It's been a few months since I've done any modeling in 3DS Max 2010. When I went to create an object, I noticed something funky about the definition for Length/Width/Height parameters on the right...

I am honestly confused by this. If I remember correctly:

  • Length should coordinate with the X-axis.
  • Width should coordinate with the Y-axis.
  • Height should coordinate with the Z-axis.

Am I thinking wrong or is there something going on here?

  • X = Width, Y = Height, Z = Depth. There's no "length".
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 3:47
  • I am referring to the parameters on the right side of the image, should have been clearer on that.
    – BlueBuddy
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 3:48

1 Answer 1


Yeap, they are. It's due legacy. Since for compatibility with old versions it can't be changed in new one it stays so for ages.

But there some Buts:

  • Each object have a 'pivot' that 'holds' axes and it can be rotated in any way independently from object itself
  • Even pivot's axes are 'imaginary', they're created for usability
  • Box is a scripted object, i.e. length is only 'label' of Y axis measure, 99% of modelling time You will no have such values as 'length' (at least I had no for 10 years)

To view local axes switch 'view' on 'local' (dropdown that seen on screenshot).

To move, rotate, scale pivot go Hierarchy tab > Affect Pivot only

  • Thanks for the info on the pivot, I'll look into that when I get on the machine tomorrow. Any ideas as to why creating the new box causes the Length to affect Height and Vise-Versa in the properties pane? I realize that as soon as I convert it to geometry it will be of moot point, but I was expecting to approximate values as I'm used to, now I'm confused as to why sometimes I have to figure out which properties mean which coordinates.
    – BlueBuddy
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 6:32

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