The first procedural spreadsheet editor for 3ds Max
What is Mission Control?
Mission Control is the first fully featured spreadsheet editor for 3ds Max. It allows users to view and edit any element within a scene in an efficient, compact and customisable UI. Built on top of this core is a suite of tools that offer unparalleled workflow enhancements. Make no mistake, Mission Control is far more than a simple spreadsheet.
- spacewarp modifiers
- Choose a object/class.
- Select the parameters you wish to view.
- View and edit the parameters of any instance of the chosen object/class in the spreadsheet view.
For the first time ever, you can now write notes to any object/class parameter. Notes are stored on the object so will persist between max sessions and when merged in to new scenes.
Mission Control provides individual unlimited undo buffers for every parameter of every object/class in your scene that you edit using Mission Control.
Easily revert parameters to the state they were in when you opened your scene without reloading your scene and losing other adjustments.
- Edit multiple parameters simultaneously with a simple click and drag.
- Copy and paste values with ease.
- Create soft instances using “paste-instance”.
- Expressions entered in to spreadsheet cells are either calculated instantly or converted into script controllers.
- A collection of mass editing tools provide the means to adjust multiple parameters in a number of ways; relative, absolute, stepped, spaced and randomised.
- Whenever you copy a value, it is store in your paste-bin allowing you to retrieve it at a later date; even if you proceed to copy other values in the meantime.
- Store any type of data; numeric values, text, arrays, objects, materials, etc.
- Paste from the paste-bin as simple copy or as instances (where applicable)
Why was Mission Control developed?
Mission Control was born out of the frustrations of not being able to achieve certain things in 3ds Max without either writing custom Maxscripts, or laboriously repeating a task on multiple objects. It seemed crazy that there were no inbuilt methods to do many of the tedious tasks that us CG artists are painfully all to aware of.
My first attempt to tackle this issue was by attempting to hack 3ds Max’s built in tool, the ‘light-lister’, to list materials instead. Although this experiment was a success, it suffered from a number of limitations inherited from its predecessor, the light-lister; it was limited to a maximum of around 150 items (and remarkably, still is today). Secondly, it was brutally slow to refresh the maxscript-based UI.
A number of max releases later, I discovered dotnet and its ability to construct more functional and faster performance UIs, so I decided to rebuild the material-lister with a nice new dotnet interface. Over those intervening years, my scripting skills had moved on a bit, and I realised that if I was to create a new tool to view materials, why restrict it to materials, why not expose any type of max entity, it can’t be too hard can it? ….well… 4 years, 2 cities, 5 moves, 1 child and many, many jobs later Mission Control was born.
Who will benefit from Mission Control?
With Mission Control, I hope to bring benefits to all disciplines and industries that use 3ds Max. Whether you are an architect, engineer, illustrator, VFX artist, generalist, modeller, animator or lighter, Mission Control offers many ways to streamline workflows and save you time.
- Quick selection of objects by class, modifier and material
- Powerful filtering tools
- Mass edit tools : quickly apply relative, absolute, random, sequencial, and stepped values to a selection. Ideal for spacing out objects, applying sequencial object IDs, randomising seeds, randomising translation or modifier values.
TD's / Leads
- Quickly see the entire contents of your scene to identify potentially inefficient setups (ie check subdivs of all turbosmooths/tesselates, undesirable modifiers etc).
- Quickly check the setup of any class-type in your scene.
- Provides the ability to find those rogue objects/modifiers/lights/shaders that are slowiing down your scene.
- Quickly setup object/material IDs.
- Find missing plugin references and their dependents.
- Provides a massively faster alternative to many ui interfaces within a single window; eg material editor, xref managers, lightin lister, command panel ,trackview, pflow, render dialog, etc
- Speed up every aspect of your workflow by directly accessing the parameters you wish to edit. No need to wait for UIs to open or to waste time searching for parameters in dialogs, rollouts and the command panel.
- Get rid of pesky selection delay; in heavy scenes 3ds max can experience serious delays when changing selection. For many operations, this can become a major productivity issue. Mission Control stores everything you need to edit your scene in memory providing instance access to parameters without causing those frustrating delays when changing your selection.
- Save time debugging scenes. In complex scenes and assets received from third-parties, finding the cause of a problem can be a time consuming and frustrating task. With Mission Control, you can see an overview of your scene, listing every class of object, modifier, texure-map, material, etc helping you to quickly identify rogue elements, or uneccessary complex shader trees. Easily find parameters that have values that affect scene performance.
- Speed up look development by viewing all your material, texture-map, light or camera parameters in one view.
- Add intelligence to complex scenes by instancing shared parameters. Creating parameter instances has never been easier now that Mission Control allows you to copy a controller and paste it across multiple objects with a single click.
- Quick access to keyframe dialog.
- Live update of multiple values simultaneously.
- Live indication of animated/keframe state of every parameter.
- Quick adjustment of single/multiple values.
- Direct access to scripted Controllers.
- Auto creation of script controllers.
- Copy paste controllers.
- Paste-bin for controllers.
- view and edit PFlow nodes outside of the pflow editor.
- compare, copy and paste parameters between pflow nodes.
- support for all 3rd party particle systems.