Parametric VS Editable Objects: The Difference

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What is the difference?

In general, all geometric objects in 3ds Max can be separated into two categories; parametric or editable. According to Murdock (2010, p.257), a parametric object is a geometry that controlled by variables called parameters whilst an editable object deals with sub-objects. The other factor to remember is that editable objects cannot be created in Max, they are only objects that have been converted or modified to an editable object; in most cases they are converted from a parametric object. The advantage of converting to an editable object is that it includes an option to modify the item in a more customized and free-form. An example of this is in the picture which shows the same box as a parametric or an editable poly. The roll-out menu on command panel shows that a parametric object only allows you to change the length, width, and height values along with its segments. However as we look at the editable poly – which is the exact same object but has merely been converted – it can be noted that there are far more options available for the artist to modify their item with. This is the main reason we convert what we create into an editable poly.


Terms to remember:
Parameters – the values that can be changed for the object.
Command Panel – the roll-out menu on the right side of Max with all the tabs.
Editable Poly – An editable object that has been converted from a parametric object. It has five sub-object levels: vertex, edge, border, polygon, and element. This object is very similar to an editable mesh but works with polygons as opposed to only working with triangles.

So then it is important to remember the difference between the two objects in order to help us understand the constraints and options available for creating a model. A parametric object works with certain variable parameters whilst an editable object allows the user to customise at sub-object levels.

Editable Poly (2014). [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 07 November 2014].

Murdock, K. (2010). 3ds Max 2010 Bible. Wiley Publishing Inc. Indianapolis.