here.
Maya and Lightwave users have the words "Y is Up" engraved in their brains. When coming to max, they ask "Y is Y not up? My understanding of the world is shattered!". We usually answer: "Welcome to the Real World, Neo" and explain what I posted above: They are living in a fake Matrix made in Hollywood and their personal view is hiding from them the fact that in reality Z has always been up... :o)
Have you seen the original question? The guy asked if he has to model differently because Y goes in the wrong direction! It is like an European driving a car in the UK... Everything is at the wrong side, and something inside tells him that it is the wrong side...

The problem comes when swapping data between packages, as you have to transform all vertices to switch the axes, otherwise the meshes would end up turned to the side. (try exporting from max to VRML and reimporting without turning the coordinates back to max system and you will see...) So the practical problem is that max, while sticking to the orthodox Z-up paradigms of the CAD world is probably the more logical world, it is an isle in the sea of Y-up packages that have troubles sharing data with it...

gusar
02-22-2004, 12:16 AM
he, now got it....
since I only know max, really had no idea about this axis issue...

but basic geometry tells that z is up, you know horizontal/frontal/lateral plane....if I would open maya and see that y is up, would be suprised, and wondered where was I wrong....
that`s probably from 2d apps with z along your view, and you described it excellent as egotheoism...
..and for exporting, now see why some models dloaded from net are rotated 90 degs:shrug:

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