Scripted plug-ins appear and behave inside of 3ds Max similar to regular plug-ins written using the SDK. Often the user will have a hard time telling whether a plug-in is actually a script or not (with the exception of scripted RenderEffects which are usually slower than their C++ counterparts)
Before installing a scripted plug-in, you can open the source file and note the plug-in’s name. This will make it easier for you to locate the actual UI entry as described below. A scripted plug-in has typically the form
plugin superClass ClassName
Remember the name: string and look for it in the respective area of the UI.
To install a scripted plug-in (multiple 3ds Max sessions)
1. Copy the script file to any folder listed in your Plug-ins Paths configuration. ( Main Menu > Customize > Configure Paths > Plug-ins tab )
2. Start 3ds Max - the script will be evaluated on startup and the new plug-in will appear in the respective area of the UI - see below for details regarding different plug-in classes. This will happen each time you start 3ds Max.
To test a scripted plug-in (single 3ds Max session):
1a. From the Main Menu, select MAXScript and Run Script...
1b. Alternatively, go to the Utilities panel, open MAXScript Utility, press Run Script...
2. Locate and select the script source file and press Open. The script will be evaluated and will create a new plug-in class. It will appear in the respective area of the UI - see below for details regarding different plug-in classes.
Note: Next time you start 3ds Max, the scripted plug-in will NOT be available. The plug-in will be available only until the end of the current session and will be reported later as missing when loading files saved in the test session. To load .MAX files containing scripted plug-ins, you have to make sure the plug-in is loaded prior opening the scene.
Scripted plug-ins can be used to extend 3ds Max with
Will appear in the Create panel > Geometry in a category defined by the developer. These plug-ins can create and manipulate only instances of existing classes and are similar to System plug-ins, but living in the Create panel. They don’t have their own object and sub-object levels.
Scripted MeshObjects (SimpleObject Class)
Will appear in the Create panel > Geometry in a category defined by the developer. They can generate an EditableMesh object on the fly just like the basic and extended primitives.
Will appear in the Modify panel on the Modifiers list. There are two classes of modifiers. The one will extend existing modifiers (for example by replacing the UI). The other will modify the object in local space based on a Gizmo (like Bend and Twist do).
Will appear in the Create panel > Lights in a category defined by the developer. They can only extend existing lights.
Will appear in the Create panel > Cameras in a category defined by the developer. They can only extend existing cameras.
Will appear in the Create panel > Helpers in a category defined by the developer. They can only extend existing helpers.
Will appear in the Material/Map in a category defined by the developer. They can only extend existing materials.
Will appear in the Material/Map in a category defined by the developer. They can only extend existing maps.
Will appear in the Rendering > Effects... > Add Effect list.
Scripted Atmospheric Plug-ins
Will appear in the Rendering > Environment... > Atmosphere > Add... list.
Scripted Manipulators can appear under Create > Helpers > Manipulators or can be hidden to the user and only appear in the viewport when Manipulate mode is on and an object with a supported property is selected. They behave exactly as Manipulator plug-ins. In fact, several shipping manipulators like the Slider Manipulator, the Radius manipulator and the UV Manipulator are implemented as Scripted Manipulator Plug-ins. You can find their sources under \Stdplugs\StdScripts
MAXScript for New and Casual Users
Scripted Utilities for New Users
MacroScripts for New Users
Scripted Functions for New Users
MAXScript DLX Extensions for New Users