Short-cut keys are something I could not live without in 3ds Max. Like in any application, It’s incredible to think how much time these little keys save me throughout a working day (and working night).
So here’s my list of the keys which have become my friends over the years. I’m sure many of these you already know, but my personal top 5 have to be:
- The most used for me has to be ALT+W for maximising and minimising my viewports. This one simple combination gets used so much that the text is missing off these keys on my home keyboard.
- A very close second is F4, F3 for Show edges in the viewport and Smooth & Highlights >Wireframe toggle, respectively.
- For years I used the quad menu, in its ‘standard’ mode without releasing that you can bring up different quad menus for the take your performing. This is an incredible time saver, and one I highly recommend trying. Below are the shortcuts for the tailored options available:
- V=Viewports mode
- Ctrl+Right Mouse Button=Modelling mode
- Shift+Right Mouse Button=Snap mode
- Alt+Right Mouse Button=Animation mode
- Alt+Ctrl+Right Mouse Button=Lighting and Rendering
- F1=HELP!!! the most important and underused key in 3ds Max. There is a wealth of information within the help files, and this continues to be an overlooked area. On many occasions, when contacted for help from customers, my “impressive and intellectual” responses are simply copied from the help files. But shush, don’t tell anyone that I’m a fraud and aren’t as intelligent as I appear.
- N=autokey mode toggle for creating animations. This is by far one of my most used shortcut keys in 3ds Max.
Now let’s have a look at some of the others I commonly utilise, and have come to rely on:
and last but not least,whilst in edit poly mode:
1=Vertex mode 2=edge mode 3=border mode 4=poly mode 5=element mode
There are many more short-cut keys in 3ds Max than I have listed above, so I recommend once you’ve grasped the ones above that you explore the others which exist. Also, bear in mind that many of the keys are also context sensitive and will be dependant on the task or mode your in. By spending some time learning these keys you will certainly gain this time and more back throughout your projects.
Of course, the flexibility of 3ds Max allows you to customise any of the keys to behave how you prefer them to. For me, I generally leave them as standard out of the box, however will customise the quad menu and interface. This ensures I can stay productive when using someone else’s machine for a short while.
As always, please feel free to add some comments below regarding the keys you rely on and would recommend to other users…..
You may also be interesting in having a look at Gary’s excellent dark UI package. Click here to explore.