Sunday, February 28, 2010

Select Similar Objects

It's boring to me to rewrite my full description, you'll find more details here. Briefly - a MaxScript tool to select similar (to chosen) nodes by assembly of similarities. Enjoy!

Instance Identical Geometry

MaxScript mini tool to find identical objects (to chosen one) and instance them. It's just an quick example code from scratch (to help out) but fully working, clear and useful. Also you can extend it quickly (read the notes inside the code).
Read more and get the script here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

MR Studio Lighting

This video tutorial in 2 parts by Smashley intended to be the beginning of series of Mental Ray tutorials, posted at

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Projected Caustics

I was never heard before for this (free) Caustics Generator program. I found it into Jeff Patton's "Projected Caustics" tutorial. Interesting :)) this Caustics Generator is useful for many issues (in games for example, or in other renderers).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Mental Ray

Mental Ray Community (required registration).

Zap's mental ray tips

A very useful blog for mental ray users.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

12 hungry pots

This is my scripted simulation experiment, that include 2 stages:
  1. Generation of the random path for the bubble by maxscript which been limited in bounding box area of all pots.
  2. Scripted "formula" (expression) to create pots stretch key animation (without wiring or controllers) to add to them behaviour like they trying to catch the bubble.

The base idea behind is to show how to generate key frame animation without to get involved with scripted controllers. The MaxScript you can find on my personal web site.

Realistic ice cube image

I'm busy this days but this tutorial looks interesting and I'll post it here to remind me to look at it later on.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Procedural Map Scale

Another scripted tool from me. Good for global rescale at once the size of all procedurals. Works on any resizable procedural map. Read more and download the script from here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Volume Pass in mental ray

Ramy Hanna post tutorial on his blog to show how to create a volume pass with mental ray.

Access Custom Attributes

The Custom Attributes (CAs) is a kind of scripted plugin. The CAs itself is the "key" for making a good rigging, but they also can be used for other tasks, to store persistent data in the scene, for example. Well, global persistent variables (GPV) do the same, but... they not recommended to be used (and I agree). GPV was added just to fix the "hole" in XRef development and not need anymore in Max 9 and higher. Never mind how you plan to use CAs, you'll need to know how to access them.

The problem here is that - there is a lot useful function to menage your CAs that you can find in the help, but... all of them expect CAs definition instance, so firt we need to collect the definition to a variable. This is noted in the help, but... no any simple how to example. Most typical mistake for beginners is to try to use CAs name (insted of definition). This is OK for scripted structs, but not applicable to CAs, so... we need to find your CAs by name and assign it instance to a variable, and this is what I done - example function to find Custom Attributes by name.

Ok, to not rewrite whole post just read out this forum topic. It cover how to access CAs by name, plus how to access stored functions or variables in CAs.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

RayFire introductory course

Bulgarian artist Hristo Velev is posting a series of tutorials that deal with various features from RayFire.

Transfering UVW data via MaxScript

I recommend this thread to everybody who look how to fight with multiple copy/paste Unwrap UVW modifiers. Manual copy/paste via context menu in modifiers stack (right mouse click) works fine. Copy/paste a few modifiers is not the problem, but what about hundreds? But optimize this task via MaxScript looks impassable, and I was wait for fix from Autodesk too long. Yes, I was hope the "hole" between MaxScript and Unwrap UVW modifier to be fixed. Recently recommend me to try to do this by Windows handlers callbacks. This reborn my interest to fix this issue by MaxScript. Well, playing with this callbacks was a good training for me, but too messy way to do this. But if something is possible this is enough for me to start looking for better solution. Yep, this is my style, if the method is too complicated then I'm sure I goes into the wrong direction.

Ok, briefly, I found good "elegant" for my purpose way to "cheat" and fix this copy/paste problem. My trick is based on the "magic" built-in swap() function. I start to love this function :) it hide inside too much power.

So, as I said, if you also look for how to solve this problem, then look at this forum topic.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Special Exterior Problems

Nice beginner level mapping tutorial (with strange title name) by Maryellen Atkins.
"In this tutorial I will walk through common mapping problems, how to solve these problems, and some tips and tricks to help you map correctly."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quick Include/Exclude Lights 1.2

This is a tiny update of my Quick Include/Exclude Lights MaxScript, requested by a friend of mine (Titane), and just not to duplicate existing function, I set it to works lightly different. Pressing "Clean Include/Exclude List" button will empty the I/E list keeping the rest I/E settings intact, while pressing "OK" button (with "Transfer..." checkbox off) will swap enabling I/E plus set I/E type (Illumination, Shadow, Both). [The script page.]

F-Tools Demo

F-Tools is a set of MaxScripts (based on SuperSpray) that generate animation of a fountain. Not clear on which Max version will work... and for DEMO need (if I understand) to contact the author via email: (web site)

Create Spline from Particle positions

It's a MaxScript binded question into ScriptSpot forum, and not about how to make a spline per particle (like trajectory), but is how to create a spline shape per frame using particles position for the spline knots. And there is the forum thread where I post my code from scratch.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Bullet time" w/o script

"Bullet time" is a VFX well known from the movies like "The Matrix", where "real time" motion slow down or freeze while the moving camera not affected. There is many tutorials online which try to teach us about, but this tutorial (even old one) seems to me the best workflow. It shown simple method using VideoPost w/o scripts and tons of cameras.

The tutorial available in following languages:
Download files:
Start ("Bullettime_tut.max") and finished ("bullettime_tut_finish.max") scene:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Quick Include/Exclude Lights update

A few days ago I was publish this MaxScript and this is just an asked/suggest by user update.

The new added feature is Include/Exclude type toggle.

The script (and some usage tips) are here. Enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hierarchy State

This is a new MaxScript from me (simple tool) which allow quickly to backup and restore scene objects hierarchy. I pack the functions (Load/Save) as scripted struct in external .ms file for the sake of convenience. This way you can integrate easy the struct in your own scripts. More details you'll see inside the code. Maybe not so great discovery touch, but I used "save" for the name for my saving function. Yep, the "save" is global preserved keyword, that means it will cause conflict if defined alone (as separate function), but inside the scripted struct it come as some kind of private, so there no problem. And finally this is very useful cheat trick, which allow more readable scripting. For example, in this script, my struct is named "HierarchyState" and I assign an instance of the struct to the short named variable "hs", and then I could just say: -- to save
hs.load() -- to load
The script is here. Any feedback is welcome. Enjoy!

How to model a 3D Hedge

Simple modeling tutorial by Alex Mincinopschi (using pArray).
Alex also offer for free a few of his 3d models and other short tutorials.

Rigging a Ball

Marti Escageda post a PDF tutorial (1.87 MB) with the large descriptive title: "How to create a ball that rotates when it moves, even if is scaled, squashed or stretched". It is a very well explaned rigging guide. He used Cuneyt Ozdas code for Rotation Script controller, which is better explaned on his original tutorial.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Browse in 3DXtras

3DXtras is a resource site for free 3d models and the site stats show so 8051 3D models found. Cool, but realy hard to find what you looking for. The models not taged with any keywords, so the search engine scan only their names end the site search form is not very helpful. The alternative is to browse by category, but... this feature is broken :/

In the beginning I thought that this is restriction for unregistered users. Yes, the site requered registration to download models from there, and I was to know is there something useful for me before I regist myself, however, after reg and login the browse by category feature is still broken. My last visit there was months ago and I see so this is not fixed yet (today), so unfortunately, this is not a temp bug. Maybe this guys use free PHP template without PHP knowledge and they have no idea how to fix this. I hope someone (good guy) familiar with the PHP to contact and help them.

But for now we need some tips on how to browse by category in 3DXtras.

I did not believe that I will have to write about how to browse in some web site (LOL), but for 3DXtras realy need some hint Instruction. :))

Where is the problem? Try some category, "Cars" for example. The first page always open, without problem. Category "Cars":

Now, if you try to open page 2 will go here:

Yes, this is page 2 BUT in Category "All".
Now, if you append "&page=1" as argument to the preview URL, i.e.:

Tadaaa... you open page 2 in Category "Cars" :) Now if change the value to 2, i.e.:'ll open page 3 in this category, and so on... Shortly, you need to edit the URL in the address bar on your web browser. Yes, is not particularly convenient, not perfect solution but it works :D

Selection Lock Status

How to check Selection Lock Toggle status and unlock if needed is the question in this forum thread. Again Steve Curley (most helpful person into Autodesk Area forum) found good script solution. More details here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quick Include/Exclude Lights

I saw an almost 4 years old MaxScript which even after last update (today) is still complicated, buged and with some strange working logic, so I wrote right now my version with hope to help :) Read more details here.

How to blend materials with vertex paint

Vertex paint is a modifier that is mostly used in the game development industry but for some reason is almost never used in architectural visualization. However, there are quite a few situations where it can be very helpful due to the fact that you can blend materials anyway you want by painting maps directly on the mesh.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Organic Mesh

by Andrew Kramer
  • Build organic mesh with noise modifiers from a sphere
  • Use procedural texturing to give a uneven monster skin

Watch it here

Turbosmooth iterations based on camera distance

Steve Curley show here how to control Turbosmooth iterations based on camera distance using Float Script controller.

Collapsing Building with Reactor

Nothing special... ^_^ < Part 1 > < Part 2 >

Select by name slow/fast

A quick tip by Jurgen for 3ds Max 2008 and higher about how to get rid of the new "Select by name" dialog (hotkey H) and return to old style dialog box is just to disable SceneExplorer by editing INI file. Read more on Jurgen's blog.

MrBluesummers tutorials

Somebody hide his real name behind "Mr.Bluesummers", It's his right, however, he build a tutorial blog and try to share one video per week. Well, he share very beginner lessons, but to be honest I would say that I'm not particularly impressed because they are very incomplete, and if I need to describe them with a simple sentence it will be this: "Hey everyone, see how cool is this". Yep, hеh... :) Ok, is still possible you to find there something useful for you so check yourself MrBluesummers blog.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Boxmodeling a car

LionTR is a sick man! Hehe... :P He wrote 117 pages car modeling tuturial with a lot of screenshots. Awesome, it's a good to know so out there exist people like him. You can get Lion's PDF tuts from here or read more at original CGTalk topic.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Random DeSelect A simple(?) :) maxscript to can quick
random select/deselect by percentage
with a few precise options.

The script is here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Creating a Next-Gen Video Game Hot Rod

In this tutorial series (Day 1 / Day 2) Laurens Corijn show how he creates a high quality, next-gen, normal mapped Hot Rod for realtime use.

Friday, February 5, 2010

ColorCorrect vs Color Correction

In 3ds Max 2009 was added new procedural map Color Correction. It's not fully debuged and not offer gamma correction but is a good acquisition and useful for me.

ColorCorrect is more extended (free plug-in) texture map. Looks promising alternative, maybe I'll give it a try some day.

ColorCorrect Introduction notes at:


RenderStuff is resource site that offer free models for 3ds Max.
A few tutorials and tips also available out there.

Fetch Selected

Yes, in searching for some good workaround to fight with not so prefect undo system in 3ds Max 2009 I come to this. The script I tested in Max 9 as well. It save my day in large scenes, I hope yours too :) The maxscript I post here. Every feedback is welcome for me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

XNA Game Development

David Goodman (XNA programmer, 3dsmax modeler and MAXscripter) start new blog XNA Game Development and let's just quote his description:
After 10 years of learning 3dsmax for modeling, it suddenly dawned on me
that my real passion was for what happens under the hood. Follow this blog if
you're interested in the self-education of a 3ds max modeler turned Game
Development technical artist and programmer using XNA.

Character Modeling and Rigging Setup

Team Pixo (they not share too much about yourself) start a web blog at December 16th 2009, and currently they published 2 tutorials:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Select More Target

Another funy MaxScript from me, it's a self explained selection assistant. Commonly useful when select target lights, cameras or tape helpers,or any objects with (older) Look_At transform controller applied and you wish to select their targets as well. I hope you found it useful too. More details here.

12 Principles of Animaion

12 Principles of Animaion explained with simple examples (video tutorial).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Atmospheric Optics

Atmospheric Optics is a good reference site about them.
"Light playing on water drops, dust or ice crystals in the atmosphere produces a host of visual spectacles - rainbows, halos, glories, coronas and many more. Some can be seen almost every day or so, some are once in a lifetime sights. Find out where to see them and how they are formed. Then seek and enjoy them outdoors."