8 Free 3DS Max Scripts/ Plugins you need to know about

I've been using 3ds max for over 9 years now. To me its the to go to program for all my 3d modeling needs. The program is not perfect, but man its powerful once you start to understand it. And when it lacks, be confident you will find a script or a plugin to make it work.

3DS max has a huge amount of scripts and plugins and they all perform very specific tasks. I'm going to share with you the ones that I use the most.

  • the Clone Modifier by Itoosoft, is pretty  much the Array tool BUT as a modifier. Love it.
  • Debris Maker by Aaron Dabelow, this is the magic "make art" button
  • Slide tool NormalThief by Slide London mostly used for foliage to control normals
  • Misc Box by Fajar my favorite feature of it is the Copy/Paste mesh from one Max to another (without having to "save selected" as then "Import/merge")
  • Fracture Voronoi and Vorofrag for all your destruction needs

Here are few more that are worth mentioning: 

  • Get Baked looks like an interesting tool for all your RTT needs within Max(works with Xnormal)
  • TexTools by "renderhjs" i used to use it a lot, but the Max UV Unwrap has finally caught up
  • Bend of Brothers seems like a neat plugin but I haven't actually got a chance to take it for a full road test.

I use these because they specifically work with my workflow, Also, check out http://www.maxplugins.de/ and http://www.scriptspot.com/ for more of these.

 Let me know what your favorite ones are in the comments down below!

Wishing you the best success in your career.

Mouhsine Adnani

5 Reasons why you should NOT go to school to become a 3D Artist

I've been getting a lot of questions recently by students who are interested in getting into the game industry on what school to go to to become a 3d Environment Artist.

Before i dig into this i want to say that I, myself, went to the Art Institute where i studied Game Art and Design in 2005. Was it the right thing to do? For me at the time it was. Would I do it now? Probably not.

Here are the reasons why:

1- There is a massive amount of information online about how to be a 3d Artist, and lots of it is totally FREE. I recommend you check the polycount forum and also their wiki page. Use it.

2- When you are trying to get a job in the industry, especially as an artist, companies really don't care what kind of school you went to. All they care about is the quality of your portfolio.
(This gets a bit tricky if you are coming from a different country to the US. For a company to sponsor you for a work VISA you'll need a degree in your field or a certain amount of years of experience in the industry)

3- Instead of going the traditional college way, there is a growing number of professional artists within the industry who teach either on their own or few of them who work together and provide quality up to date material about the industry. A good example is 3dmotive.com and digitaltutors.com, these services are not free, but are very cheap compared to the insanly high price tag that comes with "traditional schools" and the unforgiving loans you'd end up having to pay after you graduate.

4- There are a few schools that i think are worth going to, but again they are not your traditional type of school and it is more likely you won't be able to transfer any of yours credits if you decide you want to become a Wall Street Broker. An example would be Gnomon School 

5- Lets say, you really want to go to a college, then you need to keep in mind that what you are being taught is probably already out of date mostly because of bureaucracy slowing down everything and most of the time your teachers don't even have any professional experience in the field and/or have been out of it for years.  So, to solve this problem you will have to work long hours outside of school and also make sure you don't compare yourself to your classmate but to people who are already working within the industry. You need to know that each time there are layoffs, you are competing with people who have shipped games like BioShock, SWTOR and many more.

At the end of the day, these are strictly my own opinions and you should question everything and not be lured by fancy looking computer labs and other facilities. One last thing on my mind, be aware of "X% of Our graduates get a job in the industry,  guarantee" that usually includes working at Best Buy and Fry's...

Wishing you the best success in your career.

If you have any comments or questions please don't hesitate to ask!

Mouhsine Adnani.

Tips and tricks in 3D Max Series -Tip #3

Tips and tricks in Max Series


Tip #3 Edit Poly Magic!

This is a recent little trick I've discovered in 3ds Max, which tells me there are so many other things that I don't know about this program...

This little trick in 3ds Max is very handy and is a very good way to have a non destructible workflow.  You might end up with a "few" modifiers, but then its up to you to collapse and leave the ones that you feel could be useful later to tweak your model.  

Having said all this, this only works with Edit Poly modifier (NOT editable poly!)

I'll keep this simple for the sake of presentation, and I'll let you experiment with it more.

Lets use a simple cube, and add an Edit Poly modifier on top. (Notice the Edit Poly Mode with the <No current operation>)

Next is, make some kind of Edit to the model. But before, and this is the crucial step here, make sure you select "Animate". All I'm doing is selecting some random polys and beveling them. Now for organization purposes, rename your modifier by right clicking it and selecting rename. I've renamed mine "Edit_PolyBevel_01"

Note: for this to work, make only one operation per modifier OR just remember that Max will only take in consideration the last one you've done ALSO note that where it said <No Current Opperation>  now says "Bevel Polygon"

Next, apply another Edit poly and then make another modification to your model. I'm selecting some of the edges and chamfering them (Make sure you have animate selected again). Rename your modifier. I'm renamed mine to "Edit_EdgeChamfer_01"

Feel free to add more modifiers, but I'm going to stop here for this demo. 

Here is where the magic happens, go back to the first "Edit_PolyBevel_01" and click on settings. This now will open up the Bevel option box that we used earlier and give you the option to change those setting WHILE taking in consideration the modifier on top (You can also completely change that to another operation BUT it might mess up your end result).This way you are not really committed to a change you've done and have the opportunity to play with different looks.

This technique works great if you are adding edge controls around your mesh (for high poly modeling) but not sure how tight the result would be, by using this method you can go back and control the "tightness" of your mesh. Try and keep you modifier stack clean though, because things can get out of control pretty quick. 

Voila! I hope you have learned something from this little trick.

Thanks for stopping by, and keep on learning !