3DS Max Hot Box

There are many things I like and dislike about many software packages, one thing I do like is Maya’s hot box. Over the years I have often thought it would be great to have a hot box style interface for max. Well lately two things have happened. First I have had some spare time up my sleeve which is very rare. Secondly I got inspired by a video on Script Spot (check it out here) that I thought would solve my hot box lust. As it turned out the project sounds like it is a quite a while off.

So I got to work on my own version. At this stage I have just replicated the functionality that was in the video but I have also built an easily expandable framework. The GUI is created entirely on fly dynamically, I am currently adding support for fly out menus. Being that it is all dynamic it will be easy to customise the layouts and functionality in the future. I am unsure whether or not to save the configurations in XML or just write maxscript to a file.

HotBox Screen Capture

Maya Style HotBox interface for 3d Studio Max

I would love to here what you all think and if you have any ideas on how this type of interface can be utilised in max then please let me know. I have been using it in its current form and have found it quite useful.

You can download the script below:


You can download the source here.

Please remember this is beta software. Do not be surprised if there are any bugs. Please let me know any issues you do run into.

Why is the script encrypted? Well first off I will be keeping the script free. In time I will make the source available when development has progressed.


  • 07/09/2010 – New version available it fixes an issue that Max 2011. Users have reported a script error which is raised when trying to run it. This has now been fixed.
  • 31/08/2010 – I have optimised the script and gained more performance. It now shows and hides very quickly without any black ghosting taking place.
  • 31/08/2010 – User reported seeing the interface in black before it moved to the cursor. This has now been fixed. Users may still see some black the first time the hotbox is opened, after that it should be fine. I have also optimised the script so it should show faster.
  • 30/08/2010 – Added a new version label to the UI. Fixed a couple of new bugs.
  • 30/08/2010 – The download is now version 0.04. I have fixed a bug where the UI controls would become unresponsive. I also added some buttons to the center of UI for switching view.
Maya Style HotBox for 3dsmax

Notice the new Controls in the center. T = Top view, L = Left, R = Right, F = Front, B = Bottom, U = User, C= Camera, P = Perspective



24 Responses to “3DS Max Hot Box”
  1. Nice, will give it a try later…

    also check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0xGCZLI5-w

    and: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=866505

    i wanted to include that in rappatools but since it’s written in C# and i don’t know how to use the sdk… kinda dropped that idea, maybe i’ll give sdk a spin one day…
    also i wanted to do something like this on my own in max script but never got time to work on it since busy with college and now i have to do other things…


  2. tsar says:

    could you send me the ms file, I like to know how to develop it and i am interesting in it too, I want to develop it in max 9…..


  3. Gabriel says:

    Hey, this sounds nice…. I would rather look at what I am working on than a GUI…..

    Friggin sweet!!!!

    How long you been working on this script?

    Is it hard to script in MS?

    Thanks a million though…. will get back to you if I find any bugs!

  4. Jimmy Livefjord says:

    Hi guys and thanks alot for this awsome script, i have been waiting for a long time for something like this. I was just about to say that you should add the viewport shortcuts in the middle and then i saw that you had already done that !, i am using one of theese scripts already (Viewport Switcher), A think that you guys should add is snap pivot to selected vertex (just a button for that ) , thats really helpfull. thanks alot and keep on making updates !,cant wait to see until this gets better ! , kindly // Jimmy

  5. chenx says:

    Plz Help!
    I can’t download this script?Can you send it to my Email:conceptart@163.com?
    Thanks ?

  6. Dave says:

    The download link requires try disabling any pop blockers you have and you should be fine.


  7. Jimmy says:

    Okay,here comes a list with things that could be alot better:

    1. us a color to highligt the boxes, its not easy enought to see this when working fast.

    2. its always nice when you can customize things, myself for example will use the viewport buttons in the middle all the time,
    but i never use cameras when lowpoly modeling. It would be nice if you could right click on the viewport tabs and choose on a menu wich viewports that should
    be in your list. also the placement is odd (look at attached picture), and the close button gets 3 times the attention as everything else, throw that away.

    3. mayby its just me but i would guess that most users dont need a script meny as the most common command, you should add the most common tools here
    (or give the user the choice to add their own
    shortcuts in this menu that would really make it kickass !!

    4. SWIFTLOOP SHORTCUT IS A MUST With the rest of the edit tools like cutand connect.

    5. a special settings box that you can set the most ordinary stuff that people change, like backface culling, its always nice so that you dont have to go into 60 different
    places in max to reach theese, there is alot of theese hidden stuff that you dont find all the time that can be very annoying.

    6. The black frame showing the last choice you made is of no use, it just steals attention.

    where can i send ideas on picture ?

  8. Dave says:

    Hi Jimmy,

    Thanks for the feedback. All are valid points feel free to send any further information info[at]daveandgoliath.com

    Allot of work is being done to make it entirely customisable so that artist can change any aspect of it the interface, that work is fair way from completion at the moment but it will be done. In the mean time I will implement quite a few of the things you have mentioned.


  9. epx says:

    could you send me the ms file, I like to know how to develop it and i am interesting in it too, I want to develop it in max 8.0…..


  10. Dave says:

    I will be making the source of the maxscript available in a couple of weeks. I would love to see what you could do with it for max 8 the GUI might be a bit tricky either using old ActiveX or would you hit the SDK?


  11. mohinder says:

    Really looking forward to the update as mentioned on Scriptspot. Hows it looking?

  12. Táo says:

    I can’t download this script.
    Can you send it to my Email:linhvan86@gmail.com

  13. Danny B says:

    looks like the connect tool isn’t workin mate.

  14. anh says:

    I can’t download this script.
    Can you send it to my Email:san502gas@gmail.com

  15. mohinder says:

    Has development of this script stopped? Some info would be really appreciated even if its just to say “no more updates”

  16. Remus says:

    So what happened with this !? Anyway if you’ve stopped working on this maybe you can send me the source code !?

  17. Dave says:

    As per the usual I got caught up in production work and could not dedicate much time to it. After a while I went of the idea as well which did not help. I will release the source after I do some quick clean up as it is very messy (one of the main reasons it is encrypted at the moment).

  18. Shardul Dave says:

    Hi. i am basically rigger so, i want to replace hotbox default command into rigging command. it is possible?

  19. Dave says:

    Yep this is possible for sure. You can have the buttons do what ever you like. Feel free to download the source code. If you need a hand with anything just let me know.


  20. Shardul Dave says:

    Hi, already i have source code and that install it properly but, when i run script in max same hot box is appear. you have any suggestion for how can i install and replace this button in rigging. source code download link is given below please check it is proper.



  21. Trisha says:

    I am no longer sure the place you are getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend a while learning more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent information I was on the lookout for this information for my mission.

  22. Hameed says:

    I Want to chnag this GUI Button.Please Help

  23. Hameed says:

    How to customize Hot Box Please Help
    I want to add my own button in this script.

  24. manoranjan says:

    wow.very nice.

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