FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
What is ScriptSpot.com?
ScriptSpot.com is a web resource providing the 3d community with a
single source for scripts, extensions and tutorials relating to some of
the most command 3d software packages. ScriptSpot was first launched in
May of 2001 as a 3ds max resource. It began as homegrown ASP pages
written by myself but lacked the flexibility and features necessary to
keep the site moving forward. In 2006 my wife and I decided to invest
the necessary funds to have ScriptSpot rewritten and moved into a
framework that would allow for the growth. ScriptSpot is now based on
the drupal open source content management system, a great platform for the site which will allow for growth for years to come.
What are MAXScripts?
MAXScript is like a 'lite' programming language, it lets you access much of MAX's functions without needing to be a trained C programmer. Discreet has worked hard to unlock the secrets of MAX to the scripting world - using a script you can automate a tedius task similarly to Actions in Photoshop or you can create something that wouldn't ordinarily be possible.
How do I run/install MAXScripts?
Make sure to check out the ScriptSpot script, function and extension installation page. Or, if you want to know more, Borislav Petrov (Bobo) made a great web page that explains the various types of MAXScripts...
Ethical Scripting / Plagiarism / English Class 101
Most of the scripts found on ScriptSpot have been in a sense "on loan" to the maxscript community by their respective authors in fully editable form. I say "on loan" because the scripts we know and love are not our own. They represent the hard work of a very talented group of people. So, just remember, when you download a script here you're benefitting from efforts made by someone else. If you should choose to use their code in your own scripts - give em credit for it... Remember english class? Cite your sources. Give credit where credit is due...
What are Functions?
Functions are specific pieces of code that can easily be reused between scripts. Functions are NOT self running scripts. As a rule, if you don't know what a function is, then you definately don't need it...Functions are for people who create scripts, not people who use scripts...But, if you want to know - a function is a programming term for a block of code that does something you can reuse. For example, I might want to make a function that changed the currently selected object color to red. Now, once I make the function I just have to call the function from within my script, instead of rewriting the code to change the object color...
What are MAXScript Extensions?
Extensions are merely MAX plugins that specifically affect MAXScript. For instance, there are material plugins that add materials but there are extensions that add functions to MAXScript that were not previously available. Some extensions let you read binary files, some let you track the mouse over a mesh, another gives you control of a netrender - extensions fill small gaps in what MAXScript is allowed to do. Note that if you create a MAXScript that utilizes a extension, you will need any users of your script to also have the extension installed.
What are MAX Plugins?
Plugins are programs that work within MAX and provide extra or enhanced features than what ships standard with MAX. Since MAX has been released there have been hundreds of plugins created - ranging from high quality volume FX with Afterburn, to separate render engines like RayGun or RayMax.
How do I install Extensions/Plugins?
Fortunately discreet has made it very easy to install plugins in 3DS. All you need to do is unzip the plugin into the 3DSMAX/plugin folder and you are done...The plugin will show up in the part of the interface it belongs - material plugins will show up i nthe material editor, geometry plugins will show up as geometry, etc. Remember, 3DS is actually a platform where all of it's functionality comes from plugins - whether they are shipped with 3DS or you download them, plugins are all accessed the same.