An interesting concept behind Structs in MAXScript

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,technical | Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

I bumped into this issue of referencing values inside of Structs, which is a very elegant solution to using variables across your code, while avoiding global declarations. The issue was pretty much that I wasn’t aware of the implementation design of Structs in MAXscript.

Basically, Structs are these overly simplified custom classes know from such languages as Python (to which I’ll try to compare these). However, Structs are really so simple that they don’t even implement such functionality as inheritance (a pitty by the way), or more advanced functionality known from Python. Structs, rather than classes, could be called groups. That’s what I’ve been using them for mainly. I grouped a bunch of functions and called them via a standard attribute reference paradigm.

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Python in 3ds Max – FINALLY POSSIBLE!

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,opinions,Python,software,technical | Sunday, October 25th, 2009

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Yes! Once again, Blur studio showed how it’s supposed to be done.

They’ve released, or allowed their Eric Hulser to release, an updated version of their blurPython modules for 32bit and 64bit 3ds Max versions from Max 9 all the way up to 2009! And not only that. They’ve also provided libs and modules for tying up Python, 3ds Max and Qt together! This is massive news as I’ve been trying to get Python (concretely IronPython) work in 3ds Max but I’ve been constantly hitting road blocks until I finally bumped into Blur’s updated blurPython.

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I’m finding Nuke quite interesting

loocas | opinions,software | Friday, May 8th, 2009

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As I’d mentioned, this year is a year of changes and expansion for me, so, naturally, I’m looking for ways of expanding my postproduction pipeline, namely, compositing. I’ve been using Eyeon’s Fusion for a few years now and I find it very powerful, fast and realiable. However, I’ve been looking into other areas as well.

While I own a copy of After Effects CS4, I don’t find it that flexible and suited for my particular needs. I certainly want to go the “node-based” way. Don’t get me wrong, After Effects is a great package with a huge userbase which means tons of plugins and tutorials are available for it, but, as I said, I don’t want to go this, linear, route. So, I have a few options that are within my financial reach: Fusion, Nuke or Toxik. I certailny don’t want to invest in a brand new product on the market with dubious future, especially when owned by Autodesk, which potentially rules out Toxik, however, I’ll see how well it plays with 3ds Max and Maya (downloading the trial as I’m typing). I’ve been using Fusion for some years and I love it, so that certainly makes it a hot candidate. However, I’m always open to new possibilities, better, smareter or quicker workflows. Basically, anything that helps to improve my work in any way, ultimately in quality, will be on my highest priorities list.

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MAXScript Pro Editor’s automatic indentation drove me nuts!

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,technical | Saturday, August 16th, 2008

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I’ve gotten sick of the defaultly setup auto-indentation in MAXScript Pro Editor as I’m too used to the old-school MAXScript editor found in Max prior to 3ds Max 2008. Thankfully, since somebody at Autodesk had the brightest idea of implementing a very well-known and well-used Scintilla based text editor, we’re allowed to tweak and change any of the editor’s settings to our liking!

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Intermediate wheel rig.

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,technical | Thursday, June 26th, 2008

A friend of mine asked me how I’d go about rigging a wheel so that it spins no matter which direction it travels and stick to a ground as well. At first I thought this’d be a piece of cake as all I really needed was a direction vector and its magnitude to add to the rotation of the wheel. Well, the solution turned out NOT to be that simple in the end.

(the video lags a bit, but the entire rig is actually faster than real-time)

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

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Scripting in Maya through Python? Get used to a lot of string operations.

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,Maya,Python,technical | Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

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I find myself scripting in Maya more and more often. As I’ve expressed many times already, I really love and appretiate Python’s way of dealing with things, so having this language available in Maya is a blessing. The most beautiful part is when software actually does all the hard and annoying work for you ;) Scripting in Maya using Python hadn’t been designed the way it should be. Unfortunately, Python only serves as a “wrapper” around MEL commands and MEL architecture. Fortunately there are attempts at simplifying Python scripting in Maya, such as PyMEL from Luma Pictures (which is a studio I feel honored to cooperate with on The Nutcracker: The Untold Story), which is a fantastic “plug-in” for any Maya TD! which was, not surprisingly, done solely through Python itself :) A fantastic demonstration of Python’s power. However, PyMEL isn’t the topic for this short post, maybe later, when I get more familiar with it and gain more experience using it.

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I’m loving Python!

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,Maya,opinions,Python,software,technical | Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

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Interestingly enough, when I started looking into extending my technical skills and knowledge beyond 3ds Max itself at first I got a bit frustrated. The reason was I thought (as probably many other technical artists out there, based on many discussions I read) that I spent years developing some scripting and technical skills to find out they were useless and I’ll have to learn something entirely different in order to stay at the cutting edge and still being competitive. Now while 3ds Max isn’t a factor here, it’s just a platform anyways, I dived into Maya recently and faced a, seemingly, difficult decision: do I go the MEL way or do I learn Python (available in Maya since 8.5)? The decision turned out to be petty simple! I’ll learn both! As I devoured the user reference files, some tutorials and some books, I found out that once you learn one scripting language syntax and logic, picking up any other (similar) language is quite easy.

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Farewell, ActiveX…

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,technical | Monday, February 25th, 2008

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Microsoft, after a few years and a considerable pressure from the clever programmers out there, has ditched ActiveX controls. While this was an overally good decision, it can also cause a lot of headaches! To my astonishment when I run a merely few months old script I wrote in Max 8 in Max 2008 x64 (on Vista Business x64) the script didn’t work, in fact it threw the error message you can see in the picture above. At first I didn’t know what the hell was going on, even the MAXScript reference included the old ActiveX declaration part, so I really had no idea what was going on, further on when I run the same code in Max 8, also on the same computer running Vista Business x64, the script worked! The reason for that, as I learned on the internet, is that since Microsoft doesn’t support ActiveX anymore, they didn’t recompile most of the controls to 64bits, so, when you run a 32bit app., like Max 8, on 64bit Vista, it still calls the old 32bit ActiveX controls, however, when you run a 64bit app., like Max 2008, there’s no equivalent of 64bit ActiveX and since a 64bit program cannot run 32bit plugins/apps. from whithin itself, it simply throws you an error.

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