04 April 2008, 09:16 AM
This is a rough question to answer. I imagine you are looking for a fairly easy answer from which you can dive into the full fledges of creation. I don't blame you. The truth of the matter is 3ds max is a toolbox. Like most toolboxes they vary on what you're doing. A carpenter doesn't have the same toolbox as a blacksmith. Furthermore, Blacksmith Bob is probably going to have a different toolbox than Blacksmith John. There are moments where I wonder if Paul Neale would look at my set up and go "What the hell are you up on!?" But, a friend of mine (though inexperienced at 3d as he is) peered over my shoulder and watched me work on something and was blown away at how fast I worked. I've also seen professional layouts and wondered "wtf?" So you gotta figure its all personal.
A grove can't be dug all at once, it has to be torn down at layer by layer. You should think about what you find yourself most often doing, and think about how to do it in a more efficient manner. A perfect example is this: I have my right hand on my trackball at all times and my left hand near the left end of my keyboard (usually near the ctrl shift and alt keys). Most of my common operations are done through a custom context menu that I access with CTRL+SHIFT+R-Click.
As far as tools go, apply the same philosophy. Think about what operations you find yourself doing often, and write a script to make your life easier, or do a search on ScriptSpot to see if it already exists. (MaxScripting really isnt that hard. I wrote Aquarius in close to 12 hours total and that was my first real utility).
In the end, the ultimate question is: What do you want to do?
Upon second thinking I came to conclusion that I should give a few suggestions for what tools I use, just to give you a feel. Now, bear in mind, I really don't do Game art intended for games. I'm a "game art intended for pseudo-cinema" kind of guy.
- My die-hard modelling tool is Polyboost. I haven't even come close to scratching the surface on what this can do. It's a little overwhelming, in honesty, to me. I would suggest learn to model the hard manual way first, then grab the advanced tools to increase workflow.
- Any kind of material work I use NodeJoe. It was in a free beta, but it has seemed to have gone into full price release. I'm sure a beta can be dug up somewhere. What nodejoe is is a node based material system. Very comprehensive and very intuitive. Polyboost's latest release also has a few texturing tools I've found useful for my weathering maps. I also used to use a utility called ColorClipboard (can't remember where I got it) but I'm in the process of writing my own.
- For lighting control I use my own Utilities, which I mentioned before. Aquarius and Leo (it's really about time for me to work on another one of those). They are slider-based controls for lights in your scene.
- I would probably grab theOnion or Fangorn for layers (I prefer Fangorn, because of limitless trees). but I doubt you'll have use for layers in game art stuff.
Hope this helps some.
04 April 2008, 09:26 AM
Basically I am a Maya user and I have experience writing mel scripts... Thanks to helpful members like bobo here, i am up to speed with maxscript thogh I hvnt had too much expeiriece working with Max. I have been able to write few scripts...
Previously, I was in a studio that did work for animation tele series/ short films...
This is the first time I am working for a game dev studio that uses max...
Unfortunately, even the studio is just getting upto speed and I just wanted to evoke some interest by putting up some maxscripts that maybe helpful...
maybe some readily available maxscript that performs some checks on model...anything that brings interest... Finally I would have menu that would be listing menuItems(maxscripts) from a centralized maxscript folder, something thats possble in Maya using .env files
If someone could point to a maxscript that performs some routine mandatory checks on a model, it would be very helpful... basically maxscripts that are generally useful in game development...
Anything....there must be one or two....that are useful.... Just to start off...
04 April 2008, 09:26 AM
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