Join Steve Nelle for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Caddies , part of 3ds Max 2011 New Features.
When using the Edit Poly modifier or after converting an object into an editable poly by collapsing the stack, you'll find that Max 2011 has developed a new way of displaying the advanced setting controls that you'll work with when modeling at the sub-object level. You'll recall that in previous versions of Max, clicking on the small square icon next to the command name, either in the Modifier column or in the right-click Quad menu, would open a floating control box that contained the associated settings for that particular command. Those days are gone, as Max 2011 has switched over those advanced controls into a new viewport display it calls a Caddie.
Here is how they work. This is a file named Caddies, although any polygonal object that you'd like to work with will suffice for this demonstration. If we select the box and cruise on over to the Modifier column, we'll notice this object is yet to be converted into an editable poly state. To do that, we can either now add an Edit Poly modifier or simply right-click and convert it down to an editable poly. I'm going to choose the latter. Now let's open the stack, getting down to the Editable Poly level and choosing one of the polygons on our box.
Now, the option box control icon that I was previously referring to can now be found by going a little further down on the commands on the right. Let's go under the Edit Polygons tab. Now, as you can see, many of the commands have these little control boxes off to the right-hand side. Let's say that we'd like to extrude the polygon that we've got selected. Now, we can simply click the Extrude button by name, position our mouse over the selected poly, and go to work. Or for a more precise way of adjusting things, we could click on the option box directly to the right of the name Extrude.
Let's do that instead. This is where things have changed in 2011. Directly on top of the polygon we're working on, you can now see what Max calls a Caddie. It's an adjustable, directly on top of the object icon that gives you a label describing the command you've activated, and the settings and controls that go with that particular command. Changes are made using either the spinner values, the drop-down list if available, or by typing in specific values, if you prefer to go that route. Now, when the mouse is positioned away from any given selection, the name at the top lists the name of the command.
If the mouse would instead be moved over a particular area, that setting or control takes over the name position. So positioning here, you can see the name Group, here's Height, and we have some controls down at the bottom to Accept, Reapply, or Cancel the command. Anytime a Caddie contains a downward arrow, we have additional options underneath. Now, what's nice is, if you change the selection or pan or orbit the viewport, the Caddie goes along for the ride. So I'll simply click on a different polygon, maybe hold the Ctrl key down and grab a couple.
We'll see what happens if we orbit or pan the view. Now, if you happen to go off the screen when panning, the Caddie display stays within the viewport. I'll hold down the mouse button and I'll push it off to the side so we can see that. The Caddie can also be moved in relation to the selection. You can do that by simply grabbing and moving the title bar. So in our instance here, I'll put my mouse directly on top of Extrude Polygons. I'll hold it down, and I can now move that off to the side.
Once its been repositioned, it will remain in that location, relative to whatever you might have selected. Notice that when you position your mouse over a setting that's controlled by a spinner, that part of the Caddie display turns into a set of horizontal spinners that you can then adjust. Right-clicking while making an adjustment will cancel out the command. Now, the spinners work just as you might think. pushing it to the left will reduce the value, while pulling it to the right will increase the number. And like with all spinners in Max, you can use the Ctrl and Alt keys in conjunction with dragging to more aggressively or more subtly change the values.
Holding the Ctrl key down while moving a spinner will provide larger increment changes, while the Alt key will make the changes go in smaller increments. Right-clicking either side of the spinner assembly will take that particular value down to the lowest possible setting. Again, that right-click technique carries over from all previous versions of Max. If you have a specific value in mind, you can always type in the value. You can do that by simply highlighting the number and typing in your new digit.
After making the adjustments, you'll want to go down to the bottom of the Caddie and either Accept or Cancel the operation. Let's go ahead and Accept. I'm going to go ahead and deselect the poly. Then hold down the Ctrl key, selecting three others directly in a row. The same Caddie displays will come up if you instead choose to activate a command using the right mouse click. Let's do this. We'll put our mouse on top of the selected polys, we'll right-click, and then why don't we choose not Bevel, but the option box directly to its left. There again we have got our Caddie.
Now, for this one, I'll go under the top, which says Group. Then I can change that to Local Normal or down to By Polygon. Now I can simply move the spinners down below and then when I'm happy with the results, I can go ahead and Accept. So any Option Box icon you find over on the right-hand side Modifier column will activate a Caddie. Let's instead select another couple of polys. This time I'll right-click and I'll choose the Option Box for Inset. I can now go ahead and drag that down and you can see indeed how that works.
So that's the new Caddie viewport display when working with an editable poly. After getting used to how it works, I think you're going to really appreciate not having to continue moving over to the Modifier column to make your adjustments.
- Using Caddies
- Slate Material Editor Overview
- Building a node-based shader
- Understanding the CAT (Character Animation Tools) plug-in
- Building and animating CATRigs
- Using the Viewport Canvas
- Rendering with the Quicksilver Hardware renderer
- Using the SketchUp importer