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
Posted in 3d studio max, 3ds-max | 10 Comments

Stamp Jerk 2011

coming soon…hang in there

limited release – 07.29.11

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Parameter Jerk 2012

Parameter Jerk is a revit add-in (2011/2012) that allows you to easily import one or multiple shared parameters into a single or multiple files. Use this blog post to provide feedback, ask questions or make suggestions.


  • when only a single set exists, the default parameters do not seem to be auto selecting.
  • look into adding family (non-shared) parameters.
Posted in revit, revit add-in | 84 Comments


v.06.27.13.a has been released – it supports Revit 2011, 2012,2013, and 2014

hatch22-2012 has been released. You can find it here.

It helps you create model and drafting fill patterns (hatch patterns) by drawing a template for the pattern directly in Revit.

future/ to-do

  • error check – notify user if circles are found on one of the hatch22 line styles (except dot)
  • error checking – look for collinear hatch22-continuous lines.
  • automatically check for the existence of the hatch22 line styles and prompt if needed
  • error check – make sure a max of 4 lines (creating a rectangle) are used for the boundary. No irregular shapes.
  • name the ‘make subcategories’ button something more legible fixed fixed v.06.27.13.a
  • incorporate metric units
  • create example videos
  • force client use of drafting views (if not already done)
  • create videos
  • demonstrate how to debug drafting patterns with scale set to full
  • warn for saving empty pat files
  • warn that the routine is cancelling when lines are too short
  • fix type “Continous” in hatch pattern (typo) fixed v.06.27.13.a
  • on lines too short warning (and others), let the user know that the restriction is imposed by Revit, not hatch22.
  • add error checking for. “Autodesk.revit.exceptions.invalidObjectException: The referenced object is not valid, …” – this error is triggered by opening a rvt file, starting hatching hatch22, closing the rvt file but leave hatch22 open, then reopening the original file and selecting ‘make hatch from selection’. If users get this error they can simply close and restart hatch22 to fix. fixed v.06.27.13.a (since it’s now modal)
  • add error check for: “system.nullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object”. This is similar to the error above. It is triggered by launching hatch22 from one rvt, then changing the active file and trying to run via “make hatch from selection”. Work around: close and restart hatch22
    fixed v.06.27.13.a (since it’s now modal)
Posted in autodesk-revit | 290 Comments


hatch22, a free revit addin has been released.

Please post comments, suggestions and such here.

Posted in revit api - vb.net - vsta | 103 Comments

wordpress upgrade 3.0.2

well, hmmm…you’d expect that being a computer person (ostensibly), that I’d know to back up my blog prior to upgrading. Well, that’d be a mistake. :) But, it’s back up know…I hope

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First Architectural Revit Project is Out the Door!

Well my client (whom I do do cad consulting for) has issued their first cd set for an architectural project.

It looks pretty good, but there were problem along the way and it’s those problems I’d like to explore in this and future posts. Some I have solutions for, some I don’t (at least not yet).

off the top of my head they are:

  1. Propagating detail lines from building sections to wall sections to section details. I’m curious about how other firms address this. Do they use model lines and some custom work flow, do they…?
  2. Structural – Why do structural members only show up on medium detail?
  3. Structural Coordination – How do other architectural firms work with structural firms. Do they show there model in the architectural drawings or do they rebuild the elements they want to show?
  4. Memory. We were having crashes which appear to be due to exceeding the 2gb memory limit. This project was not that big and I am a little suspicious of how much it was using. Test I performed indicated that there was a memory leak in Revit 2010. I’m not sure if this documented by Autodesk or not.
  5. Curtain walls – We are setting up so that our mullions allow the glass to come into the frame (as it does in the real world). This is great and it also allows us to put some detail lines in the profile so that sections automatically have some high detail. The downside is that separate mullion members must be applied around doors (in a glass/ door frame system). This means some extra work and was a little difficult for some staff to work with. I’m wondering if there is an easier approach.
  6. Demo/ New work – I incorrectly changed the way that revit works with existin/demo phasing. It’d probably be good to document how that was a mistake so that others don’t make it. But, autodesk could certainly have done a better job with naming the phases and phase filters.
  7. Project Browser – We explored a little with customizing the view order in the browser, but users still found it to be cumbersome. There must be options to make this easier.
  8. Plan callouts (i think) – plan callouts are different from detail callouts. They show structural different, stairs different and there is no way to switch between the two. This is a problem if one is created incorrectly and other details are referenced from it.
  9. Details referenced from details referenced from details … – I suspect there are some rules that should be followed here about where the original / master callout is made from. What I’m thinking about is what happens if one of the base views is no longer needed or will no longer appear on a sheet but the sub details are still needed.
  10. recovering from backups – how can hosted elements be recovered from backups (without bringing the host with it)
  11. 3D – there (shockingly to me) seems to be a reluctance to work in 3d by people used to working in ADT/ autocad.
  12. deleting dimensions – some users indicated that they were having to redraw dimensions over and over. They were being deleted whenever they made edits to elements like stairs. I suspect the element they were dimensioning to was being redefined.

There will be more…but that’s all for now.

So the current issue is how to issue 8.5×11 revision sheets. I found some posts on augi.com that seem to reinforce one of my guesses. That is to create a title block with a large wipeout around the tb and place that on the sheet. We’ll see.

Posted in autodesk-revit, revit | Comments Off

doctor who

Hey…that’s “Moaning Myrtle” on Doctor Who!

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Revit – Bugs

  • Selecting the “R” twice in a row will exit revit with no save prompt (appears to be fixed in build 20090925_1815(x64))
Posted in autodesk-revit | Comments Off

crawler fix


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