PowerPreview: High Quality Nitrous Previews

32 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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spacefrog's picture

V0.45c Beta 2 released

released a Beta 2 / HOTFIX version for some serious problems with the previous version. Please see history for exact details about fixes

@Raven:
i will keep the idea it in my brains backlog, but some serious groundwork has to be done before it might happen ( no promises), because i have a huge number of things on the todo already ;-)

Raven365's picture

cool must be a coincidence,

cool must be a coincidence, well thanks for powerpreview. love it. Would it be possible to add quicktime support at all? I know someone else did a script that allowed quicktime support in Max x64. H264 is great for smaller files.

Cheers

spacefrog's picture

Rave:that's strange, the

@Raven:
i think i found the issue regarding he non-working viewport menus etc...
It can happen under special conditions during a "Create Preview" button press
Please redownload the new version ( Beta2 or later ) - i have fixed that issue,
forget about the inital text in this post ( i leave the obsolete part it in here for transparency)

Following text is obsolete:
OBSOLETE TEXT - OBSOLETE TEXT - OBSOLETE TEXT -
Raven: that's strange, the script does'nt manipulate any of the menu entries or other UI stuff. Is the viewportmenu not working directly after Max launch, or only after you launched the script ? And do you mean the display modes aren't set  correctly, or that the viewport menu does'nt appear at all? For me it sounds as there is some other problem going on on your 3ds max installation, because i can't imagine any means powerpreview could cause that..
OBSOLETE TEXT - OBSOLETE TEXT - OBSOLETE TEXT -

Raven365's picture

Thanks

Excellent love it.
Thought of this as soon as I saw Nitrous (wondered why it isn't standard for previews).
One problem, after I installed it, now my viewport appearance menu no longer works, any idea how to get that back? I tried uninstalling but no effect. The general and POV Menus still work fine, just appearance one is broken.

thanks again for an excellent solution to better previews.

spacefrog's picture

br0t: Thanks for the feedback

Thanks for the feedback.
This "User folder not accessible" problem seems have to hit me in my installer ( despite using the symbolic path names like #userscripts / macros ). The installer itself was kind of last minute work , and that shows i guess .Will find a way to make the installation more flawless under those resdrictions ( i use "useUserProfiles=0" in my "InstallSettings.ini", thus those folders are in the MaxRoot on my system. So i did'nt catch that problem everyone else already was talking about since W7 release ;-) )
Will improve the interface too, of course, thanks for the suggestions !

harumscarum's picture

thank you!

.

br0t's picture

I like the idea. I dont have

I like the idea. I dont have a scene to test this right now, but hopefully will do so later. Some things that came to my attention: your installation instructions are invalid; the .mzp did not work for me and also I do not have a userscript or usermacros folder anywhere inside my MAX ROOT folder. GetDir #userscripts gets me a folder somewhere inside the Local/AppData area, where you dont have easy access. Maybe you should think about storing the script files somewhere else. I had to manipulate the path inside the .mcr to make it work.
Another thing for the UI: It is hard to set a precise value with the spinners, you should make that edittext field next to them accept numerical input and link it to the spinner.
Thanks for sharing,
Cheers

Never get low & slow & out of ideas

spacefrog's picture

Please Note: might not work correctly on non-english version

Problem:
Progressive mode not enabled during preview creation on non-english 3ds Max versions

Workaround:
On non-english 3ds Max  version, enable progressive mode manually before creating the preview
See details below

Details:

Just found out that on non-english 3ds Max Versions, Nitrous's "Progressive mode" might not get enabled by the script automatically and hence the preview would not refine during the preview creation.
This happens because the code looks for UI elements in plain english.
If you are using a non-english 3ds Max Version, the work-around is to manually enable progressive refinement for the viewport you are creating the preview from. The fastest way to do this, is to activate the small button at the bottom of the statusbar, depciting a hollow cube.
The tooltip for this button should read "Progressive Display" in the english version, or "Progressive Anzeige" in the german version. I hope you can figure out the button in your language...

I started research on a workaround for this maxscript shortcomings (no MXS access to the progressive refinement options ..) and will implement a fix for it in the next version...

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