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Create panel Any object category Object Type rollout AutoGrid check box

Extras toolbar (AutoGrid)

AutoGrid lets you automatically create, merge, or import objects on the surface of other objects by generating and activating a temporary construction plane based on normals of the face that you click. This serves as a more efficient way of stacking objects as you create them, rather than building objects and then aligning them as a separate step.

AutoGrid used to position the second block on top of the first

You can use objects within an XRef scene as reference when AutoGrid is on.

NoteIf the Smooth check box is turned on in the Parameters rollout of a parametric object, the construction plane is placed tangent to the face of the surface implied by any smoothing present on the surface, not the actual face of the surface.
See Also


Example: To create a box aligned to another object using a temporary construction grid:

  1. Create or load a scene containing an object to which you want to align a new box.
  2. On the Create panel with (Geometry) active Standard Primitives Object Type rollout, click Box.
  3. Turn on AutoGrid.
  4. Merge the object you want aligned.
  5. Move your cursor over the object to which you want to orient the box you are about to create.

    The cursor includes an X,Y,Z tripod to help you orient the position of the new object. As you move over the object, the cursor aligns the Z axis to the surface normal.

  6. When the orientation is as you want it, click and use the standard drag-release-move-click method to create the box. The box will be created on the designated surface.

    When you click, a temporary, automatic grid is created, and the newly created object is aligned to that grid.


Object Type rollout


AutoGrid is available only after you select an object button (such as Box). When you turn AutoGrid on, the cursor includes an axis tripod to help you orient the grid. Before clicking and as you position the cursor over a visible mesh object, the cursor jumps to the nearest point on that surface. The tripod's X and Y axes form a plane tangent to the object surface (forming an implied construction grid), and the Z axis is perpendicular to the plane.

After creating the object, 3ds Max places it on the temporary construction grid. When creating an object, if the cursor isn't over another object, 3ds Max places the object on the current active grid.

TipWhen you create an object that requires multiple clicks, AutoGrid applies only to the first click. So, for instance, if you want to create a Line spline that snaps to the faces of a sphere, turn on Snaps (press the S key), and then open the Grid And Snap Settings dialog and turn on Face.
NoteTo make the grid permanent, hold down the Alt key before you click. The grid becomes active and 3ds Max turns AutoGrid off.