by Martin Phelps
Since the change from 3D Studio (which was originally a DOS based product) to 3D Studio Max there have not been many changes to the Max User Interface, but with the introduction of the 2014 product the user now has more options.
Like many other Autodesk products, 3D Studio Max now has “Workspaces”, which like all products are different visual ways to interact with the software.
Work spaces can be changed and managed from the drop down list in the “Quick Access” menu bar in the top left of the application.
The default setting in 3D Studio Max and Max Design is “Default with Enhanced Menus”, other options are “Workspace Default”, “Alternative Layout” and “Viewport Layout Tab Presets” as shown below.
Alternatively the user can create an individual customised workspace, as with other applications.
3D Studio Max now has an additional option; by right mouse clicking on the menu bar additional user preferences can to set to this part of the user interface, by default the menu bar is set to text only.
The menu bar can be reduced to just icons
Or can have both text and icons.
When using the drop down menus, icons are now displayed for all of the tools under the selected heading.
Again by selecting the icon on the right side of the section heading, each section can be displayed as text, (as displayed in the “Primitives” section below), icons, (“Extended Primitives” section below), or text with icons, (“Shapes” section below).
By selecting the section by tool heading or tearing off the tool group, very similar to Maya the section can be dragged in to the scene area, tool sections can be docked together. The tear off menus are only copies of the main menu and can be closed at any time, by selecting the cross at the top right corner of the floating menus.
With these new user interface options the command panel could be turned off, giving more on screen space to the working scene, but still allowing access to the required tools.