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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Excubitor's picture

Hows it coming along? I'm a

Hows it coming along? I'm a bit limited by the fact that you can't add more than a certain number of materials - and have encountered some bugs. If your going to charge 10 Euro for it, I'm ok with that. But when do you think you will get to where you have a live version :)

Marco Brunetta's picture

OK, I know what it is then.

OK, I know what it is then. Right now is still not a good idea to put your own .mat files directly as you will get these kinds of errors. The problem is that MatManager looks for the preview file in the folder with the same name as the .mat file, however since that folder does not exist it gives you that error. You can probably fix the error by manually adding the folder yourself.
Normally MatManager creates the folder when a new library is created from within the script itself, I'll add some code to make sure that if the library does not exist it is created.

On a side note, I've also worked on an IMPORT button (you can see it at the top of the rollout, but is disabled on this version) that will not only import the chosen .mat, but will also look and copy the bitmaps files to the MatManager automatically and replace the bitmap paths with the new locations.

frothlord's picture

Dunno what I'd be doing

Dunno what I'd be doing wrong. I coped the UI and SCRIPTS folders to the max 9 directory. It recognizes my custom mat libraries but it comes up with that I/O error whenever I click on a shader.

Marco Brunetta's picture

This means that the preview

This means that the preview image is not being generated and thus it can't be loaded. Does this happen ON EVERY material or just one in particular?
If it happens on every material it might be that you are not capable of writing files in the library path or some other network problem perhaps.
Check the library storage path in the options panel and make sure it´s a valid path (I'll replace this panel with a more user-friendly one for the next release). By default MatManager creates a "MatManager" sub-folder in 3D Studio´s default material library folder.

frothlord's picture

I get "Image I/O Error" and

I get "Image I/O Error" and missing preview .jpg link when I choose a material in my library. What am I doing wrong? Did I install it correctly?

Marco Brunetta's picture

Hehe. Right now the plan is

Hehe. Right now the plan is to sell it for around 10 Euro. I´m currently working on a website and a few demo videos for the script (besides completing the script itself of course).

Excubitor's picture

It's a good tool. Any chance

It's a good tool. Any chance you can make up your mind soon to if your going to sell it or just release it. I need to add more libraries :)

Marco Brunetta's picture

ALSO, here´s a short list

ALSO, here´s a short list of some stuff I´ve added since this beta release:

-A refresh option for materials in the right click menus (also the F5 key).This allows you to update the preview and the maps after a material has been edited.

-Materials that have an UVW map associated will use it when generating a preview.

-As stated above MatManager can now display the submaterials of a MultiMaterial and they have their own icon.

-Created a "Remove Materials" tool button. Nothing fancy I know, but it might be useful to clear stuff from the scene.

-The "Import from selection" option now allows you to import several materials at the same time. When more that one object is selected, a list displaying all materials will be shown, the user can then choose which ones he wants to import.

Marco Brunetta's picture

"Have you thought about a

"Have you thought about a syncronising function?
So, if you open a scene and then let syncronis all materials with a libary.. etc..."

I didn´t get that one, could you elaborate?

"If I use more then one UV Channel I get an error message when the little material Preview is rendered."

I´m looking into that right now. Is that a "missing UVW" error or something else?

 

"An option for turning of the preview (speed) or make it small would be nice. Indeed I find it to big (performance)."

I´ve already added an option to disable previews for the Material Editor and Scene materials. The preview is rendered EACH TIME you select a material from one of these libraries and this can be pretty annoying. The custom library materials instead only generate the preview once, this is then stored on the HD and unless the user forces an update of the preview, there will be no need to create a new render.
Besides this, I´ve also planed to give the user the ability to use a custom scene for previews.

 

"Renaming option for Materials would be very nice. Also a Material Renamer could be integrated (there is one script here at scriptspot)."

Have you tried pressing F2? =p
There should also be an option to rename the material in the right click menus. The renamer idea might be interesting, I´ll check it out.

 


"Sympole: It would be cool if the the symbol could tell me more about the material type. Like Standard, Multimaterial, Vray, MR etc.."

Since this release I´ve added better support for MultiMaterials (they now have their own icon and the submaterials are also displayed). The problem with custom icons for different material types is that there are A LOT of material types so it would be a lot of work, besides these would need to be hard-coded, which is not really nice. I´ve planed to add another icon however for materials that are incompatible with the current renderer. I´ll update the preview once that one is done.

 

"Drag & Drop: Also quite importend, draging a Material in the Material editor or in the viewport (to apply it). And of course backwards."

I´d love to however it is not possible. Maxscript does not support drag and drop outside the material editor. However I do think that the double clicking the material to assign to the selection is a pretty good alternative. Right now I sometimes find myself double-clicking the materials in the Material Editor =P.

 

"Search: This one thing I miss in the Material Browser. A search vor Name or Type, etc."

I´m not convinced this would be useful as the ability to create different libraries already permits pretty easy browsing of the materials, but I´ll think about it.

robert's picture

ok, I found the project

ok, I found the project paht...

 Some Comments:

- If I use more then one UV Channel I get an error message when the little material Preview is rendered.

- An option for turning of the preview (speed) or make it small would be nice. Indeed I find it to big (performance).

- Renaming option for Materials would be very nice. Also a Material Renamer could be integrated (there is one script here at scriptspot).

- Sympole: It would be cool if the the symbol could tell me more about the material type. Like Standard, Multimaterial, Vray, MR etc..

- Drag & Drop: Also quite importend, draging a Material in the Material editor or in the viewport (to apply it). And of course backwards.

- Search: This one thing I miss in the Material Browser. A search vor Name or Type, etc. 

 

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