Scene Explorer Columns
Command entry: Scene Explorer Column headings

The Scene Explorer columns provide information on and means to edit various properties of scene contents in 3ds Max. These include text strings, check boxes, numeric quantities, and more. You can also sort the Scene Explorer listing by clicking a column heading (a second click reverses the sort). Additional methods for using columns are available; see the Procedures section that follows.

Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 has two new columns to help you manage objects linked from the File Link Manager. Application Origin shows the name of the Autodesk application that created the FBX file, and File Linked shows the name of the source file that is linked to the current scene.


To add columns to the table:

  1. Do either of the following:
    • Right-click a column heading and then choose Configure Columns from the context menu.
    • From the Customize menu, choose Configure Columns.

    This opens the Configure Columns dialog.

  2. Drag a column heading from the Configure Columns dialog to one of the Scene Explorer column headings.

    The new column is inserted to the left of the existing column.

  3. Continue adding columns as desired. When finished, close the Configure Columns dialog.

To replace a column in the table:

  1. Right-click a column heading and choose Replace Column from the context menu.

    This opens a list of available column headings.

  2. Choose a heading to replace the current one.

    The heading is replaced.

To remove a column from the table:

  1. Drag the column label downward until the mouse cursor changes to an X icon.
  2. Release the mouse button.
    NoteEven if you remove the Name column, the hierarchy remains at the left side of the window. You can’t remove the Name column if it is the only column in the table.

To sort the list based on a column or columns:

  1. Click a column heading.

    This performs a single-level sort based on the column contents, in ascending order, as indicated by up arrow on the right side of the heading. For example, clicking the Name column sorts the table in ASCII order, starting with punctuation, then numbers, then letters.

    NoteObject hierarchies remain together when the list is sorted. Child objects at the same level are sorted only with respect to one another, not objects on other hierarchical levels.
  2. To reverse the sort order, click the same column heading again.

    Alternatively, right-click a column heading and choose Sort Ascending or Sort Descending. You can sort any number of different columns this way to perform a multi-level sort. For example, you could sort by type, and then, within that sort, by whether the objects are hidden.

To rearrange columns:

To resize a column:


This section lists the available columns, briefly describes each column’s function, and notes whether the column appears by default in Scene Explorer.


The name of the object.

Default column.


The type of object, such as Geometry, Shape, Light, and so on.


The wireframe color of the object.

To change the color, click the color swatch; this opens the Color Selector dialog.


The number of faces in the object. By default, this is the number of triangular faces, but with polygon-type objects such as editable poly, it’s the number of polygons. For example, the default box primitive has 12 faces, but if you convert it to editable poly, the Faces column value changes to 6. Other modifiers can also change this value.


Whether the object is hidden (quad menu, Display panel, or Display floater).

The names of hidden objects display as italics.


Whether the object is frozen (quad menu, Display panel, or Display floater).

The names of frozen objects display as gray text.


Whether the object is see-through (Object Properties).

Display as Box

Whether the object has box display (Object Properties).

Cull Back Faces

Whether the object has culled backfaces (Object Properties).

Edges Only

Whether the object is set to display only edges (Object Properties).

Vertex Ticks

Whether the object displays vertex ticks (Object Properties).


Whether the object has trajectory display (Object Properties).

Ignore Extents

Whether the object’s extents are ignored when zooming (Object Properties).

Show Frozen in Gray

Whether the object is shown as gray when it is frozen (Object Properties).

Display Vertex Channel

Whether vertex channel display is active for editable mesh, poly, and patch objects (Object Properties).

Viewport Lighting

Whether viewport lighting and shading is active for the object (quad menu).

Viewport Locked Lighting

For a light, whether viewport lighting is locked (quad menu).

Viewport Shadows

For a light, whether viewport shadows are active (quad menu).

Light Color

The color a light casts (Modify panel).

Light Intensity

For a light, the intensity (Multiplier) value (Modify panel).

Shadow Map Size

For a light, the Size value of the shadow map.

Light On

Whether the light is on (Modify panel).

Shadow On

Whether the light casts shadows (Modify panel).

Shadow Type

The type of the shadow.

Light Map Bias

For shadows, the value of the shadow bias setting that adjusts the shadow position.

Shadow Sample Range

For shadow-mapped shadows, the sample range setting.

Has Material

Whether the object has a material (Material Editor).

Application Origin
For an object in a file linked from the File Link Manager, shows the name of the Autodesk application used to create the file.

This information is generated by the original application. For Autodesk FBX files and DWG files, the column is blank. For Revit FBX files, the name of the program appears. Revit needs to identify itself because the FBX importer needs to know whether the FBX file includes Revit metadata.

File Linked
For an object in a file linked from the File Link Manager, shows the name of the source file (DWG. DXF, or FBX).

This information appears only for renderable geometry. It does not appear for other objects such as lights, cameras, skeletal animation rigs, and so on.

Revit Category

For an object imported from Revit, the user-defined Category tag.

Revit Family

For an object imported from Revit, the user-defined Family tag.

Revit Level

For an object imported from Revit, the user-defined Level tag.

Revit Type

For an object imported from Revit, the user-defined Type tag.

Application Origin

For an object imported from Revit, the originating application.


For a container, whether the contents are inherited.


For a container, whether its contents are currently loaded in the scene.

Local Definition

For a container, whether its definition is local to the scene.


For a container, whether it is currently open.

If the container is a source container that does not allow you to edit it, this field shows a check mark but is disabled.

Locked By

For a container, shows the originator’s network ID (user name) when open. The field is empty when the originator has closed the container.

This field updates automatically when the container status changes.

Container Override

For a container, whether Override Object Properties is on.

The same control is available on the Display rollout and as Override Object Properties on the Containers toolbar.

Source Definition

For a source container, the path and file name of the source.

Local Definition

For a local container, the path and file name of the container file.

Source Rules

For a source container, the rules provided with the source container.


For a source container, indicates whether the contents of the container have changed since you inherited it.

If the Update? field for a source container in your scene is “Yes,” click the Manage Container rollout Update button or (Update) on the Container toolbar to load the latest contents into the container.


For a container, its current condition, such as Unsaved, Open, or Openable (for a closed local container).

For a source container, shows the rules-based condition, such as Editable for a container set to Only Edit In Place, or “Editing in place” for the same container with Edit In Place on.

Container Proxy

For a container that is using a proxy, the path and filename of the proxy container.