PowerPreview: High-Quality Nitrous Preview Tool


Thanks for such a great focused feedback…

Please always check the latest update on the scriptsot page, some of your issues are fixed in the latest version ( as far i remember :wink: )


  • I sincerely hope you can find away to allow switching to another window while rendering the preview, while Nitrous refinement still keeps going! Viewport previews are alreaady saving a lot of time as they are, but it would be even better if I could work in another window/program while rendering.

that’s a hard one, i don’t excpect this to be possible if Max keeps acting that way in future versions… but never say never

  • Frame numbering is driving me nuts: each file sequence starts at 0, instead of just taking the actual frame numbers for it… I guess that’s quite an easy fix :wink:

AFAIK i’ve fixed already, check the latest version

  • Tiny one: Viewport snapshot isn’t snapshooting (is that a word?) the current frame, but the start frame set in the preview time range… grabbing the current frame would be more sensible, I guess.

That’s definitly fixed in the latest version

  • It would be a good idea to have PowerPreview disable Max’s autosave while previewing, as it messes up the preview when it happens during rendering (the preview window gets switched to full screen, thus getting a different frame size for the rest of the preview)

  • An option for disabling the ViewCube in perspective views

good suggestions, totally forgot about the viewcube, because i have it disabled and never use it …

  • And some feature requests at the end: Output of Alpha-channel (or at least a “silhouette” render style), Z-channel, Object Masks, Ambient Occlusion, Shadows and whatever Nitrous supports.

that’s on my planned featurelist, but currently the whole thing is on hold again, because i’ve got plenty of contract work to do ( which pays my bills ). But i’ll be back on powerpreview as soon i got the time again …

best regards, Josef


Ah, right, I was still using 0.50b and only checking this thread for a newer version. I’ll install 0.50c immediately :slight_smile:

BTW, I've noticed a bug (and this time it's in 0.50c as well) - take a look at the attached image: It looks like some pixel lines and columns are missing... or doubled... or just shifted... I can't really tell. Happens every now and then. Looks like there's some scaling going on, and with no interpolation happening, it has to resort to line doubling, or whatever that is.


Yeah - i noticed that strange thing too, looks like during the grab->copy->write to file process some unintentional scaling is going on, i suspect it during that process the height or width gets changed about 1 pixel -> which would lead to that issue …
A fix for that is on my radar too, but as i said , i can’t say when i got time again for the script :wink:


This looks like a great tool! I’ll be sure to check it out. Thanks a lot for sharing.



Just put another update online -> here is what it fixes

UPDATE: 2012/02/15

  • Filenaming with image-sequences ( wrong frame numbers )
  • Double gamma applied when doing snapshots with display gamma enabled is fixed
  • Viewcube/Steeringwheel now are hidden during preview/snapshot

that small scaling problem is not fixed -> will hunt it down when time allows


posted another HOTFIX for problems that appear when people have completly “wiped” the viewcube plugin from their installations …
Please read gamma related notes in the history section too, if you use display gamma…


Posted the next Version (V0.60 Beta 6) on scriptspot


This one supports 3ds Max 2013 and adds some handy features for the new Nitrous goodies, like DOF/Bokeh handling and the improved standard “Make Preview” functionality.
Adds some other things of course too, like token based target-filenaming etc…

See the description about the update on scriptspot


Sweeeet :slight_smile:


Already using it, thanks very much. :slight_smile:


I finally got some time to play with this script and i have to say it is very useful.
One thing i have issue with is getting the aspect ratio to match the viewport.
I did some simple test but no matter what i try it always comes out stretched
vertically at 800x600. I’m probably doing something wrong, can you point me in
the right direction please?


Somehow the latest version (V0.60 Beta 6, I’m still running Max2012) is very fragile for me… it doesn’t crash, but as soon as I switch to another window OR have other windows open (like the curve editor, MatEdit, etc.) OR have something like the “key mode” button (right of the “Key Filters…” button) activated during preview creation, the Max window goes white after a couple of frames and the preview freezes. I can press ESC to quit preview creation and go back to normal though. Still it’s very annoying when you can’t even work in another window (I’m running a dual screen setup) while creating a preview. It doesn’t even bother me anymore that image refinement gets turned off during this, but now switching windows doesn’t work at all anymore!


Just wanted to post a quick thanks, Josef!
Just tried out Power Preview for the first time this week…amazed at the power of this script! Using it for all previews now. Going to also try and use it for rendering final images for certain projects.

Appreciate you putting so much effort into the plugin and releasing it for free. You should add a donate button to the plugin’s page!


Thanks Michael for the thanks , i really appreciate that :slight_smile:

I already thought about placing some donate button on the dowload page. Maybe such a thing will come midterm. In the meantime i just wanted to inform all PowerPreview users that i started to work on PowerPreview again after some months of inactivity, due to other tight schedules i had to fullfill.

The things i adressed this time is correct gamma output. Finally you get consistent gamma output through all Nitrous supporting Max version ( 2012, 2013 ) and independent of the target output, wether it being simple snapshot-images or complete AVI preview captures. Honestly this was a pita in PowerPreview until now ( because auf Maxscript-internal gamma related inconsistancies ), but i think i have worked arround all failure cases now and catched all of them…

Additionally i’ll implementing as much Nitrous related tweaks as possible, with UI of course where applicable. Luckily Max 2013 is far more accessable via Maxscript in that regard, which gives me a lot more options to play with …


Exciting news. Will be looking out for the next update! I hope with a donate button, you can get the support from people that use your script. There are a few ‘indispensable’ scripts that really should be included in Max by default (Relink Bitmaps, Outliner/Nested layer Manager, Object Properties 2 and of course Power Preview!)

it’d be great when I get to a level where I can use Power preview to render out final animations for certain jobs. Quality is already looking great!

Will it ever be possible to ‘render’ out render layers - z-depth passes, spec, reflection, etc? Or is that possible already but I just don’t know that?! :blush:


Really cool tool, something that is in my standard toolbox from now on.
I have some requests though.

Would it be possible to save the settings with the scene?
When i use it now all settings are reset when I close and reopen the window.

The tokenizing of the output name would be nice if it would be regathered at the start of the preview process (at least for the time flag), as of now i keep the window open (to keep the settings) and inbetween the previews i don’t really think about declicking and re clicking the timestamp toggle which updates it. This in turn gives all the previews the same name.

It would also be cool if you could reset the scale of the output image to 100% easily, OR be able to actually type in the percent text field.

For last, the output scale seem to be a little off when using big scales.
My render settings are set to a bigger size than my screen (or max viewport) can handle (1920:817), and by that the size is clamped, which is all fine, but the scale still says 100% when the width and height in the power preview window are clamped at (1678:714), and when i set the scale to 50% i would assume that the output from power preview would be 50% of my render settings, but instead it is 50% of the clamped values of my viewport.
Makes sense?

With no knowledge in how this works, i cannot change which settings to use with the ffdshow setting, (but i can when using the regular animated preview), i want to change settings like fps which for me doesn’t match with the scene, and other encoders.

Also, the camera setting doesn’t update with new selection of cameras (if i have the perspective view active when starting up the tool, but then change to a camera view, the camera specific settings don’t activate), not important but would be sweet if it was possible.

Again, thanks for a great tool!



Thanks for the input Tollman, will try to integrate some things of your suggestions.
The scale thing is more a relict of early testing, you can achieve the same high resolutions by simply setting the desired output resolution and press the lock button. After that the outputsize will not change when you change viewport etc…

But i will have a look at the scale thing , and saving settings is a long outstanding feature i simply havent got time to implement till now. Will keep everthing in the backlog though…

Again, thanks for the feedback.
Next release will be somewhen in the upcoming 2-3 weeks BTW…


Just put another update online ( V0.70b - Beta 8) .
This version is Max 2014 compatibel and contains some fixes and code restructuring.
Sorry but i have’nt got not enough time to implement those requested features :sad:
But anyways, this version should be more stable…

Just head over to scriptspot for more info

BTW: here’s a new image to demonstrate what quality Nitrous is able to achieve…

Fullres Version ( 3K x 1.5K )



It’s my first time using this script, I don’t know whether it’s a known issue or it’s me doing something wrong but it seems that planar faces such as planes and boxes can’t work very well with the dynamic reflections(they produce very distorted/inaccurate reflections, for me)…

Another thing that I noticed was while trying to activate the DoF in the camera, the script’s dialog will not notice the changes until restarted, I’m using Max 2014 btw…

Also while I’m here, a somewhat relevant question about viewports(please excuse my laziness for not creating a thread for this), I don’t suppose there’s a way to get a matt/shadow/reflection material effect right inside the viewports for the real-time AO/Shadow effects, is there?

And keep up the great work…


Hi Rudiam,

  1. Yes , the method Nitrous uses to calc it’s reflections is essentially cube mapping, thus you will get problems with reflections on planar faces. Same and even worse than you get with reflections and env mapping in a final render. This is Nitrous internal code, so there’s not really much i can do about it except maybe coding my own shaders ;-)…

  2. Just tested the DOF and camera settings with Max 2014. Everything works as expected for me. Could you elaborate the steps you perform and what’s the problem exactly ? Again: PowerPreview just serves as interface to what’s there hidden in Max and only accessable via maxscript… So possibly you expect more from PowerPreview than it can achieve :wink:

  3. If i understand you correctly you want have a matte material correctly displayed in the viewport, like it’s appearing in the final rendering ? Would be a great thing for sure, but currently it’s not possible with Nitrous ( nor with D3D ). This might be doable with some advanced shader writing. Nitrous uses MetaSL AFAIK and should support most D3D shaders too ( to some degree), but that’s not really my area of expertice…


Thanks for the quick reply and the explanation, about the DoF thing, nevermind, I think it was an issue on my end, thanks again for this tool, it has a permanent place on my main toolbar now. :slight_smile: