Basics of Creating and Modifying Objects

This section provides an introduction to techniques for creating and modeling objects.

The Create panel contains controls for creating new objects, the first step in building a scene. Despite the variety of object types, the creation process is consistent for most objects.

The Modify panel provides controls to complete the modeling process. You can rework any object, from its creation parameters to its internal geometry. Both object-space and world-space modifiers let you apply a wide range of effects to objects in your scene. The modifier stack allows editing of the modifier sequence.

In 3ds Max, you model basic parametric objects into more complex ones by:

Varying the Parameters

Unlike physical objects, with a fixed shape and size, you can change the creation parameters of objects and shapes to dramatically alter topology. Here are some examples of changes you can make:

Collapsing Primitives to Base Geometry

You can collapse a geometric primitive or shape to one of a variety of base geometric types once you no longer need access to its creation parameters. For example, you can convert any standard primitive to an editable mesh, editable poly, editable patch, or NURBS object, and you can convert a spline shape to an editable mesh, editable spline, or NURBS object. The easiest way to collapse an object is to select it, right-click it, and choose a "Convert to" option from the quad menu Transform quadrant. This lets you use explicit editing methods with the object, such as transforming vertices. You can also use the Modify panel to collapse a primitive.

Mapping Coordinates

Most Geometry objects have an option for generating mapping coordinates. Objects need these mapping coordinates if you plan to apply a mapped material to them. Mapped materials include a wide range of rendered effects, from 2D bitmaps to reflections and refractions. See Mapping Coordinates and Using Maps to Enhance a Material. If mapping coordinates have already been applied to an object, the check box for this feature is turned on.

See Also