In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to use Align tool in 3ds max. I notice many beginners don’t know about Align tool and they manually align objects. This takes too much time and is not accurate at all; on the other hand Align tool gives you the correctly aligned objects in very less time. It’s one of the most important tools inside 3ds max and has lots of great options that you can use to align your objects. So, let’s start and learn how to use Align tool in 3ds max.
Here, I have two Cylinders, Cyl_A (the green one) and Cyl_B (the blue one) in the scene; both are of different size and material.
I want to align the Cyl_A to the Cyl_B so let’s select the Cyl_A and press Alt + A on the keyboard and click on target object (Cyl_B) to bring up the Align Selection dialog.
In Align Selection dialog you can specify in which axis (under Align Position group) you want to align your object, in this case, I am aligning Cyl_A in all the three axes. Cyl_A is now aligned (position) to the Cyl_B in all the three axes (Pivot Point to Pivot Point).
Align Dialog provides you some cool options that come handy while aligning the objects.
Minimum is the point having lowest x, y, z values within the bounding box of an object. Using the Minimum option will align the minimum point of the current object with the chosen point of the target object.
In the given Image, current object’s minimum point is aligned to the target object’s maximum point in z- axis.
Using the Center option will align the center of the current object with the chosen point of the target object.
In the given Image, current object’s center point is aligned to the target object’s center point in z-axis.
Using the Pivot Point option will align the pivot point of the current object with the chosen point of the target object in z-axis.
In the given Image, current object’s pivot point is aligned to the target object’s pivot point.
Maximum is the point having highest x, y, z values within the bounding box of an object. Using the Maximum option will align the maximum point of the current object with the chosen point of the target object.
In the given Image, current object’s maximum point is aligned to the target object’s maximum point in z- axis.
We can also match the orientation of the two (or more) objects as we matched the position.
Let’s rotate the Cyl_B 45 degrees in x-axis. Now, select the Cyl_A then press Alt + A and click on Cyl_B. Under Orientation Align group, just turn on x-axis check box. Since our object is rotated at 45 degrees at x-axis, there is no need to turn on rest of the two axes.
Similarly, we can match the scale of the two (or more) objects. Many people wonder how to use this option because when they use the Match Scale function, it doesn’t work in most of the cases. Please note that either of your objects should be scaled before in order to use Match Scale otherwise nothing will happen.
So, before using this function, I am scaling Cyl_A a bit in x- axis. Now, select the Cyl_B, press Alt + A and click on Cyl_A. Under Align dialog, inside Match Scale group turn on the x- axis check box as the object is scaled only in x-axis.
You can also make the sub-objects and gizmos alignment with the help of Align tool.
To align a gizmo, simply go to gizmo sub-object level, press Alt + A then click on the target object.
To align a sub-object component (Vertex, Edge, Border, Polygon and Element) simply select the sub-object component that you want to align, press Alt + A and click on the target object.
I hope you enjoy this tutorial. If you have any confusion and question regarding this tutorial, leave your comment below or shoot me an email. Thanks.