The Options panel of
the Grid And Snap Settings dialog lets you set options related to
To set snap options:
- Choose Tools menu Grids And Snaps Grid And Snap Settings.
- Click the Options tab.
- Set the options as desired.
Example: To use Snap Preview:
The Snap Preview Radius
setting lets you preview a snap before it actually happens. The
Snap Radius setting determines when actual snapping occurs, providing
the same functionality as Snap Strength in previous versions.
This procedure also demonstrates
how to cycle through available snap/preview points with the keyboard
- Reset 3ds Max, and then maximize the
To maximize the Perspective viewport, make sure
it's active (yellow border), and then press Alt+W.
- Zoom in a bit so the grid
squares are relatively large.
Snap and Snap Preview measure in pixels, so
if the grid points are relatively far apart, it's easy to see the
difference between Snap Preview and Snap.
- On the main toolbar, click (Snaps
Toggle) to turn on snapping, and then right-click the button to
open the Grid And Snap Settings dialog to the Snaps panel.
The default Snaps setting is Grid Points only;
if this is not the case, make it so. A grid point is the intersection
of two grid lines.
- On the dialog, click the Options tab.
In the General group, Snap Preview Radius is
set to 30 pixels and Snap Radius is set to 20 pixels. You can leave
this dialog open while you use snaps.
- On the Create panel, click (Shapes),
and then click Object Type rollout Line.
You're now in line-creation mode.
- Click anywhere in the viewport to start
creating a line-type spline object.
- Move the cursor around the viewport.
As you do so, a rubber-band line connects the
mouse cursor to the start point.
- Position the mouse cursor near a grid
point, but not too close, so that the snap cursor (cyan box + crosshairs)
appears at the grid point, but the line endpoint remains attached
to the mouse cursor.
This shows the snap preview;
you'll see its purpose in the next step.
- Click the left mouse button.
The second line vertex is created not where
you clicked but at the grid point indicated by the snap preview.
Snap preview lets you see where a snap will occur before it actually
- Move the cursor toward another grid point.
At the Snap Preview Radius distance (30 pixels),
the snap cursor appears at the grid point.
- Continue moving the cursor toward the
After you move it 10
pixels closer (the difference between Snap Preview Radius and Snap
Radius), the line endpoint jumps from the mouse cursor to the grid
point. This is the legacy snap functionality.
- Click to accept the snap.
- Complete the line, and then zoom out so the grid points
are closer together. Start another line, and then position the mouse cursor
in the center of a grid square, so the preview snap point appears
at one of the grid points.
- On the keyboard, press and hold Alt+Shift and then press S repeatedly to cycle through the
remaining nearby grid points. If nothing happens, try zooming out
more or increasing the Snap Preview Radius value.
By default, 3ds Max uses the closest snap
point as the preview location. This keyboard shortcut lets you choose
other qualifying snap points.
NoteThe layout of the
Grid And Snap Settings dialog is generated at runtime. Because of
this, it might appear slightly different than the illustration shown
Provides settings that
affect the visual display of the snap points.
Toggles the display of
the snap guides. When off, the snaps still function, but there's
Sets the size, in pixels,
of the snap "hit" point. This is the small icon that indicates either
the source or target snap point.
Click the color swatch
to display the Color Selector, where you can set the color of the
Snap functionality includes
several features that enhance ease of use. When using Snap, if the
cursor comes within distance of a potential snap point that's less
than the Snap Preview Radius distance but
greater than the Snap Radius distance, the snap
cursor jumps to that point as a preview of where the snap will occur, but
no actual snapping occurs.
To use the preview point
as the snap point, click or release the mouse button, depending
on the context. If, instead, you then continue to move the cursor
toward the potential snap point so that it comes within a distance
equal to or less than the Snap Radius value, the snap takes place.
TipFor best results,
keep the Snap Preview Radius value 10 pixels or more higher than
the Snap Radius value. This lets you preview any snap before it
- Snap Preview Radius
When the cursor is a distance
from a potential snap-to point between the Snap Preview Radius value
and the Snap Radius value, the snap marker jumps to the closest
potential snap-to point, but no snap occurs. Default=30.
When a snap-to preview
point is highlighted, release or click the mouse button (depending
on the context) to snap the current selection to that location.
Alternatively, before using the displayed snap point, you can cycle though
any other available preview and snap points by pressing and holding Alt+Shift and then press S repeatedly.
NoteThe Snap Preview
Radius value should generally be set higher than the Snap Radius
value, so that previewing occurs before snapping. If you attempt
to set the Snap Preview Radius value lower than the Snap Radius
value, 3ds Max lowers the latter so that the two are equal. This
effectively turns off previewing, so that only snapping is in effect.
- Snap Radius
Sets the size of the
area around the cursor, in pixels, within which snapping occurs
NoteThe Snap Radius value
should generally be set lower than the Snap Preview Radius value,
so that previewing occurs before snapping. If you attempt to set
the Snap Radius value higher than the Snap Preview Radius value, 3ds Max raises
the latter so that the two are equal. This effectively turns off
previewing, so that only snapping is in effect.
Sets the increment at which
objects are rotated about a given axis (degrees).
Sets the percentage increment
for scale transforms.
to Frozen Objects
When on, snapping to frozen
objects is enabled. Default=off. This option is also available from
the Snaps shortcut menu, accessed when you hold Shift and right-click in any viewport,
as well as from the
toolbar. Keyboard shortcut=Alt+F2.
- Use Axis Constraints
Constrains the selected object
to move only along the axes specified on the
Constraints toolbar. When off (the default),
the constraints are ignored, and snapped objects can be translated
in any dimension (assuming 3D snapping is used).
In Autodesk 3ds Max 2011, buttons on
the Axis Constraints toolbar update interactively, depending on
which portion of the gizmo or geometry you use to move the object.
This option is also available
from the Snaps shortcut menu, accessed when you hold Shift and right-click in any viewport,
as well as from the
toolbar and the Tools menu Grids And Snaps submenu.
Keyboard shortcut=Alt+F3 or Alt+D.
- Display rubber band
When on and you move an
selection, a rubber-band line appears between the original location
and the mouse position. Use this visual aid for greater accuracy when
In Autodesk 3ds Max 2011, the option Use Axis Center As
Start Snap Point is no longer present: This is always the default
Snap Handle When Moving an Object