Saturday, January 14, 2017

3ds Max 2017 Command Panel Docking Change

Well, this might seem like a small bug, and frankly it is, but I am always bothered when historical workflows and functionality are apparently abandoned for no reason. Such seems to be the case with the Command Panel in release 2017. I don't know of this is a permanent removal (on purpose) or just a 2017 bug with the UI changes in 2017.
Now a lot of coding work has been done under the hood for 2017 and I welcome  new conventions and some changes but I'm mystified by this one. Perhaps it is just my particular installation and I will check several others to verify, but the un-docking feature of the Command Panel has changed in 2017. I remember when this feature was new in release 3 of Max and it was such a welcome option, especially for those of us using multiple monitors, being able to drag the Command Panel off to a 2nd monitor and have all that much more real estate for your main viewport.
In 2017, a big new feature is of course proper scaling of the UI on Ultra High Definition monitors. 2016 and prior releases struggled with the ability to display the UI on 4K monitors (or higher if you're out there) rendering the software useless really.
Anyway, to get to the point, I always floated the Command Panel by grabbing the UPPER LEFT corner and tearing it off. Sometimes that little, special location could be tough to nail down (you know that little floating cursor icon you need to get), but this was the convention I always used. Now you could also tear off the Command Panel by grabbing the right hand edge but I don"t think I ever saw anyone do that. Of course you could minimize the Command Panel to a simple "bar" on the right by right-clicking once you got the "Floater" icon with the mouse but I never needed to do that since I could tear the entire Panel off to a 2nd  monitor. Honestly, I kinda forgot about the right side of the Panel and the minimize option. But now, as of max 2017, you cannot access that special little upper left corner spot and get the "floater" cursor. It's just not there. You have to grab on the right side of the Command Panel to tear it off. Below are a few screen caps to show what I mean.
I spent an hour this morning researching this (call me an idiot) thinking it was a custom UI change or some sort of Workspace issue I needed to adjust, but it seems the upper left corner option is just gone now for floating the Command Panel. I only point it out in case someone else is wondering why they can't tear off their Command Panel in 2017 as I first did. We're talking 16 releases where this has been a common convention and now changed. I have not seen a single comment about it so apparently this little removal hasn't been worth noting. Oh well....