Plugins: Managing multiple computers

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  09 September 2003
Plugins: Managing multiple computers

Equinoxx asked here...
...about a method that I described for keeping network render computers up to date with their plugins and scripts.

Here are some tips I saved from the Discreet board, that have since scrolled off into oblivion. Also a tip from LFshade on CGTalk for managing Macroscripts.

Hopefully these will help you...


Topic: Installing plug-ins (3 of 14), Read 91 times
Conf: Plugins
From: Jamie McLaughlin
Date: Saturday, November 02, 2002 12:01 AM

A word of advice would be to make a new directory in C:\3dsmaxX\plugins that you can place all 3rd party plugins (helps troubleshooting).

I ALWAYS make a new directory called "C:\3dsmaxX\plugins\Third Party Plugins" that contains subdirectories, such as "Blur Plugins", "Peter Watje Plugins", etc. This makes it more organized (yes, I'm a control freak), and helps you to determine what the problem is if you have a plugin conflict. If there's an error with a plugin right after you "install" it, you can just move your "Third Party Plugins" directory out of C:\3dsmaxX\plugins, and see if the problem occurs again. Of course, the same would apply to those subdirectories. You could move "Blur Plugins" or "Peter Watje Plugins" out, pinpointing the error to a specific directory, making it easier to find the culprit.

At least, that's how I do it...

If you do add a new directory, MAKE SURE to add the correct lines in the C:\3dsmaxX\plugin.ini file. A normal file should look like this (upon first running MAX):

Standard MAX plug-ins=C:\3dsmax5\StdPlugs\
Additional MAX plug-ins=C:\3dsmax5\plugins\
character studio reference=C:\3dsmax5\help\cstudio.chm

Here is my modified plugin.ini file, to show what directories I have.

Standard MAX plug-ins=C:\3dsmax5\StdPlugs\
Additional MAX plug-ins=C:\3dsmax5\plugins\
Third Party plug-ins=C:\3dsmax5\plugins\Third Party Plugins\
Blur Plugins=C:\3dsmax5\plugins\Third Party Plugins\Blur Plugins\
Other Plugins=C:\3dsmax5\plugins\Third Party Plugins\Others\
Hardware Shaders=C:\3dsmax5\plugins\hardwareshaders\
character studio reference=C:\3dsmax5\help\cstudio.chm

Hope that helps.



Topic: Installing plug-ins (4 of 14), Read 89 times
Conf: Plugins
From: Josef Wienerroither
Date: Saturday, November 02, 2002 01:52 AM

Another Tip:

I use this tool out from the stoneage (1997) -
SPM ( Simple Plugin Manager ) - to manage my plugin's loading BEFORE i start Max

instead of starting Max i start this utility ( copied it into the max root folder before), then it lists all subirectories in the plugins folder, that contains *.dl? - files.
Now you can activate or deactive the folders you need in your current session - then launch Max via a button on SPM.
Works great for me.
has one bug with NTFS filesystems. If a pluginfolder has special fileattributes set, it will not be dedected by SPM

;-) Josef


Topic: Installing plug-ins (5 of 14), Read 74 times
Conf: Plugins
From: John Manning
Date: Saturday, November 02, 2002 12:33 PM

OK, just for fun... one more method that works great on a single machine or on a large render farm:

All of our max installations get the following 2 lines added to the end of the plugin.ini file:


Basically this keeps all standard shipping plugins isolated in case of trouble.

It also reads in a second plugin.ini file from a network directory, and max loads everything in that file too. This xtraplugin.ini file looks something like this:

Chaos Simcloth=m:\max\xtraplugin\Simcloth
RealPeople and Trees=m:\max\xtraplugin\RPC
Blur Studio plugins=m:\max\xtraplugin\BlurStudio
Sticks and Balls=m:\max\xtraplugin\Sticks and Balls
;Doors and Windows=m:\max\xtraplugin\Doors and Windows
Optimize Spline=m:\max\xtraplugin\Optimize Spline
;cebas Plug-Ins=m:\max\xtraplugin\Cebas
Brazil plug-ins=m:\\max\xtraplugin\brazil
Forest Pro=m:\max\xtraplugin\ForestPro
PolyGem people=m:\max\xtraplugin\PolyGems
Chase Gravity=m:\max\xtraplugin\chase gravity
render effects=m:\max\xtraplugin\render effects
essential textures=m:\max\xtraplugin\essential textures
particle studio=m:\max\xtraplugin\particle studio

This way, when you want to turn off any or all third party plugins, simple open up the xtraplugin.ini file and insert a semi-colon in front of the plugins you want to exclude.

Obviously the plugin .dll files and other supporting files are neatly stored in descriptive folders as defined in the paths above.

p.s. Max is very picky about the [Include] line... it must be like the one above including character spacing and case.



...and finally a method from LFShade for Macroscripts. This info also exists in the Maxscript Reference help file I believe.


Posted 02-10-2003 11:20 PM

stick a script into your startup scripts or stdscripts directory, with something like the following in it:

macros.load "H:\\somefolder\\"

  01 January 2006
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