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Looking to improve this workflow

polycounter lvl 9
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flightbeam polycounter lvl 9
Longtime 3dsmax user here, but for some reason I can't seem to find a efficient workflow for my projects. Basically I'm creating a ton of industrial type buildings. I start with a box, add geometry and a base wall texture, then add doors, windows, details on the walls, etc. The end result is photorealistic and not an issue. The problem is getting those doors, windows and objects onto the model efficiently. I have to create a LOT of these buildings.

The current method I use is I copy, for example, a garage door from a library of objects onto the model with Select and Place, which aligns it perfectly, then switch over to the Building model and Quickslice with Snaps on to get the cuts aligned nicely, then the door is done.

This is fine and all but having to do this over and over is quite time consuming. Ideally I wish I could just use the Object Paint tool and once it's painted onto the surface, the object is automatically cut into the model. Is there a script or another method that can do this?

Any help greatly appreciated!

(using 3dsmax 2023)


  • Eric Chadwick
    Boolean is one method. In 2023 that's a Compound object as you probably know, so it's a bit of a one-way trip, no undo once you've initiated it. It's pretty good with watertight meshes.

    Another would be to set up a modular system of meshes, and model them on a grid so they snap together perfectly. You could have a wall segment that already has a garage door, plus the wall above/around it, plus support beams and trims. Then it just snaps to neighboring walls. Many games use this method.
  • Shrike
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    Shrike interpolator
    You could try build yourself some grid snapping building block pieces which you can reuse and just replace their textures with. Even if they need different model style, you can quickly move some vertices and get something different. Some entrances, arcs and all such. Do a bit of research and find yourself the couple types that keep coming up. You'll usually notice that there are much less different common types and you can just make yourself 3-5 presets and have enough to build these for years. Depends of course if you need to replicate something exactly or just want something good looking.

    Take an evening and build some doors, garage entrances, trims, wall corners etc and you'll be good for a long time
  • pxgeek
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    pxgeek keyframe
    MeshInsert plugin might be worth looking into.

    Looks like it's primarily for adding bits and bobs to hard surface style meshes, but could probably be just as good for your use case.
    I've not used it, but it looks like it's doing exactly what others have described above (still need to build your own library) but with the added benefit of a gui and some automation for stitching elements.
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