Array is a dedicated
tool for cloning and precisely transforming and positioning groups
of objects in one or more spatial dimensions. For each of the three
transforms (move, rotate, and scale), you can specify parameters
for individual objects in the array, or for the array as a whole.
Many results you can get with Array would be laborious or impossible
using Shift+Clone techniques.
A one-dimensional array
Creating an Array
This is the general procedure.
For more details, see the topics that follow.
To create an array:
- Select one or more objects to be in the
- Choose a coordinate system and transform
- On the Extras toolbar, click (Array), or on the Tools menu,
The Array dialog appears.
The Array flyout is on the Extras toolbar,
which is off by default. You can toggle display of this toolbar
by right-clicking an empty spot on the main toolbar and choosing
Axis Constraints from the
Display right-click menu
- Set array parameters on this dialog,
then click OK.
Reuse of Array Settings
Generally you should
approach Array creation as an iterative process. The dialog settings
are not interactive, so you get feedback only after creating the
array. By revising the current settings and repeating the array, you
develop a solution that meets your needs.
After creating an array
and checking its result, you can undo the array using Edit menu Undo Create Array or Ctrl+Z.
This leaves the original selection set in place.
Repeating an Array
When you create an array,
object selection moves to the last copy or set of copies in the
array. By simply repeating current settings, you create a seamless
continuation of the original array.
During a session, 3ds Max Design maintains
all the dialog settings for your current array.
Array settings are saved
only during the current session, not with the file. Be sure you’ve
finished an array before you quit 3ds Max Design.
When you create an array,
keep these points in mind:
- Array is relative to the current viewport
settings for coordinate system and transform center.
- Axis constraints do not apply, because
Array allows you to specify transforms along all axes.
- You can animate array creation. By changing
the default Animate preferences setting, you can activate all the
transform center buttons, allowing direct animation around either
the selection or coordinate center, as well as local pivot. For
information about changing the default setting, see the procedure,
change the default axis while animating.
- To make an array of a hierarchically
linked object, select all the objects in the hierarchy before you
- Using the Array Dialog
The Array dialog provides
two main control areas where you set the important parameters: Array
Transformation and Array Dimensions.
- Creating Linear Arrays
A linear array is a
series of clones along one or more axes. A linear array can be anything
from a line of trees or cars to a stairway, a picket fence, or a
length of chain. Any scene requiring repeated objects or shapes
is a candidate for a linear array.
- Creating Circular and Spiral Arrays
Creating circular and
spiral arrays typically involves some combination of moving, scaling,
and rotating copies along one or two axes and around a common center.
The effects can vary from the uniform radial arrangement of bolts
on a wheel hub to the complex geometry of a spiral staircase. You
can model many circular patterns with these techniques.