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Improve your 3ds Max Workflow: Top 10 interface secrets

By Paul Hatton
Web: Open Site
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| 4 Comments
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Date Added: 28th July 2014
Software used:
3ds Max, V-Ray

Configure modifier sets

Scrolling down the object modifier list every time you want to add a UVW map modifier can be a laborious process. You don't have to do it every time! 3ds Max allows you to set up buttons for the common modifiers that you use. On the right-hand side of the Modify command panel there is a button called Configure Modifier Sets. If you press it and go to Configure Modifier Sets again it'll bring up a dialogue box which allows you to add and remove modifiers to different sets. Try setting up your favorite ones and see how it speeds up your workflow.

1898_tid_paul-hatton---3d-total---hidden-interface-gems---step-3.jpg
Setting up key modifiers on buttons will speed up your workflow greatly

Moving rollouts in the command panel

Don't feel like you have to put up with the order that 3ds Max puts the rollouts in the command panel. For example, in Edit Poly mode you might never use the Soft Selection rollout, so why have it right at the top. Simply drag it and drop it further down the panel. It gives you a solid blue line so you can see where you're moving it to.

1898_tid_paul-hatton---3d-total---hidden-interface-gems---step-4.jpg
Put the rollouts that you use the most to the top of the stack

Numerical expression evaluator

When creating objects and making adjustments in the modify panel I would often find myself with the Windows calculator open enabling me to make calculations and then transferring the values across to 3ds Max. Little did I know that this was a big waste of time! 3ds Max has its own built in solution! With a field active, press Ctrl+N and you'll see a new dialogue box pop up. This enables you to insert your formula and directly copy the result back into the field.

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Use the built-in numerical expression evaluator rather than having the Windows calculator open

Repeat last quad menu command

I don't know how often you use the quad menu but it sure is frustrating if you have to use the same tool over and over again, each time navigating your mouse to the part of the quad menu where it's located and clicking again. Rather than doing this it is possible to repeat the last action by clicking on the heading of the quad menu that contains the last action you performed.

1898_tid_paul-hatton---3d-total---hidden-interface-gems---step-6.jpg
Tired of navigating to the last quad menu command you used? Follow this tip to avoid it!




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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 289531, pid: 0) Lester Holten on Wed, 30 July 2014 12:21am
Nice work man,,, thank you for the tutorial, very helpful indeed!
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(ID: 289504, pid: 0) Rogelio Del Toro on Tue, 29 July 2014 5:41pm
There's a typo on "Object Isolation", the shortcut or hotkey is actually "Alt+Q" not "Alt+Y". Great tips for everyone (specially the beginners), keep it up!
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(ID: 289444, pid: 0) Ihab Kalache on Tue, 29 July 2014 7:14am
Hold and Fetch has been around since the Dos days, I used it 15 years ago, it hasn't been recently introduced as you claim.
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(ID: 289328, pid: 0) Rodrigo D on Mon, 28 July 2014 2:42pm
For the hold and fetch feature there is also an alternative, in Customize > Preferences, in the general tab, you can adjust the levels of Undo (ctrl+z). This feature have save me a lot of times, my computer only has 8GB of RAM and I have this parameter in 200 (200 undos) and i have never had any trouble running out of memory.
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