A segment is the portion
of a spline curve between two of its vertices. While at the Editable
Spline (Segment) level, you can select single and multiple segments
and move, rotate, scale or clone them using standard methods.
To change segment properties:
- Select an editable spline segment, and
- On the Tools 1 (upper-left) quadrant
of the quad menu, choose Line or Curve.
The effect of changing
segment properties varies according to the type of vertices at the
- Corner vertices always result in line
segments regardless of the segment property.
- Smooth vertices can support both line
or curve segment properties.
- Bezier and Bezier Corner vertices apply
their tangent handles only to curve segments. Tangent handles are
ignored by line segments.
- A tangent handle associated with a line
segment displays an X at the end of the handle. You can still transform
the handle, but it has no effect until the segment is converted
to a curve segment.
TipIf you have problems transforming the handles,
display the axis constraints toolbar and change the transform axis there.
New Vertex Type group
The radio buttons in
this group let you determine the tangency of the new vertices created
when you Shift+Clone segments
or splines. If you later use Connect Copy, vertices on the splines that
connect the original segment or spline to the new one will have
the type specified in this group.
This setting has no effect
on the tangency of vertices created using tools such as the Create
Line button, Refine, and so on.
- Create Line
Adds more splines to
the selected spline. These lines are separate spline sub-objects;
create them in the same way as the
spline. To exit line creation, right-click
or click to turn off Create Line.
Lets you specify a break point
at any segment in the shape (you do not have to first select a segment).
When on, the mouse icon changes to a Break icon. You can now click
any spot on a segment. The clicked spot becomes two coincident vertices,
and the segment is split into two parts.
Attaches another spline in
the scene to the selected spline. Click the object you want to attach
to the currently selected spline object. The object you're attaching
to must also be a spline.
For further details,
Reorients the attached spline
so that its creation local coordinate system is aligned with the
creation local coordinate system of the selected spline.
- Attach Mult.
Click this button to display
the Attach Multiple dialog, which contains a list of all other shapes
in the scene. Select the shapes you want to attach to the current
editable spline, then click OK.
- Cross Section
Creates a spline cage
out of cross–sectional shapes. Click Cross Section, select one segment
then another sub-object segment, splines are created joining the
first shape with the second. Continue clicking segments to add them
to the cage. All segments must be part of the same object to build
cross sections. This functionality is similar to the Cross Section
modifier, but here you can determine the order of the cross sections.
Spline cage tangency can be defined by choosing Linear, Bezier,
Bezier Corner or Smooth in New Vertex Type group.
TipWhen you want to
move these vertices, turn on Area Selection before you select them.
When you transform them, the vertices will stay together.
The Refine group includes
a number of functions useful for building spline networks for use
Lets you add vertices without
altering the curvature values of the spline. Click Refine, and then
select any number of spline segments to add a vertex each time you click
(the mouse cursor changes to a "connect" symbol when over an eligible
segment). To finish adding vertices, click Refine again, or right-click
in the viewport.
You can also click existing
vertices during a refine operation, in which case 3ds Max displays
a dialog asking if you want to Refine or Connect to
the vertex. If you choose Connect, 3ds Max will not create a
vertex: it simply connects to the existing vertex.
The Refine operation
creates a different type of vertex depending on the types of vertices on
the endpoints of the segment being refined.
- If the bordering vertices are both Smooth
types, the Refine operation creates a Smooth type vertex.
- If the bordering vertices are both Corner
types, the Refine operation creates a Corner type vertex.
- If either of the bordering vertices is a
Corner or Bezier Corner, the Refine operation creates a Bezier Corner type.
- Otherwise, the operation creates a Bezier
When on, creates a new spline
sub-object by connecting the new vertices. When you finish adding
vertices with Refine, Connect makes a separate copy of each new
vertex and then connects all of the copies with a new spline.
NoteFor Connect to work,
you must turn it on before you click Refine.
After turning on Connect
and before beginning the refinement process, turn on any combination
of these options:
on, makes all segments in the new spline linear by using Corner vertices.
When Linear is off, the vertices used to create the new spline are
of the Smooth type.
- Bind FirstCauses
the first vertex created in a refinement operation to be bound to
the center of the selected segment.
For more information,
on, connects the first and last vertices in the new spline to create
a closed spline. When Closed is off, Connect always creates an open
- Bind LastCauses
the last vertex created in a refinement operation to be bound to
the center of the selected segment.
For more information,
Connect Copy group
- Connect Copy
When on, Shift+cloning a segment creates
a new spline sub-object with additional splines that connect the
new segment's vertices to the vertices of the original segment.
It is analogous to Shift+cloning
edges in Editable Mesh and Editable Poly objects.
NoteFor Connect Copy
to work, you must turn it on before you Shift+Clone.
Determines the distance soft
selection will use when Connect Copy is on. A higher threshold results
in more splines being created; a lower threshold results in fewer splines.
End Point Auto-Welding
- Automatic Welding
When Automatic Welding
is turned on, an end point vertex that is placed or moved within
the threshold distance of another end point of the same spline is
automatically welded. This feature is available at the object and
all sub-object levels.
The threshold distance spinner
is a proximity setting that controls how close vertices can be to
one another before they are automatically welded. Default=6.0.
Inserts one or more vertices,
creating additional segments. Click anywhere in a segment to insert
a vertex and attach the mouse to the spline. Then optionally move
the mouse and click to place the new vertex. Continue moving the
mouse and clicking to add vertices. A single click inserts a corner
vertex, while a drag creates a Bezier (smooth) vertex.
Right-click to complete
the operation and release the mouse. At this point, you're still in
Insert mode, and can begin inserting vertices in a different segment.
Otherwise, right-click again or click Insert to exit Insert mode.
Hides selected segments. Select
one or more segments, and then click Hide.
- Unhide All
Displays any hidden sub-objects.
Deletes any selected segments
in the current shape.
Selected and deleted segment
Subdivides the selected segment
or segments by adding the number of vertices specified by the spinner.
Select one or more segments, set the Divisions spinner (to the button's
right), and then click Divide. Each selected segment is divided
by the number of vertices specified in the Divisions spinner. The distance
between the vertices depends on the segment's relative curvature,
with areas of greater curvature receiving more vertices.
Selected and divided segment
Lets you select several segments
in various splines and then detach them (or copy them) to form a
new shape. Three options are available:
- Same Shp(Same
Shape) When on, Reorient is disabled, and a Detach operation keeps
the detached segment as part of the shape (rather than producing
a new shape). If Copy is also on, you end up with a detached copy
of the segment in the same location.
detached segment copies the position and orientation of the source
object's creation Local coordinate system. The new detached object
is moved and rotated so that its Local coordinate system is positioned
and aligned with the origin of the current active grid.
the detached segment rather than moving it.
Original and detached splines
- Show selected segs
When on, any selected segments
are highlighted in red at the Vertex sub-object level. When off
(the default), selected segments are highlighted only at the Segment sub-object
This feature is useful
for comparing complex curves against each other.
Surface Properties rollout
You can apply different
material IDs to spline segments (see
You can then assign a
material to such splines, which appears
when the spline is renderable, or when used for lathing or extrusion.
Be sure to turn on Generate Material IDs and Use Shape IDs when
lofting, lathing or extruding.
- Set ID
Lets you assign a particular
material ID number to selected segments for use with multi/sub-object materials
and other applications. Use the spinner or enter the number from
the keyboard. The total number of available IDs is 65,535.
- Select ID
Selects the segments
or splines corresponding to the Material ID specified in the adjacent
ID field. Type or use the spinner to specify an ID, then click the
Select ID button.
- Select By Name
This drop-down list shows
the names of sub-materials if an object has a Multi/Sub-object material
assigned to it. Click the drop arrow and select a material from the
list. The segments or splines that are assigned that material are
selected. If a shape does not have a Multi/Sub-Object material assigned
to it, the name list will be unavailable. Likewise, if multiple
shapes are selected that have an Edit Spline modifier applied to
them, the name list is inactive.
- Clear Selection
When turned on, selecting
a new ID or material name forces a deselection of any previously
selected segments or splines. When turned off, selections are cumulative
so new ID or material name selections add to a previous selection
set of segments or splines. Default=on.