Grouping lets you combine
two or more objects into a single grouped object. The grouped object
is given a name, and then treated much like any other object.
Object on the right
is a group and treated as a single entity.
Group names are similar
to object names, except that they’re carried by the group object.
In lists like the one in the
group names appear in square brackets. For example: [Group01]. In
Scene Explorer and
related dialogs, the square brackets enclose the group object icon
The commands to manage
groups are on the default
General Features of Groups
Once you group objects,
you can treat them as a single object in your scene. You can click
any object in the group to select the group object.
When you create a group,
all of its member objects are rigidly linked to an invisible dummy
object. The group object uses the pivot point and the local transform
coordinate system of this dummy object.
Groups can be nested.
That is, groups can contain other groups, up to any level.
Transforming and Modifying
You can transform and
modify a group as if it were a single object, and you can animate
the transforms and the modifiers.
When you apply a modifier
to the group, this applies an instance of the modifier to each object
in the group. A grouped object retains its modifier instance, even
if you later remove it from the group.
When you apply a transform
to the group, on the other hand, this applies only to the group
as a whole. More precisely, 3ds Max Design applies transforms to the
dummy object that represents the group.
You can transform and
animate individual objects within a group independently from the
group itself. However, when you transform the group itself, the
transform affects all grouped objects equally. The group transform
is uniformly added to objects that have independent motions. An analogy
is a cage of birds, each flying around on its own, while the cage
itself is being moved. In the case of groups, the "cage" (the dummy
object) expands to surround all objects in the group, wherever the
objects’ independent transforms take them.
Accessing Objects in a
You can open and close
groups to access the individual objects contained in them without
dissolving the group. These commands maintain the integrity of the
Temporarily opens the group so that you can access its member objects.
While a group is open, you can treat the objects (or nested groups)
as individuals. You can transform them, apply modifiers, and access
their modifier stacks.
Restores the group when you’re finished working with the individual
You can permanently dissolve
groups by either ungrouping or exploding them. Both commands dissolve
groups, but to different levels.
Goes one level deep in the group hierarchy. It separates the current
group into its component objects (or groups), and deletes the group
Similar to Ungroup, but dissolves all nested groups as well, leaving
When you Ungroup or Explode
a group, the objects within the group lose all group transforms
not on the current frame. However, objects retain any individual
To transform or modify
the objects within a group, you must first remove them from the
group, either temporarily or permanently. The Open command lets
you do this.
Comparing Groups with Other
Compared to the other
methods you can use to combine objects in 3ds Max Design, grouping is
more permanent than making a transient selection, but less permanent
than attaching objects.
- The current selection: The current selection
of one or more objects is a temporary selection to which you can
apply commands. As soon as you select a different object, the current
selection is gone.
selection sets: Let you reselect the same
pattern of objects, but the positional relationship between those
objects (their transforms) might be different each time you recall
the named set.
- Grouped objects: Maintain their positional
relationships unless you open the group and rearrange them. A group
also keeps its identity as an individual object.
Each object in a group
retains its modifier stack, including its base parameters. At any
time, you can open the group to edit an object, and then close the
group to restore the group identity.
- Attached objects (see
Mesh (Object)): Attached objects form
a single object. The modifier stacks of the original objects are
lost, including their base parameters. You can regain the form of
the original objects by detaching them, but they become plain meshes.
useful for creating combinations of geometry and light objects that
act as lighting fixtures.