Max: getting finer or broader control when using the transform gizmo?

polycounter lvl 3
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pableaux polycounter lvl 3
Say you're trying to scale something using the gizmo, but as you drag one of the axes, the smallest transform it allows you to make is too big for your needs. Is there any way to shrink the transformation amount so you can get finer control when drag-manipulating the gizmo? (Also, is there a way to get broader control too?)

I know of the Alt/Ctrl shortcuts when using the spinner boxes in other parts of the UI. Is there something similar for the gizmo? Or a 3rd party plugin someone knows about?

Yeah, I could use the transform type-in boxes, or Alt/Ctrl drag those same boxes' spinner arrows, but still.

Edit: It looks like in Customize > Preferences > Gizmos tab, you can set the Rotation Increment, but nothing for move or scale.

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  • pableaux
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    pableaux polycounter lvl 3
    Bumpage, because I'm curious.

    I know I'm probably annoying everyone w/ these questions about trivial things in Max, though. :) Maybe I should post this stuff on Autodesk's forums instead...
  • Mark Dygert
    I know of the Alt/Ctrl shortcuts when using the spinner boxes in other parts of the UI. Is there something similar for the gizmo? Or a 3rd party plugin someone knows about?
    Right click the move/scale/rotate icons in the main menu to pop up the type-in-transform dialog. It depends heavily on what your transform gizmo is set to (World, screen local ect...) so you'll need to pay attention to it.

    I bind "angle snap" to "A" and set it to snap to 5 degree. With it off it goes much finer. In the past I used a double tap script that would change the degree change in 5 degree increments each time I double tapped A, but I haven't bothered to set it up in the last few weeks and I'm getting along without it fine.

    If you need something finer than the default tool you might be working at a really small scale, or maybe too big...
  • pableaux
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    pableaux polycounter lvl 3
    Thanks, Mr. Dygert. Yep, I know about all that stuff, minus the double-tap script for angle snap ... that's kinda cool.

    I realized after I posted that, for the move gizmo, you can effectively change the drag-move distance by zooming the Max viewport in (for finer move distance) or out (for coarser move distance). Not ideal, but it's something.

    The only problem left is the scale gizmo, and I'm noticing that no matter the zoom level and no matter the size of your object, dragging an axis scales a minimum of 1% or 2% or so, nothing finer (going by the numbers in the type-in transforms). It's not a huge deal, but still, it's annoying in some cases.
  • Fwap
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    Fwap polycounter lvl 6
    I swear i came across a function in Maya that did exactly what you want, i've been trying to find the max variant for a while now.
  • Mark Dygert
    Have you tried scaling the object up really big and then reset xform and tried manipulating it?

    Do you have angle snap turned on? If you right click the angle snap button and go to options do your settings match these:

    3dsmax%20Snap%20Settings.JPG

    In a blank file go Customize > Units Setup > Set it to Generic Units, Click System Unit Setup and make sure "1 unit = 1.0 Centimeters". Then create an object and try scaling it.

    Do you think you could save out a simple scene and post it somewhere? I don't have an issue getting .1-.01 increments (sometimes lower). It would toss up an error if the system units didn't match and that might be what's going on.
  • pableaux
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    pableaux polycounter lvl 3
    gah, late reply. Thanks for the input, Mark. Scaling and resetting Xform didn't do it, and my Grid/Snap settings and unit settings look fine to me (I've got units set to inches vs. centimeters, but otherwise the same as yours).

    It doesn't matter, though, because I found a solution to my mouse-drag scale increment problem completely by accident, when I wasn't even thinking about it. Basically, click-drag your mouse/pointer in a direction perpendicular to the scale axis. For example, if you've got an up-down Z-axis on your gizmo, click and drag it left or right to scale by tiny increments. Don't drag perfectly left and right (not that this is humanly possible anyway), but put a tiny slant on that perpendicular axis.

    So, dragging up and down in this example gives me scale increments of about 1%, but dragging left and right visibly changes the, uh, scale of scaling, giving me very fine control. Not sure I'm explaining it clearly. Here's a visual. Basically, I get coarse control when scaling using the left method, and fine control when using the right method:

    max-scale-incremenets-mouse.jpg~original
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