The Volume Select modifier
lets you make a sub-object selection of vertices or faces for passing
up the stack to another modifier or modifiers. The sub-object selection
is completely separate from the underlying parametric geometry of
the object. Like other selection methods, Volume Select works with
single or multiple objects.
Faces and vertices
selected using box volumes.
Volume Select lets you
use one of three gizmos or another object to define a volume of
space as the selection area, to which you can then apply modifiers.
You can move the selection over an object and animate it.
When applied, Volume
Select begins with the current geometry in the object's stack, whether
it's a whole object or a sub-object selection (for example, from
Edit Mesh or
another Volume Select modifier).
Top: Original mesh
with select gizmo showing
made after applying Volume Select modifier
As of version 4, patch
objects coming up the modifier stack are not converted to a mesh
by this modifier. A patch object input to the Volume Select modifier
retains its patch definition. Files that contain patch objects with
the Volume Select modifier from previous versions of 3ds Max will
be converted to meshes to maintain backward compatibility.
The Volume Select gizmo
scales along with its object. Thus, if you apply a Volume Select
modifier, and then change the scale of your object (with the toolbar
function) the selection doesn't change.
In other words, all three transforms affect the Volume Select gizmo
and its object identically.
Volume Select Center
The Volume Select modifier
has a center as well as a gizmo. This lets you alter the center
for non-animated transforms. However, if you animate a rotation
about the offset center, you achieve animation of both rotation
To apply and use volume selection:
- Select an object and apply the Vol. Select
The Parameters rollout
- In the Stack Selection Level group, choose
Object, Vertex, or Face to specify the kind of geometry you want
to work with.
- In the Select By group, choose one of
the four volume types: Box, Sphere, Cylinder, or Mesh Object.
If you choose Mesh Object,
you should then click the None button and select an object to use
as the selection volume.
- Choose a selection method and type (defined
in the following Interface section). You can change these choices
as you work, depending on the particular selection you're trying
- Once the selection is complete, you can
do the following:
- Apply modifiers to the selection.
- Transform the Volume Select gizmo at
the sub-object level, changing the selection in the process.
- Combine these options. See the following
Example: To animate a volume selection:
- Apply Volume Select to an object.
- Make a sub-object selection of the object's
geometry at Face or Vertex level, and apply a geometric modifier,
to the selection.
- Move to a nonzero frame and begin animation.
Adjust parameters on the geometric modifier, then move to another
- In the stack, return to the Volume Select
modifier. Choose the Volume Select gizmo sub-object. Move the gizmo
and its geometry selection to another part of the object.
- Repeat this process on other frames.
Optionally, you can return to the geometric modifier and change
its parameters at any frame.
During playback, you
see the effect of an animated geometric modifier moving over the
- Gizmo sub-object
You can transform and animate
the gizmo to change the selection. Translating the gizmo translates
its center an equal distance. Rotating and scaling the gizmo takes
place with respect to its center.
- Center sub-object
You can translate and animate
the center, which affects rotation or scaling of the Volume Select
For more information
on the Stack Display, see
Stack Selection Level group
Volume Select provides three
selection levels. Vertex and Face levels put the modifier stack
in sub-object selection. You can make one sub-object selection for
each Volume Select modifier. You can then toggle the one selection
between Face and Vertex level to send either up the stack. Object
(top) level lets you modify the whole object while retaining any
Selection Method group
Clears any selection passed
up the stack to the Volume Select modifier, and then selects geometry
within the volume.
Selects all geometry within
the volume, adding to any previous selection.
Deselects all geometry within
Reverses the entire selection
set. Geometry that was unselected becomes selected, and vice versa.
Selection Type group
Lets you determine whether
selected faces are wholly or partially within the defined volume
when you set Stack Selection Level to Face.
Selects only faces with
all three vertices within the selection volume.
Selects faces with only one
vertex within the selection volume.
Select By group
These controls let you
define the selection with a primitive, a mesh object, or by surface
- Volume: Box/Sphere/Cylinder
To define the selection space
using a standard primitive-shaped gizmo, choose one of these. You
can then scale, rotate, or move the gizmo anywhere around the object.
- Volume: Mesh Object
Choose this option to
use another object to define the selection space. After choosing
Mesh Object, click the button below it (labeled "None" by default),
and then select an object to use as the volume.
Besides mesh objects,
you can use patch objects and NURBS objects. In addition, if you
turn on Soft Selection rollout Use Soft Selection, you can use spline objects
and particle systems to define the selection. This latter option
is quite powerful because the selection changes as the particles move.
- Mesh object button
Click this button, then select
an object to define the selection space. You don't need to choose
Mesh Object first, but you do need to choose Mesh Object to use
the object as a volume. After you select an object, its name appears
on the button.
This button is labeled
"None" if no object has been chosen.
NoteThe selection depends
on a volume intersecting the object. If a gizmo or object is scaled
down and moved inside an object, no selection occurs because no
geometry is within the volume of the gizmo.
- Surface Features
Defines the selection
by surface characteristics instead of a geometric volume. While
this doesn't have much to do with volume, it was added because Volume Select
is a procedural modifier, whereas
Select is explicit. Now, even if your
topology changes, Volume Select will consistently select the faces or
vertices using a particular material or smoothing group.
Indicate which type of
surface characteristic to base selection on by choosing one of the following:
- Material ID
Specifies a material
ID. All faces or vertices using the ID indicated by the spinner
value are selected.
- Sm Group
Specifies a smoothing group.
All faces or vertices using the ID indicated by the spinner value
- Texture Map
Specifies a texture map from
the scene. Click the map button (labeled "None" by default) to choose
a texture map to use for selection. All faces or vertices using
that texture map will be selected. When using the Texture Map option,
you can also specify a mapping channel or the vertex color channel using
the Map/Vertex Color radio buttons and spinner.
NoteYou must apply mapping
to the object below Vol. Select in its stack for the Texture Map
selection to work. That is, the Vol. Select modifier must have mapping
coordinates passed up the stack so it can use a texture map for selection.
NoteIf you set Selection
Type to Window, vertices will be selected if all the faces they
touch use the specified material or smoothing group. If you set
Selection Type to Crossing, vertices will be selected if they touch
any face using the specified material or smoothing group.
These controls are generally
used when the gizmo has been transformed out of its original orientation
to the object.
Resizes the gizmo to
fit around the object or previous selection in the stack. Maintains
any previous rotation.
Recenters the gizmo on the
object or previous selection in the stack. Maintains any previous
scale or rotation.
Returns the gizmo to
its default size and orientation. Cancels the effect of all previous transforms.
- Auto Fit
When on, automatically adjusts
the gizmo size and shape to fit the object as you change the underlying
topology (for example, transforming vertices).
Soft Selection rollout
These controls, available
only at the Vertex stack selection level, let you set a gradual
falloff of influence between selected and unselected vertices. See
Selection Rollout (Edit/Editable Mesh).
NoteSoft Selection does
not apply to materials or smoothing groups. However, if there was
already a weighted selection passed up the stack, a Volume Select
set to Material or Smoothing Group mode and not set
to Replace will preserve the selection.