Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video You gotta get a wheel mouse, part of 3ds Max 9 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] In chapter two, we covered Max's complex interface. And in this chapter, we're going to talk about how to navigate as you work in 3DS Max. So, essentially, in the last chapter, we showed you the map, and in this chapter, we're going to give you directions. This particular video segment is going to focus on using your wheel mouse. Now, for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about here, the mouse on your computer has always come with two buttons. You always pretty much, at least from a Windows point of view, you've always pretty much had two buttons, your left mouse button and your right mouse button.
But these days, practically every mouse that comes with any modern computer also has a little wheel between the left and right mouse buttons. Well, that little wheel in between the left and right mouse buttons comes in real handy in 3DS Max. As a matter of fact, if I were you, and you don't have three buttons on your mouse, I would actually hit pause on this training series right now, go down to your local electronics shop, jump into the future, and get a wheel mouse. It'll probably cost you about 20 bucks for a cheap one.
Sell some old comic books on eBay if you have to. Do what you got to do, get your wheel mouse, and come on back. Now, what a lot of people don't realize is that the wheel, aside from being really fun for your middle finger to kind of scroll up and down with, it actually is a button, and if you push it down, you'll feel that it clicks, just like a button does. And, to be honest with you, outside of 3DS Max, I have never once ever used that button. It just doesn't come in handy. In Max, though, you use it all the time. Let me show you how that works. Again, if you would like to follow along with me, just go to File, reset, and I'm going to click over here.
We've created a sphere so far, and a pyramid. This time we're going to create a teapot. Now, you might be wondering, why is there a box, sphere, you know, basic 3D geometric shapes, and then a teapot? It doesn't really make too much sense. Well, there's a long history on that, and if you'd like to research that, do a Google search on the Utah teapot. A lot of the big nerds that got together that were creating 3D technology did so using a teapot. It's a little bit more complex than a box, or a sphere, or those basic shapes, and so, their reasoning was, I believe, that if they could make a teapot in 3D look good, well then they were well on their way.
And so, kind of as a tribute to those initial nerds, teapots are included in most major 3D packages today. And again, this is kind of a story for another day, but there actually is the Utah Teapot that was the initial model for all this stuff, purchased at, I believe, the ZCMI in Salt Lake City. So, next time you're out that way, just bow your head and say thanks to the great-grandaddy nerds that created the 3D applications we now know and love today. So I'm going to select on the teapot, and in the top view, I'm just going to click, hold the mouse down, and drag, and I'm going to make this really awesome teapot.
Now, this is where I want it on the world stage. I want this teapot to be right here, but I want to change the way I'm looking at it. In the perspective view, that's not really a good view of our teapot at all. I can't really tell what's going on. I'm zoomed in way too closely, it's way more off to the right than I need, and it looks like it's rotated a little funny for the view that I want. Well, I can fix all three of those problems, using the wheel mouse. So I'm going to go to the perspective view port, and I'm going to use my mouse wheel to select the view port, because notice how the top view has a yellow highlight around it, meaning that the top view is selected.
So any changes I make using the wheel mouse are going to zoom in and out of the top view. That's not what I want. I want to select the perspective view. And what's really interesting is that you could actually use any button on your mouse to select a view port. I could use the left mouse button, middle mouse button, or right mouse button. But sometimes, the left mouse button and the right mouse button do things that you don't want. So whenever I select a view port, I always use the middle mouse button to do it.
It has the most expected results. And that'll make a little more sense why I do that as we go through the program and see what happens when we click with the left or right mouse buttons in a view port. So, with the perspective view selected, I am going to use my little wheel and just roll it down. And you see, I'm zooming in and out dynamically, as I roll with my wheel mouse. I can even go really, really fast if I want, which is mildly entertaining, actually. I can also hold down that wheel, use the button part of the wheel, hold it down.
You see my icon changes to a little hand, and I could pan around. Notice the grid in relation to the teapot. It stays the same. That means that I'm not actually moving the teapot, I'm moving the way I'm looking at the teapot. So, in other words, I'm not moving the actor, I'm moving the camera. So now I could get this exactly where I want it. Now, I want to spin this around so I can see the other side of the teapot.
Now, I just want to temporarily work on the other side of the teapot, let's say. I don't want to actually rotate the teapot. What I can do is perform a feature called arc rotate, where I hold the alt button down, and hold the middle mouse button down, the mouse wheel button down, and now I can rotate around however I want. Now, again, I am not changing where this teapot sits in our scene, only our view of it. And all that power comes to us courtesy of the wheel button on your mouse.
Again, if you don't have one, stop what you're doing, cancel all your plans, and go get one before you move on. Now, in the next segment, we're going to talk a little bit about these navigation tools down here in the bottom right hand corner of the interface. But I'll say it then, and I'm going to say it again now, if you're using those buttons to do your basic, everyday navigation, you are not working effectively in Max. But there are a few of those buttons that you might not use every day that are worth taking a look at. So let's go check it out.