3ds max – bugs/ issues/ requests

These are issues/ problems that I’ve had with 3ds max whose resolution would improve my workflow (and probably that of others). This is dynamic document and will be added to/ edited over time.

last submit to autodesk: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=1109794 on 1/29/12

  1. Dialogs
    1. Why do dimensions sometimes (often) show as 4 31/32″ when I input 5″?
    2. Add history bar to all dialogs (including)
      1. import
    3. all dialog boxes should remember your last location
    4. dialog boxes should remember their last stretched size and location
    5. when choosing “Open File” my dialog doesn’t scroll to the top of the file list. Instead it goes to the middle
    6. display dialog- position needs to be able to be controlled with ctrl+space (like typical windows) so that it can be relocated when using remote desktop
    7. There should be some method for relocating dialogs that have been positioned off screen. This can happen when working with multiple monitors in office, then connecting remotely with a single monitor.
    8. The render progress dialog needs to appear in the active screen if the screen it’s on is no longer present. (see the issue above with remote desktop and multiple monitors)
  2. XRef Scene
    1. Often hangs up when reloading, adding a new or disabling an xref. If allowed to sit for several minutes (yes minutes!) it will usually finally finish. There is no CPU activity going on during this time (for max)
      1. Why does my history (on file open) keep defaulting to the UNC path? I want it to go to the last place I visited. (in this case a mapped path)
      2. Sometimes it fails with File Open Error – “Error Loading Editable Mesh”. The only thing in the child file is a File Link (FBX) from revit. Sometimes it will not crash max, but will put the xref into the scene (or at least the link to to). On Save/Close/Reopen the xref appears without a problem. (2012)
  3. Viewports
    1. Bring back the U for Orthographic viewports – why would you take that away? Or…maybe provide named viewports that can be recalled with a hotkey. All the old shortcuts that used to be able to be applied to set/recall a view
    2. Add the ability to ctrl + tab to flip through windows.
    3. Named views – so a particular orthographic or front, or left view can be quickly recalled
    4. Lock view – lock a view to a specific view angle/ camera where it can’t be changed without unlocking it.
  4. Materials- moved to http://mertens3d.com/blog/?p=455
  5. Menu/Interface system
    1. recent files – doesn’t seem to take into account that there are probably multiple versions of max open
    2. show shortcut on hover
    3. Selecting the big icon on the upper left to load file. If you don’t get the name fast enough the pull-down disappears. It happens way too fast.
    4. a better interface is needed for assigning and navigating keyboard shortcuts. there is no easy way to find a command within the dialog
    5. Add option to create a backup (or multiple) of the file when saving…but keep the current name. For example, if I am working in bldg_a.max then there should be backup files called bldg_a.backup001.max, bldg_a.backupup002.max, etc. Similar to what Revit does. Currently the file gets named ‘MaxBack.max’ but that gets overwirtten too easily by other saves in the same max instance or other max’s that are open for the same project. It’s too cumbersome to search through autoback files and vault is difficult to implement (and not documented very well for Max).
    6. Control Panel – add some way of quickly getting it back onto the main screen. When working at the office I use 2 monitors, but at home I remote in with just one.
  6. Other
    1. bug – on open I get
    2. Some kind of warning if UNC root is not found
    3. fix the filelink dll missing issue!
    4. Terrain – It would be nice to be able to extract the polylines out of the terrain model as an instance (similar to other tools…like boolean)
    5. Stop popping up a browser window every time an error is reported. It makes me want to stop reporting them
    6. a drag copy (or sim) that doesn’t prompt for copy/ instance/ etc.
    7. Create the ability to ‘pin’ objects in place  trick – apply a position script with the values at 0,0,0 (after resetting the pivot to 0,0,0)
    8. xrefs set to be ‘invisible’ are shown after reloading the file. Toggling the visibility back on then off turns makes it invisible again…but the problem comes back on the next file load
    9. An array modifier would be very helpful
    10. Array – an option to array along the local axis rather than just x,y or z.
  7. Maxscript
    1. moved to: http://mertens3d.com/blog/?p=421
  8. Vault
    1. Please explain the correct work flow for using vault with xref scenes / xref objects
  9. General
    1. LZW compression – add to tif image options so that the workflow with Photoshop is a little smoother
    2. Line – Right picking on line and choosing ‘conver to editable spline’ does not work…it remains a line (even after attaching other lines to it)
    3. Add the capability to stop operations that are taking too long. i.e. if you choose too many iterations on MeshSmooth. That or have a timeout where you check with the user if something is taking too long.
    4. Post bugs, their status and any known workarounds. Be considerate of your customers time. Don’t let them waste trying to figure out a problem only to discover that it’s a known bug!
    5. Re-targeting multiple paths via asset manager causes a crash
    6. crashes when closing a file when there are xref scenes attached (in OGL?). It looks like the files might have to be set to autoupdate for the crash to happen. Not sure.
    7. xrefing in a scene that has volume light effects crashes max. need to refine this issue. is it vray specific? lights were standard
    8. When adding or reloading xrefs, the program sometimes hangs for a very long time (minutes). I wonder if this has to do with Vault.
    9. Proboolean objects do not scale up correctly then switching front inch to ft based units
    10. crash reports – stop generating a thank you web page on every crash report. The crashing has slowed us down enough. You thanking us for it doesn’t help any.

    install/ uninstall

    1. - provide a UI interface for the install that is graphic simple (no video, slide show, etc.). When installing on a farm with remote desktop, the graphics slow things down needlessly.
    2. Provide an interface to uninstall (with one click) all the programs that install adds
      Network Job Assignment Dialog
    3. Add a setting to automatically connect to backburner server
    4. BackBurner
      1. define what the errors are and what might cause them such as “bad task assignment” “task assignment timeout”
      2. show what service pack is installed on each render server

      Asset Tracking

      1. Add a folder history option to the “Specify Asset Path” dialog


      1. make it multi threaded
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10 Responses to 3ds max – bugs/ issues/ requests

  1. Balázs says:

    I have an issue with linking my revit file in to 3DS.

    I do as it written all over the internet, however the pop-up window of connecting to revit scene is continuously loading and nothing happen at all.
    The same revit file works just fine on my colleague’s computer.
    Any solution?

  2. Sufi says:


    When I opening 3ds max 10, it doesn’t show the four screens, but showing the desk top!
    give me some soluton plz

  3. manny says:

    I am having the same issue. 3DS Max 2013 is unable to link to Revit 2011. The program just crashes. Hopefully a fix comes soon.

  4. Dan James says:

    Yes, I have tried that. When you open Max and choose to directly link the Revit file, it seems as Max is just automating the process of: Opening Revit/Exporting the FBX/Importing it into Max. This does work initially, but when you try and reload the FBX link in Max after geometry changes are made in Revit you get the same application error, which crashes Max.

    I have tried using the Suite Workflows, Exporting FBX from Revit & importing FBX in Max, Link Revit File from Max, Link FBX File from Max. All methods work initially, but end up in a crash when you try and reload the link.

    A note on the Suite workflows, is that they only work when you are “exporting” your workflow from a central file, not a local. I’m not sure why this is. But when I try and “reload” my FBX using the workflows, I get the same application error.

    If anybody has any success with reloading FBX links with the 2013 products please let me know, as at this point I have given up on the linking and going with the workaround method I explained above.

    • Dan James says:

      Not sure what happened with the order here, but this was a reply to Gregory’s reply to my earlier post.

  5. Simon Asad Aman says:

    Okay, so When I turn on 3ds max, it doesn’t show the four screens, but the desk top!

    • Gregory Mertens says:

      I have that happen to me when I connect remotely. If I change my video graphics mode down to directX or OGL it fixes it. You might try that.

  6. Eugene D. Ninnie, P.E., AIA, LEED AP says:

    There is a serious problem with the linking of FBX files into 3dsMax Design. One REFERENCES the FBX in 3ds through linking. Save it then exit. One goes back in to work on the 3dsmax file it comes back with Missing DLL’s FBXFILELINK.dfl, FBXMaxWrapper, Superclass: 0×10.

    3dsmax is NOT linking the FBX file. There are several work arounds ( we have researched on line for several man hours for a fix) to eliminating the error message but it only gets rid of the message the problem still exists with the linking. IT IS NOT LINKING. I tried to overwrite the references FBX with a changed FBX after doing revisions from REVIT. The changes made on REVIT are not being seen in 3dsmax; therefore 3dsmax is not linking and is using the ORIGINAL version that was first uploaded into 3dsmax when first starting out.

    This is a serious issue especially when going back and forth between Revit and 3dsmax during schematic, design development stages with the client. It slows progress on our project schedule, and the problem puts a negative image on our organization, especially when the client is expecting to see the changes made in REVIT in a good 3d rendering so they can make important decisions on what they want to do. We have checked forums the internet and have seen several suggestions but they do not work

    • Dan James says:

      I am having a similar problem. The FBX will link into Max 2013 after I installed the FBX Plugin Update 2 for Max. However when I reload the FBX after geometry changes in Revit I get an Application Error:

      “An error has occurred and the application will now close. No scene changes have occurred since your last save.”

      I spent several hours googling for a solution and trying to troubleshoot, but to no avail. The only work around I have found is to only editing my materials in Revit export as a new FBX, and then creating a new Max file and then merging the Max cameras, paths, and omni lights into the new Max file. This is incredibly frustrating.

      • Gregory Mertens says:

        Well this is disappointing. I haven’t installed and used Max 2013 yet. I thought I read that you could link in the RVT file directly. Is there a reason you’re not doing that?
        (I guess I’m assuming that you are using Revit.)