How can we improve Autodesk 3ds Max?

Precision creation of line with measurements and angles

When creating a line, you cannot see it's length or angles. It would make life a lot easier when this would work more like Modo, which is showing the length of each segment to the side of that segment, and when starting a new segment, it will show the corner with the previous segment.

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Stefan TwigtStefan Twigt shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
VladoVlado shared a merged idea: Precision 2D Drawing  ·   · 


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  • richjacobrichjacob commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have come up against this issue many times and end up having to work around it. It really would speed up mine and everyones workflow to have these kind of tools in MAX. It seems like 3ds Max is putting in a lot of effort to expand on its possible uses and industry sectors , so it would make sense for it to have a more precise modelling method. Definitely want to see this in MAX in the near future.

  • TectixTectix commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It would be awesome to have the kind of building tools in Inventor, but maybe it would be overkill.

  • frekky12frekky12 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have used sketchup to do high detail precision modelling in my house at home. However, now I'm at Uni studying CGI using 3DS Max and I've been getting really irritated by how basic precision modelling actually is. I'm considering changing to another software package although the one we're being taught is 3DS. I've heard mention of Blender, AutoCad, Inventor and Rhino. I may even revert back to Sketchup.

  • Child in TimeChild in Time commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I am really shocked that this has not been implemented in 3ds Max :( That is really a shame, and can´t be such a big thing! Maybe even a patchfix.

  • MackerMacker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I just want to be able to "draw" lines like I can in sketchup. Click at 0,0,0 and move your mouse along whichever axis you want to draw along; then type in a distance and hit enter. Simple.

  • RioMIVRioMIV commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Could admin merge these 3 into one together? Votes should gain to over 300.

  • Martin BreidtAdminMartin Breidt (Admin, Autodesk) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Note that you do see some line measurements in the left side of the status bar while creating a line. You get delta, length, as well as absolute and relative angle.

    Now maybe this request is about being able to change these values by entering numbers, but then the description of this request does not match.

    Also see

  • jneilon1jneilon1 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I completely agree with Jarek. Precision tools would be a huge help for the Automotive and Architecture field when using Max Design.

  • SamabSamab commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Floating point precision should be improved in Max to match that of CAD software.
    CAD imports can be a mess if thay are done at non-max-friendly units or way off the origin.

  • JarekJarek commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Martin Breidt
    Thank you for your response. I see the point now. Generally, this issue of precision modelling is extremely important to me. It would singificantly improve my workflow and make me enjoy using 3ds max more. I may give an impression that I am a little aggravated and disappoited with the absence of the tools I need. Indeed, I am... 3ds max being one of the most expensive 3d packages on the market, just doesn't provide enough value for the money.

    Please, please, please introduce an Autocad-like, Skethup-like precision modelling technique just to accomodate users like me!!! Or invent some new technique that could surpass them with maximum efficiency and minimum clicks.

    To me and I am sure not only to me it is much more important than new viewport enhacements and new materials etc. Don`t get me wrong. I think e.g. Nitrous is great but to me it has much lower priority than the basic things that haven't been changed since the first releases of 3ds max. By saying 'basic things' I mean of course a faulty modelling technique.

    I get the impression that the 20 years of development of 3ds max just doesn't work to its advantage. On the contrary, it makes the software too old and too rusty. 3ds max needs some radical change, especially regarding its approach to modelling. I know that some users might have a different opinion about this but please take my feedback seriously cause I am sure that my opinion is not the only one like this. Thanks for your attention. Regards

  • Martin BreidtMartin Breidt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Jafrek: The "small thing" comment was because this suggestion was originally posted under the SmallAnnoyingThings section, which really is only for small things that do not need major code changes, completely new functions and/or UI redesigns. Anything bigger should go into this section, and big, complex ideas are just as welcome.

  • JarekJarek commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Shane Griffith
    I am writing in response to your comment: "not a small thing, sorry". I wouldn't like to misinterpret it but are you only interested in suggestions that are easy and fast to implement? If so, I would be seriously upset and you don`t want that do you :). Without proper precision spline modelling tools I consider switching to Blender as my mail tool. However, what keeps me using 3ds max is my job. Certainly, 3ds max fails to meet my expactations cause it`s not efficient enough when it comes to modelling.
    My main concerns are:
    1. When I use grids it`s very difficult to draw lines that are for example 573 cm or any other number above 10. It would be extremely tedious to count all the grid spaces one by one.
    2. When I use keyboard input of coordinates I can remedy the above problem but I cannot see any interactive preview of where my point will be in the viewport before clicking add point. If I add a point and see that it`s not in a place that I like I need to go back and udo. I wouldn`t have to if I saw some kind of real-time hint showing me where the points are when input the coordinates or move the sliders.

    Simply putting it, the keyboard input is not flexible and it lacks interactiveness.

    And I don`t like the idea of point by point input of coordinates of every signle point in space. Again it is too tedious.
    Besides, when I draw a spline with a keyboard input i have to turn my eyes away from the spline to the far right and then type in the point coordinates. Then I need to turn my eyes back again to see the resulting spline. After that I need to turn my eyes to the input on the right to type in next coordinates. It goes on and on.

    3. When I start spline modelling using a grid and while in the proccess of spline creation I decide to change the angle of a spline I have to pause, stop creating a spline, draw a grid, rotate it. Then create a spline from the start or draw a new spline on the new grid and attach it to the old one. (maybe I am missing something, maybe there is an easier way to do it). Wouldn't it be better and much easier if I could just have a tool like Polyline in Autocad. Where I could draw a line in one direction and type < to precisely change an angle of a spline.

    4. What if I start to draw a spline using grids and after placing a few spline points I decide to use keyboard input. I haven't figured out a way to do it. To the best of my knowledge when I start drawing a spline using grids I have to complete it using grids. And when I use keyboard input of point coordinates I have to complete it using keyboard this input. To me, there is no way of switching between these methods.
    It stands in a way of a creative process and that`s a major flaw of 3ds max.

    Please implement some sketchup or autocad precision techniques. It is imperative to me to the point that if 3ds max developers continue to ignore this aspect of functionality I will propably abandon 3ds max as my main tool. The only thing that would make me buy a subscription of 3ds max is clear and definite plan of 3ds max developers to finally address all there precision modelling issues.

  • Chris RobinsonChris Robinson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    That's cool, and I can see your point. I work in 3ds Max on a daily bases, and it is my primary software; however, I also work in Inventor, Rhino, and Autocad for my secondary packages. For the most part I do everything in Max, and I am able to maintain a high rate of accuracy, but it does not come without multiple or an exceedingly abundant amount of mouse clicks. Truly, when I have something to draw like a complex shape, I switch over and knock it out quickly in AutoCad and then "File Link" it into Max - I guess I just have never thought of it.

    Truly Max has good options for building accurately, but it does not come without a bunch of mouse clicks or head work to get it that way. For me, I would say if they could keep Max somewhat simplistic but still manage to incorporate some of the functionality of AutoCad/Rhino it would be great; additionally, it would be nice if this could come about in an unobtrusive way such as AutoCAD has now with the Dynamic Input that accompanies the crosshair. Ultimately though, I would hate to see Max get bogged down with a command line.

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