How to Select Triangles or Ngons in 3ds max

A detailed tutorial showing how to select triangles and Ngons in 3ds max without using any script. A handy modeling tip for 3ds max users.

In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to select triangles or Ngons in a geometry without using any script. I have noticed that, during modeling process, most of the people unintentionally create some unwanted elements like triangles, five-sided faces or n-gons.

In most of the cases, triangle is not a problem. You can consider using triangle faces unless you are not creating 100% quad geometry but ngons are something that we don’t need in our model.

To eliminate these errors from your mesh, you have to find them first so that you can go through each error and fix it right away BUT creating these errors is way easier than finding them in the mesh.

Finding them manually is not an option as it takes whole bunch of time and you could skip many of those elements easily but, there is an awesome and quick way to select all the tris, ngons or five-sided faces of the model in just few clicks.

Let’s go and learn how to do that.

Step 1

Scene Setup

Here, I have a low poly leg geometry for the demonstration which has quite a good topology but; the geometry with clean looking topology too; might contains triangles, five-sided faces or Ngons. Let’s go ahead and check if our leg model contains any tris or ngons.

Step 2

Select by Numeric Panel

Select the geometry, and switch to Polygon sub-object level. Now, Inside the Ribbon, click on the Selection tab to reveal some more options.

This tab contains some really great tools that make it easier to get complex selections easily but; for this case we will be using By Numeric option.

Note: In case the Ribbon is off, click on Toggle Ribbon button on the main toolbar to turn it back on.

Step 3

Inside Numeric panel, we have a Sides spinner where we can input a desired value, depends on the type of faces you want to select.

Selecting the Ngons

Let’s say, we want to select all the five-sided faces in the model, then we have to use 5 as Sides value and click on the Selection button to make a selection based on the current settings. You can notice that we get all the faces with five sides as the selection. (See image)

Note: With the help of, Equal, Less than and More Than modes, you can choose whether max looks for the faces with the sides equals to, less than or greater than the value you have specified in the Sides spinner.

You can also use Select Non-Quads option to get all the non-quad faces in the selection but; it won’t work if you don’t want the triangle faces to be selected.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learn something useful. I will appreciate a like or share. Stay tuned for more, thanks!