View Full Version : New DotNet control to download on - HitchHiker

09 September 2009, 03:08 PM
Iím proud to announce the release of a new DotNet control for 3dsMax called HitchHiker. If anyone has read the related earlier post here ( will know a little bit about the background of the control. This release has some significant improvements in terms of the simplicity of integration.

HitchHiker is a dynamic auto-thumbnailing control, which has the ability to open Non-Dotnet image types like Targa and RPF.

Whatís more, itís credit crunch busting, global downturn reducingly FREE!

You can get it at (

09 September 2009, 04:43 PM
Awesome job Pete. Kudos!

09 September 2009, 04:53 PM
Wow... Just reviewed this control.. Amazing..

Can't wait to be on 2010... maybe in 2012... :-(

09 September 2009, 05:40 PM
Nice work, no use for it at the moment but I'm sure that I will find something.

09 September 2009, 08:59 AM
Hi Marco, Keith, and Paul

Thanks for your comments, I appreciate it.

09 September 2009, 11:33 AM
I'll be looking at it soon too, as we are working out a modellib/pipeline in the coming time. This looks great for merging models in a scene.

Thanks! :thumbsup:


09 September 2009, 11:40 AM
Hi Johan,

a max file search option could certainly be added if you needed it. I had that facility in the first version of this control. I abandoned it due to the COM interop assembly i had to use to return the max thumbnail. I would think it would be easy to adjust to incorporate a maxfile drag and drop from the control. One thing i need to update in the help file is that it you can shift drag/drop the texture from the control into max. It should be easy to change the drag drop method into a maxfile also.

I will also add some other image type options like GIF and HDR shortly.

09 September 2009, 05:09 PM
Or better yet, have an image that you can associate with a max, or any other file, and drag and drop the image but have the associated file passed as the drag item... I've done that with a html control on our asset manager, but it'd be super cool if your control took care of this... ( read: you do my job for free. :-) )

09 September 2009, 07:15 PM
Hey Keith,

Yes, that makes sense - I do the same thing on my XMLlayoutpanel control - it looks for a .png image with the same name as the XML preset and displays that on the button. Adding this functionality is a great idea. I'll be sure to add this for the next update. Thanks for the idea! (and Johan too!)

10 October 2009, 09:25 PM
Jeff Hanna found a bug in the control that has now been rectified. The download has been updated for anyone who has previously downloaded.

10 October 2009, 07:39 AM

Neat control ! very usefull. thx for sharing this !
one question: is it possible to have Hitchicker display multiple filetypes ?

10 October 2009, 11:15 PM
Hi ZBuffer,
sorry for the delay. It is not possible currently, sorry.

07 July 2010, 04:29 AM
I have a question about setting the thumbSize.

I would like to give users three options for thumbnail size without enabling .ShowToolBar. I don't want to give them the option to browse to just any folder, there is a treeView feeding HitchHiker directories.

So I created a buttons that set the thumbSize easy enough. but when the thumbs resize, the previous image size remains but cropped to the new thumbSize. i.e. if I drop from Large to Small the thumbs are smaller but the image inside is still the large thumbnail.

I assume this is because HitchHiker needs to be refreshed or repopulated. I've tried .refresh, .update...
calling populate again works but I'm wondering if there is an alternative method?

10 October 2010, 04:27 PM
I have finally been able to update HitchHiker to version 4.3

There are a few big improvements in this release -

Populate (from file array)

Ability to display max file type

Super fast thumbnail cache

There are some screen grabs explaining the new features.

please head over to the usual place, to download. I've added a few new research posts too, recently, if you are interested in the other control development that I've been doing.

10 October 2010, 06:24 PM
Ooooo. Big changes. Can't wait to try it out!

10 October 2010, 06:55 PM
I assume this is because HitchHiker needs to be refreshed or repopulated. I've tried .refresh, .update...
calling populate again works but I'm wondering if there is an alternative method?

Hi Jonah, sorry I didn't see these questions before - you will have to call populate as you have already found out. There are some preset thumbsize properties (thumbnails) but if you want a custom size you can use the thumbsize property, passing it a dotnet size to set. However resizing the button means that hitchhiker needs to recalculate the thumbnail as it uses the button dimensions multiplied by the image aspect ratio. It technically works out whether the image is portrait or landscape and uses the longest side, thus making the thumb preview as large as possible on the button surface but preserving the image aspect.

10 October 2010, 07:14 PM
No problem on the response. I went with simply repopulating. No user has complained, even with a few hundred thumbs in a folder.

Will the cache feature work in this case as well? I'm away from a real Internet connection or I would download and test for myself.

10 October 2010, 07:42 PM
Hi Jonah,

Cache mode is fast

You have the initial first populate call, but instead of discarding the thumbnails, it is storing them on the user's local drive. The next time you run in the same folder, wammo they are there almost immediately - hundreds of hi-res previews.

I have written a matte shadow utility at work that uses the latest version of HitchHiker to point at a directory of hundreds of 1280x720 background images. Im cache mode it loads immediately! If it encounters a new image while in cache mode, it adds this to the buffer. If you ever need to rebuild the cached images (ie you change the thumbsize) then hold shift and right click the hitchhiker main panel and pick the refresh icon - this forces the cache to rebuild.

You can see the speed difference on the screen vids on my site.

If you are using HH, do you mind sharing some info as to how you've done it or a screenshot? it really helps me to see what people are using it for!

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