Assigning colors in 3D max

The object color is shown in the color swatch to the right of the object name. This color is the color that is used to display the object within the viewports and to render the object if a material isn’t applied. To change an object’s color, just click the color swatch next to the Name field to make the Object Color dialog box appear. This dialog box, shown in Figure 6-4, lets you select a different color or pick a custom color.


Figure 6-4: You use the Object Color dialog box to define  the color of objects displayed in the viewports.

The Object Color dialog box includes the standard 3ds Max palette and the AutoCAD ACI palette. The AutoCAD palette has many more colors than the Max palette, but the Max palette allows a row of custom colors. Above the Cancel button is the Select by Color button. Click this button to open the Select Objects dialog box where you can select all the objects that have a certain color.

With the Object Color dialog box, if the Assign Random Colors option is selected, then a ran- dom color from the palette is chosen every time a new object is created. If this option is not selected, the color of all new objects is the same until you choose a different object color. Making objects different colors allows you to more easily distinguish between two objects for selection and transformation.

The Object Color dialog box also includes a button that toggles between By Layer and By Objects, which appears only when an object is selected. Using this button, you can cause objects to accept color according to their object definition or based on the layer of which they are a part.

You can select custom colors by clicking the Add Custom Colors button. This button opens a Color Selector dialog box, shown in Figure 6-5. Selecting a color and clicking the Add Color button adds the selected color to the row of Custom Colors in the Object Color palette. You can also open the Color Selector by clicking on the Current Color swatch. The current color can then be dragged to the row of Custom Colors.

You can fill the entire row of Custom Colors by clicking repeatedly on the Add Color button.

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Figure 6-5: The Color Selector dialog box lets you choose new custom colors.

The Color Selector dialog box defines colors using the RGB (red, green, and blue) and HSV (hue, saturation, and value) color systems. Another way to select colors is to drag the cursor around the rainbow palette on the left. After you find the perfect custom color to add to the Object Color dialog box, click the Add Color button. This custom color is then available wher- ever the Object Color dialog box is opened.

Object colors are also important because you can use them to select and filter objects. For example, the Selection Floater (which you can open by choosing Tools➪Selection Floater) includes a Sort by Color setting. You can also choose Edit➪Select by➪Color menu (or click the Select by Color button) to select only objects that match a selected color.

You can set objects to display an object’s default color or its Material Color. These options are in the Display Color rollout under the Display panel (the fifth tab from the left in the Command Panel with an icon of a monitor). You can set them differently for Wireframe and Shaded views.

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