Help! Cutting Sections in 3D Studio MAX?


Has anybody had experience cutting sections from a 3D Studio Max Model? What is the best way of doing this?

Is there a way (like in Microstation) to draw a fence and clip a large model including the site topography, etc.?

I've tried exporting the file to a IGES file and doing it in Microstation, but it seems to convert all objects into very complex solids (since they're all originally skins in MAX) so the file becomes complex, huge, and clunky...

Any help would be much appreciated!

Oct 21, 04 6:08 pm

use a camera and set-up clipping planes...this is one way i know

Oct 21, 04 6:12 pm

k... cool thanx... ill do search on clipping planes...

Oct 21, 04 6:15 pm

thanks betadinesutures. that works. i guess i can render the cameraview with the clipping plane and then take that image into photoshop and trace the cut lines made by the clipping plane to create a sectional perspective...

I wonder if there is a good way to do 2D Sections in 3D Studio...?

Oct 21, 04 6:41 pm

To render your model in section, you can also use the slice modifier in the modifier list (you can animate it an d that can be cool).
To draw a section of your model, you can just create a section spline in the spline rollout. You then position it the way you want and just click to draw a section of all the visible parts of your model. You can then export the created spline to any cad program. Have fun.

Oct 22, 04 5:16 am

thanks french... that helps alot!

Oct 22, 04 8:48 am

The best way is to get a plugin at called Scalpel. It'll cut sections and allow you to assign a color to the cut plane and will let you animate the section cut. It doesn't acutally cut the model, but it looks like it.

Oct 22, 04 8:50 am

I agree with you trace, Scalpel is probably great to do this kind of stuff but 150 bucks is kind of expensive for a tool that you may use only every once in a while. I would just stick to the integrated tools of max for this one.

Oct 22, 04 8:58 am

does scalpel allow you to do an animated section cut that keeps a surface on the cut so you cant see into the solids? I have tried to do this in max but dont know if it supports an animated section cut with a filled surface.

Oct 22, 04 9:37 am

try exporting to Rhino as an .IGES instead of Microstation...there is a section tool in Rhino that allows you to cut sections and export them as 2D AutoCAD documents.

Oct 22, 04 11:03 am

why not use the section primitive tool in 3dsmax, create some shapes and export them into your cad of choice? at least you will get accurate line work to baseline off of

Oct 22, 04 11:59 am

great thanks limitedpromos, trace... i'll look into those too...

Oct 22, 04 12:00 pm

yes, Scalpel will allow you to animate with a 'cut' on the sectioned objects. That make sense? So you can animate a section cut and have, say, a red color where all the cuts are, which will change as the section moves across the building. Pretty cool to watch.

If it's for yourself, $150 may be a lot, but for a business, that shouldn't be anything (assuming the copy of Max is legit).

Oct 22, 04 12:02 pm

thanks trace

Oct 22, 04 3:31 pm
Mason White

Create --> Shapes --> Section

place the section (or many sections planes) in any relationship to the project...

Select Section --> Modifier stack --> Section Parameters --> click 'Create Shape' --> name it

This shape can be moved adjacent to the project for reference.

Oct 24, 04 4:36 pm

or you can apply a slice modifier to the whole model
this works only if groups are removed, so simply copy a version to apply the modifier to. then just manipulate the parameters.
check out the help guide! type in slice.

Oct 25, 04 12:49 am

i am trying to cut a section thro' a 3d model in max and followed the commands given above create shapes >section>and then drew the section plane in the viewport now i would like to separate the two sections of the model to show the cross-section but can't seem to figure out how to do this
any help?

Jun 18, 05 4:09 pm
The Thriller in Manila

Give it up, get Rhino! Max sucks

Jun 19, 05 11:35 pm

basically, the section object is just that:

an object that basically hides everything on one side of a plane.

you can apply any kind of transformation to this plane, rotate it, move it, etc., animate it... but it is not actually cutting your model in half... not sure exactly what you are trying to do...

you can have multiple section objects.

if you're trying to actually cut your model in half, use a slice modifier to your entire model (you would probably want to save a separate copy of your file, and attach the objects you want to cut, and then apply the slice modifier to the whole thing)

Jun 20, 05 1:21 am

Assuming that you are sectioning and not slicing (in which case, follow the slice advice above), you may also need to change the update setting to the section if you want to manipulate it within your Max scene. Unless you set the update optionto "manual", the section object will change as you move it about or upon selection, depending on the default value of that option. Generally speaking, I use the section tool set on manual update, create the objects on a separate layer, manipulate them so that they are flat on the horizontal plane and then export the file into Autocad to clean up the 2d section object, then embellish it in illustrator as needed.

Jun 20, 05 9:23 pm
Kristix You! Black Emperor

I always used scalpel max, but for sure, if you've got pretty complicated syrfaces, certainly it doesn't fill the section and then for the dwg it's all a terrible mess.

Jun 22, 05 12:39 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: