Cone Angle Manipulator
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Create panel (Helpers) Manipulators Object Type rollout Cone Angle button

Create menu Helpers Manipulators Cone Angle

The Cone Angle manipulator is a cone whose base you can adjust. By wiring its Angle value to a parameter of another object, you can create a custom control, with visual feedback, within a scene.

Cone angle manipulator

Cone angle manipulators are used by a spotlight's Hotspot and Falloff controls.


To create a cone angle manipulator:

  1. On the Create panel, activate (Helpers) and choose Manipulators from the drop-down list.
  2. Click to turn on Cone Angle.
  3. Drag in a viewport, and then release the mouse.

    The cone angle manipulator is created along the negative Z axis of the viewport in which you drag. In other words, its initial position points away from you.

To change the angle of a cone angle manipulator:

  1. Turn on (Select And Manipulate).
    TipIf you are still in the Create panel, turn on (Select Object) before using the manipulator. Otherwise, it is too easy to create a new one.
  2. In a viewport, move the mouse over the manipulator.

    The manipulator turns red when the mouse is over it and it is available to be manipulated. Also, a tooltip appears, showing the name of the manipulator and its current value.

  3. Drag the base of the cone angle manipulator's cone.

    The Angle value changes as you drag the manipulator. This value can range between 0.0 and 180.0.

To select a cone angle manipulator:

  1. Turn on (Select Object).

    You can also use (Select And Move), (Select And Rotate), and the scale options on a cone angle manipulator.

  2. Turn off (Select And Manipulate).

    If you don't turn off Select And Manipulate, you adjust the manipulator's Angle value without affecting its properties.

  3. Adjust the properties of the selected manipulator.

To connect a cone angle manipulator so it controls another object:

  1. Select the cone angle manipulator.
    Note (Select And Manipulate) must be off before you can select the manipulator.
  2. Choose Animation Wire Parameters Wire Parameters.

    You can also right-click the manipulator and choose Wire Parameters from the Transform (lower-right) quadrant of the quad menu.

    A pop-up menu appears over the manipulator.

  3. In the pop-up menu, choose Object (Cone Angle Manipulator) Angle.
  4. Click the object you want to manipulate.

    A pop-up menu appears over the object.

  5. In the pop-up menu, choose Object, then the name of the parameter you want to manipulate.

    3ds Max opens the Parameter Wiring dialog.

  6. On the Parameter Wiring dialog, click the “control direction” arrow between the two upper lists that goes from the manipulator to the object (or both directions), and then click Connect.
  7. Close the Parameter Wiring dialog.

    Now when you turn on (Select And Manipulate) and use the manipulator, the object updates under the manipulator's control.



The initial angle of the manipulator.


The length of the manipulator, in 3ds Max units. Default=the distance of mouse drag when the manipulator was created.

Use Square

When on, the base of the cone is square or rectangular, rather than circular. Default=off.


When Use Square is on, adjusts the aspect ratio of the rectangular cone base. Default=1.0.