Starting 3ds Max from the Command Line

You can start 3ds Max from the command line in a Command Prompt window, or include the command line in a batch file. There are a number of switches that you can use on the command line.

To start 3ds Max from the command line:

  1. Open a Command Prompt window.
  2. Change the directory to the 3ds Max root directory, if this directory is not in your PATH statement.
  3. Type 3dsmax to start 3ds Max. Optionally, add a command-line switch (see below).

Command-Line Switches

You can use the following switches after 3dsmax on the command line.

Switch Effect
-c othercui Starts program using othercui.cui instead of maxstart.cui.
-d Causes Track View to use a double-buffered display, which is smoother than the single-buffered display but uses more system resources.
-g Makes background white (instead of gray) in the following dialogs: Track View, RAM Player, Video Post, Loft, and Falloff Curve. Useful for screen captures when using a display mode less than 24 bits deep, for avoiding background patterns.
-h Allows choice of graphics drivers: Software, Open GL, Direct3D, and Custom.
-i otherfile Starts program using otherfile.ini instead of 3dsmax.ini.
-l Loads the last .max file automatically.
-ma Open maximized.
-mi Open minimized.
-n Disables network mode.
-p otherfile Starts program using otherfile.ini instead of plugin.ini.
NoteThe otherfile.ini string should include the full path name.
-q Starts program "quietly," without the splash screen.
-s Starts program in server mode.
-u Opens utility.
-v Loads a display driver. See details following, under "Using the −V Option."
NoteIt is not possible to select which version of Direct3D you will use with this switch.
-z Writes version number to file. See details following, under "Using the −Z Option."
anyscene Starts 3ds Max and opens a file called anyscene.max.

A space must separate 3ds Max executable name and the command-line switch.


3dsmax −l

3dsmax −i otherfile

3dsmax anyscene

3dsmax −c MaxCustom

See Also

Using the -V Option

You use the -V option to load a different display driver at startup. This option overrides the setting in 3dsmax.ini.

Follow the -V with one of these letters for the driver you want to use:

s: Loads the software driver.

o: Loads the OpenGL driver.

d: Loads the Direct3D driver.

n: Loads a null driver.

For example, if you ordinarily run OpenGL and want to switch to the software driver for a session, you would type: 3dsmax −vs

Using the -Z Option

If you call product support, the representative might ask you to run this option to determine the exact version of your software. This option only writes to a file; it does not start 3ds Max.

Follow the -Z with a file name:

3dsmax −z id.txt

The file (in this example, id.txt) is written to the 3ds Max root directory.