Running Scripts from the Command Line

3ds Max Design allows you to enter MAXScript commands directly on the command line. When you launch 3ds Max Design from a DOS command line, you can have it run a specified launch script. This can be useful for tasks such as unattended batch rendering.

This capability uses the existing -U command line switch that names a utility to be run when 3ds Max Design is started. The -U switch allows an optional extra argument which, for MAXScript, is taken to be the name of the launch script to run. The case (capitalization) of MAXScript must be as shown in the following example (entered after you CD to 3ds Max Design directory):

3dsmax -U MAXScript

This example command line would launch the 3ds Max Design executable , start MAXScript, and then have it run the launch script

The following example launch script loads two scenes, renders frames from each of the cameras in them, and then quits 3ds Max Design:

loadMaxFile "foo.max"
for c in cameras do render camera:c outputfile:("foo_"".bmp")
loadMaxFile "baz.max"
for c in cameras do render camera:c outputfile:("baz_"".bmp") 
quitMax #noPrompt 

This example makes use of the quitMax() method to exit 3ds Max Design when the script is finished. Launch scripts need not be batch scripts as in this example, but may be used to condition 3ds Max Design for interactive use, for example by loading a scene file and setting some user-interface options.

The normal startup scripts, and those in the \scripts\startup directory, are run before the launch script. It is also possible to install scripts into individual scene files that run automatically when that scene is open or closed or at certain other events.

NoteCommand line -U MAXScript startup scripts are run after 3ds Max Design has completely booted and the standard scripts and startup scripts have been run.

MAXScript Command-Line Switches

The following switches work specifically with MAXScript files and functions.

Switch Effect
-mip Starts 3ds Max Design in a minimized mode – but never allows you to open the window for interactive usage.
-mxs This switch is essentially the same as -U MAXScript, but avoids the need for the .ms file. You can follow the switch with MAXScript commands.
-silent Comparable to the MAXScript command, setSilentMode, this switch suppresses all MAXScript and 3ds Max Design UI dialogs so that batch scripts specified by the –U command do not get interrupted.
-u MAXScript <filename> Opens a specified MAXScript file.

Examples of desired syntax usage:

3dsmax.exe -silent -mxs "for c in cameras do render c outputFile:( + ".bmp") vfb:off " file.max

This example starts 3ds Max Design in silent mode, opens file.max and renders each camera view to a BMP file without showing the Rendered Frame Window.

3dsmax.exe -q -mi -U MAXScript \\server1\folder\ \\server2\folder\file.max

This example suppresses the splash screen while starting 3ds Max Design in a minimized state, opens file.max from a network server and runs found on another server. If contains the same commands as the first example, both of these examples would give the same results.

3dsmax.exe -q -silent -mip -mxs  "for c in cameras do render c outputFile:( + ".bmp") vfb:on; quitMAX() #nopromptfile.max" file.max

The final example suppresses the splash screen while starting 3ds Max Design in silent mode and in a permanently minimized state, opens file.max, renders each camera view to a BMP file showing the Rendered Frame Window, then exits 3ds Max Design.