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3ds Max tutorial

The submitter for 3ds Max is a plugin with a dialog that allows you to configure and submit jobs to Conductor.

This tutorial should get you going quickly. Please check the reference documentation for a detailed description.

If you haven't already done so, Download the Companion App.

Open the Companion app on the Plugins page and install the 3ds Max plugin.

Python 2.7

If you are using 3ds Max 2021, you must set the ADSK_3DSMAX_PYTHON_VERSION environment variable to enable Python 2.7, as shown below.

To set the ADSK_3DSMAX_PYTHON_VERSION variable:

  1. Search and select System (Control Panel).
  2. Click on the Advanced system settings link and then click Environment Variables.
  3. Under the section System Variables, click New.
  4. Enter ADSK_3DSMAX_PYTHON_VERSION in the Variable name field, and 2 in Variable value, and click OK.
  5. If 3ds Max is running, close and reopen it.


Launch the Plugin

Once installed, a Render with Conductor option will appear in the Rendering Menu.


Set up a submission

Open the scene you want to render and open the submitter dialog. It attempts to connect with Conductor and may show a browser for you to sign in. If successful, the UI appears as shown.



Set a title for your job to show up on the Conductor dashboard when you submit. The default title is 3ds max <upper renderer> <scenenameex>. If you check the Preview tab of the submission window, you'll see the resolved value.



The angle bracket tokens used in the title provide a great deal of flexibility and are used extensively in other parts of the submitter. For full details, see the reference documentation.

Instance type

Choose a suitable machine from the Instance Type drop-down menu. You also have the option of selecting CPU or GPU-based instances.



The submitter should automatically detect your current renderer. If it is set incorrectly, use the drop-down menu to select the appropriate version.



By default, the submitter derives the frame range from 3ds Max's Render Setup. Check the Info section to make sure the frames and tasks are correct. We also recommend you enable scout-frames. Scout frames will render while all other frames are on hold. Scout frames allow you to verify your images before committing to a potentially costly render job.



Pre-submission script

The two options for rendering in the current release are ass files for Arnold and vrscene files for Vray. The default pre-submission script handles the export automatically when you submit. You can also run the script manually to test, and you can point to a custom pre-submission script if the defaults are not suitable.

Task template

The task template generates the correct render commands for all your frames. It makes extensive use of the tokens mentioned above. Check the preview tab to see how the template generates the valid render commands for your renderer: either vray or kick.


Validate and Submit

When you press Submit, we check the scene to ensure there's nothing that could cause unexpected render results. You'll notice the dialog displays the Validation tab. Validation messages can be errors, warnings, or only informational; however, you should always read them as they can often save time and money. You should also check the raw submission configuration in the Preview tab.


If you press Continue submission, the job is sent to Conductor, and the dialog switches to the Response tab, which displays a link to the Conductor web dashboard.


Download finished files

As tasks finish, you can download your images via the command-line tools or open the Downloader page in the Companion app.


The Render with Conductor menu item does not appear.

If you installed from the Companion app, a Max Script file should have been created at %LOCALAPPDATA%\Autodesk\3dsMax\<max version>\ENU\scripts\startup\

If the file exists, it should contain code similar to the following.

-- Calls the Conductor 3DS Max plugin.
  include "C:/Users/<yourname>/Conductor/ciomax"

Check that the path points to the Conductor Max installation.

If the file doesn't exist, create it with a text editor.

I don't see any projects, instance types, or software in the drop-down menus.

This can happen when the sign-in process times out. To remedy, close and reopen the dialog.


Be sure to visit the 3ds Max submitter reference page for more info.

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