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When merging lasts forever

When working on complex projects in Autodesk 3ds Max, one of the key elements is time management.

Szymon Tworz
Szymon Tworz

In the pursuit of a deadline and meeting customer requirements, time is an extremely important issue. At the end of the creative process, there is always a need to make corrections. Some things just cannot be foreseen at the very beginning.

The Problem

Every designer using 3ds Max knows that small things influence time, apart from the implementation of the idea itself. One of these is time spent on merging and then using previously prepared elements within the final stage. In many cases, this situation significantly slows down the software.During the object merging phase, the software begins to slow down. 3ds Max freezes or stops responding for a long time. When working on complicated scenes, this loss of time can reach up to even 15-20 minutes. 3ds Max stores invisible and very often unused elements in the scene and that affect the overall performance. The unwanted and problematic elements palette can include:

  • Anim Layers
  • Re-timers
  • Motion Clips
  • NoteTracks
  • Empty Objects
  • Empty Layers.

Anim Layers and Re-timers can cause especially large performance problems that affect both the process of adding objects to the scene, and also very often crash the software during the rendering process.

The Solution

Not to worry! A group of 3ds Max plugins called SiNi Software can be helpful here. One of the plug-ins that make up this package is called SiNi Software Forensic.

This plug-in allows you to find and remove all unwanted items. Here's what SiniSoftware has to say about its own tool:

"Forensic investigation of 3d scenes is essential if you wish to fix any scene related issues before they potentially cause production and rendering issues further down the line, costing you both time and money to resolve. "

To get this plugin, you need to go to the SiNi Software website, register, login, and download the software. Some plugins from the SiNi Software palette are paid, but ForenSic is free.

This plug-in is extremely simple. After its installation and launch, a login window appears. You must enter here the same data as on the webpage. Immediately after logging in, the plug-in starts working, showing which elements work with your particular licence.

The next step is to choose the icon marked with a magnifying glass on the toolbar added by the new plug-in. When you click it, ForenSic will start and allows you to scan the scene. This will get rid of all the additional elements slowing down its operation.Probably the most important step is to now press the Scan button located at the very bottom of the window.

Depending on the size of the scene, within a few seconds, the plug-in will start searching for all unwanted items. Afterward, you’ll see a full list of all the elements that may have a devastating effect on the operation and performance of the scene.The results contain the number of all unwanted items and allow you to delete them by single clicking on the X button next to the results.

As I mentioned at the very beginning, Anim Layers and Re-timers especially affect the speed of merging more elements to the scene, so it's worth removing them at the very beginning. All others are a matter of free choice.Scanning and removing unwanted elements should be repeated every time you merge new elements to the scene. Each of them, if has not been scanned and cleaned before, can be followed by further unwanted Anim Layers and Re-timers, which will slow down the scene during further work.

Tips

It is recommended that every time you merge new elements into the scene, you should scan and remove unwanted elements. If you do not repeat this every time, you will end up with unwanted Anim Layers and Re-timers. This will slow down the scene during further work. There is another important benefit of frequently scanning and cleaning the scene, that is reducing the size of the scene.

This additional disk space is something that every designer will enjoy.

Plugins

Szymon Tworz

Szymon is a fulltime artist with 5+ years of experience, based in Poland. On the weekend, he transforms into a motorsports commentator. In his free time, he's an aspiring simracer and vinyl collector.