MatManager

47 votes
Version: 
BETA 0.7
Date Updated: 
06/04/2009
Author Name: 
Marco Brunetta

 

MatManager is a collection of tools created to help
you, the artist, control your materials and allow you to make the most of
them. It was designed to complement 3D Studio, keeping a clean and
streamlined interface where every action takes as few clicks as
possible.

Normally 3D Studio only allows one material library to be open at any time, and saving a material for later use on another project requires a very tedious procedure. So tedious that most users don’t reuse materials or keep an organized database of the ones they have created.

MatManager gives you the ability to store an unlimited amount of materials. There is no need to browse for a material library or scene file, once you have stored a material it will always be there, just one click away. Plus, the materials can be organized into different libraries so that they can easily be found, even if you have hundreds stored. And of course there is no limit to the number of libraries you can have.

This however is only the start, MatManager comes with a lot more features.

MATERIAL EDITOR AND SCENE LIBRARIES
MatManager allows you to easily browse and manipulate materials in the scene and the material editor thanks to two special libraries. Both of these libraries are updated automatically and can be used to do things like quickly identify which objects are using a certain material, or find shaders with missing bitmaps.

AUTO.STORE BITMAPS
When saving a material that uses bitmap files, MatManager will automatically copy the bitmaps to a pre-configured location. This will automatically keep your bitmaps organized and you will never have problems with missing bitmaps!

MATERIAL PREVIEWS
MatManager will display a preview of your materials and also of all the sub-materials and textures that those materials use. It’s also capable of recognizing different kinds of shaders (standard, mix, blend, etc.)and adjusting the tree accordingly.

STORE UVW MAPS
Besides the material itself, you can also store the UVW modifier that material is using. This way you won’t have to waist time re-creating the UVW coordinates for your architectural materials.

MATERIAL SHARING
All the materials are stored in .mat files in your hard drive, this makes sharing of materials and libraries really easy even with people who do not have MatManager installed.

COMPATIBILITY
MatManager is compatible with any and all materials and rendering engines. As long as your 3D Studio is able to load the material, so will MatManager. And of course the previews can be rendered with the engine of your choice.

OTHER TOOLS
Besides all of these features, MatManager comes bundled with extra tools that will give you even more control over your materials and allow you to work faster and more
efficiently.

Additional Info: 

THIS IS A COMMERCIAL SCRIPT.

If you have not authorized MatManager, it will run in Demo Mode. While in Demo Mode, only 5 custom libraries can be created, and they can only store up to 5 materials each. All other features are fully functional. MatManager licenses can be purchased trough PayPal at the website.

NOTE: MatManager is still considered BETA, so it is possible that you might encounter a bug, if so please report it either here or to me directly trough the link in the webpage.

To install the script just extract to your Max folder and look under the tools category for MatManager.

If you need any help, or you wish to learn more about the script you can download the help file below.

 

NEW IN MATMANAGER 0.7

- Fixed: bug in Random Materials Tool
- Fixed: "Unknow struct member" bug
- Fixed: bug in demo mode - MatManager would not load more than 4 materials instead of 5
- Fixed: the "Remove Map" option no longer shows up on first level map nodes
- Fixed: bug when assigning materials - MatManager assigned an instance of the stored material instead of a copy

- Tweaked: when the Material Editor is open, selecting a material from the MATERIAL EDITOR library will make the corresponding slot the one currently active
- Tweaked:Forced Vray log window off when rendering previews
- Tweaked: several small changes to accomodate for new Modifier Saving
ability (changed UVW: label to Modifiers: / created rollout for
importing several modifiers / changed right click options)
- Tweaked: better support for Mray, Vray & FinalRender when creating previews

- Added: right click menu when clicking on empty area of the treeView
- Added: Sorting of libraries alphabetically to right click menues
- Added: ALL modifiers can now be saved and retrived using XML format
- Added: treeView resizing when extending the floater
- Added: Isolate Objects option to Scene Materials right click menu
- Added: modifier options to Options Panel
- Added: material previews display floater
- Added: double clicking the Material Editor library opens the Material Editor
- Added: import multiple materials rollout updated. It now uses checkboxes and displays modifiers associated with the materials

NOTE: IF YOU HAVE A PREVIOUS VERSION OF MATMANAGER INSTALLED, MAKE SURE YOU OPEN THE OPTIONS PANEL AND CLICK OK AFTER INSTALLING THE NEW VERSION. This will update the .ini file with the new options regarding modifier storage, you might enocunter some errors otherwise.

NOTE Nº2: The new modifier storage system is not compatible with the old UVW storage, so previously stored UVW maps will not work. I'll make a small tool to update the old ones automatically in the next few days.

 

Version Requirement: 
MAX 9 sp2
Video URL: 
AttachmentSize
MatManagerDemoSample.jpg98.57 KB
MatManager 0.6 Help.rar527.38 KB
MatManager_0.7_BETA.zip696.51 KB

Comments

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Marco Brunetta's picture

"When I say black I mean

"When I say black I mean black image, not black sphere, so they're saving out as (black/blank)86x86 pixel jpegs."

That's weird. Does this happen with every material or just with some? What rendering engine are you using? MatManager uses the render engine assigned to the Material Editor to render previews, you could try changing that and see what happens.

"Ok got it. It's a blank material slot. In a new scene, in a material slot make a multi-material. Clear slot1 so it says "None". Start MatManager."

Yup, confirmed. I'll fix that for the next version.

"The key thing could be different. Maybe shift+double click to edit or something - just a quicker way/shortcut than the right-click menu!"

Hehe, ok I'll see about adding some faster shortcuts for the more common tasks.

duke2's picture

The key thing could be

The key thing could be different. Maybe shift+double click to edit or something - just a quicker way/shortcut than the right-click menu!

duke2's picture

Ok got it. It's a blank

Ok got it. It's a blank material slot. In a new scene, in a material slot make a multi-material. Clear slot1 so it says "None". Start MatManager.

duke2's picture

When I say black I mean

When I say black I mean black image, not black sphere, so they're saving out as (black/blank)86x86 pixel jpegs.

With the error, I tried deleting something in the scene that's triggering it, and am getting a whole bunch of errors in MatManager-FUNCTIONS.mse @ lines 233, 249 and 250. I'll keep trying to nail it down!

Marco Brunetta's picture

-Double click

-Double click behavior:
Well, I really tend to use the script more for assigning materials than editing them, so it makes sense for my workflow. However I could have some sort of "default behavior" option in the Options Panel perhaps, so it can be better adjusted to other people's workflow.

-"Unable to convert: undefined to type: MtlBase" ERROR
Never heard of this one before. Does this happen on a particular scene? The fact that it happens when you first open the script could indicate that it's related to the loading of the scene's materials. Please check the Maxscript Listener window, does it say something when this error appears? Also, do you have any extra plugins/scripts that deal with materials?

-"Mine isn't saving material previews correctly" ERROR
When you say they are all black, do you mean that it's a completely black image, or that it's a black sphere (like a black material)?. If you open the jpg directly from your hard drive, is the preview image ok?

In any case, thanks for your help. I hope we can kill these bugs ASAP.

duke2's picture

Mine isn't saving material

Mine isn't saving material previews correctly. The images are in the directory, but they are all black. I can see it's rendering them correctly in Max though so I don't know what's going on!

duke2's picture

Sometimes I get this error

Sometimes I get this error when opening Mat Manager:

--Unable to convert: undefined to type: MtlBase

duke2's picture

This is excellent. Could you

This is excellent. Could you make the default behaviour of double clicking a material to open it in slot1? Right clicking->edit material->slot 1 is a bit of an extra step!

Marco Brunetta's picture

Thanks guys. The 0.8 version

Thanks guys. The 0.8 version will most likely include a material translator, capable of transforming materials from one shader type to another. Not sure how long it's going to take tough...

carlos's picture

hey its so cool this

hey its so cool this script,now its became perfect. I want to see version 0.8 :)

Keep your good work Marco

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