Scripted game material in 3ds max?

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  10 October 2003
Scripted game material in 3ds max?

Has anyone whipped up a scripted material to specifically isolate just the features their game engine supports? We're considering it here, wondering how much work it would be, what pitfalls there may be, etc.

Right now, we're kind of shoehorning our features into the default max material/map sets, and things can get convoluted. It's not really all that difficult to use, but it's mostly just a process of remembering which checkbox was for our clipmapping vs. what 3ds max has named the checkboxes.

Brian Tate posted something on the Discreet board a long time ago (Feb 2000) when he was working through this, and it seemed from the replies that material support was pretty buggy.

I can post the thread if anyone's interested (I saved the html back then, in case it might come in handy). Larry Minton and Borislav Petrov had some interesting suggestions. All of it might be max3-specific though.

Anyhow, just wondering if anyone's created a material like this lately.
  10 October 2003
Yes i've done such a thing using 3ds max 4.

It mainly was to store the textures and blendmodes. One rollout had the list of 'texture layers' (bitmaps or procedural [which were rendered during export]) The second rollout had all the settings for the selected texture-layer (blend-modes, uv-coords (like CAMERAREFLECTIONVECTOR or so). Additionally i added some tools into another rollout helping geeting properties from default materials.

The propblem was how to store all the attributes and recall them. It has been quite a long time but if i remember it correctly some updat event hanlder weren't always called - so i need to add a refresh button - otherwise the UI had in certain cases wrong settings - like keeping those from the previous selected material.

As we were mainly working under the openGL driver (better performance - or lets say the directX drive didn't work at all in most cases at those times), there wasn't a WYSIWYG in the viewport. I started playing a bit around with blend materials etc in order to simulate at least a bit of it .. but well ... not really promissing.

So - to resume problems: UI property update problems, no real WYSIWYG.

This might be different with max5 or max6. Especially if you are using ATI cards and thus using dx anyway. SO you might use the viewport-shader manager.
  10 October 2003
Thanks DonMeck, I appreciate the feedback.
  01 January 2006
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