Proxy Textures Manual

Index

    1. Version Requirements / License / Installation
    2. Overview
    3. Main Rollout
    4. Tools Rollout
    5. Using a Render Farm
    6. Help/About
    7. Contact/Support

1. Version Requirements

3dsMax 2015 and higher.
Proxy Textures has been tested succesfully on 3dsMax 2015 to 2020. It should also work properly on future versions. However, if you experience any issue, please report it to contact@splinedynamics.com

1.1 License

With every purchase you get a lifetime license. It’s a node-locked license.
The Regular License lets you use the product in 2 different workstations. It comes with 2 license keys (1 node per key).
The Corporate License allows you to activate the plugin on up to 10 workstations. It comes with 2 license keys (5 nodes per key).
You have the right to get customer support for 1 year (+ access to the online user forums)
You will get free upgrades for the same major version of the product.

1.2 Installation

  1. Unzip the content of the .zip file and then drag the “.mzp” file onto one of your viewports in 3ds Max . The plugin automatically installs itself.
  2. A dialog called “Software Activation” pops-up. Enter your license key in the text field. (You received a license key by email when you purchased the product).
  3. If the license key is correct, the plugin will start.
  4. To add the plugin’s icon to a toolbar, go to the Menu > Customize > Customize user interface…
  5. Go to the “Toolbars” tab and pick the category “Spline Dynamics”.
  6. The plugin’s name (“Proxy Textures”) must be listed there. Just drag it onto a toolbar and you’re done!

2. Overview

Proxy Textures is a 3dsMax plugin to automatically create low resolution versions of your textures, to speed up your work on heavily loaded scenes.

This plugin is very useful to optimize complex scenes, with loads of high resolution textures, making them lightweight and easy to manipulate. With it you can quickly downsize the textures in your scene, to get a lower memory consumption and a higher viewport performance.
This way you can work comfortably in your project and restore the original textures at any moment with a single click, or set the plugin to automatically restore them at render time.

What is the difference between using this plugin and setting a size for viewport textures at 3dsMax viewport preferences?
3dsMax displays lower resolution textures on viewport by default and lets you set the maximum texture size for that. This allows GPU to display 3D graphics at a reasonable speed (near realtime response) for a pleasant work experience. However, this approach is not always enough to get a smooth viewport performance, specially when using a lot of high resolution textures.
Proxy Textures creates small versions of the original textures and reassign them, so the amount of RAM required to load the input textures is much lesser. This way 3dsMax viewport runs smoothly, no matter how many and how big your textures are.
There are also a lot of other useful tasks you can do with this plugin. Keep reading.

You can use this tool for different purposes:

– To free up memory and get smoother and better viewport response.
– To reduce the resolution of specific textures in your scene, which are unnecessarily big. (Like those in objects away from camera)
– To produce smaller and faster renders or previews, with smaller textures.
– To convert all your textures to JPG/PNG formats, to make them lightweight and take less disk space.
– To resize your textures to the nearest power of 2, for exporting 3D assets or sceneries to game engines.
– As a batch resize tool for your images.

You can work either with selected objects, in which case the plugin will process all the texture files assigned to their materials, or process all textures in scene at once.

3. Main Rollout

Affect textures (radiobuttons)

Here you set which textures to process: those in the materials of selected objects only or all scene textures.

Size Reduction (area)

In this section you define how much to reduce your textures and which are the limits.

Max. Size / Percentage (radiobuttons):
You can set the amount of reduction by establishing the maximum size in pixels for texture width or height (Max. Size), or by setting a percentage of the original size (Percentage).
For each case, there are 4 preset buttons and a spinner where you can set a precise value.

Min. Size (spinner): the minimum size allowed for texture width/height after reduction.
E.g.: if there’s a texture of dimensions 200×100 pixels and you reduce it 25%, normally the resulting image size will be 50×25. But if you set Min. Size to 50 px, then the final texture will be 100×50). This way you prevent getting too small textures when working with images of several different sizes.

Force Power of 2 (checkbox):
If this option is active, every texture will be resized in both width and height to the nearest power of 2.
(Be careful, the resulting image may be distorted or blurred due to a non-proportional resizing or excessive upsizing)
This is very useful to optimize texture dimensions for game engines.

Convert to JPG/PNG (checkbox):
If active, the plugin will convert all resulting images to JPG and PNG formats (more lightweight, to save disk space). PNG will be used only for images with alpha channel.

JPEG Quality (spinner): Set the quality of JPG images (0 to 100).

Reduce Textures (big button):
Perform the texture reduction process. This action can take from seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on the amount of textures to process and your cpu power.
Previously created proxy textures will be replaced.
The path to original textures will be stored and remembered even if you close 3dsMax and reopen the scene, so can you restore original textures at any time.
This operation always takes the original textures as source, to avoid losing image resolution due to repetitive use.
When finished, a message will tell you how many textures were successfully processed.

Save & Load Scene (button):
After you perform a Texture Reduction, in order to make 3dsMax effectively release RAM memory and improve the viewport performance, it is necessary to save and reload the scene. By pressing this button, the plugin will do that for you.
If you want to save the scene with another name, then do it manually and then reload the new scene.

Proxy Textures Folder (area)

The plugin saves the resized textures in a folder. Here you can set the location of that folder and some other options.
The folder is created when you execute Reduce Textures for the first time.

Global / Scene-bound (radiobuttons)
You have the option to work with a single folder for all your daily projects (Global) or set a local folder for each of your max scenes (Scene-bound). In this last case, the path is saved with the scene file.

Set Proxy Textures Folder Path
The plugin sets a default path for each of the options (Global and Scene-bound) but, if you want,  you can define your custom paths here.

Open Proxy Textures Folder (button): open the current proxy textures folder.

Use Originals on Render (big checkbutton):
This button is set to active by default. If you leave it on in a scene with proxy textures assigned, the original textures will be called for render. On the contrary, if you deactivate it, the render will show the proxy (low resolution) textures.
Even if the plugin is closed, this option is always active by default, unless you have deactivated it and still remain in the same 3dsMax session.
After you make a render with this option on, if you plan to continue to work with the proxy textures in scene, reload the scene to flush the memory again.

4. Tools Rollout

The tools in this section can be applied either for selected objects or for all textures in scene. The options Selected objs. and All scene determine which textures will be affected.

Restore Original Textures (button):
This action restores the original textures and discards – but does not delete – the proxy textures created.

Set Current as Original (button):
With this function you tell the plugin to definitively discard the original textures and set the proxy textures as final.
This is useful, for example, when you have deliberately downsized the textures that belong to objects far from camera (to speed up render times), and want to keep them as final textures instead of temporary proxies.

5. Using a Render Farm

If you plan to render 3dsMax scenes that were optimized with Proxy Textures on a render farm, using the original textures, it is advisable to restore all the original textures first. To do that, use the button located at the Tools rollout named Restore Original Textures,  with the option to affect All scene on. Then save the scene.

If you need to send the scene to render on a farm and don’t want to make any further change to it, you need to consider the following aspects.

Don’t forget to include the corresponding proxy textures folder within the project files.

The plugin comes with a little free script called Proxy Textures Manager, wich you must install on every render node. You don’t need any additional Proxy Textures licenses or full installations.

It’s very easy to install. Just drag it onto any 3dsmax viewport and that’s all. The script will remain at 3dsMax users startup folder and allow to render scenes containing proxy textures, replacing them with the originals at render time.

If you can’t access 3dsMax on the render nodes, you need to perform a manual installation. Here are the steps for that:
  1. Change the extension of the file ‘ProxyTextures_Manager…mzp’ to .zip.
  2. Unzip it to see the content.
  3. The file you need is: ProxyTextures_OnRenderActions.mse
  4. Copy that file to the users startup folder of 3dsMax.
    It is something like this:
    C:\Users\yourUserName\AppData\Local\Autodesk\3dsMax\2019 – 64bit\ENU\scripts\startup
  5. That’s all.
To use it on an online render farm, you should ask them to install the Proxy Textures Manager there.
(You can distribute that file for free. No license needed for that.)

6. Help / About section

This section includes a link to this manual, a button to activate your license and the credits for this script.

Activate your License (button)
Lets you enter you license key to activate the product. (You got it by email when purchased the plugin).

7. Contact / Support

For customer support or making suggestions or business proposals, please don’t hesitate to contact us through this Contact Form.

You can also write us directly to contact@splinedynamics.com.

All feedback is greatly appreciated. We will try to answer all your inquiries as soon as possible.

 

Enjoy Proxy Textures!

Share