Managing Scenes and Projects

These topics are concerned with managing scenes, projects, and the files that make them up.

Working with AutoCAD, Revit, and AutoCAD Architecture

3ds Max offers a number of features designed to streamline the design visualization workflow. See Working with DWG Files. The File Link Manager allows you to create a live link to a DWG file. You can then apply materials and animations in 3ds Max, but still update your geometry if any changes are made to the original file.

A house model created in Revit becomes a detailed rendering in 3ds Max

File-Handling Commands

The principal commands for handling files are found on the Application menu.

File-Handling Utilities

Several utilities help you manage files:

Geometry File Formats

You can import and export a variety of geometry file formats into and from a scene.

Image File Formats

You can use image file formats in a variety of ways: as textures for materials, as backgrounds to viewports, as background environments, as Image Input events in Video Post, and as images projected from a light. Similarly, 3ds Max can render to a number of popular image file formats.

External References (XRefs) to Objects and Scenes

External references to objects and scenes are another powerful way to manage a project, especially when it involves multiple contributors.

Objects in a scene can be externally referenced, created and maintained by other users.

Scene Explorer

Scene Explorer is a powerful tool for viewing changing object properties, selecting objects based on various criteria, and creating and modifying object hierarchies.

Organizational Tools

Container and group are tools for organizing objects logically so they can be manipulated as one. Grouping offers basic functionality, while the container provides advanced features for content-creation teams such as file access/sharing and inheritance rules.

The layer is like a transparent overlay on which you organize and group different kinds of scene information. Objects on the same layer can share attributes such as color, renderability, and display settings.

Scene States

The Scene States feature provides a fast way to save different scene conditions with various properties that can be restored at any time and rendered to produce different interpretations of a model.

Schematic View

Schematic View displays the scene as a graphic schema instead of as geometry. It gives you an alternate way to select or rename the objects in your scene, and to navigate among modifiers. It is especially useful for viewing objects in a hierarchy.