Creating Custom 3d Studio Max Rollouts

Written October 8th, 2010
Categories: Articles, Scripting / Programming
5 comments

In this quick tutorial, we’ll look at how you can create custom 3d Studio Max rollouts for your tools.  You can make custom floating or docked windows or toolbars that hold your tools and that make it easy to customize your workspace.  These tools are usually called “actions” and can be almost anything you imagine!  They can be

  • 3dsMax modifiers like bevel, extrude, etc,
  • actions like “Convert to Editable Poly…”, or
  • tools like align, hide, etc.

It can save you time and that’s part of what getting better at 3d is all about.

Step 1- Right click on an empty interface area

Right click on an empty interface area to get the interface customization menu.  Select “Customize…”  Otherwise, you can go to Customize > Customize User Interface… and select the “Toolbars” tab.

3dsmax-custom-rollouts-step-1

Step 1- Right click on an empty interface area, and select "Customize…"

Step 2- Create a new rollout

What you need to do is create a new rollout by clicking the “New…” button.

3dsmax-custom-rollouts-step-2

Step 2- Create a new rollout by clicking the "New…" button.

Go ahead and give your new rollout a name.  I’m calling mine “Common Tools”.

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Assign your custom toolbar a name.

Step 3- Assign some actions to the new toolbar

Click and drag some actions into the new toolbar.  The vast majority of what you can do in 3d Studio Max can be assigned to buttons in toolbars.  Interestingly, all of these actions are also scriptable via MaxScript.

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Select the actions that you want to appear in the new toolbar by click+dragging them over.

You now have a new custom toolbar.  You can access it using the right-click menu we used to start this process.  Right-click on an empty area of the UI and select your new “Custom Tools” toolbar.

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You now have a custom toolbar!

BONUS: Assign custom actions to your toolbar using MaxScript

You can assign custom actions to your toolbar with the MaxScript Macro Recorder Window.  Press F11 or open the listener through MaxScript > MaxScript Listener…

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Enable the MaxScript Macro Recorder from the Listener window.

Enable the MacroRecorder as shown.  This will record everything you do in 3d Studio Max in the pink window, and allow you to record a pre-defined set of actions.  This could be everything from making flower petals to building a skyscraper.

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When you have your action recorded, drag the script to your toolbar.

When you have your action recorded, select all of the text in the pink window and drag it over to your toolbar.  If you have extra actions recorded, you may have to remove those.  Remember that everything you click or do is being recorded, so make sure you did what you want to record and nothing else.

You can right-click on the button that was created and select “Edit Button Appearance…” to change the image or text of your new button.

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I gave mine a label and tool-tip so that I don't forget what it does.

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