(Updated 25/7/2017) FFmpeg plugin for 3ds Max 2015-2018


Hi all,

Updated 25/7/2017: FFmpeg plugin for 3ds Max 2018 is now available!

Here’s a free FFmpeg plugin for 3ds Max 2015-2018, providing mp4/mkv/flv/dpx/jp2 formats support.
Additionally it supports image cache, to allow you playback video and image sequence in realtime.

Don’t forget to enlarge your texture/background image’s resolution in the viewport configuration dialog. Max does rescale work outside the plugin’s work. So it’s out of my control.

Enjoy it!

FFmpeg plugin for 3ds Max 2015/2016:
Link1: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zqwymzuozrvg0cp/ffmpeg2015.rar?dl=0
Link2: http://7xt4sg.com2.z0.glb.clouddn.com/ffmpeg2015.rar

FFmpeg plugin for 3ds Max 2017:

FFmpeg plugin for 3ds Max 2018:

This plugin(2015-2017)* requires FFmpeg 2.8.6 LGPL library, download from here:

Below is readme, feel free to tell me anything you want!

FFmpeg plugin for 3DSMax

For 3ds Max 2018:
copy ffmpeg.bmi into maxroot\stdplugs
copy ffmpeg.bmi.mui into maxroot\stdplugs\en-us
copy all .dll intomaxroot

For 3ds Max 2017:
copy ffmpeg.bmi into maxroot\stdplugs

For 3ds Max 2015/2016:
copy ffmpeg.bmi into maxroot\stdplugs
copy ffmpeg.bmi.mui into maxroot\stdplugs\en-us

This plugin(2015-2017) requires lgpl version of FFmpeg 2.8.6. Download it from:

Extract all dlls in the bin directory into maxroot
Your maxroot dir should has following dlls:

The ffmpeg.bmi has 2 bitmap type plugins:
FFVideo Plugin
FFImage Plugin

FFVideo plugin supports .mp4, .h264, .mkv, .flv, .ifl2 formats
FFImage plugin supports .dpx, .jp2, .jpc, .jpk, .ppm formats

FFVideo plugin supports cache option, to accelarate video playback performance.

Both plugin support FFmpeg’s filter option. You can specify additional filters.
For example:
For FFmpeg’s command line “ffmpeg -vf lut3d=sample.cube”, simply type “lut3d=sample.cube” in the filter edit box.
An important limitation is: if you use any additional file like LUTs, the file MUST be placed with the same directory as the image/video.

*About IFL2 format
IFL2 format is a special format defined by FFmpeg plugin. It’s exactly same as IFL format, just a renamed from it.
The purpose for this format is let FFmpegVideo plugin handle the standard image sequence, instead of Max default.
So that you can use filters and image cache for the whole sequence.

Known issue:
3ds Max 2015 doesn’t support image cache. The performance may worse than 3ds Max 2016 and 2017.

Special thanks to Changsoo Eun! For everything supported me!
Feel free to contact me at magicren@hotmail.com
Suggestions are welcome!

Revision 0.9.1:
Fixed crash issue when some files are missing in IFL2 sequence
Add support for 3ds Max 2018
Upgrade FFmpeg library version to 3.3.1

Revision 0.9:
First public release


Thanks, QInming!

I can tell you that this plugins is so… good.
Try image cache option.
My BG playback jumped from 6.6fps to 31.2fps.

Now you can use max as sequence player!


well done! buddy!



Ha - nice to see both of you here!
Hope everything goes well for you and thanks of course for the plugin !


Ohh wow, this made my day! :slight_smile:

And glad to see you here and I hope you’re doing well! Thank you for doing all those amazing things for Max over the years!

edit: This gave me an idea… this could work amazingly well with proSequencer, an option to have preview/rendered CGI playback in the viewport for shots that have them available and Nitrous for the shots that haven’t yet…


BIG Thanks QInming!



This is indeed a huge plugin:
now i can watch my favorite Shaun the Sheep episode while working
Notice the two MP4 streams running in the viewport in realtime


Just be sure that you do not limit the texture resolution in the display performance settings below the video resolution. As this would kill the performance ( i guess because of a image rescale happening on a frame basis )


Hi Qinming,

Thank you for all your amazing work with 3dsmax over the passed few years, we are all incredibly sad that you’ve left the team. Your feedback and interaction with the beta users was always appreciated and will be missed.

Thank you for creating and releasing this plugin, it’s such a shame this couldn’t be a headline feature in max 2017. I hope you keep on with plugins for 3dsmax, there will certainly be a market for it!




I second everything that has been said, I always enjoyed the level of interaction from both of you. Many thanks for releasing this for free!

@Josef: LOL, great little demo!



Thanks Qinming!




Hope to see you around still! Great plugin.


Wow, thanks very much!


I have to try and lift my jaw back up from the ground!!

Qinming - This is so incredible. Very generous of you to offer it for freeware as well. Just awesome!

I completely agree with Dave, I hope you continue to create tools and plugins for 3ds Max There would definitely be a lot of customers interested in these plugins, especially if they do add crucial functionality to 3ds Max like this plugin does. What a huge improvement this plugin adds to so many workflows. Watched Josef’s test video and can’t believe it.

To both you and Xun Xie, thankyou for such great work on 3ds Max!

The improvements you guys have contributed (Nitrous/Quicksilver, Hardware hit-test selection, GPU Mesh builder, Alembic/Transform Cache, Multithreaded Modifiers, UN unwrap improvements, etc, etc, etc)…these changes have given the biggest improvement to 3DS Max users for nearly a decade. All users rely on the viewport and performance…not all users require populate, ART renderer or Egg splines!

I am very sorry to hear you are not working with Autodesk anymore, it’s a huge loss for the company and a huge loss for 3DS Max users.


QFA +100

Qinming, you’ll be sorely missed :frowning:

Good luck with your future endeavors and I hope you’ll still keep a hand in 3dsmax in some capacity.


Or maybe it’s not…


btw… I had some issues with a DLL init error (code 126) when and the plugin failed to start. After some tracing I found that one of the FFmpeg DDLs was trying to find an openCl.dll which for some reason went missing on my system… I copied it from another machine (from/to <winroot>/system32/ folder) and everything worked fine.

And again… I’m still looking for my jaw that’s on the floor somewhere! :slight_smile: Seeing textures and background playback smooth and in realtime is amazing. This is going to make adding 3d to tracked footage so much more enjoyable to do!


Glad to have worked with you guys!


Very useful for me! Thank you for share it!


Thank you very much for sharing! :slight_smile:



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