Share your 3dsmax Secrets



I’ll try to put it back on track…

If it has been mentioned, then discard this message, I really can’t keep track of this huge thread.

So a lil tip of the day:

Ever needed a calculator for your numerical inputs in Max? For example, needing to sum lengths of all the walls on your floor plan to offset a helper or whatever precisely? When in a spinner area, press CTRL+N and a little calculator utility that allows for some basic math operations will popup and its output will be automatically added to the selected spinner. :wink:

Hope it helps. :thumbsup:


hey, what would be cool, if the author of this thread compiled all the tips and added them into the first page, that would be cool.


im a freshman ,but i learn a lot from this thread.
thanks all of you.
it’s a good begining .


@igor_BSC: Do you know how to precisely get standard ortographical projections with cameras? I mean Chevalier, Vertical Military, 30 degree isometric, dimetric, etc.


this is how you can get isometric views at 30 degrees:

  1. create an target camera
  2. check “Orthographic Projection” from Modify panel
  3. select its target and reset its coordonates to 0,0,0
  4. now select only the camera and put the same coordonates in all axis (for example 500,500,500) - to rotate it, just put negative or positive of the same value, only in one axis
  5. again in modify panel , from Target Camera Type, switch it in “Free Camera”
  6. now you can switch the viewport to that camera, by pressing “C”, and when you pan the camera view , it will retain that isometrical angle.


Thanks a lot kmikaze, it´s nice to know how to achieve the isometric view in max.
BTW anyone knows of any piece of software that´ll allow me to render out (or better yet, render as technical drawing) the other types of projections? Cuase Inventor, Pro Engineer, Catia, etc. only show 30 degree iso.


I’ve been told that in max9 you can drag and drop maps directly from the photoshop window on to an object. Can anyone confirm this? I’m still on max8, so I have no way of telling…


Not exactly.

BUT! Drag & drop from, from desktop for example, does work.


well heres a simple trick i like to use but i dont know if its really useful but ive found use for it a couple times.

if you want to use the aec foilage but dont want the high poly count of having a forest of them:scream: a good way to cheat is to:

1: put your foilage of choice in your scene. but make it the only visible object.
2. texture it if you like but some of the object look fine without.
3. render it in a orthographic view or however you want. save it somewhere handy.
4. then back to max. go to rendering -> render elements -> add a alpha render element.
5. go to common in the render dialog and check super black.
6. click render and you have an alpha.

not that cool but you’ve turn several thousand polys into one poly:wise:


Little tip from me…if the scale in your scene gets big so that it is slow to pan around in perspective view you can reset the scale to normal by creating a camera, hit “C” to make the perspective view into a camera then delete the camera. The view will then go back to perspective view but with normal scale.:slight_smile:



Learn to use the snap constrainst tool it is an under used and very useful tool constrains the axis that you work in very helpful for moving vertex’s and object in one axis while aligning it with another object.


Any window zooms to whatever you select when you press “z” and it becomes a target for rotating around it
Use theOnion as a layer manager helps a lot organizing scenes
You might want to use “Autogrid” while creating objects. I noticed it after three years…


If you import a complex procedural material in the scene, and you realize that it is qiute out of scale. Instead of tweaking all the parameters in the material, you can do another simple thing.

For example if the material looks twice as big as it should on the specific object, than select this object scale it 200%, than go to Utilities -> Reset Xform … click reset selected. Than collapse the mesh and scale it to 50%, voila the scale of the material looks right. :slight_smile: Hope you have got the princi in this.

Of course, that this cannot be used in all cases, because the scaling of objects can mess some things a bit(especially when you want to animate the object), but there are many cases when this can be usefull.

Here are the example of three boxes that have the same material applied, the first one is the normal basic object,the second one scaled 200%, reset xform and scaled 50% - the third one is scaled to 50%, reset xform and scaled to 200% … hope you got it.


i might repeating this but hey…
holding CTRL while spining numbers increase them super fast :wink:


right-clicking on the area where the zoom tool, maximize viewport, zoom extents, etc. buttons are will bring up the viewport configuration dialog box…


It here any toggle or just keyboard shortcut for switching from 2.5D/3D snap mode?
i always use the mouse but it would be better w/some hot key?


robinb & okmijun: Try my Viewport Auto-Snap script, it automatically switches between 2.5D and 3D snaps based on the kind of viewport you’re currently in.

Sorry, for the plug, but I’m sure it will help.


thanks, 100 times.


My pleasure 1000 times :slight_smile:


radioxist its easier to use uvw xform to do this.

i might repeating this but hey…
holding CTRL while spining numbers increase them super fast ;)…

generally any navigation/manipulation/numerical change with ctrl speeds up… with alt it slows down…