Transform Managers


3ds Max provides three controls, collectively referred to as the transform managers, for modifying the action of the transform tools.

The transform manager controls are as follows:


Certain terms are used in the description of transforms and the transform managers.

Using the transform managers, you can specify any combination of axes, transform coordinate systems, and transform centers.

Axis Tripod Icon

An axis tripod appears in the viewports when you select one or more objects, to assist you visually in your transforms. This tripod consists of three lines, labeled X, Y, and Z, and shows you three things:

You can toggle the display of the axis tripod in all viewports by choosing Views menu Show Transform Gizmo, or by pressing the X key.

Transform Manager Settings

The state of the three transform managers (coordinate system, center, and axis constraints) is stored with each type of transform. When you switch from Move to Rotate to Scale, the transform managers change to whatever combination they were in when you last used that transform.

For example, if you click Rotate and set the transform managers to Local, Selection Center, and Y constraint, when you click Move, the controls might shift to View, Pivot Point, and XY constraint (whichever combination was set the last time you used Move). When you go back to Rotate, the controls revert to Local, Selection Center, and Y constraint.

TipTo avoid surprises, always click the transform button first, and then set the transform managers. If, instead, you first set the transform managers, their settings are likely to change as soon as you choose a new transform button. One way to remember this is always to set the transform and managers by working from left to right on the toolbar. Alternatively, you can turn on Customize menu Preferences General tab Reference Coordinate System group Constant, which keeps the transform manager settings the same for all transforms.