Extra iRay tools for 3dsMax

A helpful guy from autodesk showed me some useful tools for 3dsMax and nvidia iray. A special iray material , and a maxscript that allows you to access a lot of features hidden from the default render dialog

iRay material plugin

There is a sticky thread on the mental images forum which allows you to download the plugin from their ftp site.

It has a host of features.

  • 3 layers: Glossy Coating, Metallic Flakes, Glossy/Diffuse/Transparent Base
  • Backscattering (for realistic fabrics)
  • Metallic flakes (for great car paint)
  • Sub-surface scattering
  • Thin film coating
  • Spectral dispersion
  • Anisotropy on each layer
  • Emission (self-illuminance)
  • Displacement, bump, round corners, cutout

iRay manager script

There are a bunch of hidden features in iray that can be access using scripted commands. The iRay manager script was originally written by Artur Leao then later updated by Thorsten Hartmann. As a result we now have two slightly different version of the script, as both parties seem to be now publishing updates independently.

  1. Resources
  2. Interactivity Performance
  3. extended progressive Options
  4. FireFly Filtering (to remove 1 pixel hot spots)
  5. Matte Ground
  6. Background
  7. Clay Render
  8. Save/Load Options

You can download Artur Leao’s version from his blog.

Thorsten Hartmann version is available on his web page.

The nividea forum also hosts a thread on iRay Manager script.

iray dev Blog

Nvidea have a site dedicated to iRay at http://irayrender.com/

If you browse through the blog you can find the matte material for iray

Rigging eyes in 3dsMAX

3dsMax script controllers are enormously powerful tools for creating custom character rigs. This tutorial will show you how to make a very simple eye rig in 3dsMax and introduce script controllers to make an animator GUI.

Setting up the scene

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Max Tips: UI Tweaks

A couple of 3dsMax UI tweaks I use to make things a little slicker and quicker.

Fix view cube ‘drift’

The view cube‘s animated rotation feature can cause the scene to drift. You might notice that after clicking on a face of the cube the viewer says orthogonal when we’d expect it to say: left,or top, etc. When the view is slightly off axis, it can cause problems if I’m trying to animate or model accurately.

Also if I’m trying to work quickly waiting for the UI update is a pain so I like to turn this feature off.

  1. Right click on the view cube.
  2. Chose options and turn off use animated transitions when switching views.

Use the home button

The home button is useful for getting back to the same custom view. I find it useful to quickly return to the same point of view while I’m working on a particular feature.

To set a ‘home’ view:

Right click on the home button and pick > set current view as home.

3dsMax Camera FOV, Focal length and Film Back.


This tutorial will shows the relationship between Filmback, Aperture, Field of View, and Lens size.

Understanding the 3dsMax camera filmback is useful if you want to replicate real world cameras or accurately extend the frame size and crop it later in a composite package.

The setup for the 3dsMax camera is slightly buried. To replicate real world cameras we’ll look in two areas: the render dialog and the camera dialog.

To simplify the process I have developed this MaxScript which is free to download here.

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3dsMax Tip of the day… set PAL as default for 3dsMax

3ds Max opens with a NTSC frame rate by default. This can be a little annoying…

The simplest way to fix you all defaults for 3dsMax is to make a new maxstart.max file

Make a new blank scene. Change the settings to PAL and 100 frames. Save the file as maxstart.max and put it in the 3dsmax/scenes folder.
Then every time you start max it will load this file as the default.