Important Notice:

As of September 15, we will no longer publish new courses on We encourage you to begin learning on Pluralsight where you have access to 5,000+ courses and can take advantage of new platform features that measure your skills and make learning a breeze.
Understanding the transform tools
See Details
In this lesson, we're going to learn how we can move, rotate, and scale our objects using the transform tools. So what I'm going to do first is I want to show you, just kind of give you some practice on how to create some geometry. So let's go ahead and create a teapot in our scene. So we want to make sure that we're under the Create panel, Geometry, Standard Primitives, and Teapot. So let's go ahead and select that, and click and drag this in our scene. So we're just using our left mouse button, clicking and dragging, getting the size of our teapot. And we'll release, and that will finalize that primitive. Now we need to go ahead and right click to turn off that teapot creation so we don't create any new ones by accident. So now we're ready to go ahead and learn how to move, rotate, and scale this geometry using our transform tools. And the transform tools is basically move, rotate, and scale. So let's go ahead and have our teapot selected, and let's go ahead and discuss the move tool on how it works. Now when this move tool is activated, you'll see a gizmo pops up, or our move tool, in this case. And we can actually move this geometry in three different axes. We can move it in the x-axis, which is our red handle here. And this will move that teapot only in that direction. So we just click and drag on that red handle, and that will move our teapot. If we click and drag on the y handle, the green handle here, that will move it in the y. And then we could also move it in the z direction by clicking and dragging on this handle. So let's go and place that back down. Now we can also move a teapot or any object in two different directions at the same time. So in this case-- let's go to our front view-- and you'll see that we have y and we have x here. Now what we can do is actually hover right over this box here right in the middle, and you'll see that y and x are highlighted in yellow. Now if we click and hold on this box, we can move our teapot up and down and left and right, so we can move this in two different directions at the same time. We can do this in any other viewport, so in this case, exchange x and y here. So we click and drag on that box and that'll move around in this direction. Now I want you to notice how this is actually reacting in the perspective view. So if we click and drag on the x and y in our top view, you'll notice that the bottom of the teapot is staying on that grid. We're only moving in the x and y here. So let's switch to our front view, and this has changed to x and y. But look at how it's reacting in your perspective. If I drag this around, you'll notice that it's actually lifting up off of the grid. So just be aware of your axes and how the geometry is actually moving. And we could do the same thing in our left view, except now it's doing the same thing as our front. It's lifting off of that grid, but we're able to move in this x direction as well. So that's our move tool. So let's talk about our rotate tool. So let's select it, and you'll see that we get a different gizmo. It kind of looks like a sphere or a gyro has appeared around the teapot. And we could rotate this around the z-axis, which is-- let me select this again. It's highlighted in yellow, but this is actually a blue line whenever we hover over a different line here. The yellow line is just saying this is the active axis that we're going to work in. So if I go ahead and click and drag on this line, you'll notice that it's rotating on the z direction. And if I go to my green line here-- it's highlighted in yellow now-- and I click and drag on that, it's going to rotate our teapot in this direction. And if we grab our red line, it'll rotate in the other direction on our x-axis. Now we could click and drag in between all of these lines, and we can actually rotate this in any direction we want. That tends to get a little squirrelly sometimes, gets a little crazy, and sometimes we might lose our direction. And finally we have our scale tool, which we can actually scale this object. We can scale it in individual axes. So if I grab it on the x, it'll stretch in just the x direction there. If I stretch it in the y, it's going to stretch it in that one only. And then I can also stretch it in the z just to make it taller, and you'll see how the scale tool can really skew an object. Now I could also scale in two different directions, so I could do z and y in this case. You see what kind of reaction you get there. I could do z and x, and we get basically just the opposite there. And then we could also do x and y, and that kind of just makes it skinnier and larger. Now I could also scale this up in a uniform direction by scaling in all three directions. So what this will do is just make it larger or smaller while still keeping the proportions. So let's click and drag this up, and we're keeping our proportions. We're just making this much larger. So let's drag this down in the opposite direction, and now we have a smaller teapot. So now you can see how the move, rotate, and scale can help you during your modeling process. Now in the next lesson, what we're going to discuss is how we can modify our objects using what's called modifiers inside of 3ds Max.
In this series of free 3ds Max tutorials we will take a step by step approach to understanding basics terms and techniques in 3ds Max.

We'll start the course off by learning how to navigate through the 3ds Max interface, and navigating in its viewports. We'll then begin exploring many critical aspects of 3ds Max, such as creating and manipulating primitive objects, understanding the various sub object modes of 3ds Max geometry, animating objects in 3ds Max, working with lights and shadows, adding materials and textures to our scenes, rendering out animated sequences, and many other concepts that will provide you with a solid foundational understanding of 3ds Max and it's capabilities.

Learn more about Understanding a 3D Production Pipeline in a free article.