View Full Version : MatManagerBETA

05 May 2008, 02:40 PM
Over the las few months Ive been working on a very extensive macroscript called MatManager. What the script does is create a Tree of custom material libraries. The user can then add as many libraries and materials to the tree as he wants. The materials will be automatically stored on exit and when the MatManager is opened again they will still be there, ready for use. This makes recycling of old materials A LOT faster and easier.

However that is not all that it can do, here are some feature highlights:

-Besides user-created libraries there are two extra libraries, one holding all the materials in the scene and one holding all the materials in the material editor. These facilitate the saving of materials in the MatManager and the browsing of the already created materials. Both of these libraries are updated automatically.

-When saving a material that uses bitmap files, MatManager will automatically copy the bitmaps to a pre-configured location. With this feature you will never have problems with missing bitmaps!

-MatManager will not only display your materials but also all the sub-maps that those materials use. It will also automatically generate and display previews for your materials and maps.

-Besides the material itself, you can also store the UVW modifier that material is using. This way you wont have to waist time re-creating the UVW coordinates for your architectural materials.

-All the materials are stored in .mat files in your hard drive, this makes sharing of materials and libraries really easy even with people who do not have MatManager installed.

MatManager is still in beta stages and so it should be used at your own risk. Right now most of the features are working, however it is still not complete. For example the options panel is still incomplete and some of the options in the right-click menus dont do anything yet. The reason Im releasing this beta here is to find as many bugs as possible now that about 80% of the code is done.
Since I have still not decided if I will try to sell the final version the script is encrypted and the number of materials you can store has been capped.

There is still no help-file for MatManager but most of the interface should be pretty easy to understand. Here are a few pointers however:

-Nodes can be drag and dropped between libraries and dragging a node from the Material Editor library or the Scene Materials library to a custom library will store it (the panning while dragging a node is still kinda of freaky I know).

-Pressing the Delete key will delete the selected material/library. MatManager does not delete the bitmaps when deleting a library, instead they are moved to a "deleted libraries" folder (just in case you want to use them on another material later).

-Double clicking a material in the custom libraries or the material editor library will assign that material to the current selection (this is undoable). Double clicking a material in the Scene Materials library will select all the objects in the scene that use that material.

-Materials that have a UVW modifier associated will have an orange icon (see screen grab above) and it will be indicated next to the material preview at the bottom. Also at the bottom you will see a filed that reads "Compatible:" this indicates if the selected material is compatible with the current renderer.

If you come across any bugs or have an requests or comments please let me know here or at (

05 May 2008, 03:55 PM
Wow this looks great! Thanks; I look forward to trying it out!

05 May 2008, 04:03 PM
Thanks! Let me know how it goes.

10 October 2008, 07:03 PM
I uploaded the latest version to scriptspot with a bunch of changes and improvements.


- New Tools: Remove Material; Assign Random Material; Synchronize Materials

- Materials can be refreshed hitting the F5 key

- Stored UVW maps are used when generating the preview render

- Special icons and options for Blend materials and Multimaterials

- The script can now import several materials at once from the current selection

- Missing bitmaps are now shown on the material tree and can be directly fixed

- Bitmaps can be directly opened in your favorite image editing software.

- Many, many bug fixes and small improvements/optimizations

01 January 2009, 03:11 PM
Sorry for digging up a really old thread. Couldn't find anything similar, and this script has what i need.

Marco (or anyone who can help me),

Can you tell me (or point me in the right direction) how you created the material previews?

I'd like to display a preview of all maps and materials in my tool. I've already finished the maps (renderMap function) but I can't find anything to preview my materials. It's possible to render them myself and save the previews, but I assume there's a much easier way.

Thanks in advance.

01 January 2009, 03:43 PM
In MatManager the preview is actually rendered in the scene without the user knowing it (hopefully!). You can see something very similar being done by Bobo here: (

So far I've found no better way to work with material previews. Ideally one should be able to access the previews directly, however there is no way to do this from maxscript. My script saves the previews once they are generated so that they can be reused.

01 January 2009, 03:48 PM
Thanks for the quick reply Marco, I'll try it that way then.

Edit: works like a charm, and quite fast.

02 February 2009, 07:18 PM
Anything new on the horizon ?

I'm having trouble transfering UVW-map modifiers together with materials from one object to another. I'm really looking forward to this tool, because it would make life much easier.

04 April 2009, 08:37 PM
Anything new on the horizon ?

I'm having trouble transfering UVW-map modifiers together with materials from one object to another. I'm really looking forward to this tool, because it would make life much easier.

I am currently zipping the latest incarnation of the script to upload it to Scriptspot... once the beta testers give the ok that is...

Hopefully this will be the last update before starting to sell licenses.

What do you mean by having trouble transfering UVW modifiers? From MatManager to the scene or vice-versa?

04 April 2009, 08:54 PM
MatManager 0.6 BETA is now out on ScriptSpot.

Opinions welcome. =D

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