Yet another 3ds max user struggling to blend in

I’m new on the board, so this is my hello post.

Also, I’m a 17 years long 3ds max user.

Long story short: Blender’s approach to interface is spartan and the 3D view is killing me.
I’ts like I’ve got glue all over my hands and there’s no “safe” area on the viewport. Can the 3D view behavior be changed somehow so it behaves more like 3ds max? What resources there are to soften the impact of this on the use of Blender?


After a long time of shortcomings, going Blender seems to be the natural choice, and from the very moment I accepted this, I knew I’d have a hard time moving to another software after so much time.

It seems worthy it: Blender seems complete, light, and robust in ways 3ds max will never come to be until it’s rewritten from ground up.

Thus, I took the blows of adapting to the Areas interface and I’m actually enjoying how liquid the layouts can be.
I don’t mind learning all shortcuts again and resisted changing the program to operate on 3ds max mode.
I can live with the IMNSHO sub-functional gizmo.
I think I can adapt to the absence of a mouse-activated selection box.
Even navigation using the MMB to rotate and alt to pan (the behavior opposite to that of 3ds max) seems doable, with time.

I only conceded to the RMB-selection-thing. I changed the selection to the LMB and fought the program for some hours until I decided I was going against the program’s nature, so I changed it back to RMB and then it struck me I’ve just switched buttons of the problem.

On 3ds max, you select something with a mouse button (it really doesn’t matter which one, right now). You transform (move, rotate, scale) by dragging the same mouse button on the selection. If you touch anywhere else on the screen, you’ve got your hands free again. If you drag another object, you select and transform that object. If you drag anywhere else on the screen, you’ve got a selection box (or any other selection).

On Blender, things stick to the mouse cursor on the 3D view. There’s nowhere I can click to get my hands free. It’s like stretching my fingers opened and things not dropping off because I’ve got an adhesive on my palms.

Make a mental picture of someone pathetically waving arms, trying to shake something off. That’s me. Like I move my hand off the desk to reach a pen and I end up ripping a sheet off the notebook because it was glued to me. :o

Also, on 3ds max, the feeling is that no matter how a perspective viewport is turned, you’re always manipulating the world, because you manipulate selections as I described always taking the gizmo as reference, and the gizmo is independent of view direction. You’d have to explicit ask for a “screen” reference coordinate system (instead of “world” or “local”) or use a tiny spot in the center of the gizmo (which can be turned off, BTW).

On Blender, the sensation is that I’m always operating in a canvas, as everything relates do viewport direction.

I’ve got a colleague using Blender here. He tried to convince me that G + X + drag is quicker than just manipulating the selection. I seriously though it was a bad joke when he said what i’d have to do to move along a plane. So I guess he can’t exactly help.

Still, I’m not willing to give up that easily.

If there is any setting, add-on or trick I can make use to soften the transition, I’d try.

Rather than going through the ramblings, some selection options you may want to try
Set up drag select
In User Preferences / Editing, enable ‘Release confirms’ option
In User Preferences / Input, enable ‘Emulate 3 button mouse’. This makes MMB = Alt+LMB.
In User Preferences / Input you can set up navigation keys as you wish or try some of the different presets

Hello! Thanks a lot for the answer.

I tried to set up the drag-select on mouse and it didn’t work. Probably because I’ve messed up a lot with the configs, so I reset everything and I’m trying to make it work.

One further question: why is it interesting to enable ‘Emulate 3 button mouse’?

hahahahahahhahha, cute! and i like it!

One further question: why is it interesting to enable ‘Emulate 3 button mouse’?

I do this because I have a free spinning middle mouse button that let’s me scroll crazy fast. Because of this, using it for orbiting and such is not practical. Since Blender is keyboard based anyway, it’s not a big deal to use ALT when I want to orbit. Also, on laptops, this is helpful too.

I’m kind of the opposite. I run ripshod on my input tab. I left click select because it just makes sense. By default, there are too many functions I don’t use on easy keys. I try to make as much as possible convenient, with right hand on the mouse, and left hand on the keyboard. I use the ~ key and mouse buttons 4 and 5(side to side on the wheel) as scrap hotkeys, that I change often, depending on what I’m doing at the moment. The only times my hotkeys are inconvenient is when I’m explaining how to do something on the forum, or with some low end tutorials where the author is teaching key presses, rather than explaining methods.

G is the way to go for transform, but let me make it easier.

I came from C4D, and found similar problems with unfamiliar shortcuts. Once I figured out G - Shift (X, Y or Z) and similarly with S (Scale). Alternatively, use the viewport itself. Numpad 1, 3 and 7 restricts grab/scale to two axis the same (except it restricts to your view, rather than choosing where to restrict).

After a while, navigation, scaling and moving become second nature. Now, on the rare occasions I go back to C4D, I find myself fumbling in the dark.

About Blender being so keyboard driven, I think it pushes away newcomers.

I’ve seen someone on other post explaining that you “can’t smoke and Blend at the same time because blender is a two-hands program”. The simple idea that Maya/Max real users do not use both hands amused me. Of course, keyboard is something way necessary if you want to use a software with agility.

But when you’re new on a software, it’s just so much important for one being able to see a function so to know it exists and to get acquainted to it! By seeing I mean see a button that shows up in some contexts, a menu function, whatever, somewhere the a name for it appears written. That’s what makes programs like Maya and Max bloated with buttons, I know, but that’s how you can teach yourself.

Blender does an awesome job at showing help inline with functions along with the shortcuts. That would be invaluable for newcomers.

Yeah, I got the spirit of it, of not having to point to things on the view because it works anywhere on the screen.
But then, using screen space for transforms when not using axis just goes against this philosophy of not using the viewport.
I mean, you just add an extra step of rotating things.
I do think it can become second nature. But you guys are gonna have a hard time convincing me it’s better. :slight_smile:

I’ve made another post asking for a way of changing the screen-space transforms to world-space ones.

Hey dandrea, welcome.

These 2 setups have a “standardized” interaction set. They should both allow you to at least start evaluating Blender. Also, both setups try to leave as much of Blender default “tool” hotkeys intact, and come with fairly good documentation on what’s chamged.

rSelection by PLyczkowski
Amd my Custom Blender Setup that comes packed with a bunch of addons, settings, and obviously customized input scheme.

I’d also sytongly recommend trying another awesome addon by PLyczkowski, rRMB (my setup has this addon included)

Maybe this thread&highlight=blender+3dsmax) may help you, another long time 3dsmax user getting his feet wet in Blender.

Also one thing that is helpful for 3ds max > blender migration (Iv’e started using blender a year a go or so because some of the tools just want to make you cry how good they are) any way set keys for edit mode for vertex, edge, and polygon selection to 1,2,3 as in max. For me going through ctrl+tab shortcut for selecting such a thing is painful as F and I see no reason to use layer managmnet as shortcut when editing and if you have a reason just use layers from 4>20.

I kind of agree that there are a lot of shortcuts that are not well used. But I think I can live without 1, 2, 3, 4. What I’m still missing as hell is the selection-conversion tools.
Having separate selections for vertices, edges and polys and being able to convert from one to another was just invaluable for a lot of operations.
Even the Blender guy here was somewhat impressed, but again: it’s a way of thinking. He himself couldn’t think of any use for this until I showed it. So I’m prepared to read things I’ve already read in other posts, like how the gizmo is essentially useless for “experienced blenderers” (and then read the quite correct assertion that gizmos are interesting to move vertices along their normals, as an answer to that).

I was expecting the community (and software) to be more oriented to choice.

I can’t wait to get proficient enough on this so I can start to script things away just as I did in Max.

Edit: I’m still fighting my new sticky fingers.
I’ve tried the configs suggested on another thread to changing this behavior and adding the box selection to the mouse-drag, but those simply didn’t work.

Edit 2: I miss the “thank you” button on the forum as well. There are lot’s of people trying to help here, and I’m sure that posting “thanks” all the time will just make this thread a mess for future users. Anyway, here goes a big thanks to all the other posters.

The 3dview / Select menu - “a(key)” - deselect all. (Actually it should show “a” as “A” (shift A) is not the same thing :wink:

Ya, it’s not a “click”, but that’s what I use. (Well it CAN be a click if you want to “click” twice (once to open the menu, 2nd to click on deselect) :wink:



Does PLyczkowski’s addon work ok for you? I’ve tried it here and liked it alot, but the border selection won’t pick the mouse-up.
I’ve tried asking on the original thread, but no success.

EDIT: I performed a factory reset and gave it another go. Seems to work fine!