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Thread: Help with 3DS Max - 'absolute snap-to-grid'

  1. #1
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    Help with 3DS Max - 'absolute snap-to-grid'

    Please, can someone who understands the nightmarish landscape of disordered and poorly labelled buttons that is the 3DS Max interface help me:

    Does Max have an absolute snap to grid? All the snap functions seem to do is to snap an object relative to it's original position. For example, if there's a vertex at (0,0,10.1) and I turn on 'snap,' (With a grid size of 1,) then I can move it to (0,0,11.1) or (0.0.9.1), but it won't snap to (0,0,10).

    Am I missing something obvious?

  2. #2
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    What do you have active on your snaps options (all tabs)? Are you set to 2, 2.5 or 3D snap?
    Also, the transform type-in works well (F12).
    I tried to duplicate the problem, but it's working fine for me.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for taking a look, Tracey.

    The snap is set to 3D.



    I should say, I'm using Max 2008, that might make a difference?

    I should clarify:

    I have a mesh (a large room) that was designed on a 1 unit = 1 metre scale. It's very precise, and every single vertex is aligned in world-space to the nearest centimetre. At some point (it's been through all sorts of meddling about,) quite a few of the vertices have somehow been moved slightly out of place - so instead of being exactly 3 metres high, some of the ceiling vertices are now at 3.001 metres, and some are at 2.998, and so on. I just want to snap everything back into place, to the nearest centimetre.

    I can turn on 'snap to grid,' but this doesn't move any of the existing vertices, even if I have them selected. If I then try to move them, then they snap to the nearest centimetre relative to their original position, which isn't quite what I need - the vertex at 3.001 for example snaps to either 2.991 or 3.011, but not to exactly 3.

    I can individually select each vertex and type in an absolute position (using F12), but there are thousands of vertices, so this would take a very long time and possibly send me insane.

    Have I got some option set wrong, or is this just something that Max isn't supposed to do?

  4. #4
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    3DS Max is only single precision, so with units set to meters you might have an error margin of .001
    What you can do is select ALL of the verts that are supposed to be the same Z and type in "3" in the Z Absolute (not offset). Do this from a perspective or user view.
    We do visualization here for AEC projects all the time and one of my complaints to Autodesk is the inaccurate 3rd decimal place, haha!
    Thing is, in the real world, whatever you build will be off by way more than .001 (relative). So little imperfects are...um...good! Yeah, that's it!

  5. #5
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    Ah, thanks, that's cleared up a mystery. 3DS Max and me aren't friends - sometimes it feels like it exists purely to confuse and frustrate me.

    Anyway, thanks again, in the future I'll know just to accept slight error margins. Or use a different unit size, I guess.

  6. #6
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    3DS Max is a wonderful and powerful application. Double precision is around the corner I'm sure, since the need for it is growing. There's way more I love about Max than hate, haha. I'm happy to help with any Max questions in the future. I'm sure Tom would welcome questions too (we work together)...we're both 3DS Max proficient (Tom is REAL smart...too smart if you ask me. But, hey, he's still cool).

  7. #7
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    When your in vertex mode type in the co-ordinates by hand to snap the points to the grid after you first make an object and then you can move them about normaly and they'll stay correctly snapped to the grid.

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