Editable Poly Surface
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Create or select an object. Quad menu Transform quadrant Convert to Convert to Editable Poly

Create or select an object. Modify panel Right-click the base object in the stack. Choose Convert to: Editable Poly.

Editable Poly is an editable object with five sub-object levels: vertex, edge, border, polygon, and element. Its usage is similar to that of an editable mesh object, with controls for manipulating an object as a polygon mesh at various sub-object levels. Rather than triangular faces, however, the poly object's faces are polygons with any number of vertices.

TipThis section covers Editable Poly usage on the command panel. Most of the same functions and quite a few others are available on the modeling ribbon.

Editable Poly gives you these options:

TipYou can exit most Editable Poly command modes, such as Extrude, by right-clicking in the active viewport.

Overriding Actions with Press/Release Keyboard Shortcuts

While working with poly objects, you can use a “press/release keyboard shortcut” to temporarily override the current operation and perform a different one. As soon as you release the keyboard shortcut, you return to the previous operation.

For example, you might be working at the Polygon sub-object level, moving polygons, and need to rotate the object to access a different part of it. Instead of having to exit the Polygon sub-object level, rotate the object and then re-enter the sub-object level, you could simply press and hold 6, rotate the object, release the key, and immediately return to moving polygons.

To see a list of press/release keyboard shortcuts, go to Customize Customize User Interface Keyboard panel, open the Group drop-down list, and choose Edit Poly or Editable Poly. The actions in boldface are the ones that you can assign as press/release shortcuts. Not all are assigned; for information about assigning keyboard shortcuts, see Keyboard Panel.

The actions in boldface can function as press/release shortcuts.

Editable Poly Workflow

Commands for specific sub-object levels, such as Remove for edges, appear a rollout for that sub-object level (for example, Edit Edges) in the Editable Poly user interface. This leaves the Edit Geometry rollout with functions that you can apply at most sub-object levels, as well as at the object level.

Also, many commands are accompanied by a Settings button, which gives you a second way to use the command:

See Also


To produce an editable poly object:

First select an object, and then do one of the following:

Converting an object to Editable Poly format removes all parametric controls, including the creation parameters. For example, you can no longer increase the number of segments in a box, slice a circular primitive, or change the number of sides on a cylinder. Any modifiers you apply to an object are merged into the mesh as well. After conversion, the only entry left on the stack is "Editable Poly."

To maintain an object's creation parameters:


Stack Display

For more information on the Stack Display, see Modifier Stack.

Show End Result

Normally, if you apply a modifier such as Symmetry to an editable poly object and then return to the Editable Poly stack entry, you cannot see the effect of the modifier on the object's geometry. But if you turn on Show End Result while in sub-object level, you can see the final object as a white mesh, the original sub-object selection as a yellow mesh, and the original editable polymesh as an orange mesh.

Selection rollout

Lets you access the different sub-object levels. See Selection Rollout (Polymesh).

Soft Selection rollout

Soft Selection controls apply a smooth falloff between selected sub-objects and unselected ones. When Use Soft Selection is on, unselected sub-objects near your selection are given partial selection values. These values are shown in the viewports by means of a color gradient on the vertices, and optionally on the faces. They affect most types of sub-object deformations, such as the Move, Rotate, and Scale functions and any deformation modifiers (such as Bend) applied to the object. This provides a magnet-like effect with a sphere of influence around the selection.

For more information, see Soft Selection Rollout.

Edit (sub-object) rollout

The Edit (sub-object) rollout provides sub-object-specific functions for editing an editable poly object and its sub-objects. For specific information, click any of the links below:

Edit Vertices rollout

Edit Edges rollout

Edit Borders rollout

Edit Polygons/Elements rollout

Edit Geometry rollout

The Edit Geometry Rollout (Polymesh and Edit Poly) provides global functions for editing an editable poly object and its sub-objects.

Subdivision Surface rollout

Controls on this rollout apply subdivision to the polymesh in the style of the MeshSmooth modifier. See Subdivision Surface Rollout (Polymesh).

Subdivision Displacement rollout

Specifies surface approximation for subdividing the polymesh. See Subdivision Displacement Rollout (Polymesh).

Subdivision Presets group & Subdivision Method group

The controls in these two group boxes specify how 3ds Max applies the displacement map when Subdivision Displacement is on. They are identical to the Surface Approximation controls used for NURBS surfaces.

Paint Deformation rollout

Paint Deformation lets you stroke elevated and indented areas directly onto object surfaces. For more information, see Paint Deformation Rollout (Polymesh).