Nothing is ever finished…

Last week I released a little script called the VRay Material Override Excluder. Just to prove nothing is ever finished, even the name has changed since I last blogged about it on here.

http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/material-override-excluder

Updates include, support for VRay Material Override Include/Exclude list from the render settings, get the material from there too, override XRefScene object materials and use multiple wildcard entries to filter out material names that you don’t want to exclude.

I really hope all this power will encourage you to be more organised with your scenes!

You’ll hear a lot from software companies talking about ‘Agile’ developments these days, and being responsive and being able to improve and quickly add new bits to plugins/scripts/software is really important to be competitive and relevant.

I love the power of crowd-sourcing for ideas, you are never smart enough to think of every use-case scenario, you will never find all the bugs yourself, and you don’t have every different version of max to test your tools with. It’s something about 3dsmax users in particular which makes them so passionate about using the software, they care, it’s why Autodesk will never be able to kill off 3dsmax.  I put up a script on a website and instantly I get feedback, ‘this doesn’t work as I expect’, ‘oh it can’t do this?’, ‘it would be awesome if it could do this…!’ In the matter of one week I pretty much doubled the code size whilst putting in protection to make sure the script would never crash and would work in every situation and have some new functionality.  What I lose in publicly releasing this scripts I gain massively in feedback, it’s a huge amount more powerful and with the enthusiasm and persistent drive to want more and better tools I find it helps me stay focused on getting the tool finished rather than being resigned to the scrap-heap of scripts I have somewhere on my old laptop.

The next thing is how do I make this script professional? It started as a 10 line bit of code on the Chaosgroup forum… now it’s 700 lines long and can do so much. But it’s still a script in a rollout. There’s no API, you can’t assign hot-keys to the main functionality, and if you are doing chalk setups every day as part of your job you may want a one-click button to set all your options. This is where setting up a script as a struct is such a good idea.  I will at some point soon convert this script and expose the functions within the script so that you can make your own tools that interface with it.  It’s a change in style I started to adopt a few months ago whilst working on some personal ideas with some 3d friends, learning from people like Daniel Santana from YCDIVFX, I’ve been building struct scripts with APIs so that they can be used by other TDs in their tools.

To be continued…

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About davewortley

Somewhere between an artist and a programmer, I like technical things, but being creative. I love problem solving and coming up with elaborate solutions. This blog is where I shall share ideas, tips, tutorials and anything that amuses me.
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