With 3D Studio (3ds) Max 9, you can create and animate virtual three-dimensional objects. One of the application's object-creation features is the Mirror button, which "reflects" any object you select, much like a mirror does. Another tool that mirrors objects is the Symmetry modifier, which is used frequently in modeling the symmetrical parts (i.e. hands, feet) of humans and other characters. Both of these tools greatly reduce the work needed to create objects with 3ds Max.
Apply the Mirror Tool
1. Learn the Mirror tool first, because it's a bit easier to work with. In front view, create a box. (Select "Create," then "Standard primitives," then "Box.") Select the box, press the "Mirror" button on the toolbar, then choose these options:
"X" axis for the mirror.
"Clone," to make a full copy of the original.
Press "OK." 3ds Max will make a full copy of the original object. "Full copy" means that when you change the copied object the original object won't be affected.
Make a Pure Mirror with no Copy
2. To replace a selected object with its mirror image, without creating a new object, select the "No Clone" option in the "Mirror" options dialog box. If you experiment with this option, you'll first need to shape an object to be asymmetrical in at least one axis (e.g. the X axis). Doing this will let you see the mirror effect.
To complete the no-clone mirror, select the asymmetrical axis to mirror, in the Mirror options dialog box. The application will make all vertices' positive X coordinates, for example, flip to the negative X axis, and vice versa.
Use the Symmetry Modifier
3. Here are two things the Mirror tool can't do that the Symmetry modifier can:
Toggle on and off.
Weld a mirrored object with the original.
To see both of these features, try the following: In front view, make a box primitive, then right-click on it and select "Convert to Editable Poly." Push one of the top left vertices a little bit to the right, then apply the Symmetry modifier. Select "X" for the mirror axis in the "Parameter" rollout, then select the "Mirror" node under the "Symmetry" modifier parent node, under the "Modifier List" box. Drag the mirror to the left until you can see the gap between the vertex you moved and the corresponding vertex in the mirror.
When the gap appears, turn on the "Weld Seam" option in the Control Panel, and increase the "Threshold" control until the gap is sealed.
To see the toggle on/off feature, simply click the small lightbulb icon next to the "Symmetry" modifier in the Control Panel. The mirror will disappear.
Work Through Character Tutorials
4. To make the mirror effect feel natural to you, work though just about any of the modeling tutorials in the 3ds Max help file. The tutorials involving character modeling will give you intensive mirror training, because of the symmetrical nature of characters (i.e. left and right arms, legs, hands and feet) free 3d max models.