The Edit Poly modifier provides explicit editing tools for different sub-object levels of the selected object: vertex, edge, border, polygon, and element. The Edit Poly modifier includes most capabilities of the base Editable Poly object, except for Vertex Color information, Subdivision Surface rollout, Weight and Crease settings, and Subdivision Displacement rollout. Edit Poly lets you animate sub-object transforms and parameter changes. In addition, because it's a modifier, you can retain the object creation parameters and change them later. For detailed information about animating with Edit Poly, see.
While working with poly objects, you can use a “press/release keyboard shortcut” to temporarily override the current operation and perform a different one. As soon as you release the keyboard shortcut, you return to the previous operation.
For example, you might be working at the Polygon sub-object level, moving polygons, and need to rotate the object to access a different part of it. Instead of having to exit the Polygon sub-object level, rotate the object and then re-enter the sub-object level, you could simply press and hold 6, rotate the object, release the key, and immediately return to moving polygons.
To see a list of press/release keyboard shortcuts, go to Customize Customize User Interface Keyboard panel, open the Group drop-down list, and choose Edit Poly or Editable Poly. The actions in boldface are the ones that you can assign as press/release shortcuts. Not all are assigned; for information about assigning keyboard shortcuts, see .
The actions in boldface can function as press/release shortcuts.
For example, if you extrude a polygon using the , there will be three Undo actions. The first undoes the Commit, which happens automatically when you click the dialog OK button at the end; the second undoes the change in height (from 0 to the height you set); and the third undoes the entry into the Extrude operation.
Following is a table showing the Edit Poly functions that are and are not animatable. Functions that are not animatable are unavailable in Animate mode. Functions marked “Yes” can be animated explicitly in Animate mode.
Functions marked “Proc” cannot be animated explicitly, but can be animated procedurally. This means they can be applied to different parts of the Edit Poly object at different points in the animation by means of an animated sub-object selection passed up the stack. For further information, see .
|Named Selection copy/paste||No|
|Soft Selection (most settings)||Yes (but not painting soft selection)|
|Shaded Face toggle||No|
|Attach / Attach List||No|
|Weld (selected)||Proc (can animate Weld Threshold)|
|Remove Isolated Vertices||Proc|
|Remove Unused Map Verts||Proc|
|Weld (selected)||Yes (Threshold)|
|Hinge from Edge||Yes|
|Extrude Along Spline||Yes|
|Set Material ID||Yes|
|Select by Material ID||No|
|Set Smoothing Group||Yes|
|Select by Smoothing Group||No|
Edit Poly differs from other Edit modifiers in 3ds Max in that it provides two different modes, available on the Edit Poly Mode rollout: one for modeling and another for animating. By default, Edit Poly operates in Model mode, whose modeling functionality is mostly the same as that of Editable Poly; animation is unavailable in this mode. Alternatively, you can work in Animate mode, which makes available only functions that you can animate.
Each Edit Poly modifier set to Animate mode can preserve any number of keyframes animating a single operation type, such as transforming faces, on the same sub-object selection. To animate other parts of the object, or to animate a different operation on the same sub-object selection, just use another Edit Poly modifier.
You’ll find functions specific to the active sub-object level on a special rollout, leaving the Edit Geometry rollout with functions that can be used at most sub-object levels, as well as at the object level.
If you change the selection, the existing animation is applied to the new selection, and lost from the previous one. If you change the operation, any changes from the previous animation are frozen (that is, “baked” into the model) at the current frame, and only new keyframes are recorded in the current Edit Poly modifier.
Because Edit Poly is a modifier, if you apply further modifiers and then return to the Edit Poly stack entry, Show End Result is on by default, and you can still see the results of any modifiers above Edit Poly on the stack. This is different from the Editable Poly object, where if you apply a modifier such as and then return to the Editable Poly stack entry, you cannot see the effect of the modifier on the object's geometry. While at a sub-object level, if you turn on Show Cage on the Edit Poly Mode rollout, you can see the final object as a white mesh, the original sub-object selection as a yellow mesh, and the original Edit Poly object as an orange mesh.
This rollout provides access to Edit Poly's two modes of operation: Model, for modeling, and Animate, for animation of modeling effects. For example, you can animate the Taper and Twist settings for polygons extruded along a spline.
In addition to choosing Animate, you must turn on or use for animating sub-object transforms and parameter changes. Alternatively, in Animate mode you can apply a single command, such as Extrude or Chamfer, to an animated sub-object selection passed up the stack.
For example, say you want to animate a polygon extruding from an object from frame 1 to 10, and then moving back to the original position over the next 10 frames. You can accomplish this with a single Edit Poly modifier using the Extrude function, setting one keyframe at 10 and another at 20. However, say you want to animate a polygon extruding outward, and then animate movement of one of the resultant side polygons. In that case, you'd need two Edit Poly modifiers: one for the extrusion, and another for the poly transform.
When you're working in Model mode using direct manipulation (that is, working in the viewports), the label shows the current operation during drag operations, and then returns to the unavailable state.
In Model mode, using a caddy, accepts any changes and closes the caddy (same as the OK button on the caddy). In Animate mode, freezes the animated selection in its state at the current frame and closes the dialog. Any existing keyframes are lost.
Toggles the display of a two-color wireframe that shows the editable poly object before modification or subdivision. The cage colors are shown as swatches to the right of the checkbox. The first color represents unselected sub-objects, and the second color represents selected sub-objects. Change a color by clicking its swatch. The Show Cage toggle is available only at sub-object levels.
The cage displays the original structure of the edited object.
Typically this feature is used in conjunction with the because it lets you easily toggle visibility of the unsmoothed base object while simultaneously viewing the smoothed result, but it works with any modifier.
Soft Selection controls apply a smooth falloff between selected sub-objects and unselected ones. When Use Soft Selection is on, unselected sub-objects near your selection are given partial selection values. These values are shown in the viewports by means of a color gradient on the vertices, and optionally on the faces. They affect most types of sub-object deformations, such as the Move, Rotate, and Scale functions and any deformation modifiers (such as Bend) applied to the object. This provides a magnet-like effect with a sphere of influence around the selection.
The Selection rollout provides tools for accessing different sub-object levels and display settings and for creating and modifying selections. It also displays information about selected entities.
Edit Poly (Object) functions are available when no sub-object levels are active. These functions are also available at all sub-object levels, and work the same in each mode, except as noted below.
Vertices are points in space: They define the structure of other sub-objects that make up the poly object. When vertices are moved or edited, the geometry they form is affected as well. Vertices can also exist independently; such isolated vertices can be used to construct other geometry but are otherwise invisible when rendering.
An edge is a line connecting two vertices that forms the side of a polygon. An edge can't be shared by more than two polygons. Also, the normals of the two polygons should be adjacent. If they aren't, you wind up with two edges that share vertices.
A border is a linear section of a mesh that can generally be described as the edge of a hole. This is usually a sequence of edges with polygons on only one side. For example, a box doesn't have a border, but the teapot object has several: on the lid, on the body, on the spout, and two on the handle. If you create a cylinder, and then delete an end polygon, the adjacent row of edges forms a border.
A polygon is a closed sequence of three or more edges connected by a surface. Polygons provide the renderable surface of Edit Poly objects.
The Edit Geometry rollout provides global controls for changing the geometry of the poly object, at either the top (Object) level or the sub-object levels. The controls are the same at all levels, except as noted in the descriptions below.
This Edit Poly-specific dialog lets you change the alignment method after using the View Align or Grid Align function. Available only in Animate mode after using the View Align or Grid Align command.
This dialog lets you specify how a sub-object selection is detached from an Edit Poly object.
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