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Getting Started in 3D with 3ds Max by Ted Boardman

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Compound Objects in 3ds Max are tools, not physical objects in the sense of a Standard primitive, for example. Compound Objects use two or more existing objects, 2D or 3D, and combine them to edit the form of one or the other into a new single object. In Chapter 9, you used the Compound Object tool called Lofting to create a complex 3D object from 2D shapes.

Compound Objects provide editing tools with options that are not readily available in other 3ds Max tools by using 2D or 3D geometry as part of the tool itself. Because Compound Objects in 3ds Max are in some way combining 3D surfaces, the resulting object can be complex and memory intensive ...

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