Join Steve Nelle for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the Modeling Ribbon, part of 3ds Max 2010 New Features.
One of the coolest new features inside 3ds Max 2010 is undoubtedly the Graphite Modelling Ribbon, designed in the hopes of minimizing as much on-screen clutter as possible when focusing specifically on the task of modeling. The Ribbon provides all the essential editable poly commands in one easy-to-access interface, and will undoubtedly change the way you work in creating objects for your scenes. When you open 3ds Max, by default, a minimized version of the Graphite Modelling Ribbon displays directly below the Main toolbar. The Ribbon can be closed entirely and reopened by clicking on the Tools icon on the upper right-hand-side of the Main toolbar. The Ribbon's interface is organized in panels which can be expanded and collapsed all depending on how you would like to work. When collapsed down, the available controls then become drop-down menus of one design or another.
The Ribbon's toolbar contains three tabs; the Graphite Modelling Tools, the Freeform, and the Selection. The Graphite Modelling Tools tab contains the most often used polygon commands organized in separate panels for quick and easy access. The Freeform tab contains a handful of tools designed when you're wanting to do a little more free-hand modeling, like maybe sculpting on a surface with, let's say, the Paint Deform Tools. And the Selection tab provides an assortment of tools specific to assisting you and making sub-object selections.
In order to take advantage of the Ribbon's tools and commands, the object you are working on must be in an editable poly state, meaning you'll have to either add an edit poly modifier or simply convert your object down to an editable poly. You can do that directly inside the Ribbon Interface. Most of the tools inside the Ribbon offer handy tool tips that can be accessed by simply holding your mouse over the command icon. The information that displays is typically divided into two sections; the first providing a brief description of the tool, while the second one available describing specifically how the tool works. Because the Ribbon contains all the tools that you would usually access by going through the Command panel, that side pane can be hidden, which makes it especially nice when you are wanting a little extra room in your work area. You can hide that panel by clicking on the Toggle Command Panel icon.
If you have worked with Max before, you are aware that many of the sub-object modeling commands have specific controls or settings that are accessed by clicking on that command's option box. Those option box settings are available in the Ribbon by either clicking the arrow next to the Command icon or by simply holding down the Shift key when clicking directly on the command's primary icon. As for what shows or doesn't show in the actual toolbar, options for both the three main toolbar tabs and the individual panels within a specific toolbar can easily be controlled by simply right- clicking anywhere at the top of the Ribbon toolbar, on any of the icons, or along the bottom of the bar.
So that's the gist of what you need to know in order to start using the Modelling Ribbon. In the chapter on modeling improvements, we'll take a look at actually using it to model along with diving into some of its customizable features.
- Using the Application button and QuickAccess toolbar
- Understanding the Viewport changes and shading enhancements
- Understanding and customizing the Modeling Ribbon
- Managing materials with the new Material Explorer
- Exploring improvements to the Mental Ray Render Frame window
- Adding multiple soundtracks using ProSound