Editable Spline provides
controls for manipulating an object as a spline object and at three
sub-object levels: vertex, segment, and spline.
The functions in Editable
Spline are the same as those in the
Spline modifier. The exception is that
when you convert an existing spline shape to an editable spline,
the creation parameters are no longer accessible or animatable.
However, the spline's interpolation settings (step settings) remain
available in the editable spline.
When a spline-editing
operation (typically, moving a segment or vertex) causes end vertices
to overlap, you can use the
weld the overlapping vertices together or the
if you want the two overlapping vertices to occupy the same point
in space but remain separate vertices.
Show End Result
have several modifiers higher in the modifier stack, and want to
see the results of edits in an Edit Spline modifier or Editable
Spline object, then turn on Show End Result on the Modify panel. As
you edit the spline network, you’ll be able to see the result of
modifiers above the Editable Spline object. This is useful for Surface
Tools work where you add a Surface modifier above an Editable Spline
object in the modifier stack.
To produce an editable spline object,
first select the shape, and then do one of the following:
- Right-click the shape entry in the stack
display and choose Convert To: Editable Spline.
- In a viewport, right-click the object
and choose Convert To: Convert
to Editable Spline from the Transform (lower-right) quadrant of
the quad menu.
- Create a shape with two or more splines
by first turning off Start New Shape (on the Create panel). Any
shape made up of two or more splines is automatically an editable
- Apply an Edit Spline modifier to a shape,
and then collapse the stack. If you use the
utility to collapse the stack, be sure
to choose Output Type Modifier
- Import a .shp file.
- Merge a shape from a 3ds Max file.
To select shape sub-objects:
- Expand the object's hierarchy in the
stack display and choose a sub-object level, or click one of the
sub-object buttons at the top of the Selection rollout.
You can also right-click
the object in the viewports and choose a sub-object level from the
quad menu: Tools 1 (upper-left) quadrant Sub-objects Choose the sub-object level.
- Click a selection or transform tool,
and then select sub-objects using standard click or region-selection
Because sub-object selections
can be complex, you might consider using one of the following techniques
to prevent clearing the sub-object selection by accident:
To clone sub-object selections:
To draw a spline cage:
- Select a segment sub-object on a spline.
- On the Geometry rollout in the Connect
Copy group, turn on Connect.
- Hold down the Shift key
and transform the selected segment. You can move, rotate or scale
using the transform gizmo to control the direction.
Notice that with Connect
Copy on, new splines are drawn between the locations of the segment
and its clone.
TipUse Area Selection or Fuse before selecting
and moving these vertices. They will not move together as they do
with the Cross-Section modifier. Or use Fuse to keep the vertices together.
The following controls
are available at the object (top) level and at all sub-object levels.
Rendering and Interpolation
These creation parameters
appear in these rollouts for editable splines. For splines to which
the Edit Spline modifier has been applied, creation parameters are
available by selecting the object type entry (for example, Circle
or NGon) at the bottom of the
Controls here let you
turn on and off the renderability of the shape, specify its thickness
in the rendered scene, and apply mapping coordinates. The spline
mesh can be viewed in the viewports. You can animate the render parameters,
such as the number of sides. Viewport settings cannot be animated.
You can also convert
the displayed mesh into a mesh object by applying an Edit Mesh modifier
or converting to an Editable Mesh. The system will use the Viewport
settings for this mesh conversion if Use Viewport Settings is turned
on; otherwise it will use the Renderer settings. This gives maximum
flexibility, and will always give the conversion of the mesh displayed
in the viewports.
- Enable In Renderer
When on, the shape is rendered
as a 3D mesh using the Radial or Rectangular parameters set for Renderer.
- Enable In Viewport
When on, the shape is displayed
in the viewport as a 3D mesh using the Radial or Rectangular parameters
set for Renderer.
- Use Viewport settings
Lets you set different rendering
parameters, and displays the mesh generated by the Viewport settings.
Available only when Enable in Viewport is turned on.
- Generate Mapping Coords
Turn this on to apply mapping
The U coordinate wraps
once around the thickness of the spline; the V coordinate is mapped
once along the length of the spline. Tiling is achieved using the
Tiling parameters in the material itself.
- Real-World Map Size
Controls the scaling method
used for texture mapped materials that are applied to the object.
The scaling values are controlled by the Use Real-World Scale settings found
in the applied material's
Coordinates rollout. Default=off.
Choose this to specify Radial
or Rectangular parameters for the shape as it will display in the
viewport when Enable In Viewport is turned on.
Choose this to specify Radial
or Rectangular parameters for the shape as it will display when
rendered or when viewed in the viewport when Enable In Viewport
is turned on.
Displays the 3D mesh
as a cylindrical object.
the diameter of the viewport or rendered spline mesh. Default=1.0.
Range=0.0 to 100,000,000.0.
Splines rendered at
thickness of 1.0 and 5.0, respectively
- SidesSets the
number of sides (or facets) for the spline mesh n the viewport or
renderer. For example, a value of 4 results in a square cross section.
the rotational position of the cross-section in the viewport or
renderer. For example, if the spline mesh has a square cross section you
can use Angle to position a "flat" side down.
Displays the spline's mesh
shape as rectangular.
the aspect ratio for rectangular cross-sections. The Lock check box
lets you lock the aspect ratio. When Lock is turned on, Width is
locked to Depth that results in a constant ratio of Width to Depth.
the size of the cross–section along the local Y axis.
the size of the cross–section along the local X axis.
the rotational position of the cross-section in the viewport or
renderer. For example, if you have a square cross-section you can
use Angle to position a "flat" side down.
- AspectThe ratio
of length to width. This control is linked to the Length setting;
when Aspect is unlocked, changing Length changes Aspect and vice-versa.
When Aspect is locked, the control is unavailable, and changing
Length or Width automatically changes the Width or Length (respectively)
to maintain the current aspect ratio.
- Auto Smooth
When on, the spline is auto-smoothed
using the threshold specified by the Threshold setting. Auto Smooth
sets the smoothing based on the angle between spline segments. Any
two adjacent segments are put in the same smoothing group if the
angle between them is less than the threshold angle.
Specifies the threshold angle
in degrees. Any two adjacent spline segments are put in the same
smoothing group if the angle between them is less than the threshold angle.
The Interpolation controls
set how 3ds Max generates a spline. All spline curves are divided
into small straight lines that approximate the true curve. The number
of divisions between each vertex on the spline is called steps.
The more steps used, the smoother the curve appears.
Splines used in above
lathed objects contained two steps (left) and 20 steps (right)
Use the Steps field to
set the number of divisions, or steps, 3ds Max uses between each
vertex. Splines with tight curves require many steps to look smooth
while gentle curves require fewer steps. Range=0 to 100.
Spline steps can be either
adaptive or manually specified. The method used is set by the state
of the Adaptive check box. The main use for manual interpolation
is to create splines for morphing or other operations where you must
have exact control over the number of vertices created.
When on, removes unneeded
steps from straight segments in the spline. Default=on.
NoteOptimize is not available
when Adaptive is on.
Optimize was used to
create spline in this lathed object.
When on, automatically sets
the number of steps for each spline to produce a smooth curve. Straight
segments always receive 0 steps. When off, enables manual interpolation
control using Optimize and Steps. Default=off.
Provides controls for
turning different sub-object modes on and off, working with named
selections and handles, display settings, and information about
When you first access
the Modify panel with an editable spline selected, you're at the
Object level, with access to several functions available as described
Spline (Object). You can toggle the sub-object
modes and access relevant functions by clicking sub-object buttons
at the top of the Selection rollout.
You can work with parts
of shapes and splines using shape sub-object selection of the Editable
Spline object. Clicking a button here is the same as selecting a
sub-object type in the Modifier List. Click the button again to
turn it off and return to object selection level.
Define points and curve tangents.
Are a combination of
one or more connected segments.
Named Selections group
Places a named selection into
the copy buffer.
Pastes a named selection from
the copy buffer.
- Lock Handles
Normally you can transform
the tangent handles of only one vertex at a time, even when multiple
vertices are selected. Use the Lock Handles controls to transform
multiple Bezier and Bezier Corner handles simultaneously.
As you drag the handle
of an incoming vector, all incoming vectors of the selected vertices
move simultaneously. Likewise, moving the outgoing tangent handle
on one vertex moves the outgoing tangent handle for all selected vertices.
Any handle you move affects
all handles in the selection, regardless of whether they're broken.
This option is also useful when working with a single Bezier Corner vertex
when you want to move both handles.
handle to "break" the tangent and move each handle independently.
The Alike option must be chosen to break the tangent.
- Area Selection
Lets you select automatically
all vertices within a specific radius of the vertex you click. At
the Vertex sub-object level, turn on Area Selection, and then set
the radius with the spinner to the right of the Area Selection check
box. This is useful when moving vertices that have been created
using Connect Copy or Cross Section button.
- Segment End
Select a vertex by clicking a
segment. In Vertex sub-object, turn on and select a segment close
to the vertex that you want selected. Use this when there are a
number of coincident vertices and you want to select a vertex on
a specific segment. The cursor changes to a cross when it is over
a segment. By holding down the Ctrl key you
can add to the selection.
- Select By
Selects vertices on the selected
spline or segment. First select a spline or segment in sub-object
spline or segment, then turn on vertex sub-object and click Select
By and choose Spline or Segment. All the vertices on the selected
spline or segment are selected. You can then edit the vertices.
- Show Vertex Numbers
When on, 3ds Max displays
vertex numbers next to the selected spline's vertices at any sub-object
- Selected Only
When on, the vertex number
or numbers appear only next to selected vertices.
At the bottom of the
Selection rollout is a text display giving information about the
current selection. If 0 or more than one sub-object is selected,
the text gives the number selected.
At the Vertex and Segment
sub-object levels, if one sub-object is selected, the text gives
the identification numbers of the current spline (with respect to
the current object) and of the current selected sub-object. Each spline
object contains a spline number 1; if it contains more than one
spline, the subsequent splines are numbered consecutively higher.
When a single spline
is selected at the Spline sub-object level, the first line displays
the identification number of the selected spline and whether it's
open or closed, and the second line displays the number of vertices
it contains. When more than one spline is selected, the number of splines
selected is displayed on the first line, and the total number of
vertices they contain is displayed on the second line.
The Geometry rollout
provides functions for editing a spline object and sub-objects.
The functions available at the spline object level (when no sub-object
level is active; see
Spline (Object)) are also available at
all sub-object levels, and work exactly the same at each level.
Other functions are also available, depending on which sub-object
level is active. Those that apply to other sub-object levels are
- Editable Spline (Object)
The functions available
at the editable spline object level (that is, when no sub-object
level is active) are also available at all sub-object levels, and
work exactly the same at each level.
- Editable Spline (Vertex)
While at the Editable
Spline (Vertex) level, you can select single and multiple vertices
and move them using standard methods.
- Editable Spline (Segment)
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.
- Editable Spline (Spline)
While at the Editable
Spline (Spline) level, you can select single and multiple splines
within a single spline object and move, rotate, and scale them using