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Chapter 6. Scripting > Going Further with MAXScript

Going Further with MAXScript

Well, here we are, a ten-word vocabulary and two tools later. Hopefully this chapter has opened your eyes to the possibilities of MAXScript and made it seem more accessible. To sum up the main points:

  • A few words of MAXScript go a long way. You learned that with a small vocabulary and a little help from the show command and for loops, you can batch-process almost anything in your scene with a line or two of code in the Listener. Judicious use of the random command can help you create more believable scenes and animation with minimal effort.

  • Everyone needs help. Using the Reference file is mandatory, even for full-time technical directors. Refer to it constantly, and get comfortable with the various search functions. There are a lot of friendly and helpful scripters online, too, so don't be afraid to post questions (using your real name) in Discreet's MAXScript forum.

  • Create interfaces quickly with Visual MAXScript. You learned that the Visual MAXScript utility can be used to sketch out the interface for a custom tool, separate from the code that actually does the work. Building a complete tool is then just a matter of adding proof-of-concept code to the event handlers of each UI element to make it do what you want, and debugging any problems that pop up along the way.

  • Dockable dialogs let you use MAXScript widgets in custom toolbars. You learned that dialog bars, first introduced in 3ds max 5, are an efficient way to turn your UI code into a tool floater. Additionally, dialogs can be made dockable, so that they function as toolbars in your interface.


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