3DS Max Tips to speed your workflow

A list of the most common tips and tricks that can become part of your 3DS workflow.

1) Use the Rename Objects tool to rename several objects at once.

  • Tools Menu > Rename Objects 
  • Enhanced Menu > Object Properties > Rename Objects

Rename Objects tool - Autodesk Knowledge Network


2) Disable autobackup when working on complicated scenes to help avoid crashing.
PLEASE NOTE: You MUST save often to avoid loosing data in case of crash!

  • Standard menu: Customize menu > Preferences > Preference Settings dialog > Files tab 
  • Enhanced menu: Customize menu > Customization > Preferences > Preference Settings dialog > Files tab

File Preferences - Autodesk Knowledge Network


3) When you "Save" your work, rename the save file incrementally to keep a record of your progress.  Also: Try assigning a hotkey to save, such as [CTRL+Shift+S]


  • 2017-03-28_myfilename_exterior_01.max
  • 2017-03-28_myfilename_exterior_02.max
  • 2017-03-28_myfilename_exterior_02a.max

4) Assign hot keys to your common tasks / most used and or repeated tasks

  • Standard menu: Customize menu > Customize User Interface > Keyboard tab
  • Enhanced menu: Customize menu > Customization > Customize User Interface > Keyboard tab

Assigning Hot Keys - Autodesk Knowledge Network


5) [ALT + X] to turn selected object transparent.  [ALT + X] to remove transparency.

6) [ALT + Q] to isolate a selected object.

7) Pressing 7 displays a total polygon and vert count.

8) For complex scenes, setting objects to "Display as Box" to prevent slow loading or incorrect editing of objects.  NOTE: The " J " key will hide and un-hide bounding boxes.

  • Display panel > Display Properties rollout


Display Properties Rollout - Autodesk Knowledge Network

9) Really like your current view in the Perspective viewport?  Insert a camera by pressing "CONTROL + C"

10) Increase the undo level in your scene to step back further.

PLEASE NOTE: For complex scenes, this *can* and will take up extra system resources.  (memory and/or disk space).  Be careful not to set the number of undo's too high

11) Use your F keys!

  • F3 switches Shaded Display to Wireframe
  • F4 switches Shaded viewport to Shaded with Edges
  • F5 will set transform operations to the X axis
  • F6 will set transform operations to the Y axis
  • F7 will set transform operations to the Z axis
  • F8 switches between xy, yz, and xz planes for transform operations
  • F9 completes a quick render of the current viewport according to render settings
  • F10 opens the render dialog box
  • F11 opens the MAXscript listener dialog box
  • F12 opens the input dialog box for transform operations

12) Hold control while panning to pan more quickly

13) Press " I " to center view on cursor position

14) Press [ALT + W] to maximize or minimize viewport

15) Transform gizmo gone?  Press " X " to bring it back.

16) Layers are your friend.

17) Press " A " for Angle Snap and " S " for Snap To Grid

18) [CTRL + I] to select inverted

19) [CTRL + L] toggle default lighting

20) Clipping Planes let you exclude some of a scene's geometry to view or render only certain portions of the scene.

Clipping Planes information - Autodesk Knowledge Network





Not finding what you are looking for here? Try our searchable Help Resources or contact our support team for more information.  You can always email for technical questions or your account management team at for everything else!  Don't hesitate to contact us - we are here to help you get your renders done and meet your deadlines.


Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request