Editable Mesh Surface
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Create or select an object. Quad menu Transform quadrant Convert To: submenu Editable Mesh

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

Create or select an object. Utilities panel Collapse button Collapse Selected button

Editable Mesh, like the Edit Mesh modifier, provides controls for manipulating a mesh object made up of triangular faces as an object and at three sub-object levels: vertex, edge and face. You can convert most objects in 3ds Max to editable meshes, but for open spline objects, only vertices are available, because open splines have no faces or edges when converted to meshes.

To make a sub-object selection on a non-editable mesh object (for example, a primitive) for passing up the stack to a modifier, use the Mesh Select modifier.

Once you make a selection with Editable Mesh, you have these options:

NoteBecause Edit Mesh modifier functionality is almost identical to that of editable mesh objects, features described in the Editable Mesh topics also apply to objects with Edit Mesh applied, except as noted.
Tip Editable Poly is similar to Editable Mesh, but lets you work with polygons of four or more sides, and provides a greater range of functionality.
TipYou can exit most Editable Mesh command modes, such as Extrude, by right-clicking in the active viewport.
See Also


To produce an editable mesh object:

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

Converting an object to an editable mesh 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 collapsed as well. After conversion, the only entry left on the stack is "Editable Mesh."

Maintaining an object's creation parameters:

As described in the above procedure, you can convert an existing object to an editable mesh, which replaces the creation parameters in the stack with "Editable Mesh." The creation parameters are no longer accessible or animatable. If you want to maintain the creation parameters, you can use the following modifiers:


Modifier Stack display

Show End Result

Normally, if you apply a modifier such as Twist to an editable-mesh object and then return to the Editable Mesh 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 original sub-object selection as a yellow mesh, the final object as a white mesh, and the original editable mesh as an orange mesh.

Selection rollout

See Selection Rollout (Editable Mesh).

Named Selections


Places a named selection into the copy buffer.


Pastes a named selection from the copy buffer.

For more information, see Named Selection Sets.

Selection Information

At the bottom of the Selection rollout is a text display giving information about the current selection. If no objects or more than one sub-object are selected, the text gives the number of objects and the type selected. If a single sub-object is selected, the text gives its identification number and type.

NoteWhen the current sub-object level is Polygon or Element, selection information is given in faces.

Soft Selection rollout

Soft Selection controls affect the action of sub-object Move, Rotate, and Scale functions. When these are on, 3ds Max applies a spline curve deformation to unselected vertices surrounding the transformed selected sub-object. This provides a magnet-like effect with a sphere of influence around the transformation.

For more information, see Soft Selection Rollout.

Edit Geometry rollout

The Edit Geometry rollout provides various controls for editing an editable mesh object and its sub-objects. For information specific to the different sub-object levels, see the topics in this section.