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3dsMax tips #7 – Use startup script instead of maxstart.max file

I know a lot of 3dsMax users uses maxstart.max to set their default working environment. While that is certainly a convenient method. I haven’t used that for more than 10 years. Here is why.

  • It replaces everything. It is a load/save. I can’t pick and choose what to set. For example, all the renderer settings are saved and loaded. If the renderer developer changes some default value for their new feature. Your maxstart.max from the older version will override all that settings.
  • It is hard to know what you actually have set. There is no trace whatsoever what you have changed. If someone accidently changed settings and overwrote the file, there is no way to know until someone has an issue. This is actually the most important reason for me to switch to startup script.
  • Obviously there are settings that aren’t stored in a max file.
  • It is rare and probably ok now. But, back in the day, there was a bug that maxstart.max was loaded AFTER I already loaded a max file.

This is a sample startup template that you can use as a starter point. This include the #script and #userscripts folder setup that I posted in another post. Now I just throw this script in my “ADSK_3DSMAX_STARTUPSCRIPTS_ADDON_DIR” folder and good to go forever!

setdir #scripts @"D:\PROJECT\_maxDefault\scripts\"
setdir #userscripts @"D:\PROJECT\_maxDefault\scripts\"

-- system unit
DisplayType = #Generic
units.SystemType = #Inches
units.SystemScale = 1

-- animation
frameRate = 24
animationRange = interval 1 72
maxOps.autoKeyDefaultKeyOn = true
maxOps.autoKeyDefaultKeyTime = 1

-- gamma
IDisplayGamma.colorCorrectionMode = #gamma
IDisplayGamma.affectMEdit = true
IDisplayGamma.affectColorPickers = true
displayGamma = 2.2
fileInGamma = 2.2
fileOutGamma  = 2.2

-- renderer
if vray == undefined then (
    renderers.current = Arnold()
    renderers.current = VRay()

-- autoback
autosave.Enable = true
autosave.NumberOfFiles  = 20
autosave.Interval = 10.0

-- UI
-- hide viewcube
ViewCubeOps.Visibility = false
-- hide Sign In
qtmax = python.import "qtmax"
(((qtmax.GetQMaxMainWindow()).menuBar()).children() as array)[2].close()

-- Viewport
-- Set all viewport background as solid
actionMan.executeAction 0 "618"

callbacks.removeScripts id:#startup4reset
callbacks.addScript #systemPostReset filename:(getSourceFileName()) id:#startup4reset
callbacks.removeScripts id:#startup4new
callbacks.addScript #systemPostNew filename:(getSourceFileName()) id:#startup4new

– To prevent “Do you want to savr?” dialog after fresh start
setSaveRequired false
format "startup script is loaded\n"

Try renderStacks. It will change your Max life!