XRef Controller
Command entry:Main toolbar (Curve Editor (Open)) Select a transform track in the Track View hierarchy. Track View menu bar Controller menu Assign XRef Controller
Command entry:Graph Editors Track View - Curve Editor Select a transform track in the Track View hierarchy. Track View menu bar Controller menu Assign XRef Controller

This controller lets you externally reference any type of Transform controller from another scene file. The XRef controller follows the same concepts and principles as the XRef objects and XRef material; it can improve upon the collaborative synergy within a production environment by letting you access animation data currently in another scene while someone else updates it.

For example, while an animator works locally on a character's walk cycle, a scene integrator can externally reference it into his master scene comprised of several characters. The integrator can now regularly update his master scene with the latest changes from the source scene; if he notices a problem, the animator can make the appropriate modifications, which reflect in the master scene.

You can create an XRef controller with or without an XRef object:

To remove an XRef controller, you can either right-click the entry in the XRef Entities list and choose Merge in Scene from the contextual menu, or assign a new Transform controller to your object.

NoteReplacing the XRef controller with another type removes any animation it contains.

Although XRef controllers are read-only in your master scene, you can add a local offset to the object's animation.


To assign an XRef controller using the Motion Panel:

  1. Select an object in the current scene.
  2. On the Motion Panel, click Parameters, and open the Assign Controller rollout.
  3. Highlight the Transform track in the Assign Controller list.
  4. Click (Assign Controller), and then select XRef Controller from the Assign Transform Controller dialog.
  5. In the Open File dialog, navigate to the file from which to externally reference the transform controller and then click Open.
  6. Use the XRef Merge dialog to designate the object whole transform controller you want to XReference.

    3ds Max references the scene object's transform controllers from the external object's controllers.

    TipYou can also XReference a different controller from either another file or another object via the Parameters rollout of the XRef controller.

    Object's Transform Position highlighted.

    Object's Transform Position XReferenced.

To add and reset a Transform offset to an XRef Object's Animation

  1. Create a sphere at [0,0,0] and animate it from [0,0,0] to [5,5,5]
  2. Save your scene, then choose Application menu Reset.
  3. Choose File XRef Objects.
  4. In the XRef Objects dialog, make sure Merge Transforms is off, then click (Create XRef Record From File) and select the scene you just saved.

    The sphere appears in your master scene at [0,0,0].

  5. Move the sphere to [10,10,10].

    The sphere now translates from [10,10,10] to [15,15,15].

  6. Right-click the XRef Controller entry in the XRef Entities list of the XRef Objects dialog.
  7. From the contextual menu, choose Reset PRS Offset.

    This removes the sphere's local offset, which now returns to its original [0,0,0] position.


These controls, similar to those on the XRef Object rollout, let you change the file path, file name, and object name of the source of the XRef controller.

Hightlight corresponding XRef Record in the XRef Object dialog

Opens the XRef Objects dialog and highlights the corresponding XRef record within.

File Name controls

File Name field

Displays the path and file name of the scene containing the source controller. You can edit this to point to a different path and file.

File Name display

Displays the file name only, without the path.

Path button

Opens a file dialog from which you select a new file (either .max or .chr).

Object controls

Object Name field

Displays the name of the source object pointed to in the source file which holds the source controller.

Object Name display

Displays the file name of the source object.

Path button

Opens an XRef Merge dialog pointing to the scene in the XRef File Name field. Here, you can specify a different object to be used as the XRef object.


status line

Displays status information regarding the XRef controller:

  • “Unresolved XRef, File Not Found”: Cannot find the scene file containing the specified object name.
  • “Unresolved XRef, Object Not Found”: Cannot find the object in the specified scene.
  • “XRef Resolved”: Both scene and object match.