3DS Max Question: Objects

So it’s my first time working with 3DSM, and I haven’t figured some things out yet. I tried google this time, but it didn’t really work.

So I have some boxes, spheres, etc and they all make up a car. Can I lock them all together so I can move the car as one object? How do I do this?

Thanks :slight_smile:

there are multipule ways to do this
one way would be to group all the items together
(that is easyest its under group :slight_smile: chose group under that and select the objects u want joined easy enough)
another would be to link them(dont do this it gets messy :o)
hope that helps
its late and i dont have max otherwise i would show u the path to follow

Wow, thanks :yikes:
I think I might have skimmed over that menu when I was looking for a button xD

It can be a lot easier to build a hierarchy while you are modeling (it does get messy it you’re doing this after modeling).
For example, for your car, you can link all of the parts of a wheel to (eventually, at least) the tire, and the the tire to the axle, and the axle on up. Once the hierarchy is built, you should be able to move the car body, and everything else moves with it. You are also able to independently animate wheels, doors, etc.
If you’ve already modeled it, and it is complex (if not, you can build a hierarchy now), you can just group it. However, for all future models, you should be building a hierarchy while you model.

if it get confusing, you can always open the scematics view and that will show you how all your parts are linked in a nice littel tree graph thing. It’s also nice while your building your hiearchy. grouping can also lead to problems, because if you have something linked to that object with say reactor or slighttracer shadows or what not, and you want to edit your model you have to ungroup it and it will break all your reactor and lighting links to the group.


Does anyone know of a great tutorial to help us do this? This would be a massive help to me, and my team. :slight_smile:

Do the Modeling an Airplane tutorial, in the modeling category from the Autodesk tutorials (go to Start>Autodesk>3DS Max>Help>Autodesk 3DS Max Tutorials, then also get the modeling section from HERE). It has a bit on building the hierarchy, so it should be of some help.

Thanks, I get the general idea now!

I was trying to do this with an axle and wheel…how do I get them to turn at the same speed? When I try they rotate, and don’t line up. (lego wheel and axle)

Click the edit button, then click on delete. Answer yes to anything that pops up as a result.

So the best technique to make this robotic arm move would be a hierarchy?

Robotic arm: http://fc03.deviantart.com/fs24/f/2008/012/2/d/3d_Animation_WIP_by_Groene07.png

Most definitely, in that case.
All you have to actively animate is the axle, and everything else, below it in the hierarchy, turns with it.

Thank you. I understand the entire hierarchy tutorial, but how can I change how quickly one piece rotates compared to another? I’m trying to animate the motor, and axle…but the axle turns at a different rate than the motor piece is turning. :frowning:

While we’re on the topic of hierarchy, I’m in a bit of a rut myself.

The central axle is rotating. While it is rotating, I need it to move in and out the x-axis as seen below.

My problem comes as I imported the model from Inventor, (so it is a mesh) and need the circle to stay a set distance above the edge of the stationary object. So, I would like the circle to be always x unites away from the edge (represented with the line with arrows). Can this be done hierarchically, or must I manually do this through the graph editor?


For Groene07: It shouldn’t be. Select the part that is below the other, and see if it already has keyframes (along the time slider at the bottom). If it does, delete them, and scrub through. If that’s not the case, I’m not sure what I can tell you… maybe try to post a video (screen capture or rendering, whichever is easier - it doesn’t need to look good to be able to tell what the problem is).

For JRosslet: As far as I know, it would require either some clever scripting or manual animating. Manual is probably going to be easier, unless there is a lot you need to do this to.

Something to consider… you only need it to look good from where the camera is. If you don’t intend on any shots inside a building, you don’t need to model the inside, for example.


I have to “joints” set up. The long arm…and rotating hand at the end. (indicated by the orange axle.) I can rotate the long arm…But when I try rotating the small hand, the entire arm rotates in the wrong direction?

edit- Is there an easy way to delete all of the hierarchy to start fresh?

not quite sure I understand you first question, but if you want to restart your hierarchy select all objects, and click the little button next to the link button that says something like unlink or break link or something like that.

Thankyou for you guy’s help. I got it all figured out. I was doing it backwards. lol :smiley: