Animation > 
Wire Parameters
Command entry:Select an object. Animation menu Wire Parameters Wire Parameters
Command entry:Select an object. Right-click quad menu Transform (lower-right) quadrant Wire Parameters

Wire Parameters lets you link parameters from one object to another in the viewport, so that adjusting one parameter changes the other automatically. This enables you to set up one- and two-way connections between specified object parameters, or to control one or more objects with a dummy object containing the desired parameters. By wiring parameters, you can set up custom constraints directly without having to go to Track View and assign controllers.

Parameter wiring is accessible from the Animation menu and the quad menus. The Wire Parameters command is available only if a single node is selected. Choosing the Wire Parameters command displays a hierarchical pop-up menu with levels and items corresponding to the animatable tracks that would be visible for that object in Track View.

When you make a parameter selection, a dashed line, similar to that displayed in the Select and Link mode, is drawn from the selected object to the mouse cursor. The cursor changes from an arrow to a cross whenever it is over a valid destination object. You can right-click at any time to cancel the parameter wiring.

While the dashed line is displayed, you can click a destination node or on empty space in the viewport to customize the relationship between two wired parameters. If you click empty space, the Parameter Wiring dialog opens showing the first parameter in the left Tree View and the full scene in the right tree. Clicking a destination node (which can be the same as the originating node) displays a hierarchical pop-up menu for the destination object so you can choose the destination parameter. After you choose a second parameter, the Parameter Wiring dialog opens.

You can wire one-way and two-way connections between parameters. For one-way wires, one parameter is effectively slaved to the other and its value changes as the controlling parameter changes, according to a user-defined transfer expression. The controlling parameter can be animated and adjusted as needed using all the animation tools in 3ds Max. This includes making it a controlled parameter in another parameter-wiring setup, so that you could potentially set up a chain of controlled parameters.

For two-way wiring, 3ds Max assigns Wire controllers of the appropriate kinds to each of the parameters and they are cross-linked so that changing either parameter cause linked changes in the other.

NoteYou should establish all object hierarchies before wiring parameters in a scene. If you change the hierarchy of an object that has a wired parameter, it will take on new parameters, which could introduce undesired results in your wired parameters.
TipUse Schematic View to see all the wired parameter relationships in a scene. You can also use Schematic view to wire parameters.


To attach wire parameters:

  1. Select the first object you want to use.
  2. Choose Animation menu Wire Parameters Wire Parameters, or right-click the object and choose Wire Parameters.

    A pop-up menu displays the parameters you can link.

    NoteWire Parameters works only with parameters that can be animated. The menu options displayed depend upon the selected object and are the same options you would see for the selected object in Track View.
  3. Choose the parameter you want to link to another object from the displayed menu.

    A dashed line appears.

  4. Move the cursor to the second object you want to use. When the cursor changes from an arrow to a selection cross, you are over a valid destination object. Click to select the destination object.

    A pop-up menu displays the parameters to which you can link.

  5. Choose the parameter you want to link from the displayed menu.

    The Parameter Wiring dialog opens, with the two parameters you selected highlighted in yellow.

  6. If you like, change the parameter highlighting in the dialog, and then click the direction buttons between the two panels to determine the control direction: one way either way, or both directions (changes to either object’s selected parameters affect the other object).
  7. Click Connect to complete the wiring.
  • Parameter Wiring Dialog

    The Parameter Wiring dialog allows you to define the relationships for Wire Parameters. In this dialog, you can create new one and two-way control relationships between object parameters, edit existing relationships, and create or edit expressions which define the parameter relationships.