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We developed a tool ribbon with lots of shortcuts to the most commonly used tools

Cathy Pyle, Blogger

August 11, 2010

4 Min Read

I have been a user of 3DS Max since the DOS version when it was called 3D Studio. Now that we have purchased the 2011 version I would like to add my two cents to the 3D modeling world regarding 3DS Max 2011.


The more I use the new version the happier I am, however there are some things I would like to see added. A tool ribbon covering the old version basics is one of them. I know that everyone likes there own UI configurations, but it would have been nice for Autodesk to supply several ribbon configurations for free. Especially those that covered the most common and basic tools. The 2011 version wants a user to use the create menu on the right side which is not the most efficient. If you think about it, an artist is a right brained creator that thinks in pictures, so I am used to just looking for the icon image of a sphere and clicking it to make a sphere. Nothing breaks my creative mood like having to read through a list of objects to create and find the one that I want to use. It is slow, cumbersome, and a buzz kill.


The great news is that 2011 version of 3DS is so configurable that you can get this look and feel back which has greatly sped up our productivity. So I share the interface here for you to download :)


Here is an overview of the tool ribbon that I have created that adds literally hundreds of tool shortcuts to all the basics that 3DS used to provide shortcuts to. I am sure as I use 2011 more and more I will modify this tool bar configuration and provide it here.


I added two ribbon tabs, Create and Modeling. Under the Create tab I have created the following tool panels.



Standard Shape creation primitives, or at least them most commonly used ones.  I don't even use some of these but rarely.


Create - Objects

Standard object primitives, as well as a few not so conventional or used.


Create - Architecture

These are the architectural tools that come in quite helpful when building structures.  No longer do you have to create exteriors or interiors from compete scratch.


Create - Light and Cameras

Traditional light and camera tools, even the new photo realistic tools.  There are some other camera tools that might be added to this later such as the exposure tool and so on.  I will have to see how often we use them.


Create - Helpers

The traditional helper tools that come in quite helpful (snicker)


Create - Particle Systems

As the title implies, tools for adding particle systems to your scene. 


Create - Dynamics

Probably more will be added to this section, but quite a bit will be in the new reactor tools so look below.


Create - Reactor

Short cuts to all the new reactor physics tools.  There is so many cool things in this panel from Rag-Doll physics, Wind, Water, and even stuff like fractures.  Pretty cool.


Modeling - Modeling

As the title says, the most typical modeling tools.  Keep in mind these are not modifiers for existing objects, but rather creation tools.  I broke them up so the modifiers are separate.


Modeling - Compounds

The compound tools such as booleans and stuff like that.  Happy happy joy joy!


Modeling - Modifiers

Probably the most used tools of all, the modifier tools.  I thought about moving this to the front of the modeling tools, but I will have to see.  I kind of like it centrally located.


Modeling - Space Warps

The last, but probably not forever, the Space Warps tools.  Awesomeness. So you are welcome to use the link above, download the ribbon, right click on your own 2011 ribbon.  Then go to customize and the dialog will open.  In the bottom right you can click load and install this puppy.  If you use it and find something more helpful please drop us a note.  This ribbon will probably change over time.  Cheers.


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