Max Hotbox

586 votes
[Open Beta]
Date Updated: 
Author Name: 
Andreas Meissner


This script is in open beta phase, available for public.

Who creates the best interface for the users? The users theirselves! This tool is inspired by the Maya Hotbox. It is not ment to be a tool collection on its own, its idea is to provide ways to you for accessing and organizing functionality. Build your own interface, customize your workflow to your needs.

Additional Info: 
  • show/hide hotbox-layer, run macros, execute scripts, open files or just re-execute your last hotbox action
  • trigger actions by using buttons, hotkeys, mousegestures, ...
  • build your own interface and organize your scripts as you want with hotbox profiles and nested layers
  • independent, Max Hotbox hotkeys override/suppress 3ds Max hotkeys
  • portable, no installation
  • all macros of 3ds max can be assigned to hotbox-buttons
  • style your hotbox with transparent and multicolor buttons, dock and group them with each other
  • provides as much functionality as possible for custom userscripts


  • should work for 3ds Max 9 SP2 - 3ds Max 2011
  • works for 32bit and 64bit systems

How to start Max Hotbox:

  • download and unpack
  • drag and drop the "MaxHotbox.mse" file into your viewport
  • hold down Spacebar on 3ds Max mainwindow

Max Hotbox is already configured for some simple tasks like Extrude a Face or so, but it is ment to be configured by yourself. It would be nice if you could share your configuration of Max Hotbox with other users. Please also watch the tutorial videos about Max Hotbox on YouTube to become familiar with the tool. I hope you will get along.

How to autostart Max Hotbox on next 3ds Max startup:

  • drag and drop the "" file into your viewport

How to upgrade from a previous version:

  • download and unpack the new version
  • replace the "Profiles" folder of the new version with the folder from the old version
    (the "Profiles" folder contains your configuration of Max Hotbox)


Watch Videos about Max Hotbox on YouTube


Your feedback is very welcome.


Version Requirement: 
3ds Max 9 SP2 - 3ds Max 2011
Other Software Required: 
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 or higher
Video URL: 


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real08121985's picture

Totally true, sorry my bad.

Totally true, sorry my bad.

JokerMartini's picture

Not done

If this isn't even an available script shouldn't this be placed in the forums....

John Martini
Digital Artist (new site)

real08121985's picture

Thank you, Ashutosh. I worked

Thank you, Ashutosh.

I worked on the menubar item today and uploaded a screenshot of it. You can disable/enabled gestures and hotkeys globally over there, this might be useful in some cases. I think I will start working on dialogs later this evening.

Ashutosh's picture
real08121985's picture

Run Macro/Script/File works

Run Macro/Script/File works now. It was a long way to make macros work. Every macro got an ID and I thought I could use the " ID" method. But when I tested this on different versions of 3ds Max I recognized macro IDs are not precisly and can differ between 3ds Max versions. So I had to start from the beginning and using the approach " catgeory name" which makes it more safe that the macro the user wants to run is the same on every 3ds Max version.

I also added that the script will create a menuitem "Hotbox" in the 3ds Max menubar when the script starts, right before the "Help" menuitem. In this menu you can open the editor, disable/enable gestures and hotkeys, restart and shutdown the script. The menuitem "Hotbox" will be removed when the script is shutting down, so everything is kept portable.

Soon I gonna work on dialogs. I want to make it possible to add buttons and dialogs to layers. Buttons already work. Dialogs can be rollouts/rolloutfloaters/forms which position/visibility then gonna be affected by the layer they are attached to. So if you are using scripts which open rollouts, you can attach those rollouts to a Max Hotbox layer as a dialog. The rollout will then only be visible when the respective layer is also visible and the rollout position will also be stored.

So no more mess with many open rollouts which block your sight to your 3d scene. You make the rollouts visible when you need them. This also allows you to create custom buttons for Max Hotbox. So if you want to have a button that also has a numeric-field/checkbox/... attached to it: no problem. You can make your own buttons.

Also it is sure now that the minimum requirement will be 3ds Max 9 SP2 since the script is using DotNet and DotNet started in 3ds Max 9. I'm developing this script on 3ds Max 32bit, but first tests on 64bit systems worked fine (I used virtualized 64bit guest OS on 32bit hosts, both Windows XP).

real08121985's picture

I've found a bug and tryed

I've found a bug and tryed the last few days to find the reason for it and to solve it. The script disables the macrorecorder, the macrorecorder won't show any output after you start the script. Of course a working macrorecorder is useful in general. For the Max Hotbox it is useful because if you like to bind certain max commands as scripts to Max Hotbox actions/buttons then you can just get the commands from the macrorecorder.

Reason for bug: The reason for that is the general behaviour of 3ds max, that the macrorecorder gets disabled as soon as an eventhandler is triggered that has been added to controls by using DotNet.addEventHandler(). I couldn't find a proper solution for this problem yet. There is a little workaround shown in this thread. But I will leave it for now, since the results were not that successful. I suppose also other scripts can have this behaviour.

Workaround: Open 3ds Max two times. One with the Max Hotbox to setup your Hotbox. The other one to get the output of the macrorecorder. Not very cool solution, but I hope the macrorecorder isn't that important in every day use for people.

Tomorrow I'm back to what actions execute in the end. I think the following will be enough to do everything you like. So if you click on a button, press a userdefined hotkey or make a mousegesture, the following things can happen:
a) Run Macro: Pick a macro from a list, ordered by categories like in 3ds Max Customize > Customize User Interface
b) Run Script: Write your own maxscript, it will be attached to the action and be executed if the action is triggered. This option gives you full control what happens.
c) Run File: Pick a file from your system, Max Hotbox will execute it.
d) Show previous Layer: Will open the previous open Max Hotbox Layer, if you like: the parent layer of the current one. So basicly you can realise a "back" button for your Hotbox if you opened the wrong layer.
e) Show next Layer: Will open the layer that is attached to this action in the treeview as childnode.

Thanks for your replies people. I'm glad you're looking forward to this script. If you got another cool idea what an action can do, tell me. I can't think of anything else that would be useful or which isn't already included by running a file or script.

z0mbie's picture

Checking back here almost

Checking back here almost daily too :D

dreamco's picture

Personally i don't have any

Personally i don't have any problem with the report.

santex's picture

Cannot wait for this script

Cannot wait for this script to be released..
Checking back here almost daily :D

real08121985's picture

I'm starting to think about

I'm starting to think about how to publish this script. I'm glad if this tool will be downloaded and can help people. But since I'm doing all this for my diploma thesis, comprehensive feedback and statistics are extremely important for me. I don't want to disturb the user in any way or spy, I just need info so I can write my thesis. Here are some random thoughts:

> The script will have an automatic report tool which will submit usage statistics to my website, so I can see how often you use the tool every day or whatever. If so this report tool would be removed after I'm done with my thesis. I'm not a big fan of such tools myself when I use programs.

> I'm starting a beta-phase and people apply for usage but have to give me feedback. It would be awesome if people could make even screen recordings of their usage of max hotbox or maybe a short video-comment (video uploaded on youtube or so, just something short), so I could include that as visual material in my diploma presentation.

I'm a fan of the second thought since I don't want to force the user to upload statistic reports and feel spy out. Maybe you guys got some ideas aswell, right now I think I will start a beta-phase when this tool is ready.

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