50 Fast Tips & Tricks for 3ds Max

Here are 50 of the most common tips and tricks that have become part of the everyday workflow for many 3ds Max® users.

1. Use the Rename Objects tool to rename several objects at once.
2. Disable autobackup when working on complicated scenes to help avoid crashing (save often).
3. Save incrementally to keep a record of progress.
4. Insert camera at perspective view by pressing CONTROL  + C
5. Use ALT + X to turn selected object transparent.  Repeat to remove.

6. Use ALT + Q to isolate a selected object.
7. Assign hot keys for common tasks (such as Max’s default keys Q, W, E, and R for Select, Move, Rotate, Scale).
8. Speed up workflow by setting objects to "Display as Box."
9. Press 7 to display polys and verts count.

10. Increase scene undo level to step back further.
11. Right-click on Snap icon to access the snap settings.
12. Right-click on Transform icon to input values.
13. Create maxstart.max file to launch 3ds Max with default settings.
14. Use clipping planes to improve viewport speed.
15. Right-click over Select and Rotate icon to input values.
16. When creating a spline, press backspace to remove last created vert.
17. Hold control while panning to pan more quickly.
18. Press I to center view on cursor position.
19. Build to scale. Everything in 3ds Max works off proper ratios and units.
20. Consider Dark Theme for max environment for better contrast (easier on the eyes).
21. F3 switches Shaded Display to Wireframe and back.
22. F4 switches Shaded viewport to Shaded with Edges and back.
23. F5 will set transform operations to the X axis.
24. F6 will set transform operations to the Y axis.
25. F7 will set transform operations to the Z axis.
26. F8 switches between xy, yz, and xz planes for transform operations.
27. F9 completes a render of the current viewport according to render settings.
28. F10 opens the render dialog box.
29. F11 opens the MAXscript listener dialog box.
30. F12 opens the input dialog box for transform operations.
31, Use CTRL + L to deactivate active lights in viewports.
32. Assign hot keys to left hand key combinations. By keeping one hand on the mouse and the other on the keyboard we become much more efficient.
33. Develop an xref file structure to deal with large and complicated scenes as well as work in team environments.
34. Access more modifiers by right-clicking over the modifier list drop-down in the Command Panel.

35, Use the Macro Recorder to record tasks that are often repeated, then assign that task to a button on a custom toolbar. Use it as needed.
36. Use Autogrid to project an object on another object’s face.
37. When edge is selected, use SHIFT + X to constrain movements to the edges axis. Repeat to remove the constraint.
38. Consider using online file storage to sync custom settings, libraries, and store assets to access from any location.
39. Set and use project folders by navigating to the File icon, Manage, and Set Project Folder.
40. If the transform gizmo disappears, press X to bring it back.
41. Use selection sets to assist with workflow.
42. Press ALT + W to maximize or minimize viewport.
43. Create groups to organize and quickly access commonly used materials in the Slate Material Editor.
44. Use G to turn Grid off and on.
45. Use the Color Clipboard in Utilities on the Command panel to create custom colors.
46. Lock onto objects by selecting the object, then press spacebar.
47. Select edge loop by picking an edge, hold shift, then select the next edge.
48. Use object isolation.
49. Use symmetry to construct symmetrical models efficiently (cars, faces, etc.).
50. Dig deep into the graphite modeling tools. There are many tools that save tons of time.

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