Rope Modifier
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Modify panel Modifier List reactor Rope

Animation menu reactor Apply Modifier Rope Modifier

reactor toolbar (Apply Rope Modifier)

You can create a reactor Rope using any spline object in 3ds Max. The Rope modifier turns the object into a deforming, one-dimensional chain of vertices. You can use rope objects to simulate ropes, as well as hair, chains, fringing, and other rope-like objects.

A rope must be added to a rope collection in order to be simulated.


To create a rope:

  1. Create the spline-based shape to use to create the rope. As with all deformable bodies, the underlying topology of this object will influence the rope's behavior. If the spline contains only two vertices, then the rope simulation geometry will have only a single section and will behave in a particularly un-rope-like fashion as a result. More vertices will allow the rope to bend easily and behave more realistically.
  2. With the object selected, choose one of the commands listed above.

    The Rope modifier appears in the object's modifier stack.

To edit a Rope's physical properties:

  1. Select the Rope object.
  2. On the Modify panel, ensure that the reactor Rope modifier is selected in the modifier stack.
  3. Use the Properties rollout to edit the properties, which are described in the Interface section, following.


Modifier Stack


Allows you to select individual vertices of the rope to apply and modify deformable constraints.

Rope Properties rollout


The rope's mass in kilograms. This affects the rope behavior on collisions against other objects, its buoyancy when interacting with water, and the stretching caused by attached rigid bodies: the higher the mass of the rope, the less stretching induced by the rigid body.


Lets you specify a thickness for the simulated rope, as the shape used to create the rope has no inherent thickness. A rope with a thickness of 0.0 will not be visible in the simulation.


The coefficient of friction for the rope's surface. As with rigid bodies, this affects how smoothly the rope will move relative to surfaces it’s in contact with. The Friction values for both objects are combined to produce a coefficient for the interaction.

Air Resistance

The extent to which the rope loses energy as it moves.

Rope Type

  • SpringThe default rope type.
    • StiffnessHow much the rope can stretch.
    • DampingHow quickly oscillations settle down when the rope is compressed or expands.
    • Num WeavesThe extent to which the rope's inflexibility extends across vertices. For example, a value of 3 ensures that all vertices separated by three or fewer sections are subject to extra forces to stop bending. Large Num Weaves values produce an inflexible rope, whereas small values mean that only sections very close to each other will have restricted relative movement.
    • Keep ShapeWhen on, the rope tries to keep its original shape, such as a spiral, rather than returning to a straight line. The effectiveness of this depends on the number of weaves (the higher of number of weaves, the stronger the shape-keeping forces).
  • ConstraintUses a simpler, and hence less computationally expensive, model to simulate the rope. Ropes of this type are quite stiff, and cannot be configured in the same way as ropes with a Spring type.
Avoid Self-Intersections

When on, the rope will not intersect with itself during the simulation. This results in a more realistic simulation, but can increase simulation time.

Start With Current State

The rope starts the simulation using the current state stored in the modifier. This can be useful if you have, for example, draped the rope around something in the Preview Window and then updated the viewport using Update MAX. When off, the rope starts with the state it had originally, below the modifier in the stack.

# Stored Keyframes

The number of keyframes, if any, stored for the rope. reactor stores keyframes for the rope if you create an animation, or if you use Update MAX in the Preview Window.

Clear Keyframes

Clears any stored keyframes for this rope.

Use Soft Selection

Allows you to use Soft Selection to smooth the transition between keyframed and simulated vertices for this deformable object. For more information, see Soft Selection.

Reset Default Values

Resets the values for this rope to their defaults.

Constraints rollout

These options let you create a different types of deformable constraint for the body. For more information, see Constraining Deformable Bodies.