I’d test driven RV a few months ago to see what all the fuss was about. I was kind of satisfied with RV at that time, but didn’t really have a strong reason to switch from my beloved FrameCycler. Now, however, I needed a strong platform for conforming, ingesting and generally managing my review and delivery pipeline. My two immediate options were MetaRender and RVIO.
First of all, I am not a big fan of acquisitions. I admit it’s sometimes to the better for all of the parties involved, but sometimes, for the worse. I personally don’t see Adobe investing too much (at least not in the begining) to FrameCycler and MetaRender. They admitted they were more interested in the color grading suites. Secondly, RVIO provides a bit more robust framework for transcoding etc… and seems overall more powerful.
So, that’s the reason right there, I’m slowly switching to RV mainly thanks to RVIO. I wish FrameCycler all the very best, I certainly don’t want to see it go and it most likely won’t go anywhere, but, I think there are more interesting things happening on the RV side.
If you’re used to scripting your GUIs in Max with the standard rollouts via “createDialog …”, you might be a little confused and lost when you first try to use a 100% .NET Form object instead.
Whatever your reason might be for using .NET Forms instead of standard dialogs, you’ll still want to:
- Create the main form and define its properties
- Define other UI controls, such as buttons, checkboxes etc…
- Define event handlers for specific control objects
- Initialize and display the entire Form with all the controls and functionality tied in
All this is done a little differently in the .NET realm than what you’re used to in MAXScript. But before you start, check out Paul Neale’s great .NET tutorials on his site. Paul provides some great info for anyone trying to use .NET controls in their scripts.
Now, there is one thing I bumped into, you can actually use .NET objects in MAXScript rollouts, however, you cannot use regular max controls in .NET Forms! So, trying to assign a standard button to a .NET Form will result in an error.
You might think that this creates a burden on the TD to actually skin and customize the .NET controls to look like native 3ds Max GUI elements. You can do this, of course, but it’d really be a lot of additional work to hassle around with color classes, HWNDs etc… you actually don’t need to worry about this as there is an Assembly available in standard Max installations. It’s a little .dll, found in the root of Max, called MaxCustomControls.dll. This Assembly contains some of the more exotic controls, such as SceneExplorer, but it also contains a complete Form control that has already been modified so it reflects your 3ds Max environment, including all the colors, themes and even an initialization method for showing the control as a part of the max process/window.