Jeesh, it's been a while since I've done a web page.

Welcome one, welcome all to Tom's Plugin Page

Please bear with me while I figure this <HTML> stuff out again. I just wanted to get this stuff available for the public and didn't want to spend too much time fooling around with making a pretty web page. I could say that a pretty web page is coming, but I'd probably be lying. Also, this page is not under construction. It lives on the server and will change when it needs to. You will never get a page that is being edited as you view it.

So, I guess that's the show.

Why is this page here, and how did this stuff come to be? Well, quite simply, I program plugins as part of my "day job," and I've become (at least, I like to think that I've become) quite a plugin engineer. I've got tons of ideas, all I need is the time to do it. I expect that in the simplest form the plugins that I post here (and that I write in general) will be free for all, but I can also add that if anyone needs "special" work done, drop me a line.


Well, unfortunately I haven't got a whole lot to show, but since I'm bringing this one plugin in to work (I work for a rather large game development company) I need to put this out there to sorta prove that I own it and they don't. Heh. Actually, I wrote it even before I went to work for these people, but whaddaya know?

Anyway, I'm afraid it's a little short on features, and so far only compiled for MAX 2.5, but if you have a compiler, you should be able to get it running on your own version in no time. Hopefully I'll be able to throw the MAX 3 version in there as well... Unfortunately my dongle is at work (oh the humanity) so it may be a little while in the coming... We'll see. Also, unfortunately, I never compiled a non-debug version of this so it's a little slower than it should be.

That is, unless you build a release version of it for yourself. ;) Oh yeah, what is it you ask? It's a mesh deformer. Kinda like Physique but without the fancy user interface. It should work well enough for most people. Basically your "bones" are geometric primitives that are hanging out in the world. I should write a little page on this, but take the Character Studio baby, put a sphere around his head, boxes around his torso and body and legs, hit the "assign bones" button, choose these objects, and move them around.

We used a similar system on the games that I've been working on over the past three years, just without the variable influencing. This plugin looks a lot better than what I did for that game, let me tell you. However, we were targeting a 33MHz machine, so we didn't want to do too much. heh. ;) Umm, oh yeah I'm beating around the bush again. Well, grab the Skeleton plugin here. Copy the Skeleton.dlm plugin into your 3DSMAX/plugins directory, and ding-dong you're good to go. Oh yeah, MAX 2.5 only, for now...

How-To Program Plugins

This is what I really started on, I've only got one so far, but that's enough to warrant a webpage, isn't it?

Check it out, it's a tutorial on programming your first plugin. If you've looked over the SDK.HLP file that ships with the MAX SDK (on the 3D Studio CD) and you meet the requirements and know a thing or two about programming, give it a look. I think that it's pretty straight forward.

Other Stuff

I recently put together a list of plugins that I keep available for MAX development. MAX just loads too damn slow if you have all 100+ plugins getting loaded, so I stripped out most of them and just load the essentials. The list is here, and I suggest you move everything that you don't need into an "unused" folder. That way you can easily bring it back if something that you need doesn't work.

Good luck!

Bug Policy

I surely hope that there aren't any bugs in any of this stuff. However, from time to time bugs will creep up. Obviously, this being "free software" and all, I can't guarantee and won't warranty anything, and this is all use-at-your-own-risk.

However, if you find a bug and can tell me how to reproduce it, it'll be fixed (probably) within 48 hours, and sooner if you "really need it."

Oh yeah, if you tell me that the plugin sucks, or if I somehow discover that you're one of those people who go around saying how much this or that plugin sucks (whether or not it's mine) I will guarantee a Kill Filter on your email address. This means that I won't help you out.