BillBoard Generator

16 votes
Date Updated: 
A simple script that facilitates the creation of vertical planes for use with trees/people images billboards.
  1. Select a diffuse map (tree/person image)
  2. Select a matching Alpha map of the same map. or press the lock icon if you use a TGA/TIFF image with an embedded Alpha channel.
  3. You may resize the plane to a desired height or width (great for specific people heights).
  4. Press the Generate! button.
Once done the script will place a vertical plane with the tree or person in 0,0,0.
You may change some parameters both before and after the billboard is created.
If you check the Random checkbox - each time you press the Generate! button - a billboard of slightly different dimensions will be created. You can also determine the max/min offsets.
The defaults for the billboard name and its material can be modified only prior to its creation.
You can Pick Point in Viewport < to specify the exact location of a newly created billboard. If you already have one selected - picking a point will move it to that new point. You may reset it to the world zero point by pressing the Reset button.
If you need more than one instance of this billboard - use the scatter engine. Enable it , Type the number of duplicates and define a rectangular area where the billboards will be generated. Scatter uses the Random function if it is enabled.
You may also modify the Shadows casting and reception and visibility parameters of the billboards.
The Orientation command will orient the selected billboard to an object - preferably a camera.
IMPORTANT TIP: Use bitmap proxies once working in the viewport becomes too slow when using lots of billboards.
Additional Info: 

Watch a video tutorial

This script was written with 2 channels in mind as I am using GOT3D textures which use a diffuse map as well as an alpha one. (Also: Ambient Light and Total3D)


To install my scripts, copy the script file to the 3dsmax/scripts/startup folder and inside max from the Customize menu open the Customize USer Interface dialog box. From the Category - select OneManSoft , select the script from the list and assign a keyboard shortcut.

New in 2.0.01 BETA
1. Billboard is now an object and is called OMSBILLBOARD. It retains all the previous capabilities and currently adds none but it will.
2. random checkbox default mode is now unchecked.
3. realworld dimensions set to off as in some setups the map was tiled.
this is not compatible with MAX 7 or 7.5 - I will add it in the next release

New in 2.0.6 BETA
1. Read Billboard.txt file included with the ZIP file for info on changes

New in 2.1
1. Added a Flip Horizontally option for cases where you need to flip the images

New in 2.2
1. Free cameras can also be oriented to.
2. Cameras list will show cameras only - without the target object

New in 2.3
1. Added a button to set the XYZ for a new billboard.

New in 2.3a
1. Fixed a lingering bug where typing a value in the billboard height did not affect it.

New in 2.5
1. Added buttons to simplify the selction of Diffuse AND Alpha files in 4 companies naming conventions: Got3D, Imagecels, AmbientLight and Cad Plants. IF you want another combi to be added plz email me. By pressing any of them you may skip the 2 buttons on top + Lock button.

New in 2.6
1. Flip can now affect selected billboards.
2. Added 2 more companies presets.
3. rearranged the maps rollout design.
4. Added an option to set coordinates to the currently selected billboard.

New in 2.7
1. Added a RGB output control for images and also - When Using CAD Plants output value for RGB is forced to 0.8 as I got too bright billboards in common MR photographic exposure

New in 2.75
1. Added a command to create a Black Gray White billboard for Color Correction purposes.
This billboard will not cast or recieve shadows and will not appear in reflections.

New in 2.8
1. Removal of orientation is finally here - press one button to annul all orientations - then assign to a different camera.

Version Requirement: 
3ds max 6-2010
Video URL: 


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nirsul's picture

Max 2012/2013 - Compatible

Autodesk just released an Update (#7) which fixes an issue Nitrous not showing scripted geometry. Billboard Generator now fully functions in Nitrous.

nirsul's picture

Links are live again

The program is live again (not in development anymore but) it is on the same link as before.
I tried to update it to work with MAX 2012 but in Nitrous it has a problem due to a change in the way Nitrous updates the objects it has on screen.

It will work in non-Nitrous modes (OpenGL or DirectX)

If anybody knows how to udate the code - I would surely appreciate it.

You may watch the YouTube tutorials on how to use it.
Since version 3.0x is not popular - download version 2.7.

Scadsa's picture

Script Gone

Could someone please repost this script somewhere? as it seem the link is dead. Thanks in advance

Scadsa's picture

Script Gone

Could someone please repost this script somewhere? as it seem the link is dead. Thanks in advance

zeronove's picture

the same happens here

the same happens here

fajar's picture

it crash when I using alot

it crash when I using alot of bitmap proxy (v2.6) I using v2.3a not like that!

gfa2's picture

The script looks really

The script looks really cool, but I'm getting an error in max 2009.

--Unable to convert: undefined to type: Float

it doesn't like line 999, tmp.output.RBG_Level = rgb_outputval

The scrip is creating the plane and assigning the diffuse color, but it doesn't do the Opacity with the alpha and it doesn't turn show map in viewport on.

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