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Active Contributor y-p
Active Contributor
y-p
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎03-03-2013

Type-in tool for drawing lines

313 Views, 6 Replies
09-26-2013 02:55 AM

Hi,

 

Im using Max for quite a while and I know that its not intended for precise drawing. But sometimes measures are neccessary and quicker to draw too.

 

For architectural designing purpose I mainly use Sketchup because of its way of drawing like on paper but in 3D. Its quick, easy and precise. Therefor I use 3DS more or less for 3D compositing and freeform things like landscape and rendering. Sketchup is kind of a plugin for 3DS for me. The connection works well if you're modeling precisely and follow some rules.

 

Once in a while it comes up that Id like to draw more or less precise shapes in 3DS too, eg. kitchen appliances or whatever. I was searching for this often on the web, but only to find out that you can draw somehow approximately and use the type-in tool after to move (parts of) objects- or use the snap option while drawing, eg. to grid.

 

Maybe Im too stupid to find. Maybe there is none. Maybe there is a script to fill that gap. Then Id really like to know about it :smileyhappy:

 

Just simple as: move cursor towards a certain direction, maybe lock angles with ctrl or shift or lock in relation to the line just drawn before, type in the distance and maybe the angle (or radius in arcs, whatever)- and continue to the next point.

 

I know it sound like a stupid question.. I always made my way around this lack but today it s**ks again.

 

Any help will be appreciated :smileyhappy:

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Moderator
Steve_Curley
Posts: 18,688
Registered: ‎08-07-2007

Re: Type-in tool for drawing lines

09-26-2013 04:13 AM in reply to: y-p
Start the Line Creation process (click the Line button) but don't click in the viewport. Expand the Keyboard Entry rollout, change X,Y&Z then click Add Point. Repeat ad nauseam until you've created the line you need then just right-click in the viewport to end the creation process (or click the Finish button if you want to then start a new line).

There's no easy way to do specific angles or distances - Max is not a CAD package and isn't really designed for that kind of operation.

Max 4.2 through 2015 (SP2+EXT1), Composite 2014.
Win7Pro x64 (SP1). i5-3570K @ 4.4GHz, 8Gb Ram, DX11.
nVidia GTX760 (2GB) (Driver 335.23).

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Active Contributor y-p
Active Contributor
y-p
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎03-03-2013

Re: Type-in tool for drawing lines

09-26-2013 07:46 AM in reply to: Steve_Curley

Thanks Steve,

 

well, yeah, mm.

 

I knew about that method- but I guess you'd agree this is not a very practical option.. :smileywink:

I've heard the "not a CAD app" argument quite often and I somehow do accept it.

So you will always have to have 2d/2d data from other programs or eyeball things, the standard answer is: when it looks right- it is right?

 

But its one of the leading (architectural) visualization programs and honestly such a "feature" would be increasing its power. I dont compare it to AutoCad or similar for sure. But this is a lack for me- and for others too. And I just dont get the point why.

 

Eg. if I import a plan (image) and I have given distances (in text) on it it's barely impossible to draw correct. And its not about correct drawing only, its about time too.

 

But if there's no workaround or script I'll stop wasting time on searching and stick to my workflow.

However, you will probably know better than me and you're definitely not responsible for this at all, but this fact is really disappointing me since.. ever. Sorry. :smileywink:

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Moderator
Steve_Curley
Posts: 18,688
Registered: ‎08-07-2007

Re: Type-in tool for drawing lines

09-26-2013 09:18 AM in reply to: y-p
Max is, as you said, a design vizualisation program - the operative word being vizualisation. What something would look like in the real world. Stand 20 or 30 feet away from a 6ft high, 10ft wide wall of bricks. Tell me if you could possibly say, with any certainty, that it is actually 6' and 3/10" high, or 9' 11 and 3/4 wide. You can't. It's just not possible, and that is the root of "if it looks right, it is right". Max is not CAD, never was, was never intended to be. Use it how it was intended to be used and you can create stunning results. Try to force it into being CAD with incredible accuracy and you'll probably fail and be constantly disappointed. Max can be reasonably accurate, certainly more accurate than is strictly necessary (for most jobs) than is necessary to get a perfectly acceptable result. And it's the result which matters, not how you get there.

Max 4.2 through 2015 (SP2+EXT1), Composite 2014.
Win7Pro x64 (SP1). i5-3570K @ 4.4GHz, 8Gb Ram, DX11.
nVidia GTX760 (2GB) (Driver 335.23).

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Active Contributor y-p
Active Contributor
y-p
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎03-03-2013

Re: Type-in tool for drawing lines

09-26-2013 10:52 AM in reply to: Steve_Curley

Yes..

 

probably its me who is used to some tools and probably its therefor harder for me to get used to some Max tools and to handle them as quick as others do. You're right that in the end its the result that counts, but you have to be quick and effective too..

 

If you're good at eyeballing things its good- but for me its easier to type a size (wouldnt even have to be precise) to know that Im in the right scale. Sure no need to be accurate where noone sees it.

 

Maybe thats why you sometimes see things which are out of scale and are distracting. Huge bricks, tiles whatever.

 

Anyway, Max is a great thing and its intention is for sure not being CAD and not for users like me only but far beyond. And sure I love it too. :smileywink: You know this discussion as well as I do- I wouldnt want Max to change into anything it isnt, Im not asking it to be precise as Rhino for modelling. Just would be nice to have it as its limiting me in this case. Whatever, its not :smileyhappy:

 


Kind regards

 

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Distinguished Contributor
ramissin
Posts: 419
Registered: ‎06-30-2008

Re: Type-in tool for drawing lines

10-13-2013 07:20 AM in reply to: y-p

Polyspline may be useful ?

 

http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/polyspline

 

 

also Cline 2 has a global angle snap feature.....

 

http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/cline-2-08

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Active Contributor y-p
Active Contributor
y-p
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎03-03-2013

Re: Type-in tool for drawing lines

10-15-2013 02:09 AM in reply to: ramissin

@ramissin:

 

Thanks for these proposals.

 

Seems like Cline2 is not the right script but Polyspline may be helpful.

 

Installed but get this error:

 

 

 

---------------------------
MAXScript MacroScript Error Exception
---------------------------
-- Type error: if-test requires BooleanClass, got: undefined
---------------------------
OK   
---------------------------

 

 

MaxScript Editor is:

 

 

 

macroScript PolySpline category:"ScriptAttack" tooltip:"PolySpline v3.0" Icon: #("PolySpline", 1) --silentErrors: true
(
global polysplineable

on ischecked return try(polysplineable)catch(off)
on execute do (
check=(getDir #ui); check=substring check check.count 1
a=(getDir #ui)+"\\macroscripts\\PolySpline_v3.0.mse"
if check=="\\" then a=(getDir #ui)+"macroscripts\\PolySpline_v3.0.mse"
    
if (polysplineable == undefined) then (
try (
filein a
)
catch(ClearListener())
)
if polysplineable then (
    polysplineable=off
    updateToolbarButtons())
else filein a
)
)

 

 

>> "else filein a" is highlighted

 

 

Any idea?

 

The script is supported up to ver 2010, Im working with 2013.

 

 

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