The Ultimate 3ds Max User Tips and Tricks Collaboration

Discussion in 'Software' started by multimediaman, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. multimediaman

    multimediaman Traffic Car Connoisseur

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    Let's face it: 3ds Max is a beast of a program to learn. Every day seasoned 3ds Max veterans are learning more and more about the program as they use it, and will continue to find surprising bits and pieces about it as they work.

    I'm creating this thread so that fellow 3ds Max users can share their valuable tips, tricks, shortcuts, workarounds, and other solutions with eachother... so that we at SMCars.net can become a more efficient and happy community of 3D artists!

    I just wanted to throw this thread out there for you all for now, but I can guarantee I'll have lots of juicy tips and tricks for you all, and will be continually posting more as I find them. I highly encourage everyone out there to do the same as well.

    Have fun, and remember, don't hesitate to share, because this could be the best resource gold mine ever if this idea flies!
     
  2. qretz

    qretz Member

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    Good idea man!
    I think i have so much to learn and so few to show, but... Good thread sure
     
  3. multimediaman

    multimediaman Traffic Car Connoisseur

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    Okay, as promised, I'll give out a few tidbits of information for you all:

    -assume [RMB] means "right mouse button", and [LMB] means "left mouse button"

    -assume standard keyboard shortcuts


    Basics

    • Type x to activate and deactivate transform gizmos.
    This is useful for if you have items selected with multiple pivots shown at once, it will prevent the pivots from unexplainably moving to another object, deselecting your object, or worse, changing the axis you're transforming on.

    • Enable the "Use Axis Constraints" within the snapping options to quickly and easily align objects with other entities on one or more axis.

    • Pressing [ and ] will decrease or increase your Walkthrough Mode's speed.

    Intermediates

    • Hold Ctrl+Alt+[RMB] and drag on the timeline to slide the end frame of the timeline backwards or forwards.

    • Hold Ctrl+Alt+[LMB] and drag on the timeline to slide the start frame of the timeline backwards or forwards.

    • Type r before a number you're entering to make the number relative
    If an object is at a Z-pos of 37.125" and you type in r26.0625, it will add 26.0625 to 37.125.

    • Type ctrl+n while typing in a number field to bring up a calculator

    • Typing a division problem in a number field leaves the divided result
    Ex. 64/3 results in 21.333

    • No matter what your units are set up as, entering in other units will convert automatically
    Ex. System units = cm, typing in 52' 5.271" will result in 1,598.348cmHave fun with your new knowledge, and feel free to share any tricks with us! :D
     
  4. multimediaman

    multimediaman Traffic Car Connoisseur

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    this thread doesn't seem to be getting much attention :(

    nevertheless I'll continue.

    • If you don't mind eating up all your viewport undo's, hold the I key down while you move your mouse around in an orthographic view, and the viewport will essentially be centered around your mouse cursor, allowing you to draw or edit while zoomed in nice and closely to your work.
    Ex. If you're working with a surface that has lots of details to create, but you don't want to have to pan the view every few details as you create them

    Tools to make sure you're familiar with

    • Window/Crossing Selection
    Changes whether your selection marquee has to just touch an object to select it, or contain the entire object before selecting it... Very useful for selecting smaller objects in a larger assembly, or for selecting sub-objects with more ease

    [more to come later]
     
  5. qretz

    qretz Member

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    Hey man, be patient, and thanks for all.
    Some of us think it´s an interesting thread... ;)
     
  6. Lynx

    Lynx Member

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    x2 We need some tips/tricks on rendering in vray, lol
     
  7. V8-Cruiza

    V8-Cruiza New Member

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  8. qretz

    qretz Member

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    I want to know the difference between meshsmooth and turbosmooth. How to use the smooth groups and the way to optimice all...

    Thanks bro.
     
  9. andyflagg

    andyflagg Member

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    x2 this would be a help
     
  10. multimediaman

    multimediaman Traffic Car Connoisseur

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    Meshsmooth is a modifier that stores lots of control data in itself. You have vertex and edge control for example, and can even control each subdivision... for example if you have a box meshsmoothed at one iteration, you can pull a vertex in the middle up, and then go to two iterations, and pull some more vertices, then you can put three iterations on, and do even more with the vertices, or add edge creases/weights in.

    This, while it seems nice and versatile is actually a pitfall of meshsmooth. Why? You spend all that time tweaking out your mesh in a modifier, and then you have anything go wrong, and you're kinda stuck, as you have absolutely no supporting information outside of the modifier. And collapsing that detail into your mesh is pretty pointless as well, because it's completely uneditable at that point... at least, as far as feasibility is concerned.

    Turbosmooth works with the same smoothing algorithms that meshsmooth does, but it doesn't store mesh data inside. In fact, other than smoothing groups, material ID's, and iterations, you have practically no controls.

    This is turbosmooth's strength, is because it lets you have an extremely high detailed model, and you don't have a bloated file size due to unnecessary data stored that you practically should never even touch in the first place.

    Turbosmooth is, as a result, much faster and less resource hungry than meshsmooth could ever be.
     
  11. gvnwst

    gvnwst Member

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    A random little thing I learned... not much, I know.
    - Holding ctrl while dragging out an object (such as a plane) will cause it to be created from the center, rather than edge to edge. Helpful when you need to center the object. :) (forgot to mention) On round objects like cylnders, torus knots, or teapots, ctrl+drag will allow you to rotate it during creation.
     
  12. qretz

    qretz Member

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    Thank you man. I will use more the turbosmooth

    I would like to know general adjustments of the program to optimice the redraw viewing, how to do to charge hires textures and all this demons ...you know.

    Thanks in advance.


    EDIT: Could be some included captures?

    --------------------------------------
     
  13. multimediaman

    multimediaman Traffic Car Connoisseur

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    can you give me some examples of what you mean? I'm not sure what you mean by optimizing the redraw viewing or charge hi res textures
     
  14. sfookar

    sfookar New Member

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    I have a question, where can i actually find the turbosmooth button if there is one? I only found msmooth.
     
  15. qretz

    qretz Member

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    To use opengl or direct3d, for redrawing.
    When you charge a more than 4000px texture, there are something to do in the setup of the program, this way are my questions.

    @ Franko:
    Is in the modifiers stack.
     
  16. CLR-AMG

    CLR-AMG Member

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    I never knew that. I always used the white left bottom typing bar. You can also make calculations there.
     
  17. multimediaman

    multimediaman Traffic Car Connoisseur

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    this brings up some other points, along with some stuff I read in another thread just tonight.

    Material Editor

    • Use the material/map browser to create your own material library
    I put this off for such a long time because I didn't fully understand it, but it is WELL worth it to learn. A well-organized, with properly instanced image maps, and well-thought-out material library can be as useful as a content management system built right into your 3ds max. "Update scene materials from Library" = golden treasure

    • In recent versions of 3ds max, you can render maps off as images of your desired sizes. VERY useful for creating grunge maps or other applications when you'd rather not use procedural maps
    I usually avoid procedural maps just because I just like bitmaps better, athough 3ds max's procedurals are more powerful than most of photoshop's auto-generated imagery

    • You're not limited to 24 materials in your scene. Once a material has been applied to your model, you can click the "reset map/mtl to default settings" button, and use "affect only map/mtl in the editor slot", OR, use the get material button (also rendering > material/map browser) to double-click the desired new material type while the material editor is open.
    Both of these methods will bring a new material into the slot where you were editing the other material. You can use the Get Material button to find materials within your scene if you'd like to edit one of your replaced materials again.
    NOTE : in newer versions of 3ds max, they've introduced in the Utilities menu of the Material Editor, a feature called "Reset Material Editor Slots" -- This keeps all your scene materials in tact, but replaces all the material editor slots with default materials, so you have a whole new palette of 24 materials to work with.


    Rendering

    • in the maxscript command line panel (that little white and pink thing at the bottom left of the screen), if you type render() and hit enter, you'll get a render window that renders using the last used settings, but doesn't clear your previous renders.
    Exceptionally useful for rendering comparisons when you have more comparisons than the two allowed in RAM player, but don't want to save all the images out.

    NOTE : These render windows do NOT work with RAM player, so you cannot use the "Open last rendered image in channel #" fueature with these images.


    General

    • After using a Quad Menu feature, the name of the last used item becomes highlighted when you open the menu up again. This is to bring visibility to this feature: Clicking on the title bar of a quad menu activates the last command used from that quad menu. (Quad menus are the right-click menus)

    • Press Alt+F2 to enable the "Shade Selected Object" function. This allows you to use wireframe mode, but the selected objects will be displayed in shaded mode. (you'll see the surface, or you'll see the textures, and material settings from the applied materials on the selected objects)

    • Right-clicking a spinner (the up and down arrow buttons next to a number entry) will zero-out the value in the spinner. (Useful for scaling vertices in the center of a mesh, and centering the vertices, say for modeling for symmetry)

    Have fun with these tips... hopefully they're news to at least a few of you :D :uhh:
     
  18. helicase

    helicase Well-Known Member

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    W: weld

    C: Collapse
     
  19. multimediaman

    multimediaman Traffic Car Connoisseur

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    Here's a few shortcuts that are standard as far as I know... doubt you can change them, so I'm posting them here:

    [LMB] = Left Mouse Button
    [RMB] = Right Mouse Button
    [MMB] = Middle Mouse Button

    Viewport Operation:

    [MMB] (click and drag) : pan
    ctrl + [MMB] : faster pan
    shift _+ [MMB] : pan in a constrained axis (uses the first direction your mouse takes after using this combo to determine the axis to constrain to)
    alt + [MMB] : rotate viewport (uses whichever rotate method you last used such as rotate via sub-object)
    ctrl + alt + [MMB] : zoom (works for non-camera/light views only)

    [RMB] - use ctrl, alt, shift, alt+shift, or ctrl + alt to bring up various different quad menus
     

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