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 Subject: 3DS Max 2010 Newbie needs help with Bezier Curves

Turk_WLF_ALF opened this issue on Sep 26, 2009 · 6 posts

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  Turk_WLF_ALF () ( posted at 11:51AM Sat, 26 September 2009 

I just got my Educational Version of 3DS Max 2010 at the beginning of September. I know I’m in for a huge learning curve even though I have been using other 3D modeling programs for 10 years.

I’m trying to follow a Video Tutorial where we’re making a Phillips Screwdriver using the Lines in the Splines in the Shapes Menu but I can’t seem to get my curvier to match those on the tutorial.

The idea of the “blade” of the Screwdriver is to use a straight line with a rounded end & then use lathe modifier to finish the shape.


Can someone please give some tips on how to use Bezier Curves in 3DS Max 2010.


Thank you,

  x8ui () ( posted at 3:44AM Sun, 27 September 2009 · edited on 3:46AM Sun, 27 September 2009 · @3530812

I'll hazard a guess.

The only tip I have to share, that I have picked up from this board to do with splines is : 

You can left click on your translation axis to constrain the bezier curve to that axis. So if you just want Y axis movement it can be kinda helpful. Like just click on the Y axis or X part of the translation gizmo and you are away ;)

Image attached, is that what you are going for?

With the lathe modifier I'm sure the tutorial will say to keep Flip Normals ticked. Doing a quick mock up of this in max on my end I found that selecting Max under Align gave me a good result.

Hope that helps somewhat :)


  Turk_WLF_ALF () ( posted at 8:01AM Sun, 27 September 2009  · @3530859


I think I see what you're doing but I haven't had time to try it in Max yet.  Also you are the only one that tried to answer it with 2 different Max Groups, here & the Area(?) the offical Autodesk Group,

Thanks a bunch!!!

  bandolin () ( posted at 8:14AM Sun, 27 September 2009  · @3530867

Bezier curves in Max can be tricky and a little frustrating. You have to understand the relationship between the tangent arms and the vertex and how all that affects the curvature of your spline.

The vertex produces either a curve (arc) or a point (corner). When you first create a bezier point and drag out you will create the tangent arms on either side of the vertex (this you've already experienced).

On each end of the tangent arms you have the handles (the square thingys) that you use to move the tangent arms. Again you already know this.

The tangent arms are slaved to each other. Meaning that if you move one down, the other will move up (like a seesaw) and the vertex is the pivot point. Also, if you move the handles closer and further from the vertex the curvature will be affected.

Now this relationship between the two tangent arms on either side of the vertex can be changed (broken). Hold down the shift key and move the control handle on one of the tangent arms and you will see only that arm moves and the other stays put (you may have already experienced this as well). This will produce a corner but the spline on either side of the vertex will have a curvature to it.

What confuses my students most of time is this. When they try to move a control handle (let's say up or down) they discover that it will only move side to side. And they can't figure out why they can't move it up or down.

The problem: they aren't listening to Max. Max is constantly communicating with you (albeit silently). When you have the Select & Move tool selected, any object you select will have the translation Gizmo on it. When your mouse isn't hovering over the Gizmo, you will see there is a certain part of the Gizmo that is brighter (hilighted/selected) than the other portions. When you see that, for example the Y-axis arrow is a bright yellow, you will only be able to move the control handle in the Y direction.

To change this, simply click on any of the other 2 parts of the Gizmo. You will then be able to move the control arms as you see fit.

Creating Bezier curves is an art more than a science. I've used Adobe Illustrator for years and thus bezier curves come naturally to me, but I remember being very frustrated when I was first learning how to use them.

PPP > Patience, Perseverence, Practice. Don't give up, keep at it and it'll eventually come to you.

I hope this helps.

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  x8ui () ( posted at 10:48AM Sun, 27 September 2009  · @3530917


Nice tip on holding down the shift key and moving the control handle. Did not know that. I'm sure that will be useful at times :)


  ericmedina () ( posted at 1:47PM Fri, 02 October 2009  · @3534086

really useful topic. I'm new with 3dmax but i really like this software.

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