3ds Max: 3rd Party Tools

Visual art follows trends, and work with 3ds Max is no exception. Many developers recognize these trends and share tools that help artists produce content efficiently. This article will introduce some of the most common trends related to visual art and some of the tools and scripts developers made to assist artists with generating content.


Fracturing objects is one of the most common activities with computer-generated art, motion graphics, and film. Generally, it’s a highly efficient way to add interest and detail to ordinary and simple objects. See Figure 1 for examples of visual content enhanced using fracture techniques. The script Fracture Voronoi makes fracturing objects easy and is located here:

Figure 1


Scattering objects is another crucial action to generate exciting content quickly. That is especially true for environment art, where buildings and panels become essential elements for scene construction. Panels add a lot of detail to objects, while their nature makes them ideal for baking into normal maps. That allows us to generate optimized scenes using low-poly geometry while taking advantage of the power of normal maps. Take a look at the building example in Figure 2 using the Quadscatter MCG plugin located here: Using this tool and a few texture maps, it becomes easy to generate entire city background elements for many 3D and art-related tasks.

Figure 2

Cloth and Damage

Two plugins have become powerful tools in the 3ds Max artist’s toolbag to generate realistic content. First, is PolyCloth, which mimics the cloth brush results people came to love with sculpting software. See Figure 3.

Figure 3

Second is Polydamage, a tool that quickly adds geometrical damage to basic objects so artists can produce hyper realistic results. See Figure 4.

Figure 4

Wires, Cables, and Pipes

One of the simplest ways to dress up a scene with organic content and provide some realism is with wires, cables, and pipes. Take a look at Joker Martini’s Cables Spline tool here: See Figure 5.

Figure 5

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