Object Color Dialog
Command entry:Click the color swatch by the object's name in any command panel.

The Object Color dialog contains two preset palettes of colors that you use to set an object’s wireframe color. This is also the surface color you see in a shaded viewport.

Using Random Color Assignment

By default, 3ds Max assigns colors randomly as objects are created. The colors are chosen from the current palette in the Object Color dialog. If you turn on Customize Preferences General panel Default to By Layer for New Nodes, new objects are assigned the color set by the layer.

For individual objects, you can click the By Layer/By Object button on the Object Color dialog to change the method used to set the object color.

Defining Custom Colors

When using the 3ds Max palette, the Object Color dialog contains a palette of 16 custom color swatches. You can define any color for each of the 16 color swatches by selecting a swatch from the Custom Colors group, then clicking Add Custom Colors.

Switching Between Palettes

You can alternate between two versions of the Object Color dialog at any time by clicking the appropriate Basic Colors toggle:


To set object color:

This is the general procedure for selecting object color.

  1. Select one or more objects.
  2. On any command panel, click the color swatch to the right of the Object Name field to display the Object Color dialog.
  3. On the Object Color dialog, click the By Layer / By Object toggle to set it to By Object.
  4. Click a color swatch from the palette, and then click OK to apply the color to the selection.

To create objects of the same color:

To define a custom color:

  1. With the 3ds Max palette option active, click one of the 16 custom color swatches.
  2. Click Add Custom Colors to open the Color Selector.
  3. Define a custom color and click Add Color.

    The custom color is stored in the selected color swatch of the Object Color dialog and is set as the current color.

To copy a custom color from an object in your scene to one of your custom color swatches:

To select objects by color:



Choose one of these:

  • 3ds Max paletteWhen chosen, the dialog displays Basic Colors and Custom Colors groups, and you have the option to add custom colors.
  • AutoCAD ACI paletteWhen chosen, the AutoCAD ACI palette is shown. When you click a color, its ACI# is displayed at the bottom of the dialog.
Basic Colors

A set of 64 default colors, available only when 3ds Max Palette is active.

Custom Colors

Displays 16 custom colors when 3ds Max Palette is active. To choose a custom color, click its swatch. To define or change a custom color, click its swatch and then click Add Custom Colors.

Add Custom Colors

Available only when 3ds Max Palette is active. Clicking this option displays the Color Selector, which allows you to modify the currently selected custom color. If you click Add Custom Colors with a basic color chosen, the dialog switches to the first custom color before opening the Color Selector.

By Layer/By Object

Sets the object's color by layer or by object. If color is set by object, choosing a new color on the Object Color dialog changes the object's wireframe color in viewports.


Displays the ACI number for the selected color. Available only when AutoCAD ACI palette is active.

Select by Color

Opens the Select Objects dialog listing all objects that use the current color as their wireframe color.

NoteThis button is available only if at least one object in the scene has the Current Color as its wireframe color.
Assign Random Colors

When on, 3ds Max will assign a random color to each object created. When off, 3ds Max will assign the same color to every object created until the color swatch is changed. This setting affects wireframe colors only when By Object is turned on as the color method.

Active/Current Color

Displays the active color (if no object is selected) or current color. When you click the color swatch, the Color Selector dialog opens, where you can mix a custom color.