Studio Tools - Rapid Tool Development / by David Mackenzie


One of the best features of maxscript is that you can create tools very quickly and intuitively. Often the simplest tools are the ones that can lead to massive time savings. This was the case when my good friend Warwick Hays from Monkey3Media asked for my assistance in creating a small tool. The tool in question was Studio Tools which would let artists quickly load up pre-configured studio rendering scenes. They could also choose to load relevant render settings. From concept to completion we had a production ready tool in less than 3 hours. It just goes to show that when you need a custom maxscript to speed up your workflow it need not cost an arm and a leg.

From our initial conversations on the phone Warwick quickly mocked up the user interface that he wanted. From there I created a prototype that was functioning correctly. Warwick then supplied some custom graphics for use in the tool. Shortly after, we rolled out the finished version graphics and all. The result ended up being a very usable, useful and time saving tool. It is amazing the difference it makes replacing 5-10 mouse clicks with a single click. As artists respond to things visually naturally, the icons go along way to simplifying the thought process.