Creating Icon Bitmap Files

An icon bitmap file can have any number of individual icons, which are lined up side-by-side in the file. If you are creating icon bitmap files, these files must meet the following requirements:

If you wish to generate icons via calls to render() in MAXScript, make sure you use the naming conventions previously described and place the .bmp files in the current 3ds Max user-interface directory. You can get the current user-interface directory path with the function:

local ui_dir = cui.getDir ()


3ds Max ships with a scripted bonus Utility called MakeIcon which implements the creation and management of custom icons.

new.gif NEW in 3ds Max 9: CUI icon files (*_16i.bmp, *_16a.bmp, *_24i.bmp, *_24a.bmp) are loaded first from the user icon directory, then the max system icon directory, and then <3dsmax.exe>\ui\icons. If a file set is present in multiple directories, the version in the first directory is used.

new.gif NEW in 3ds Max 9: The icon filename specified as an argument to loadPicture, the filename in images arrays for UI items, and the filename for the bitmap UI item no longer needs to specify a path to the icon folder. The icon filename will be searched for in the following directories (in order):


new.gif NEW in 3ds Max 9: The following Colorman Interface methods can be used :


Reloads all CUI icons from the icon files. This can be used to refresh the UI after adding new or editing existing icon bitmap files.

<bool>colorman.resolveIconFolder <filename> <&fullfilename>

This method resolves the filename using the user icon path, then the system icon path, and then <3dsmax.exe>\ui\icons. If the file is found, fully qualified filename is placed in fullfilename and the method returns true. If not found, the method returns false.