Mini ZB : A Free Tool for Max!


[left]Hi guys, I’d like to show you a new tool I’ve been working on the last week.[/left]

[left]This tool started out simply as a way to manipulate high density meshes within Max.[/left]

[left]As you know Max hates high density meshes…it has horrible response time and you can’t do anything to them. MiniZB allows you to somewhat overcome this by working with sections of a large mesh at a time.[/left]

[left]Having provided some functionality allowing you to deal with relatively high density meshes easier I thought it would be a natural and fun idea to try to get some features of ZBrush in there![/left]

[left]This tool is not intended to compete with ZBrush…Max will never be able to handly that kind of polycount, but you can use it to work like ZB up to medium level of detail and easily calculate normal and displacement maps without all the hassle of importing and exporting objects, tools, and maps, and fiddling with numbers.[/left]

Hope you like it, let me know if you have good suggestions or bug reports

Video Demonstration (highly suggest you watch this first):

Script Download:

Manual (4/13/06):

(Use the second link to download the script as users have commented that the one I packaged with the video does not load properly)


Thanks…I’ll be sure to check this out now!


looks interesting…I got an error with the zip thoughdownloaded fine the second time
anything to speed up 3dsmax is a good thing


thezip seems okay now…and just watched the video…amazing!

thank you!

you shoulld post this to the max web board also…they might be VERY interested in talking to you!


I can’t run this! I am really not good with scripts but…

fileIn “zbmini.mse”
26959 “stuh505” “miniZB”
>> MAXScript MacroScript Compile - G:\3dsmax8\scripts\zbmini.mse Exception: – Syntax error: at name, expected macroScript
– In line: bОЏ¶ <<



what software did you use to record this btw? :slight_smile:


I´ve tested the tool superficially but it looks very promising. I like to stay in MAX to do some minor meshpainting and I think your tool is something that makes this easier. I very much like the one click displacement/normalmap generation.

Very nice work!

To give you a more fair comment I need to test it a little bit more!


The video is amazing but i can not make that the script works, it gives an error:

fileIn “zbmini.mse”
26957 “stuh505” “miniZB”
>> MAXScript MacroScript Compile - D:\programs\3dsmax8\scripts\zbmini.mse Exception: – Syntax error: at bad, expected macroScript
– In line:  <<


consider me your density test (as in how dense a person can use this thing!).

i get a codec error when trying to open the video (???).
i see miniZB in the user interface, i take it i “load” it…but then i get this screen where it wants to look for a “shortcut file” or a “kbd” file ??? what do i do here?


Hey stuh looks really awesome.

But i get the same error message like the others.

– Syntax error: at bad, excepted macroscript
– In line: []

:frowning: Any idea mate?


Ok, this one will work. I wonder why it worked for akika? It is separate from the video this time:

You need the TSCC codec to play the video:

i see miniZB in the user interface, i take it i “load” it…but then i get this screen where it wants to look for a “shortcut file” or a “kbd” file ??? what do i do here?

Sounds like you tried to use “Load Custom UI Scheme” that’s not the right button, a kbd file is a hotkey map file. There are instructions for installing the script in the installation.txt file (better instructions in the new link)

Edit: I’ve also fixed the Auto UVW feature. If you turn on this checkbox, it will automatically generate UV coordinates for the base mesh when you pick it.


Hey Stuh, after i closed Max and reopenend it, everything was cool.


Your script is very cool man - small but handy…

Im working alot with zBrush, my last production was a zBrush —> Maya Pipeline and i really loved pixelogics application.

Perhaps you can push your script further…

Anyways thx for sharing buddy - really appreciate it.


maybe someone can help with installing this (stuh i’m sorry that i’m dense and not hip to your directions, imagine you are talking to a 2x4, okay?).

  1. Customize -> Customize User Interface
  2. Menus Tab
  3. Click New to make a new menu, call it stuh505
  4. Category: pick stuh505
  5. Drag miniZB from the action list into the new menu
  6. Select “Main Menu Bar” from the dropdown in the top right
  7. Scroll down to “stuh505” in Menus on the bottom left
  8. Drag and drop stuh505 from Menus into Main Menu Bar at the end

i’m good right up to here. i see miniZB in the action window, i have miniZB in the main menu bar dropdown list (top right), i have miniZB in the menus list (bottom left)…but i don’t understand where you want me to drag and drop to?
in the custom user interface menu (right middle, by the way it says end of menu and nothing else) or in my regular max toolbars (if so which one?).

i copied all to my scripts folder.
and i guess i sucessfully entered the script command but i was still unsure here if i just typed it in and closed or if i had to run script, new script, save as, ???


Sounds like you skipped step 6, the point is to put the stuh505 sub-menu inside of the main menu

and i guess i sucessfully entered the script command but i was still unsure here if i just typed it in and closed or if i had to run script, new script, save as, ???

You don’t need to make a new script and save, once the macroscript is available it will be loaded each time you start max so if you assign it to a menu it will always be there


What do you want to see?


There are plenty of things which come to my mind.

One aspect would be to implement some zBrush Brushes.
There you got some other methods like “Standard” or “Inflat” and so on.
Would be interesting. And of course the other Brush setup are really awesome in zBrush.

Right now i didnt tested it with the Symmetry mod but in zBrush by pressing the “X” key the other “Side” of your mesh will be edited too.
Or does your script support Symmetry? gotta Test it… :slight_smile:

Some ideas…



Yeah it works now, i am very happy its a very useful tool, a lot of thanks for your work and time developing this pluging

P.D. Sorry for my english


As I recall ZBrush doesn’t really have other brush options…you can use push/pull, relax, and pinch. But pinching will reduce the quality of the displacement maps (similarly to using use deformed normals instead of use original normals in max subdiv painting).

It would be cool to be able to do something like Projection Master though, I might consider that

But I don’t intend to try to copy the whole ZBrush arsenal…if you want to do really complex stuff, just use ZB :stuck_out_tongue:


i took a look at the demo and it looks pretty sweet :), i’ll definately try this, to improve it further it would be nice to have custom brushes, like you could make your own brush using a grayscale map in photoshop and then apply it here. I don’t know if that’s possible but it’s already a very nice script like this!


I like it preety much the way it is, as you said - should I need something more complex, then I should use Zbrush. Many scripts tend to get crowded with too many features to handle.
This one’s sleek and satisfies it purpouse (not having to swich between apps for simple paint jobs).

That, ofcourse, doesn’t mean it’s perfect and doesn’t need improvements. But first, I gotta test it!

Thanks for sharing such a great script!