3ds max is in itself a very complex 3d software with many functions. All kinds of tools for modeling, animation and simulation are available in it. However, there are plugins or scripts created by external authors.
These plugins can significantly improve and facilitate work with 3ds max. In many situations they exceed the basic tools of this application and introduce functions not provided by the original creators. Below I would like to present you, in my opinion, 15 best 3ds max plugins.
Multiscatter is a plugin that will allow you to distribute hundreds or even thousands of objects inside your scene. It is irreplaceable especially when you create all kinds of exterior scenes with lots of trees or other repetitive elements. MultiScatter is based on VRayScatter technology, but is compatible not only with V-Ray. You can also use it with Arnold, Corona, Mental Ray, Maxwell, Octane or FStormRender.
Thanks to MultiScatter you will not have to worry about the level of scene complexity that will significantly affect your workflow speed. Unlike the VRayScatter plugin, this plugin will allow you to regularly or randomly scatter the objects on a surface or a spline. You will also have the possibility of full control over how the objects are distributed. The cost of this plugin is currently $230. You can read more information about it and purchase it on the official website of its publisher: https://www.visualdynamics.com/multiscatter/buy-multiscatter.html
If you need to create many repetitive elements, especially in architecture, then RailClone will be something for you. It was created by iToo Software, which has many other interesting plugins in its portfolio. RailClone is a parametric modeling tool in which you create objects in a more artistic way. Thanks to it, you can easily make all kinds of building elements that are repeatable: such as windows, railings or stairs. Thanks to node-base editor, you can edit and randomize them the way you want. The price of the latest version is $242, you can buy it at the iToo Software website: https://www.itoosoft.com
3. Floor Generator
This plugin is useful especially if you create interior visualizations. But this is not its only application. It is useful when creating floor panels, tiles, pavements, everything that is associated with a floor surface. There are two versions of this plugin: paid and free. In the paid version, which costs only 20 euros, you have the option of choosing several types of panel placement. The floor generator is related to two other plugins: Multi Texture Map and Unique Material ID.
The first of them will allow you to place different textures in a random way on the panels made using the Floor Generator. You can change the value of their saturation and color balance at random. Thanks to this panels created by you will not look unnatural. The second one is the Unique Material ID. It assigns a random ID to each element inside the object. Thanks to the textures assigned using the Multi Texture map, now they will appear randomly on the object. It may seem complicated at first, but in reality it is a very simple process.
This plugin was also mentioned in one of our previous post about Tips to Speed Up Your 3D Workflow.
The package of these three plugins from CG-Source is absolutely necessary if you create visualizations: https://www.cg-source.com/
Plugin very useful when creating a simulation of a large number of particles. The name refers to the Krakatoa volcano. Krakatoa is a volumetric particle rendering toolkit that allows you to create millions, even billions of particles, without a significant load of hardware, and giving amazing results. It integrates with the standard particle management system of 3ds max. It supports texturing, particle self-shadowing and shadow casting. If you’re in the 3d animation industry, then I think Krakatoa will be a great solution for you. More information about this 3ds max plugin can be found on the official website of its creator: https://www.thinkboxsoftware.com/
Another particle animation plugin. Thanks to FumeFX you will be able to render various effects such as fire, smoke or explosions. It has been used for over 10 years in the work of many film and computer games studios, such as Blizzard. FumeFx has support for V-Ray, Arnold and Mental Ray. On the developer’s website – SitniSati, there is another plugin available, which enriches the FumeFX capabilities. It is called AfterBurn and it is an advanced volumetric particle effects engine. More information about the price and the possibilities of these plugins can be found on the official website: https://www.afterworks.com/
Realflow is probably a most known plugin for performing fluid simulations. In addition to 3ds max, it is compatible with most of the 3d sofwares available. This is actually a stand-alone application that communicates with your 3d application via an external plugin. The first version of RealFlow was released in 1998 by Next Limit Technologies and is still being developed. The last released version 10.1.2. With this application you can create all kinds of fluids and loose materials: from water and honey to the snow. On the RealFlow website you can read more about this application and you can also download a trial version: https://www.nextlimit.com/realflow/
With SolidRocks you will be able to significantly accelerate the rendering of images. This plugin works with the V-Ray renderer. It has a very friendly interface in which you can set many parameters related to rendering. The creators of SolidRock claim that thanks to their plugin ,rendering can be performed up to 3 times faster than with normal settings. The price of this plugin for a single station is currently 74 euros. It is compatible with 3ds max 2010 – 2018 and with V-Ray 2.0 – 3.6. You can find more information about SolidRocks Plugin here: https://www.solidrocks.subburb.com/
Thanks to this plugin you can improve how you map objects in 3ds max. Unwrella purpose is optimal automatic unwrapping. With one click, you’ll be able to completely unfold your 3d object. It works well with all kinds of organic models, but not only. In addition to 3ds max this plugin it is also available for Maya. The price is 149 euros. On the Unwrella site, you will find a list of available features in the current version: https://www.unwrella.com/
If you’re doing 3d work that is related to the automotive industry, this plugin will definitely interest you. MadCar is a plugin for 3ds max, which allows you to very quickly perform wheel rigging for various vehicles. You can use it to simulate wheel movement and suspension – all this in real time. The simulation can be controlled by a keyboard or game controller. If you have a V-Ray renderer, in the new version of MadCar you can also create procedural maps of tracks that tires leave. It is available for purchase for 200 euros here: https://rendering.ru/madcar.html
Another plugin from SitniSati on the list. DreamScape is a toolkit that will allow you to create natural sceneries inside 3ds max. It contains three elements: terrain, sky and sea, which you can configure according to your own needs. With it you can generate various types of mountains, oceans and other open scenes. The license price is $ 645, and you can find detailed information on the Sitni Sati website: https://www.afterworks.com/
Among the best 3ds max plugins there could not miss Ornatrix. It allows you to generate hair, fur and feathers on your models. Ornatrix has intuitive modeling tools that allow brush, comb and cut hair in the easy way. It is a much more advanced fur generation tool than the standard Fur modifier available in 3ds max. Ornatrix is used by some of the largest film and game studios such as Blur, Ubisoft, Capcom and Blizzard. The price of this plugin is $ 499 and it works with such renders as V-Ray, Redshift, Arion, Final Render, Maxwell, Octane, Mental Ray and FStormRender. On the developer’s website you can read more details about this plugin: https://ephere.com/plugins/autodesk/max/ornatrix/
12. SnowFlow Pro
If you have a task to do some winter landscape, SnowFlow can be a tool for you. This plugin allows you to create realistically looking snow with a great deal of ease. Using SnowFlow, you simply select the object that you want to cover with snow and click one button. With many parameters available, you can adjust it to your wishe – depending on what final effect you want to use. SnowFlow Pro costs 120 euros, and you can buy it and download a trial version here: https://www.zwischendrin.com/en/detail/261
This plugin will be useful for people who are associated with 3d animation in 3ds max. Rayfire is a set of tools which task is dynamic animation. Thanks to it, you can shatter objects, generate bullet physics, crack glass and make more cool simulations. At the RayFireStudios developer site, there are two versions of this plugin available. One for commercial use for $385 and an educational version for $130: https://rayfirestudios.com/
14. SiNi Software Plugins
This is a set of plugins for 3ds max. Each of the six tools available has a different task. You can find here: Ignite, Siclone, Proxsi, Dispers, Forensic and Scatter.
Ignite is a productivity and workflow toolset that will speed up your work and add some nice improvements. Siclone is a parametric modeling tool and allows you to create advanced models using a spline distribution. Thanks to Proxsi you will be able to insert proxy objects without limiting yourself to one renderer. Dispers is 3D painting tool, thanks to which you can distribute objects by painting their positions. Forensic is a tool that will check and allow you to fix any scene issues which can cause rendering problems. Scatter will allow you to create complex scenes, like for example forests, through the distribution of objects.
Details and prices of each of these tools can be found on the SiNi Software website: https://www.sinisoftware.net/
15. Substance Plugin
Substance Designer is a well-known application for creating amazingly looking PBR materials. Thanks to Substance Plugin for 3ds max you will be able to combine these two programs. So if you are already a Substance Designer user then you absolutely have to download this plugin. It is available on official Allegorithmic website: https://www.allegorithmic.com/buy/download
I hope that the above list of 15 best 3ds max plugins will be of some use to you. Thanks to the mentioned plugins you will be able to significantly improve your workflow. I encourage you to look at and test some of the mentioned plugins.
The list needs to be updated. There has been so many new 3ds Max plugins users can use.
Like iToo Software or Simpolium’s Cityscape Pro, which is for modeling urban areas. You can even try it for free. Cityscape Pro has 30 day fully functional free trial.
How come MultiScatter is in the list. For the last years Foresp Pack is the industry standard. MultiScatter hardly has updates.
And where is GrowFX ?
Not the list I would recommend.