PowerPreview: High Quality Nitrous Previews

33 votes
Version: 
0.71a - Beta 9
Date Updated: 
04/27/2017

This is an updated version of my PowerPreview script for Nitrous....
Here's a preview pic of the GUI and a high quality nitrous viewport showing the great quality you can achive with NitrousCool

PowerPreview for 3ds Max 2012+

Here is a link to the full screen snapshot done with PowerPreview, the timelimit was set to 90secs, but it would have been perfect quality wise already after 30-40 secs...

PowerPreview

The purpose of the script is to be able to create viewport previews in the highest Nitrous-rendering quality possible. Additionally the size of the preview is NOT limited to  the desktop/or 3ds Max window size. There is a hard limit at 6400*6400 currently, but that is set in the code to prevent people from killing their Max sessions by dialing insane numbers in the resolution spinners. I successfully created some 4800*2400 avis on my 512MB graphics card Laughing

See more details below...

DETAILS:

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 PowerPreview V0.71a Beta 9
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Power Preview :  High Quality Nitrous Preview  - !!! BETA RELEASE !!!
Created:  June  6, 2011
Modified: April 27, 2017
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LIMITS EXISTING UP TO THIS VERSION:

  • 3ds Max Limitation: 3ds Max has to be the foreground application, otherwise Nitrous will stop refining the viewport progressively. Because of this issue IT'S IMPORTANT TO DISABLE THE SCREENSAVER.
    Energy saving mode is okay, even if it is set to put the display to sleep...
  • 3ds Max Bug:  AVI files bigger than 1GB get corrupted, please file a bug report at Autodesk (fixed in Max 2013)
  • Pressing "Cancel" on 32 bit Max might crash 3ds Max, this is currently under investigation
  • Locked target file (eg. playing in an AVI Player) cause PowerPreview to report an "Internal Error"
  • Advanced Nitrous options ( eg. dynamic reflections) tend to fail from time to time on lower-end GPUs
  • Workarround: set timebudget high enough, press create preview/snapshot, look at output: if something's wrong, toggle any Nitrous option on&off. This will eventually bring Nitrous's output back to glitch free again,
    If everything looks okay, turn down the timebudget again and wait for the preview to be created

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HISTORY:

HISTORY

Version:  V0.71a - Beta 9 - PRERELEASE - 3ds Max 2018+ Compatibility Fix

  • added missing icon in installer package (3ds Max2018+) to prevent exception at launch causing incomplete UI

Version:  V0.71 - Beta 9 - PRERELEASE

  • Implemented progressive refinement while 3ds Max is not the active Application ( 3ds Max 2014+ only)
  • Object Selection is maintained during preview creation now (including stack selection).
    This allow previews with selected object features (like wireframe selected, modifier stack's "Show Endresult" etc...)
  • fixed world axis being visible in previews

 

Version:  V0.70b - Beta 8, ( 3ds Max 2014 related Update + Bugfixes )

  • fixed NitrousTweaker's Procedural Texturesize error
  • fixed Viewportmenu disappearing after using 3ds Max's internal "Make Preview" functionality
  • fixed various Maxscript compiler related errors in 3ds Max 2014 and above

Version:  V0.70 - Beta 8 - Internal PRERELEASE

  • Increased resolution limit again ti 6.4Kx6.4K. Beyond that, severe graphics driver crashes might occure
  • unintended bitmap scaling fixed, this caused subtle graphics artefacts, especially visible on wireframe previews
  • complete code restructuring and modularization (some of it still in progress)
  • implementation of various (still internal only) data structures for future project managment usage
  • Nitrous Settings Copy&Paste functionality ( between viewports )
  • Some UI reorganization
  • fixed viewport switching/resolution issues

Version:  V0.60 - Beta 6, ( 3ds Max 2013 related Update)

  • Increased resolution limit again ti 6.4Kx6.4K. Beyond that, severe graphics driver crashes might occure
  • unintended bitmap scaling fixed, this caused subtle graphics artefacts, especially visible on wireframe previews
  • implemented basic preview creation mode switching feature, choose between various methods,
    currently you can switch to the default 3ds Max's "Make Preview" mode and back only
  • Filename postfixing based on token expansion added. Added checkboxes for convenient use
    Known tokens are currently: "%scene", "%view", "%date", "%time","%begin","%end",
  • DOF/Boken shape/image handling added:  per viewport bokeh shape mechanism implemented
  • UI rearranged, introduced "Minimal UI" button
  • Checkbox to disable  "Progressive Refinement" added for fastest previews
  • Various additional fixes...

 Version:  V0.51a - Beta 5, DC20120216, HOTFIX

  • Fixed "visibility in undefined" error for people having the viewcube-plugin completly removed
  • Please note regarding the gamma fixes:
    due to a Max bug/Limitation, maxscript always uses an output gamma value of 1.0 when it saves a bitmap
    Thus when doing a "Preview", the current display gamma settings are applied to the written files,
    that means it' provides complete WYSIWYG ("What you see is what you get")
    Contrary to the "Preview" creation, when doing a "Viewport Snapshot" and using the framebuffer save button to save the bitmap, the current "output gamma" setting is applied to the written image

Version:  V0.51 - Beta 5, DC20120215

  • Fixed filename-frame numbering when writing to  image sequence
  • Fixed double gamma issues with snapshot mode when display gamma is enabled
  • Implemented ViewCube hiding ;-)
  • Implemented basic UI and options for upcoming nitrous features (3ds Max 2013 DOF,Bokeh)

Version:  V0.50c - Beta 4, DC20120104, HOTFIX

  • Fixed time jumping bug during simple snapshot creation
  • Implemented simple Nitrous glitch recovery mechanism (still experimental)

Version:  V0.50b - Beta 4, DC20111221, HOTFIX

  • Fixed stupid installer bug: install only executed when existing PowerPreview install was detected - D'oh!!!!!
  • Removed dummy D3D button in Direct 3D mode - D3D options still wait to be implemented....

 Version:  V0.50a - Beta 4, DC20111220

  • Complete GUI rework, now features flexible rollout support, minimizing etc...
  • Introduced Nitrous config rollout
  • Experimental Nitrous options ( eg dynamic reflection ), buggy but work most of the time
  • Introduced Viewport SnapShot feature, supporting the same resolutions and features like the preview creation tool
  • Implemented update check tool, simply press a button to know if you have the latest version installed
  • Implemented timerange configurability, fixed bugs in previous versions related to timeline changes in the scene
  • Implemented Object Category Filtering and rudimentary overlay options (WIP)
  • Cranked up limits ( timelimit to 90 secs, max. resolution to 5000 x 5000 )       

Version:  V0.46a - Beta 3, DC20111212

  • Implemented compatbility wiht German and French Max Versions
  • Further improved UI logic and behavior
  • Improved future and internal 3d Max version stability 

Version:  V0.45c - Beta 2, DC20111210, HOTFIX

  • Fixed crash-to-tdesktop bug after preview creation on 32bit 3ds Max Versions
  • Fixed bug which could cause 3ds Max dialogs and menus to close immediatly after preview generation
  • Improved parts of the UI and the viewport selection change dedection code ( still work in progress)

Version:  V0.45b - Beta 1, DC20111205

  • Fixed various UI related issues, which messed with the parameters on viewport selection
  • Reimplemented iteration-based limiting ( enabled by default, set to 2048 Nitrous refinement iterations)
  • Note: all parameters in Timebudget Group are tweakable on the fly while a preview is in progress..
  • Statustext reflects wether the last frame did hit the time based limit, or the iteration limit
  • Fixed framerange detections ( WIP ), parameters are updated when "Create Preview" is pressed
  • Script works now in Direct3D mode  too, but of course without progressive options

Version:  V0.40c - Initial Alpha Release, DC20110728

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AUTHOR:

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FUTURE PLANS:

  • Too many to list Cool

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INSTALLATION:

  • 3ds Max Version 2012 and up and viewport set to Nitrous recommended
  • Use automatic installer or copy the zip contents to your Max folders manually....
  • "Spacefrog Tools-PowerPreview.mcr" should go to your "usermacros/macroscripts" folder
  • "SF_PowerPreview.mse"  should go to your userscripts folder ( usually "[MaxRoot]\Scripts\" )
  • Assign keyboard-shortcut/button or menu to "PowerPreview: Enhanced Preview" in the "Spacefrog Tools" category

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USAGE:

  • Start the script using your prefered method and select the viewport you want to have a preview generated from...
  • The script detects when you select another viewport and adjusts its output resolution automatically,
  • To create "bigger than screen" previews use "Preview Scale Factor" - slider and/or resolution spinners
  • Set the output file and format. Due to a bug/limit in 3sd Max, number of codecs available on 64 bit is limited
  • Adjust the timebudget( ms) you want Nitrous to give per frame ( first slider ),
  • You can re-adjust the budgets during preview creation if you are not satisfied with the output quality
  • Nitrous options are currently "Live" too, meaning  changes in the options are directly applied to the output,

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NOTES:

  • Please do not share the script directly, simply guide people to this page or share the download link
  • There are bugs, quirks and shortcomings in the script of course
  • Thus feedback is welcome,  please post here or on the original threads i created on various boards
  • Of course i do not take responsibility if the script burns your GPU, toasts your hamster or turns you into a bunny
  • You have been warned!
  • Happy Previewing! Cool

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Version Requirement: 
Max 2012 and up, runs on versions Max 2010 and 2011, but without Nitrous of course

Comments

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MrTyner's picture

usage steps?

Hi, first thank you so much for making this!

Second, I can't seem to get mine to work on a quadro 5000 using 3ds max design 2012 w/SAP.

The VC driver is out of date but IT has a policy against my installing the latest. Is there a min. driver version?

If that's not the issue, is there a step by step of how to set it up that I undoubtedly missed?

spacefrog's picture

New Version V0.60 Beta 6 posted !!

I bit the bullet early and completed the work on the next release already.
So here it is: V0.60 Beta 6

This one is fully Max 2013 compatible and adds some usefull features i think...
As always, feedback about problems and success is welcome !

Happy previewing !

cheers, Josef

spacefrog's picture

Yes - currently no settings

Yes - currently no settings are saved between sessions. I already started to provide for ini file saving, but simply i have'nt got enough time to really implement it. I'm currently juggling different projects ( which involve money earning ;-) ), and got less sparetime for PowerPreview

Nevertheless, the new update for Max 2013 (+other nice goodies) should come out in the next couple of days. Next version will bring some UI tweaks, DOF/Bokeh handling for each viewport, a simple option for intelligent AVI file naming ( more is in the works). Introduces preview creation method switching ( currently only adds the revamped standard 3ds Max 2013 "Make Preview" functionality )etc... So stay tuned, i hope i can get it out over next weekend....

BTW:
The current version already supports the new DOF feature of Max 2013 ( plus Bokeh image loading ), but has a very ROUGH UI for that - so be warned !
other features like default light handling should work right out of the box..

jedie's picture

Thank you for your work!

Thank you for your work! Great tool.

Is it right, that the settings would not be saved?

spacefrog's picture

PowerPreview will support

PowerPreview will support Nitrous DOF in Max 2013. But there is no way to make it possible in Max 2012, as this functionality does'nt exist in the Max 2012 Nitrous version (not even possible via hacky way like the realtime reflections are)

Gspoutnik's picture

dof & motion blur

Hello,
First thank you for this super script it's very cool for my design product preview...
Any chance to have deep of field ??
i see this fonction in nitrous max 2013 then perhaps its possible with 2012 for a good scripter like you??

Best regards
Gspoutnik

spacefrog's picture

Progressive refinement does a

Progressive refinement does a pretty good job with antialasing. Except for lines/wireframe, but that limitation lies in the rendering methods Nitrous uses ( deferred rendering AFAIK). Thus there is no way to enable AA'ed lines currently in Nitrous, but don't forget that PowerPreview should work in Direct3D mode too, where you have the option to enable AA ( up to 8 Samples)

Just tested some functionality in D3D mode, but as i did'not test that much before releasing the previous versions, i think there is currently an error popping up...

But stay tuned, a new version is coming soon, having this error fixed, and introduces some new features...
BTW: the scaling Bug which introduced some strange artefacts on wireframe is fixed too in the next version. I think it was you who reminded me of that problem a few weeks back...

cheers, Josef

maxnix's picture

Higher resoloution

Thanks for the reply and testing out higher resolutions. Any idea if anti-aliasing could be turned on in nitrous? If that were so 5K would be plenty of res.

Max Ehrlich

Max Ehrlich

spacefrog's picture

There seems to be something

There seems to be something wrong than on your installation...
You did drag the downloaded *.mzp package into a 3ds Max viewport - did'nt you ?
The download does NOT autoinstall, you have to install it manually the way i described in the previous sentence...

karimje's picture

The Name!!

Just want to note that the script name in the new installation still shows as "V0.51" and says that an update is available "V0.51a"

again thanks for everything!

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