This is a general introduction
to sub-object selection. For specific information, see
for a discussion of NURBS sub-object selection, see
When you model an object,
often you edit a portion of its underlying geometry, such as a set
of its faces or vertices. Or when you are working with a model,
you may want to apply mapping coordinates to a portion of its underlying
geometry. Use the methods described in this topic to make sub-object
Left: A selection of
Middle: A selection
of edge sub-objects
Right: A selection
of vertex sub-objects
You can access sub-object
geometry through a variety of methods. The most common technique
is to convert an object into "editable" geometry such as a mesh,
spline, patch, NURBS, or poly object. These object types let you
select and edit geometry at the sub-object level.
If you have a primitive
object and want to retain control of its creation parameters, you
can apply a modifier such as
Line Spline and NURBS
curves and surfaces are the exception: you can edit their sub-objects as
soon as you create these kinds of objects.
choose a sub-object level in the stack display. Click the plus sign
that appears next to the name of an object that has sub-objects.
This expands the hierarchy, showing the available sub-object levels. Click
a level to choose it. The name of the sub-object level highlights
in yellow, and the icon for that sub-object level appears to the
right of both its name and the name of the top-level object.
Stack display shows
the sub-object hierarchy, letting you choose a sub-object level.
Editing at the Sub-Object
When you edit an object
at the sub-object level, you can select only components at that
level: vertices, edges, polygons, and so on. You can’t deselect
the current object, nor can you select other objects. To leave sub-object
editing and return to object-level editing, click the top-level
name of the object in the modifier stack, or click the highlighted
Click the top-level
object name to exit sub-object editing.
TipYou can also access
sub-object levels from the buttons at the top of the Selection rollout
on the Modify panel.
To make a sub-object selection:
These methods assume
the object has sub-object levels. If the object has no sub-object
levels (for example, a primitive such as a sphere), the + icon is
not present. In that case, you need to collapse the object or apply
an Edit modifier before you can edit its sub-object geometry.
When working with
an editable poly or Edit Poly object, we highly recommend that you
Graphite Modeling tools
of the Modify panel.
- Select the object you want to edit.
- If the object doesn’t already have sub-object
levels, apply an Edit ... modifier such as Edit Mesh.
- Open the Modify
- In the modifier stack, click (the
+ icon) to expand the object's hierarchy.
- On the stack display, click a sub-object
level such as Vertex, Edge, or Face.
TipFor a detailed selection, you might want
to zoom in on the object.
- Click one of the toolbar selection buttons,
and then use the same selection methods you’d use on objects to
select the sub-object components. Or from the quad menu Transform quadrant,
choose one of the selection methods and select the sub-object components.
There are two alternative
ways to go to a sub-object level:
the object and go to the Modify panel. Then right-click the object,
and use the quad menu Tools
1 (upper-left) quadrant Sub-objects
the selection level using buttons on the Modify panel's Selection
rollout, if one is present for the type of object you're editing.
TipOnce you're at a
sub-object level, the Insert key
cycles through the levels of other kinds of sub-objects.
To exit a sub-object level, do one of
- In the stack display, click the highlighted
sub-object name or the top-level name of the object.
- If the object has a Selection rollout,
click the button of the active sub-object level to turn it off.
- Right-click the object, and then in the
Tools 1 (upper-left) quadrant of the quad menu, choose Top-level.
- Access a different command panel. This
turns off sub-object editing.
If you think you’ve turned
off sub-object editing but top-level object selection is still not
restored, it might be due to the following reasons:
- Your selection is locked.
Click the Lock Selection Set button on the prompt line to turn it
- You’ve set the
Filter on the main toolbar to a specific
category of object, so you can’t select any of the other categories.
To fix this, select All in the Selection Filter list.