- Version Requirements / License / Installation
- The Interface (UI)
- Getting started
- Sets/Elements rollout
- The Set Properties
- The Element Properties
- Operations on objects: General Filters and Controls
- Switch Places
- Scatter objects
- Apply Random Transforms
- Lights, Cameras, Materials
- Create a Collection
- Explore and Edit a Collection
- Create an Animation: Export Collection to Timeline
- Render collection
- The Collections Manager
- Utilities rollout
3dsMax 2015 and higher.
RandoMixer has been tested succesfully on 3dsMax 2015 to 2023. It should also work properly on future versions. However, if you experience any issue, please report it to email@example.com
With every purchase you get a license for 1 year (365 days). It’s a node-locked license, meaning each license key is tied to a single computer.
The Regular License lets you use the product in 2 different workstations. It comes with 2 license keys (1 domain per key).
The Corporate License allows you to activate the plugin on up to 10 workstations. It comes with 2 license keys (5 domains per key).
You will get free updates for the same major version of the product.
- 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.
- 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).
- If the license key is correct, RandoMixer will start.
- To add the plugin to a toolbar, go to the Menu > Customize > Customize user interface…
- Go to the “Toolbars” tab and pick the category “Spline Dynamics”.
- The plugin’s name must be listed there. Just drag it onto a toolbar and you’re done!
RandoMixer is a powerful 3dsMax plugin to generate multiple variants, combinations and interactions between the objects in your scene and manage them within a collection of states.
It lets you easily manipulate your objects in a variety of ways:
Mix, reorder, rearrange, apply random transforms, switch places, control density of objects, scatter, auto-switch lights on/off, randomly switch the active camera, randomize materials, create all kind of combinations between different sets of elements, and a lot more!
Due to its versatility, RandoMixer can be used for many different purposes in diverse fields. Here are some of its applications:
- Brainstorming – mix, transform, rearrange, randomize…
- Produce Scene States / Explore possible variants
- Layout/Arrange a model or scene
- Try Different Light/Camera Setups
- Create an NFT Collection of randomly-generated characters
- Present different assembles of a model or product
- Animate a sequence of object/scene states
- Render multiple variants in a single step
It works in this way:
- You provide the plugin with one or more sets of objects from your scene.
- Choose the operations you want to perform on them and adjust their parameters. (e.g.: switch places, apply random transforms, scatter, etc.)
- Optionally, set the type of combination to implement and the number of variants you desire. (e.g.: produce 50 unique variants showing 1 element of each set)
- Press ‘Create Collection’. The plugin will generate the number of variants you required.
- You can now easily navigate the collection back and forth with 2 simple arrow keys and make changes if necessary.
- Optionally, you can render the collection as a sequence of images (built-in function) or export it to 3dsMax timeline as an animation!
The Interface (UI)
RandoMixer rollouts and interfaces can be grouped, according to its purpose, into the following:
– Main Rollout (at the top):
Here you create and manipulate the Master Icon, which stores all the data generated by the plugin in a 3dsMax scene. There’s also a list of useful Presets.
– Collections Manager:
The icon on the right opens this floating interface that lest you manage, visualize and synchronize multiple collections in a scene simultaneosly.
– Sets/Elements rollout:
Here you can load one or more sets of objects (called elements) and adjust their properties, filters and other parameters that will determine the grade of variation and relation between elements.
– Switch Places / Scatter rollout
With the Switch Places operation you can easily mix or rearrange your objects.
The Scatter tool lets you spread one or more sets of elements over the surface of other objects. It has many options and is very powerful.
– Apply Transforms rollout
Here you set
– Lights, Cameras, Materials rollout
Create, Explore and Edit a Collection
– Create & Manage Collection rollout
– Utilities rollout
Help, plugin Activation and Credits
– Help/About rollout
The Master Icon
To start using RandoMixer, you must first create the Master icon. This helper will store all the data created by the plugin.
You must always save it with the scene if you want to keep it editable by the plugin. Do not delete it.
It also shows general information about RandoMixer’s data hosted in your scene: 1. number of Sets created, 2. total objects/elements loaded, 3. total frames of the collection.
The first 3 buttons at the top of the UI manage the Master Icon:
Create Master (checkbutton)
Lets you create a new master icon helper anywhere on your scene by clicking and dragging with the mouse to define the place and size for it. You can move it, scale it or hide it if you prefer.
You can create as many master icons as collections you want to build in your scene.
Get/Reloads data from scene (Refresh icon)
It loads all data from Master Icon and updates the plugin’s UI. It’s useful when you open a previous scene with the plugin already running.
If there’s more than one master icon in scene, it lets you choose one to load.
Show/Hide Master Icon (Eye icon)
Alternately hide and shows the active master icon. We strongly recommend you to hide it immediately after you create it, to avoid accidentally deleting it during your work on the scene.
Collections Manager (icon on the right)
Opens a dedicated interface to view, edit and perform general actions on multiple collections at once.
Presets (dropdown list)
This is a list of thoughtful presets to make it easier for you to set the parameters for a specific purpose. You can also create and save your own presets.
Here’s the list:
- Default: suitable for any purpose. The more parameters you set, the more customized will be the result.
- Switch between elements: it will show one element at a time. Useful to compare how different alternative meshes fit into the scene or render many of these options to compare them.
- Compare light setups: it will show one Set of elements at a time, with the option ‘Auto-switch on/off’ active for lights. Very helpful to visualize different lighting variants. You load many sets composed each one of one or a group of lights and the plugin will go changing from one light setup to another as you browse the collection.
- Create NFT Collection: it shows one element of each set at a time. Ideal to make a collecion of characters composed of interchangeable body parts or accessories. You load one set for each trait/category (e.g.: heads, trunks, arms, legs, etc.) and the plugin will generate the number of combinations you desire.
- Create Custom States: this option will not create any combination of elements. Useful to build your own collection of states manually from scratch, as an alternative to use 3dsMax State Sets or Scene States but taking advantage of the tools in this plugin to manage state collections.
Load / Save: create and save your own presets with your preferred parameters
RandoMixer lets you work either with one set of objects or with multiple sets, to produce different variants of your scene by rearranging, transforming and combining the elements of a set or producing combinations between diverse sets.
This possibility of combining sets of different objects can be used in many creative ways. For example, imagine you have an architectural interior scene and you are placing the furniture. You want to try with 3 different models of tables, 2 possible models of sofas and diverse light appliances. This plugin can create all possible combinations between them. You just need to put the objects in place and then load one Set for every category of object (tables, sofas, light appliances) and the plugin will produce all the variants for you.
The same way, you can build multiple character variations by using interchangeable body parts, such as head, trunk, legs, arms, etc. Or simply changing different clothes or accessories to your character with this tool. If you know about NFT’s, this plugin is perfect to build a huge collection of randomly-generated NFT characters.
In the Sets/Elements rollout you load, define and manage Sets (a series of objects with a common purpose or belonging to the same category) and Elements (each of the objects in a Set).
RandoMixer provides 2 options of interface for you to manage your objects: Single Set and Multiple Sets. The first one is the simplest and is suitable to work with only one set of objects. The second one lets you manage many sets of elements in order to produce combinations between them. Depending on what you want to achieve, you may pick one or the other. You can switch between them at any time without losing the data already loaded.
The Single Set interface is just a simplified version of the Multiple Sets option where you work only on the Elements section, because there’s only one set to manage. Since both interfaces have the same controls and functions, we will explain here only Multiple Sets, the most complete.
Basically, there are 2 list of items. The first one manages Sets and the other manages the Elements for each set. You can create Sets, rename them, add or remove elements, assign a percentage of occurrence for each Set or adjust the weight for each Element in the collection. You can also set specific properties of each Set and Element.
Since each Set contains one or more Elements, if you select a Set on the list, it will display all its items on the Elements list. So both lists are tightly correlated.
If you double-clik a Set name, all corresponding objects on scene will be selected. The same applies to the Elements list for single objects.
Undo the last action done to this list.
Create a new Set from selected objects
Build a new Set directly from your selected objects. It will give the Set a default name which you can change later. If nothing is selected, then it opens 3dsMax dialog ‘Select from list’ to pick objects by name.
This will automatically populate the Elements list with the corresponding object names for the current Set.
Create Set from layer/s
Build a new Set from the objects in one or more layers. It opens a dialog to select one or more layers by name. You can also choose to create a new Set for each of the layers you picked.
This option is very powerful because, if you already arranged your assets in layers by category, then you can load all Sets and Elements with a single action.
Remove Set from list (X icon)
Removes selected Set from the list, including all its Elements.
Edit Set Properties (rightmost icon)
Opens a floating dialog that lets you edit properties and filters for the selected Set. This will be explained in detail further down, in a separate chapter.
Occurrence (%) (spinner + checkbox)
This is an option to manage how often a Set will show up in the collection.
By default, all sets have 100% occurrence. That means the elements of that Set will be always visible at all frames of the collection. Setting a value of 50% occurrence means it will show up in half of the frames of the collection.
If you activate the checkbox, the Sets list will display the occurrence value of every Set next to its name.
Undo the last action done to this list.
Select corresponding objects (cursor icon)
Pressing this button will select the objects in scene that correspond to selected items in the list. You can also use double-click on a single item to select a single object.
Add elements to list
Load selected scene objects as elements into the current Set. If nothing is selected, it opens 3dsMax dialog ‘Select from list’ to pick objects by name.
Add from layer/s
Load objects/elements from layers into the current Set. It opens a dialog to select one or more layers by name.
Remove from list (X icon)
Removes selected Elements on the list from the current Set.
Edit Element Properties (rightmost icon)
Opens a floating dialog that lets you edit properties, filters and material variants for the selected Element. This will be explained in detail further down, in a separate chapter.
Weight (%) (spinner)
This parameter determines the importance of each Element within the Set to which it belongs. In other words, it controls the probability of an Element to show up in the collection in relation to the other Elements of that Set. The effect of this setting is similar to what the Occurrence parameter does for the Sets. Both settings together define the rarity of an element in the collection.
By default, the weight for all elements is 100%. That means they will be visible about the same number of times in the collection.
Show/Hide All (button)
Alternately shows or hides absolutely all the objects loaded into the Sets/Elements UI.
Clear All (button)
Removes all the content from both Set/Elements lists.
Update Default State (button)
If you modified the objects in your scene after having loded them into the plugin, you will lose those changes when the collection is created. This is because RandoMixer saves all the object’s initial data and properties as their default state and that is the starting point for applying variations. You can use this button to save the current state of selected objects as their initial state.
Set Properties Dialog
This floating dialog lets you edit the properties of the Set that is selected in the list.
You don’t need to close and reopen the dialog for editing the properties of each Set. Its content will change interactively when you select another Set.
Active objects per frame
This group of parameters is very important. You can manage how many (or what percentage) of elements of this Set will be present (or active) in each frame of the collection.
If you are using the Default Preset – which sets the type of combination to ‘Multiple elements per Set’-, and lower the amount of active objects per frame to less than 100%, the plugin will be able to make combinations of elements. That means that sometimes it will show some elments and sometimes others.
You can set either the percentage or the amount of random objects to display, by defining a minimum and maximum value.
Shared material variants
There are 2 ways to define material variants (alternative materials for each element): 1) at the Element Properties dialog, which we’ll explain next. 2) In this section, containing 12 material slots.
If you prefer to use common material variants for all the elements in a Set, instead of defining them by element, then activate this section and drag the materials to these slots. Once you create the collection, they will be randomly assigned to the elements in each frame.
There are 4 little buttons to help you manage this material palette:
– Copy/paste entire palette. Lets you copy and paste all these materials at once to another Set or Element.
– Reset/Refresh. Reset all material slots / refresh all thumbnails.
When you drag and drop materials on the palette, you need to press the refresh button to update and visualize the material thumbnail.
Initial places at collection
RandoMixer lets you define and save initial transforms for your objects, to use exclusively for the collection. The original transforms will be preserved, so you can visualize and edit your objects easily, independently from its state in the collection. That way, if you delete the collection, the objects always return to their original places/transforms. And also, if you create a new collection, they will adopt the initial state you have previously defined for them.
Activate the Display/Modify checkbutton, place your objects wherever you want them to appear at the collection, and then deactivate the button to save the changes. Note this action will store only the transforms of the elements in the current Set.
By switching the button on and off, you can quickly display the saved transforms.
To the right, there’s a button to delete all transforms saved for this Set.
Affected by (Filters)
This group of checkboxes represents the main operations and general settings of the plugin. Here you can define which of them will take effect over the selected Set.
For example, if you deactivate ‘Switch Places’ checkbox, when you use that operation while creating a collection, it wont affect the elements in this Set.
This is a text field where you can optionally define a general trait name for the materials in the whole Set, when exporting metadata for the collection.
For example, if a Set named ‘Legs’ consists in a variety of different legs for a character, you may want to define also another trait for the legs material called ‘skin color’, which value will become the name of each material assigned (or material variant).
Element Properties Dialog
In this floating dialog you can change the properties and filters of an element, and define some possible material variants for it.
In this section, you have 6 material slots that represent alternative materials that the plugin can assign to this Element, in order to create different variants of it when generating a collection.
You can drag materials from 3dsMax Material Editor directly to these slots. You can also click on a slot to load a material from the list of scene materials.
The first slot is always disabled and contains the current default material of this element.
In order to activate the use of random material variants on an element, you must turn on ‘Use material variants’ option and check that also, at the general ‘Material Settings’ area in the ‘Lights, Cameras, Materials’ rollout, the option ‘Pick random material variant’ is active.
Reset / Refresh (little icons)
On the top-right of this section, there are 2 little icon buttons to reset all material slots and refresh all thumbnails, respectively.
Update Initial Material (button)
If you changed the default material of an element after having generated the collection, you can use this command to update the default material in the collection. Otherwise, the plugin will utilize the stored material.
Filters / Properties
The options gathered under the tile ‘Affected by’ have the same purpose and use of the ones described at Set Properties Dialog but they apply specifically to the currently selected element on the list.
You can turn on this option if you want an element to be active in a collection but not visible.
For example, maybe you want to scatter some elements over the surface of another object but in a certain restricted area. Then you can use a third element as a dummy geometry for position them exactly where you need to. So you mark it as invisible to hide it from view.
Operations on objects: General Filters and Controls
With RandoMixer you can mainly manipulate objects with 3 major functions: Switch Places, Scatter Objects, Apply Random Transforms.
All these functions have two type of controls in common: 1. Object Filters 2. Anchor Point Control.
With these 5 checkbuttons you can establish what type of objects are affected by the corresponding function: Geometry / Shapes / Lights / Cameras / Helpers.
For example, depending on what you want to achieve, maybe you would like the Switch Places function to affect geometry but not helpers or cameras.
Anchor Point Control
In 3dsMax, the position of an object is defined by its pivot point. However, in many cases you may want to use the center of the object or its base to place it correctly relative to another object.
Instead of having to change the pivot of each object according to the situation, RandoMixer offers you the option to choose which of those convenient points to use for a certain operation: pivot, center or base. That is the purpose of this control.
These is a powerful function to rearrange the objects in your scene effortlessly. It makes the objects to switch places with each other considering their bounding box, rotation and dimensions.
Imagine you have a scene representing the interior of a store where there are a lot of products on the showcase. You have taken some renders but the client didn’t like them and wants you to try different distributions for the products. Doing that task manually would take a lot of time. With this plugin, it’s a piece of cake.
Or maybe you’re doing a Motion Graphics animation and you want the models on the scene to change places to the beat of the music. You can save a lot of time by first generating a rough animation with this tool and then refine it manually.
When Switch Places checkbox is on, the depending parameters turn active.
Inherit Rotation (checkbox): if checked, every object moved to another object’s place will get its rotation. This works well when you are dealing with objects or models that were initially correctly aligned to 3dsMax world coordinate system.
Similar volume (%): minimum grade of similarity that 2 objects must have in the dimensions of their bounding box to be considered interchangeable. A value of 100% means both objects have identical bounding box size. When Inherit Rotation is off, this option considers dimensions in world coordinates. Otherwise, it takes the local bounding box.
Anchor point (dropdown list): choose between pivot, center or base as the object reference point. This is very useful. For example, maybe you have all objects laying on a surface and you need them to keep that way after switching their places. If they don’t have the pivot at the same height, they wont. But if you use the base as anchor point, the result will be successful.
RandoMixer allows you to scatter the elements of one set onto to the elements of another set. You can choose between different scatter methods: use entire surface, certain faces by its orientation, auto-populate furniture (special feature), use vertices / spline knots, use object pivot.
All methods have built-in collision detection!
At the UI, there are 2 listboxes to load your items:
1. Distribution Sets: the sets whose elements will be used to distribute the objects.
2. Scatter Sets: the sets containing the elements to scatter.
– Use entire surface
This method spreads the objects randomly over the whole surface of the elements.
– By faces direction
Distributes the objects over the faces of the element that are oriented in one of these orthogonal directions: X+, X-, Y+, Y-, Z+, Z-. You can set an angle threshold to expand in certain amount the range of orientations allowed.
– Auto-populate desks, tables, shelves.
This method uses a dedicated algorithm to scatter objects on the flat horizontal surfaces of larger objects. It was specially thought to quickly fill furniture models like desks, tables, book cases, shelves, etc., with household or decorative objects, books, toys or anything you like, without collisions and in a smart way.
– Use vertices / spline knots
Disperses objects at the vertices of geometry or the nodes of spline curves.
– Place at pivots
Positions the objects at the pivot of the refence elements.
All methods avoid collisions between the scattered objects. Auto-populate method also prevents collisions between scattered objects and distribution objects.
If the script cannot place objects on the desired locations without causing collisions, then the objects will remain at their original position.
If you need to scatter objects on a specific region of an element’s surface, you can do the following:
1. Clone the distribution element
2. With 3dsMax Edit Poly tools, cut the region you need from the object
3. Load that new object into a new or existing Set in RandoMixer and assign it as a Distribution Set.
4. To make it invisible when generating the collection, open its Element Properties and turn on the Invisible property. That’s all.
When there is more than one distribution set, the script by default distributes the elements equitably between all the sets. This parameter introduces some randomness in the distribution. The higher the variation, the more uneven is the distribution between different Distribution Sets.
Do not transform Distribution Sets (checkbox)
This option prevents the elements in the Distribution Sets to be moved or transformed by other functions such as Switch Places or Random Transforms. This is very useful because normally you would not want to move a laying surface.
Apply Random Transforms
In this section you define some random transforms to apply to your objects. The UI is very intuitive.
If the top checkbox is on, it will activate the settings.
– Reset values (little icon at top right): resets all parameters to their default values.
– Move/Rotate/Scale (spinners): here you set minimum and maximum values for random transforms in every axis.
– Anchor point (dropdown list): choose between pivot, center or base as the object reference point. This was already explaind above at Operations on objects: General Filters and Controls.
In this case, for example, if you scale objects that are on the ground, you will need to use the base as the anchor point.
Lights, Cameras, Materials
At this section you control how your lights, cameras and materials will behave once the collection is created. There are powerful options to automatically switch lights and cameras, randomize their parameters, interchange object materials, etc. You can create countless combinations, different light/camera setups and scene variations to choose from.
This option is very helpful to quickly try different light setups in your scene. For example, you can can have multiple sets of lights, each one corresponding to a light setup in your scene, loaded into separate plugin Sets. Then using the combination type “Show one set at a time” to create the collection, when this option is on, will alternately switch on and off the different light setups as you browse the collection.
In other words, the plugin turns on 3dsMax light objects that are present in the current collection frame and turns off the rest.
Randomize light parameters
This checkbox activates the randomization of the following light parameters for the collection:
– Intensity variation: defines a percentage of variation respect to the intesity/multiplier of the light.
– Color variation: percentage of change in the color of the light.
– Color props. (H, S, V): determines which of the color properties will be affected by the color variation parameter (hue / saturation / value).
Auto-switch active camera
This powerful option allows you to have a different camera for the different frames of the collection.
If on, the plugin will pick the first camera object found in the current collection frame and temporarily set it as the active camera for the currently active viewport.
The possibility of automatically combining different scene objects, light setups and camera views opens a whole new world of variants and alternatives for the artist.
Randomize camera parameters / FOV
Allows you to set a percentage of variation to the FOV parameter of the cameras in the current frame of the collection.
The effect is that, as you browse the collection, the camera/s will zoom in and out randomly.
Randomize Set Materials
Interchanges the materials of the objects belonging to the same Set.
Pick random material variant
At the Elements Properties dialog, you can set up up to 6 material variants for a single Element.
When this option is on, for every frame of the collection, the plugin will randomly pick one of these materials and assign it to the element.
Create a Collection (1st part of rollout)
RandoMixer’s main goal is to generate multiple different variants or states for your objects or scene and bring them together in a collection, where you can easily navigate back and forth with 2 arrow buttons and visualize the result directly in your 3dsMax viewports or interactive renderer.
There are many different ways to produce variation. With this plugin you can apply random transforms, switch object places, hide some objects and show other ones, randomize materials and object parameters, change the lighting, switch between different cameras and more.
(Additionally, RandoMixer comes with a very powerful tool to scatter a set of objects over another set of objects or use them as a reference for distribution, storing different scatter variants in the collection).
In short, these variations are generated mainly in 3 ways:
1. Combinations of elements: selecting a different group of objects from the total to display each time.
2. Randomizing parameters: to change specific attributes or properties of an object (e.g., the scale of a mesh, the intensity of a light, the zoom in a camera, etc.)
3. Interactions between elements: to change the visual relation between 2 or more objects in the scene.
In this section we will focus in the first point: Combinations of elements.
As we saw when explained the Sets/Elements rollout, this plugin lets you load one or more Sets of objects (Elements) to work with.
You can also establish how many Elements of each Set to display per frame of the collection, at the Sets Properties dialog, already explained.
In addition to those settings, RandoMixer provides you a series of predefined types of combinations between Sets and Elements to use for the collection, that we will describe next.
COMBINE SETS / ELEMENTS (dropdown list)
This option defines the method to use for combining Sets and Elements to produce the different states or variants when creating a collection.
- Multiple elements per set
This is the simplest method if you just want to work with 1 set of elements because, if you leave the default settings, there will be no combination of elements. Only the other operations (Switch Places, Random Transforms, etc.) will be applied.
At the same time, it can be the most powerful and complete option, if you work with many sets and you start adjusting the parameters for each set. It combines all sets with all elements with no restrictions. You set the restrictions by changing the number of active elements per Set, altering its properties and filters.
- One element at a time
This method will show every element in every set alternately, one by one. It’s a way to switch between different objects in your scene with a single click.
- One set at a time
This method will alternate between sets of elements, showing one set for every frame of the collection. This way, you can visualize how different sets of objects fit in your scene or render multipll alternatives.
A powerful use of this method is the following: Try creating different light setups, load the corresponding light objects for each setup into a separate Set and then easily switch between them. RandoMixer has the option to automatically switch on/off lights.
- One element per set
Display one element of each Set for every frame of the collection. This is a great way to combine different possible models for a specific type or category of object and create original outputs.
It’s the ideal way to create an NFT collection!
Load one set of replaceable parts for every body part and automatically generate multiple character variants.
- Do not combine
Use this option to tell the script not to combine sets/elements automatically. This way you can create a collection of custom states or combinations by manually adding frames to the initial state and modifying them.
NUMBER OF VARIANTS AND OTHER SETTINGS
Before creating the collection, apart from selecting the type of combination to use, you must establish how many different states, variants or combinations you want the plugin to generate. For that purpose, you set the Max. Variantsparameter.
Max. Variants (spinner)
Defines the maximum number of unique variants or combinations to produce. This will determine the amount of frames of the collection.
If the plugin cannot create such amount of variants without repeating the same states, because of the settings or the number of elements is insufficient, then it will produce the maximum unique states possible.
Update Initial State (button)
Save the current state of selected objects as their initial state for the collection.
Keep default state at first (checkbox)
If you turn on this checkbox, the default state of the objects will be saved as the first frame fo the collection.
Explore and Edit a Collection (2nd part of rollout)
The second group of controls in the Create/Manage Collection rollout allows you to browse the collection, edit the states, add or remove frames and perform general operations to the entire collection at once.
The set of yellow arrows in this area, together with the spinner in the middle, help you navigate the collection. They are, from left to right: go to start frame; go to previous frame; go to a specific frame; go to next frame; go to the end frame.
Hide/Unhide collection elements
Above Edit State button there are 4 icon buttons (open eye, closed eye, 2 white arrows). These controls lets you hide or show some of the elements in your Sets, even if they are not part of the collection you created or they are hidden at the current frame.
They are very useful to edit the current state by making some objects visible and others not, using the Edit State function (explained further below in this section).
From left to right:
– Unhide all elements in all Sets
– Hide selected objects
– Switch selected object for the previous element in its Set
– Switch selected object for the next element in its Set
Once you’ve created a collection, you may want to edit some of the collection’s states/frames.
To do that, activate this checkbutton. Then you can make changes to the objects in the current frame or other frames (keeping this button active) and they will be saved to the collection.
RandoMixer stores many types of object data for each frame of the collection, such as: transforms, visible/hidden state, base parameters, modifiers parameters and materials.
Not all type of base/modifier parameters are saved but the majority of them are. (e.g., filenames or texture maps are not saved).
The materials are saved as a whole, not the changes in their parameters.
Add new Frame to collection
Adds a copy of the current frame as a new frame at the end of the collection.
Delete frame/s from collection
Opens a dialog where you can define a range of collection frames to remove.
Take a Snapshot
The camera icon button lets you make a copy (take a snapshot) of the objects in the current frame or a range of frames. It opens a small dialog to define which frames to use.
Taking a snapshot, in the case of RandoMixer, means to make instances of all the objects in a collection frame and making a group with them.
This is a way to extract a collection frame/state and use those objects for another purpose.
GENERAL OPERATIONS ON A COLLECTION
Deletes the current collection and turns all objects back to its initial state.
Mix the collection by randomizing the order or the frames.
In some particular cases, like when creating an NFT collection, you will require to export the data from every frame of the collection in a specific format, to upload it to the website you chose for publishing your collection. RandoMixer can export the collection’s data to a sequence of numbered text files in JSON file format.
With this option you can define some of that metadata manually and other (like trait_type and value) will be automatically exported based on the names you have assigned to Sets and Elements.
Export Metadata to folder
With this option you can save all metadata files to a specific folder.
Create an Animation: Export Collection to Timeline
RandoMixer has the power to convert a collection of states into a 3dsMax animation.
If you are an animator and want to quickly produce an animation where the objects switch between different states (frequently used in Motion Graphics), then you can take advantage of this great feature.
The icon with a green arrow opens a dialog with settings to export the collection to 3dsMax timeline and generate the corresponding keyframes.
Fake hide (dropdown list)
Since animating the visibility of objects is not equally supported by different render engines, the plugin fakes the hidden state of the elements by scaling them down a lot or moving them away from view. Here you choose your preferred option.
Default tangent type (dropdown list)
The default keyframe tangent type can be set to step, auto, smooth or linear.
State/frame duration (spinner)
The duration in frames for every state.
Animate switching cameras (checkbox)
If you have set switching cameras for the collection, you can animate that changes of view. RandoMixer will create a new single camera and animate its position and rotation to emulate the camera switching action.
When you press ‘Export Collection to Timeline’ button, the objects that belong to the collection are cloned, animated and then placed on a layer named ‘RandoMixer Collection‘. The plugin will automatically remove the content of this layer next time you use it. So to avoid this, it is recommended to rename the layer or move the objects to another layer.
RandoMixer can render the entire collection of states to a sequence of images in a single step. It can also render a collection of animated states taking place during the same frame range.
At this dialog, you set the following options:
The range of collection frames to render.
Choose between rendering a single image per state or a range of frames, for animated sequences.
Option to save every sequence to a separate numbered folder.
Define the width and height for the output image. There’s a button on the right to lock the aspect ratio.
Set a filename, format and target folder to save the images.
– Overwrite existing files: self-explanatory.
– Folder icon: opens the current render folder or destination path.
During the rendering process, the plugin will display a progress bar for you to know which frame of the collection is currently rendering and how many are left.
You can cancel the render of the current frame by pressing ESC key once, or terminate the whole process by holding ESC key for a while.
The Collections Manager
There may be the case where you need to use more than one collection in a scene. For example, if you want to apply different functions and types of combination to different sets of objects. Doing that with only one collection of states is sometimes possible and others not but, in any case, it’s always simpler to manage each of those sets within a separate collection.
However, if you need to synchronize the states of both collections is not so easy.
For that purpose, RandoMixer comes with a dedicated tool to manage multiple collections in a scene at the same time and from a single place: the Collections Manager.
With this tool you can do a lot of things: navigate different collections and see how they interact in your scene, synchronize the playback of different collections, delete frames, take snapshots, shuffle collections, export multiple collections as a single animation, render selected collections together, and more!
The interface is structured in 2 clear sections: 1. a table (with rows and columns) at the top, 2. a set of icons at the bottom.
Every row of the table represents a collection. At the columns you can view information about the collection or execute different functions/operations on that collection.
The icons on the bottom perform general functions simultaneously on the selected collections.
TABLE COLUMNS – View/Edit Data
Here you can see and change the name of the master icon, which is also the name of the collection, if there’s any for that master.
Frames, Sets and Elements
These 3 columns show the number of frames in the collection, the number of Sets and the total amount of Elements loaded for that master.
Frame # (spinner)
With this spinner you can set a specific frame for that collection without the need of loading that master at the main RandoMixer Ui.
TABLE COLUMNS – Perform Actions
Load the specified collection into the main RandoMixer UI. This is useful when you need to edit or make changes to individual frames/states.
Delete one or a range of frames. It opens the small dialog already explained at Create / Manage Collection rollout.
Randomize the order of the collection’s frames.
Opens the same dialog already explained at Create / Manage Collection rollout, where you can take a snapshot (instance + group) of one or more frames of that collection.
Export Collection to Timeline
Opens the same dialog already explained at the previous section, where you can export the collection of states to 3dsMax timeline as an animation.
Set Metadata / Export Metadata to folder
Same functions as those already described at Create / Manage Collection rollout.
Select Collection (checkbox)
Since you can perform certain actions on multiple collections at once (using the icons at the bottom of the dialog), these checkboxes to the right of each row allow you to select one or more collections to operate on.
Reload Collections Data
Update all data in the Collections Manager UI.
Snapshot Current Frame
Take a snapshot (instance + group) of the elements in the current frame of selected collections. This function differs from the other one previously explained. It is capable of taking a snapshot of the current state of many collections at once and group all instanced objects together.
There are 4 buttons with yellow arrows to navigate the currently selected collections at the same time. They are: go to start; previous frame; next frame; go to end.
They are very helpful to visualize and synchronize a group of collections in your scene.
There’s also a checkbox to activate/deactivate looping through collection frames that applies to the Previous/Next frame buttons.
Render Selected collections
This option opens the dialog previously explained at section titled Render Collection. The big difference is that from Collections Manager you are able to render all selected collections at the same time, in sync.
The plugin will render the same frame number for all selected collections at a time. E.g.: first, frame 1 for all collections. Next, frame 2 for all collections. And so on.
If a collection has less frames than the number of frame currently rendering, then it will keep the state of the last frame of the collection.
Auto-resize the dialog to show all collections in the list without the need of scrolling.
The Utilities rollout has a bunch of tools that can be used independently from what you created with the plugin. There’s no need to have a Master icon or collection created. They apply to any 3dsMax scene or objects and you can include them in your daily workflow if you want to.
Unify Objects Position
This is a tool to move objects to the same location of a reference object. Very useful when you need to switch between different possible models to visualize all variants in the corresponding place.
It works this way:
1. Pick the reference object.
2. Choose if the objects will match position only or also rotation and scale.
3. Select the option to align objects to the reference using their pivot, center or base point.
4. Press ‘Move oobjs. To Reference’ to perform the operation.
This is the stand-alone version of RandoMixer’s tool of the same name, already described in a separate section further above.
You can make your selected objects switch places between each other, matching or not the target rotation, filtering them by similar dimensions and selecting the anchor point (pivot/center/base).
This is a simplified independent version of RandoMixer’s tool of the same name, already described in a separate section further above.
You can automatically scatter small objects on the laying surfaces of furniture models with a single click. Just select the objects to scatter, pick the distribution object and press ‘Scatter selected objs.‘ button.
Tool to attach all selected objects in a single step. You have the option to perform this operation specifically on grouped objects within your selection.
Help / About rollout
This rollout contains:
a) Links to RandoMixer online tutorials and documentation
b) A button to access the plugin’s License Activation dialog to activate your plugin’s license and turn off the trial version.
c) The plugin’s version number and credits.
Contact / Support
If you experience any issues using this plugin or need help, please check first the F.A.Q. page, the available documentation and tutorials. Maybe you can find the solution there and save precious time.
For custom 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
All feedback is greatly appreciated. We will try to answer all your inquiries as soon as possible.