How To - Introduction to the Tutorials

The "How To" topics present some simple programming tasks as extended MAXScript examples. All of them are based on actual real-world cases, include detailed explanations and tips and tricks from the scripting practice. In addition, most of the scripts are not longer than 30 lines so they are perfectly suited for beginners.

Objectives:

The main objective of these tutorials is to teach the MAXScript user some possible approaches for developing scripted solutions to practical problems - from the original idea through a concept expressed in a natural language (English) down to the actual MAXScript code and ideas for potential future enhancements.

Structure:

The "How To" tutorials provide

A list of related topics the user might want to read before trying the actual tutorial;

The complete uncommented code – the user can cut & paste it and use immediately;

The same code with detailed explanations;

Links to definitions of the used functions and methods;

Some info about the usage of the script in the practice;

Things to try – ideas for improvements that the user could try alone.

Topics:

How To ... Develop A Transform Lock Script

Developing a simple script for checking all Transformation locks.

How To ... Remove All Materials

Creating a very simple script removing all materials from the scene.

How To ... Quickly Rename Selected Objects

Developing a simple renaming utility to change the names of selected objects

How To ... Select Non-Quad Polygons

Example of accessing and selecting Polygons in an EditablePoly object.

How To ... Assign Materials Automatically

Shows how to use MAXScript callbacks to automate material assignment.

How To ... Move Objects to a Surface

Shows how to use the intersectRay function to find surface points on objects.

How To ... Output Object Data To File

Shows the basic of writing object data to an external text file.

How To ... Output Geometry Data To Text File - Part One

Shows the basic of writing mesh geometry data to an external text file.

How To ... Read Geometry Data From Text File - Part One

Shows the basic of reading object data from an external text file.

How To ... Output Geometry Data To Text File - Part Two

Enhances the mesh geometry output script with support of smoothing groups, material ids and edge visibility.

How To ... Read Geometry Data From Text File - Part Two

Enhances the input script developed in Part One to support the new data added by the preceding tutorial.

How To ... Create a Quick Preview

Implements a simple viewport preview and automatic RAMplayer loading

How To ... Access the Z-Depth channel

A small experiment creating objects based on the Z-Depth of the camera.

How To ... Create a MonoChrome RenderEffect

A simple example of a scripted RenderEffect plug-in.

How To ... Create Custom Mesh Object

Shows how to create a custom mesh object.

How To ... Create Scripted Geometry Plug-in

An example of a scripted geometry plug-in.

How To ... Create a Dalmatian TextureMap Plug-in

An example of a scripted texture map plug-in in the famous polka-dot dog look.

How To ... Access Windows System Data

Shows an approach to access system data that is not directly exposed to MAXScript.

How To ... Sort TrackView Alphabetically

Shows an approach to sort the objects in the TrackView.

How To ... Flatten a SplineShape

Example of modifying a slineShape by moving knots and bezier vectors.

How To ... Draw a Freehand Spline

Example of drawing a spline with the mouse in the ground plane.

How To ... Enhance the Morpher Modifier With Floating Controls

Example of dynamic UI creation, time and change callbacks usage to create a floater with controls linked interactively to a Morpher modifier.

How To ... Change Objects At Render Time

An example of changing object properties at render time using callback scripts.

How To ... Develop a Vertex Renderer

An example of a scripted vertex realtime renderer.

How To ... Script Particle Flow

How To ... Transfer ParticleFlow Particle Motion To Scene Objects

An example of moving scene objects using Particle Flow particles.

How To ... Affect Particle Flow Particles by Mass

An example of applying a Force to particles based on their mass.

How To ... Develop a Bitmap Painting Tool In Nine Easy Steps

How To ... Develop a Bitmap Painting Tool - Basic Utility

The first step of the tool creation - The basic tool with a single point brush without strokes support.

How To ... Develop a Bitmap Painting Tool - Strokes Support

The second iteration of the tool adds continuous stroke drawing.

How To ... Develop a Bitmap Painting Tool - Brush Size and Color

The third iteration of the tool adds control over the size and color of the brush.

How To ... Develop a Bitmap Painting Tool - Airbrush and Shapes

The fourth iteration of the tool adds circular brush shape support and an Airbrush option with variable strength.

How To ... Develop a Bitmap Painting Tool - Smooth Brushes

The fifth iteration of the tool adds a brush with smooth falloff

How To ... Develop a Bitmap Painting Tool - Load and Save

The sixth iteration of the tool adds bitmap file loading and saving. Finally, you can store your work of art to disk and continue on painting later in a new session...

How To ... Develop a Bitmap Painting Tool - Erase Changes

The seventh iteration of the tool adds an eraser option to the right mouse button and a Commit Changes menu option to permanently bake the changes to the image.

How To ... Develop a Bitmap Painting Tool - Unwrap UV Coordinates

The eight iteration of the tool adds UV texture coordinates unwrapping and realtime updates of the bitmap as diffusemap on a selected object.

How To ... Develop a Bitmap Painting Tool - 3D Painting

The ninth iteration of the tool adds 3D Painting on a selected object in the viewport.

How To ... Develop a Selected Objects Inspector using ListView ActiveX Control

How To ... Develop a Selected Objects Inspector using ListView ActiveX Control - Part One

This tutorial will demonstrate how to set up an ActiveX Control in a MAXScript rollout to display details about selected scene objects

How To ... Develop a Selected Objects Inspector using ListView ActiveX Control - Part Two

This second tutorial will demonstrate how to customize the ListView ActiveX Control defined in Part One and update the display automatically when the selection set changes

How To ... Develop a Scene Browser using TreeView ActiveX Control

How To ... Develop a Scene Browser using TreeView ActiveX Control - Part One

This tutorial will demonstrate how to set up an ActiveX Control in a MAXScript rollout to display the hierarchy of the 3ds Max scene nodes.

How To ... Develop a Scene Browser using TreeView ActiveX Control - Part Two

The second tutorial will demonstrate how to customize the TreeView ActiveX Control defined in Part One by adding icons, colors and checkboxes to display and control the hidden state of scene nodes.