Script: Paint Pot by David Mackenzie



  • For those of you who are now on Corona I have added the ability to create a Corona materials along with V-Ray and Standard Materials. I do not have a lot experience using Corona so if you run into any trouble please let me know. Version 1.2
  • The Europeans have called and I have answered, I have updated the download below with a new version that includes the RAL paint codes. I also made a another minor change, when you create a material using one the buttons the new material will be named <Brand> - <Paint Name>. You can download the script at the bottom of the page. I am considering including the Pantone library, if I get some interest I will do it. Version 1.1

As a lot of you know, working in visualisation it is not uncommon to be given a very specific design scheme for a project you are working on. Often schemes will include paint codes which is great because you know exactly what you need instead of an architect or designer trying to articulate that exact feature colour...

Unless you have swatches right in front of you with the RGB colour to go with the paint code you will normally look it up online but to be honest, after a while it gets a bit tedious searching through different brands website's looking for the correct RGB colour value for a paint(s). So I created a Paint Pot, which includes a database of around 15000 commonly used paints in Australia (where I live and work). I am not sure if the brands of paints that we use here in Australia are used in the other parts of the world, so Americans and Europeans may not find this tool particularly useful.

The tool itself pretty straight forward, just start typing in a paint code or paint name and you are away. Check out the screencap below to get an idea. Once you have found the paint you like click on it to see a swatch and the RGB values. You can also create a very basic V-Ray material for you as well.


You can download the script here.

If you would like to add the script to a menu copy the script to your /3dsmax/scripts directory and run the code below:

macroScript DANDG_Paint_Pot category:"Daves Tools" tooltip:"Paint Pot" buttontext:"Paint Pot" silentErrors:False ( on execute do ( -- run script local scriptfile = "\\dg_paintPot_public v1.2.mse" if (doesFileExist scriptfile) then( filein ((getdir #scripts) + scriptfile) )else( messageBox ("Could not find script file: " + ((getdir #scripts) + scriptfile)) ) ) )

If you have any other paints you would like added to it and can supply me the paint codes, names and values or a website link I will happily add them to the tool.

As usual if you are using the tool, PLEASE let me know as I am interest where these scripts end up!



It's hip to be square - G Class by David Mackenzie

Fusion x64 TIFF File

I LOVE the Mercedes G-Glass, I have no idea why. There's something innately beautiful about it while still being tough and having a presence on the road. Kind of like a MMA fighter but wearing a tux, its hard, from the street and ready to go but along the way it has been refined a polished, it has developed a sophisticated exterior. All of these were rendered in 3ds max with V-Ray. All of the post was done in Digital Fusion 6.3. Back plates and HDRI from Moofe.

Any way enough that, check out the renders below. 

Fusion x64 TIFF File

Fusion x64 TIFF File

Fusion x64 TIFF File

Fusion x64 TIFF File

Fusion x64 TIFF File

The Winner is Spring Cove! by David Mackenzie


I am very pleased to announce that the work by Our Agency and Our Vision completed on Spring Cove was recently recognised by UDIA NSW with an Award for Excellence in Marketing. It's always good to know that the work we do is appreciated and even better when it has been recognised by our peers and industry at large. Check out the website here, below is one of the films we created for the project.

It was great when Anthony Denman from Our Agency (who received the award on stage) took time to acknowledge Our Visions work and specifically my work during his acceptance speech with "Dave Mackenzie and Our Vision who re-invented the category". </end shameless plug>

I should also acknowledge UDIA for putting on a great night along with our fantastic client group Oakstand and Denwol Group.

Now just to make sure we win again next year! Challenge Accepted!

Who said you can't chop a rolls by David Mackenzie

Rolla - You know you like it

I love Rolls Royce. One my favorites is the 1959 Silver Ghost III but I also love hot rods and custom cars. Given that here is my Silver Ghost, I call it Rolla. It has been slammed and had almost 5" chopped out of it. The only thing it is missing is some Von Dutch style pinstriping.Hope you like it. Rolla - You know you like it Rolla - You know you like it Rolla - You know you like it


The images where rendered with V-Ray. Background plates from Moofe. I post up a making of soon(ish).

HDR Sets - Review, of sorts by David Mackenzie

HDR Sets

06. Crop So, the other day I was browsing Max Underground as usual when this post caught my eye. Seeing as I often waste spend my time creating renders of cars I like, I am always on the look out for great HDRs I can use. As you will see below HDR Sets products are second to none.

First off, this is what you get with one of their sets:

  • Highres 360° HDR for reflection ( I also used this for lighting ).
  • 360° HDR for Lighting
  • A series of Highres HDR backplates.
  • FBX file (other formats as well)  with matched cameras and a sphere with the correct orientation of the HDR.
  • sIBL compatibility.

As you can see above these guys are definitely 3d guys or they at least understand what artists need. After reading about all of this I was pretty excited to see they have a couple of free HDR Sets you can download and test. So naturally thats exactly what I did.

S5 Max Scene

Creating my test image

OK, so my test image took me about 5 mins to setup, 20mins to render (@3k) and another 10-15mins in post, less than an hour all up. This is mostly because these HDR Sets make it that easy. Now I should say I did not use sIBL to set up my scene as I have never used it before (something I should probably check out), I just went old school and simple, chuck a dome light in there...

Below are the steps I took:

  1. Create a new max file and import HDR Sets cameras.
  2. Create a ground plane.
  3. Create a V-Ray Dome light and load the HDR as V-Ray HDRI.
  4. Chuck a material on the ground plane and camera map the backplate on to it.
  5. Merge in a car, position it.
  6. Test render.
  7. The test render looked great but I was not getting hard shadows off the HDR (was not expecting too), so I took it into Fusion and upped the gain on the sun to about 25000.
  8. Test render, hard shadows, looks sick.
  9. Render High-Res.
  10. Post processing, comp the rendered car over the HDR backplate add some colour correction. You can see a breakdown of the post process below.

That workflow is blazingly fast and exactly what you would like when purchasing any kind of assets for your work. As a commercial artist this workflow is very bankable.

[gallery link="file" ids="1271,1272,1273,1274,1275,1276"]

 Final Thoughts

In short these HDRs are the best I have used. The thing I love most about them is the HDR backplates, it makes it much easier to comp your renders and get a consistent treatment across both your render and background when grading them.  The fact the backplates are already camera matched is just a bonus. There other products out there that are similar, Moofe has an awesome and more extensive selection of HDRs, they also include backplates which are pretty easy to camera match due the 1m² cube that is in the image. To be honest though the single biggest upside for me was the fact that HDR Sets cost  40€ - 80€ and they are not rights managed which makes life easier.

HDR Sets will definitely be my first port of call when looking for HDRs moving forward. I highly recommend them.

Custom Audi S5


Highpoint Animation - Our Vision Sydney by David Mackenzie

Highpoint Hurstville
Highpoint Hurstville

Last year Our Vision complete an animation for Highpoint project in Hurstville. This animation was turned around pretty quickly and came together without much trouble at all. Along with the film, Our Vision also produced a number high res still images. The project was created with 3dsmax and rendered in V-Ray as usual.

You can check out the film below:

Custom S5 - Everything is better in black by David Mackenzie

Custom Audi S5

This is a quick render I did the other day. It was rendered in V-Ray and comped in Fusion. My only thought when I started this image was everything looks better in black which is definitely true when it comes to cars. The gold stag on the number plate is the Mackenzie stag. I will have a making of it online in the next few days.

Would love to hear what everyone things.

Update. Here is short making of/review of the HDR I used for the image. 

Ocean Water Test - HOT4MAX by David Mackenzie

Hot4Max Render Test

So a little while ago I wrote a quick article about a plugin I purchased called HOT4MAX . Long story short, this a very short render test of the plugin. I put the test together in about an hour, as you can no doubt tell by the camera animation. I can report, that the plugin really does work well. I have been very impressed with it. For the record I rendered the shot with V-Ray and comped it in Fusion.

If I get a chance in the next few weeks I will do another test with water spray and some interaction with the surface. I am interested to see how far I can push it as I have a couple shots in mind that I would like to put together.

If you need to do some ocean shots or renders then I highly recommend HOT4MAX. You can get the plugin here.

Grand Designs Australia - Our Vision by David Mackenzie

Grand Designs
Grand Designs

This is a quick look some the of the animation work for Grand Designs Australia that we have created over the last 4 series at Our Vision.

Series 1:


Series 2:


Series 3:


Series 4:

As you can imagine we have a pretty solid workflow for creating these now. We have great proprietary animation tool that really helps us bust them out in timely fashion.  You can check out more of Our Visions work here and on Youtube here. The show is on Life Style here in Australia and if you get a chance to check it out I highly recommend it.

Aston Martin short/tvc/video thingo... by David Mackenzie


So I thought I would start the new year off with some making of clips from a little animation I have been working on. It was inspired as you no doubt will be able to tell by Joseph Kosinski's Black Bird spot that he made some years ago. I have always liked it and thought I would use it as the basis of this project. Anyways check out the clips below, I hope you enjoy them and I would love to hear any feedback you have.

Neat Video, Render noise reduction. by David Mackenzie

Neat Video

I have recently being using Neat Video and I have to say I supremely impressed with the results. It works great on video footage as I would expect and it also works REALLY well to clean up renders that have had to low subdivs on reflections etc... The video below is an example that was rendered in Max/V-Ray and you can clearly see on some shaders the subdivs were to low.  I ran it through Neat Video which cleaned/removed 98% of the noise in the reflections. See for your self below: [flv:http://daveandgoliath.com/wp-content/video/Neat_Video.mp4 600 337]

I have now used it on a couple projects (one were it saved our a**) which I can not show just yet. I will however post them up when I can.

You can check Neat Video Here. We bought the version for OpenFX hosts (Fusion in this case) for $199USD which is WELL worth it!




Suzuki Grand Designs TVC by David Mackenzie

Suzuki Grand Vitara TVC

Towards the end of last year we (Our Vision) were engaged to create a Grand Designs inspired TVC for Suzuki who are sponsors of Grand Designs Australia. As usual we had a tight timeline to turn it around in. The animation went from previz to final in one week, over the next week we rendered an comped. We used our own animation rig on the car that I wrote sometime ago which let me animate it very quickly. The rig I guess is a cross between simulation and straight animation which lets us have total control over all parts of he car.

[flv:http://daveandgoliath.com/wp-content/video/Suzuki_Final.flv 600 337]

Below is the first render test we did with animation on the car. I actually preferred this camera animation but we thought it was a bit much for the subject matter and in hindsight I think we were right.

[flv:http://daveandgoliath.com/wp-content/video/Suzuki_Render_Test.flv 600 337]

You can see all the work Our Vision has done for Grand Designs Australia and the Suzuki Grand Vitara TVC on Lifestyle channel.


Another One 77 by David Mackenzie

I was recently playing around with an idea for car render. I chose to use my Aston Martin One 77 model. It was rendered with V-Ray 1.5 with all of the post being done in Digital Fusion 6.3 (Which I recently purchased). I hope you guys like it I would love to hear any feed back you have. Aston Martin One 77 Studio

Since I did buy Fusion I have started working on a small animation that has the One 77 in it primarily to put Fusion through it paces and try out some of the new tools like volume fog.

I hope you guys like the render. There is a darker version below for those of you using brighter screens. The above image looks great on my Dell 24 using Adobe SRGB. The render above seems to look better brighter less colour accurate screens. I will let you choose ;)

Aston Martin One 77 Studio



V-Ray Simple Set GI Paths by David Mackenzie


Continuing my theme of releasing  simple and useful scripts, I thought I would release this simple tool for quickly setting both Irradiance Map and Light Cache auto save and from file paths. When you are submitting jobs to be rendered this is one of those tedious things that you need to do which lends it self to human error as it is very easy to point a path to the wrong location (we have all done it)... It has a very simple interface, basically you set the path where you would like the GI passes to be saved, type in a name and hit the button. This will set the paths for light cache and Irradiance maps. I have also added some quick options for swapping the modes of GI passes.

The screen shot below should you give you the gist of what is going on.

V-Ray Set GI Paths
V-Ray Set GI Paths

You can download the script here.

This tool was actually extracted from our (Our Vision) custom Network Rendering Submitter I  wrote which basiclly did all of this automatically. It would submit a GI only job and then send the final rendering as a dependant job. This little tool sped up our workflow a great deal.  You can check it out below.

Deadline Quick Submit
Deadline Quick Submit

Oh and for those who have been asking it only works with Deadline from Thinkbox Software. I am planning an entire post related to this tool including some tips for when working with the Deadline scripts.



GML Importer Version 2 by David Mackenzie


I will assume most of you know what GML is, if not check out this post I made some time ago here. In the months that have gone passed we have developed three different version of the GML importer. The first version that was featured in a video here, was a basic hack that we used to get a job done. The second version was an expansion of the first while it was a little better it lacked a few important features:

  1. Easily update-able framework.
  2. An "API" or a library of functions to take advantage of in other scripts or tools.
  3. A single unified User Interface that exposes all of the data in the GML File.

So after taking a moment and addressing these issues we created what we believe to be a great tool. It includes a library of code that other 3ds Max TDs and scripters can take advantage of. We choose to focus more on the data and library that goes with it. In it's current form the script will only create a spline shape from the GML file. I will be updating it to include a feature to create proper geometry. We currently have it working by creating a sequence of points and using Delaunay Triangulation to create the surface.

The User Interface

The interface at first glance looks quite complicated, however, it is actually very simple. We wanted to expose everything to the artists so there are quite a lot of UI controls, most of which can easily be tucked away for later use. I was going to document what all of the UI controls do below but since each one has a question mark I'll let you work it out.

GML Importer Version 2
GML Importer Version 2

The Library

We believe simplicity is the ultimate sophistication so we tried to keep everything as simple as possible. Below is a brief run down of the maxscript structs that make up our GML importer.

  • gml_point GML point is a simple struct the stores x, y, z along with t (time) values. If it was not for the t I would had have just used a point3.
  • gml_sketch This struct represents a whole sketch. It is made up of strokes (s_strokes). Each stroke is an array of gml_point()
  • gml_custom_props This struct just stores some custom data that is not from the gml file.
  • gml_header Stores all the information in the header of the GML file. Mainly stores name, username, version and keyword information. This data is reflected in the GUI in the information rollout.
  • gml_enviro This struct holds all of the environment data in the GML file. This includes the canvas size, up vectors and related data. This information is reflected in the GUI in the Environment rollout.
  • gml_document is the guts of everything, its instantiates every one of the above structs. Through this struct you can interact with all facets of a GML file. The struct also provides three methods to create objects and shapes from the data, these are mainly included as examples of what you could do. These functions are  implemented in the GUI. We are currently working on a new method to create geometry that will be included in new updates.

Looking through the gml_data.ms file will give you a good understanding on what is going on. There is a pretty detailed example in the comments showing you how to create gml_documet to sum up the simplicity there is a snippet below:

a = gml_document() a.file = "C:\\18763.gml" a.init() a.createShape()

You can download the GML importer below.

For everyone that has posted and emailed me asking where is the importer? Well it is here now, thank you for your support and let me know how you go. If you create something cool then please send it in. In the spirit of community if you are making this better then lets make it better for everyone! Send in any changes or updates you find. Feel free to posts bugs in the comments below.



V-Ray Proxy Tools by David Mackenzie

V-Ray Proxy Tools
V-Ray Proxy Tools

Proxy Tools is another one of my most used scripts. It allows you to control the display modes of V-Ray proxies in your scene. This tool has speed up my workflow on large scenes 10 fold. Any scene with large numbers of proxies will benefit from using this tool.

As you can see in the screenshot above their are very few controls. You can easily hide and show proxies as well as change there display mode. If you have suggestions for any additions to Proxy Tools please let me know.

You can download it here.

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.

Wire Colour Tools by David Mackenzie


Wire Colour Tools is a simple script for setting random wire colours to all of the objects in the scene. Anyone who does allot of post work either in PS or a compositing package should find this script useful. Being able to adjust any element or of your project in post by the object enables you to get the most of your image, rendering Wire Colour passes is very simple and inexpensive from render time point of view.

Wire Colour Tools
Wire Colour Tools

You can download it here.

Wire Colour Tools has three way in which you can use it:

  • Colour By Layer. This sets a random wire colour all of the objects on each layer.
  • Colour By Material. Perhaps the most useful of the three options this one will set all objects wire colour based on the material that is applied to it.
  • Random Colour. This is pretty self explanatory it allows you to set a random wire colour to every object in the scene.

There is also the option to run these only on selected objects.

To install just copy "wireColourTools.ms" to you 3dsmax/Scripts directory and then run "wireColourTools_Macro.mcr". You will then be able to find the script in the Customize User Interface options under the category "Daves Tools".

I hope you find Wire Colour Tools useful. Again if you are doing allot photoshop work on your images I imagine this tool will save you some time.  If you have any suggestions for new features please let me know and I will do my best to get them in there. If you do come across a bug please let me know.



V-Ray Material Shortcuts by David Mackenzie

Vray Material Shortcuts

These short cuts are really collection of very simple Macro scripts. Like my Turn Viewport Maps On/Off this one has had some serious staying power with artists to date it has to be one of my most used scripts. All of the macros are designed to manipulate V-Ray materials globally throughout the scene, very quickly and efficiently. Each macro effects every V-Ray material in the scene. They are very handy in a number of situations, for example when you get a file from a junior that has the glossy sub divs on every material sky high.

Vray Material Short Cuts Screen Cap
Vray Material Short Cuts Screen Cap

You can download it here.

To install just run the script and all of the macros will be available under the category "Daves Tools" where you can choose to add all or some of them to a menu. I suggest you create a new menu and add them all to it. At the request of my good friend Warwick Hays from Monkey3Media I am currently in the process of creating a GUI version as well that will give artists a lot more control. If you have any suggestions for improvement or there is anything else you would like automated in V-Ray please let me know  I am always looking to expand upon and improve my scripts.