Create Animated Sequence File

Command entry:Tools menu Grab Viewport Create Animated Sequence File

Create Animated Sequence File displays the Make Preview dialog, enabling you to create an AVI file or custom file type preview of the animation in the current viewport. You can also render a preview to a specified device.

When the preview is complete, 3ds Max starts the Media Player with the preview _scene.avi file ready to play. (If you don't want the Media Player to start, choose Customize Preferences General and, in the UI Display group, turn off AutoPlay Preview File.)


To create a preview:

  1. Choose Tools menu Grab Viewport Create Animated Sequence File.

    3ds Max opens the Make Preview dialog.

  2. Change the preview parameters or accept the defaults, and then click OK.

    If the output type is AVI, 3ds Max renders the preview and saves it in a file called _scene.avi, in the path specified by Configure User Paths File I/O Previews. Immediately after rendering the preview, 3ds Max runs Media Player with this animation loaded.

  3. View the preview by clicking Play in Media Player.

    If you dismiss Media Player and then want to view the preview again, choose Tools Grab Viewport View Animated Sequence File. This restarts Media Player with _scene.avi.

    You can save the preview under a different name, so it won't be overwritten the next time you make a preview. To do so, use Tools Grab Viewport Rename Animated Sequence File.


Preview Range group

Specifies the frames to be included in the preview, either the active time segment or a custom range of frames.

Frame Rate group

Specifies the playback frame rate in frames per second. Use Every Nth Frame to preview a regular sampling of the animation. For example, a value of 8 includes only every eighth frame in the preview.

Image Size group

Sets the resolution of your preview as a percentage of the current output resolution. You set the output resolution on the Render Setup dialog. For example, if the rendering output resolution is 640x480, and you set Percent Of Output to 50, the preview resolution is 320x240.

NoteThe size of the preview image is limited by the size of the viewpanel region (the region that contains the viewports). The setting is clamped to the maximum value that allows the preview image to fit in the viewpanel region.

Display in Preview group

Specifies the types of objects to include in the preview. Frame Numbers prints a frame number in the upper-left corner of each frame of the AVI file. Background includes the assigned viewport background in the preview.

Camera View group

Specifies whether the preview should include multi-pass rendering effects.

Rendering Level group

[Rendering Level drop-down list]
Specifies the viewport rendering method to use in the preview.

Output group

Specifies the preview output format.

  • AVIWhen chosen, the preview is output as an AVI file. The button to the right displays the current AVI codec. Click it to adjust the assigned codec, or choose a different codec. The quality of your output AVI file depends on the type of codec you use and the codec settings, which vary. For the highest visual quality, choose the highest compression quality. The higher the compression quality, the lower the compression, and the larger the resultant file.
  • Custom File TypeOutputs the preview to the specified file format. When this option is chosen, and the Create button is clicked, a file selector appears, where you name the file and specify the output file type. For example, you can output the preview as a Quicktime movie by specifying a file name with a .mov extension. If you specify a single-image format, such as .tga, the preview is output as a series of sequentially numbered files.
  • Use DeviceLets you output the preview to an external device, such as a digital recorder. The button at right displays the name of the currently assigned device. Click it to either change the settings of the device, or assign a different device.
Render Viewport drop-down list
This list shows the names of the currently visible viewports, letting you choose which viewport to render from within the Make Preview dialog. Default=the active viewport.