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in this article, I will show you how to align the pivot to an object and how to align the pivot to a direction of the face normals and flatten the faces on both Maya and 3DS MAX.

  • 3DS MAX

to planner the faces go to RIBBON go to ALIGN and click on MAKE PLANNER or go to COMMAND PANEL>EDIT GEOMETRY>MAKE PLANNER. we use make planer and make the whole selected faces flatten, and also we can force align selected faces to an axis or view or grid.

also, we use scale transform to flatten the surface by selecting the faces and change the gizmo axis to LOCAL ALIGNED then scale on the z-axis and the faces will be flattened.

to change the pivot and align it to another object go to COMMAND PANEL> HIEARCHY>AFFECT PIVOT ONLY. now we using align tool to align the pivot to another object so we type CTRL+A on the keyboard and select another object, for example, I want this screw to be exactly at each side of the object so I place one screw at one side and select AFFECT PIVOT ONLY then CTRL+A to the object then I use the mirror tool to duplicate the screw and mirror the screw again on another axis .now we have 4 screws exactly at each side of the object very quickly.

  • MAYA

in Maya make planner tool does not exist but we can have such similar tool if we download bonus tools for Maya which you can download for free on Autodesk website after installing bonus tools it will appear next to the help tab now select the faces that you want to be flat and go to bonus tools>modeling>flatten components.

also in Maya, we use scale transform to flatten the surface so select the faces hold CTRL+SHIFT then select component and scale it at its the local axis.

to change the pivot to another object hit the D key or insert to go to EDIT PIVOT MODE and shift left click another object as target and the pivot will move to that object. we can also change orientation by holding CTRL and CTRL+SHIFT to align it to the other components. we can reset the pivot by going to the TOOL SETTING>MOVE TOOOL and hit the RESET or in MODIFY tab we can CENTER THE PIVOT or BAKE PIVOT.
if the meshes are high poly and it hard to align the pivot we better move the meshes to the center of the world and align the screw pivot to the center fo the grid by holding the X key.
now we align the screw pivot point to the middle of the main object by holding the D key then hold SHIFT+RIGHT click and select MIRROR TOOL in the setting and we change the axis position to object and mirror the screw at one axis as this point, we have to delete the history so the mirror tools can work properly so hold ALT+SHIFT+D to delete the history now perform mirror tool again and change the axis to get the other 2 screws at another side of the object. if normals are fliped hold SHIFT+RIGHT click go to FACE NORMALS and REVERSE NORMALS. now finally we have 4 screws exactly at each side of the object.

cheers 😉

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