Showcaser Manual


    1. Version Requirements / License / Installation
    2. Overview
    3. The UI (User Interface)
    4. Manage Animation Sequences
    5. Manage Sequence Objects
    6. General Animation Modes
    7. Presets / Pivot Position / Animate Objects Together
    8. Types of Animation: Entry (In), Exit (Out), Main
    9. Building & Editing the Animation
    10. Help/About
    11. Contact/Support

1.1 Version Requirements

3dsMax 2015 and higher.
Showcaser has been tested succesfully on 3dsMax 2015 to 2024. It should also work properly on future versions. However, if you experience any issue, please report it to

1.1 License

With each purchase, depending on what you choose, you get a 1-year license or a lifetime license. It is a node-locked license (tied to the computer, not to the user).
The Regular License lets you use the product in 2 different workstations. It comes with 2 license keys (each key is linked to 1 computer).
The Corporate License allows you to activate the plugin on up to 10 workstations. It comes with 2 license keys (eack key is linked to up to 5 computers).
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 2 license keys 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 (“Showcaser”) must be listed there. Just drag it onto a toolbar and you’re done!

2. Overview

Showcaser is a powerful and versatile tool for quickly creating animated project presentations in 3ds Max. Give life and dynamism to your scenes, models, products, or characters in seconds without the need for animation knowledge.

With a simple and intuitive interface, Showcaser offers you several alternatives so that, starting from a static scene or a series of 3D models, you can easily and quickly create incredible professional animations.

It works as follows: you provide the objects you want to animate, set the animation order, adjust a series of parameters, and press Build Animation.
If you have chosen the Scene animation mode, Showcaser will instantly create an animated sequence in which the scene will be assembled object by object progressively and dynamically until the complete scene is formed. If you chose the Model/s animation mode (to make a presentation of models, products, or characters), Showcaser will animate the elements one by one sequentially, with an entry and exit animation, and optionally a turntable animation.

The plugin automatically creates all the necessary keyframes on the position, rotation, and scale tracks for each object in 3ds Max. If you want to make modifications, you can regenerate the animation with different configuration parameters, or you can manually edit the animations without needing to use the plugin, using 3ds Max native tools. Showcaser technically functions as a script and does not create plugin dependency.

This tool is aimed to all kinds of professionals or 3D artists, with or without previous knowledge of animation in 3ds Max, in the various fields of 3D design, modeling, CGI, architectural visualization, motion graphics, game art, and industrial design.

3. The UI (User Interface)

The interface contains only 2 rollouts:
1. Build Animation, the main one.
2. Help – About, with links to tutorials, help, and plugin information.

The main rollout is divided into 3 areas:
– Top: where you manage the animated sequences, load the objects from the scene, configure the general animation mode, and use presets.
– Center: here you define the types of animation to use and their parameters, as well as other advanced options.
– Bottom: to execute the creation of the animated sequence, perform manual editing, and manipulate animated objects.


4. Manage Animation Sequences

An animated sequence (or animation sequence), in the case of Showcaser, is a succession of objects that enter and/or exit the scene consecutively and continuously, forming an animated presentation. A 3ds Max scene can contain one or more animated sequences, each of which involves different elements or 3D models.
Showcaser creates animated sequences by animating the objects you provide one by one sequentially, forming a dynamic and fluid overall animation. Optionally, you define whether you want object animations to overlap with each other or not, to determine the animation pace.

When creating the first sequence, the plugin generates a new layer in 3ds Max called “Showcaser”, where it will save all helper objects that will drive the animations of your objects. You should not delete or rename this layer if you do not want to lose all animations created with the plugin in that scene.

To save all the data of an animated sequence, the plugin initially creates a “master helper” in the scene and stores it in the “Showcaser” layer. You can assign a cutom name to the sequence if you wish.

If you delete a sequence, the objects will lose their animations and return to their initial position/rotation/scale. (In practice, Showcaser deletes all corresponding helpers from the scene together with the “master helper”).

List of Sequences (dropdown list)
The list of all animation sequences created with the plugin in the current scene. It lest you pick one to make it active and display its corresponding parameters.

Create New Sequence (button)
Press this button to create a new blank sequence and assign it a name. The plugin generates a new hidden “master helper” object with that name in the Showcaser layer, to store the sequence data.

Manage Sequence Objects (button)
It opens a dialog where you can add or remove objects from the sequence and set the order in which they will be animated.

Rename Sequence (button)
It lets you change the name of the active sequence.

Reload/Refresh (button)
To reload or refresh the data of all existing sequences in the scene. If you open another 3dsMax file or reset the scene while Showcaser is open, you use this button to update the information at the plugin.

Delete Sequence (button)
Removes the current sequence, all its animations and the corresponding helpers. The objects return to their original positions and transforms.

Select Objects in this Sequence (button)
Selects all objects in scene that belong to the active sequence.

Save Sequence (button)
Saves the current parameters to the sequence (storing them as custom attriibutes in the master helper).

5. Manage Sequence Objects

This dialog allows you to manage the objects that will be part of the animated sequence, as well as to determine the order in which they will be animated.

It can be used in 2 different modes: Single Set or Multiple Sets.
The Single Set mode is the simplest and allows you to handle a single set of elements for animation.
In contrast, the Multiple Sets mode allows you to create several sets of elements. It is ideal for dividing the objects in the scene according to a criterion or category and animating them in a specific order, by set. It is very useful when working with a complex scene with a large number of objects.
Showcaser is capable of animating a huge number of objects in seconds, based on just a few parameters that you define.

The list of items named Elements is where you load the objects from your scene. In case you use Multiple Sets, the list named Sets is where you create different sets of elements to animate.
You can assign a custom name to each Set. If you select a Set on the list, it will display its corresponding elements at the Elements list on the right.
If you select double-click an item on the Elements list, it will select that object in the scene. On the other hand, if you select an item on the Sets list, it will select all objects from that set in the scene.

Elements List and its toolbars


These 3 icon buttons above the list let you load and delete elements from the list. They are:

Add selected objects / Pick from scene (icon button)
By pressing this button, if there are selected objects in the scene, it will add them to the list. If not, it will open 3dsMax’s Select From Scene dialog so you can pick them by name.

Add Elements from Layers (icon button)
This is to load all objects contained in one or more 3dsMax layers at once. It opens a small dialog that lets you pick the desired layers.

Remove selected items from list (icon button)
Removes all selected items from the list.


These icon buttons allows you to set the order of the lements in the list in different ways. They are:

Arrow buttons (arrow up and down)
These are for reordering the items manually. They move selected items up or down in the list.

Order Alphabetically, by size, by position (4 icon buttons)
To order the items by name, by size (from small to big or from big to small) or by position respect to 3D world axes X, Y and Z.
This last icon you must press and hold for it to display a little toolbar with 6 additional icons, from which you can choose a specific world axis and ordering.

Reverse the order of the whole set (icon button)
This last icon lets you reverse the order of the entire list of elements.

Sets List and its toolbars


The icon buttons above the list perform similar functions to the ones in the Elements List we already explained, but in this case they lets you manage sets instead of elements.

Create new set from selected objects (icon button)
By pressing this button, if there are selected objects in the scene, it will add them to the list as a new Set. If not, it will open 3dsMax’s Select From Scene dialog so you can pick them by name. Then it adds them as a new Set.

Create new set from layer/s (icon button)
This loads all objects contained in one or more 3dsMax layers at once and creates a new set with them. It opens a small dialog that lets you pick the desired layers.
It gives you the option to create one new set per layer or just one set with all the objects from the selected layers.

Create new set from selected groups (icon button)
It lets you pick 3dsMax groups from the scene by name and then loads every group as a new Set.
This option will cause the groups to be exploded when the animation is created, to allow the plugin to animate the objects individually.

Remove selected item from list (icon button)
Removes selected Set from the list.


Arrow buttons (arrow up and down)
To reorder Sets manualy. Move selected Set up or down in the list.

6. General Animation Modes

Showcaser offers 2 general animation modes: Scene and Model/s.

Scene Animation Mode

This mode is used to perform the animated presentation of a scene, a scenario, or a shot, where what matters is the overall view and not the individual models.
The Scene mode creates an animation where the objects you load into the sequence appear or enter the scene one after another, consecutively, until the initial view of the scene with all the models in frame is formed (this is called Entry animation or IN animation). Additionally, you can choose to build the reverse animation, where all objects disappear or exit the frame until the scene is empty again (called Exit animation or OUT animation).
In summary, the animation consists of assembling and/or disassembling the scene.

Models/s Animation Mode

This mode aims to present models individually.
It works by creating, for each object, model, or character, 3 consecutive and optional animation stages: 1) entry animation. 2) main animation, which can be simply staying static for a while or performing a “turntable” animation. 3) exit animation.
This cycle is repeated for each object until all objects in the sequence have been presented, one after the other. In this way, only one object is displayed on the screen at a time, sequentially.

The main difference between both modes is that, in the “Scene” mode, the view of the scene as a whole is gradually assembled, where all objects are progressively added to the picture until they are displayed all together on screen. In contrast, in the “Model/s” mode, each object appears, it is exhibited and then disappears, to make room for the presentation of the next one, as if it were a catwalk for haute couture models or an exhibition of a new range of products.

When switching from one mode to another, the interface is slightly modified to offer options according to each animation method. The most notable difference is that the Model/s mode uses general parameters to determine the Start frame, End frame and Overlap of the entire sequence. In contrast, the Scene mode, provides these parameters specifically for each type of animation (IN/OUT animations).

7. Presets / Pivot Position / Animate Objects Together


Showcaser provides you a list of thoughtful presets so you can quickly set the necessary parameters and apply them to your own set of objects, making custom changes, to get a fast setup for a cool animation.
You can also load and save your own presets.

Pivot Position

When animating an object, it is very important to consider the position of its pivot, as it determines how that object will be animated.
Showcaser offers a simple way to automatically set a specific position for the pivot of the objects, which is used only for animation, without modifying their original pivot.
This can be configured from this dropdown list.
This is possible because Showcaser uses helpers as parents of the objects, and these are the ones that are animated, not the objects themselves. This way, the animation is easily modifiable, and the original objects are not altered.

There are 4 options for setting the pivot position for the animation: pivot (pivot of the object), center (center of the object), base-center (bottom-center of the object) and top-center.

Animate Objects Together

When presenting the objects of a scene sequentially, it is required that the total animation time range is at least equal to or greater than the number of objects to be shown; otherwise, there won’t be enough time to display all of them. This especially happens in scenes involving a large number of elements.
To solve this problem, Showcaser offers you the possibility to automatically create animation groups. These are sets of elements that will be animated simultaneously according to certain criteria.

By activating this option, you can choose between the following options from the dropdown list to create animation groups:
by set: animates the objects of every set together at the same time.
by layer: animates the objects from every layer together at the same time.
by similar size: gathers objects of similar size (taking the longest side of each bounding box as a size reference) to form animation groups. You can set a tolerance value, which is the maximum difference allowed between the size of 2 objects (in percentage) for them to be considered similar in size.
by instances: animates together instanced objects.
by quantity: it makes an animation group every N elements in the list. You set the number of elements.

When you use Multiple Sets, these options work within every Set, not throughout all sets.

8. Types of Animation: Entry (In), Exit (Out), Main

Entry Animation (IN)

This type of animation is the one through which objects enter the frame or appear in the scene.

Start/End frames vs. Length (%)
In the Scene animation mode, you can establish a Start frame and an End frame that will define the time range in which all the objects of the sequence enter the scene.
In the Model/s mode, on the other hand, a Length (%) is defined, which represents the percentage of time it will take to perform the entry animation for each model in relation to the total time they will appear on the screen. This latter emerges from dividing the total time of the sequence (End frame – Start frame) by the number of elements in the sequence.
For example, for a sequence of 4 objects in the Model/s mode, with a Start frame= 0 and End frame=80, the total animation of each object will last 20 frames (80/4 = 20). (Overlap value is added to this, but let’s assume it’s zero). So, with a Length=50%, the In animation of each object will last 10 frames (half of 20). The rest of the time will be distributed between the Main animation and the OUT animation.

Showcaser offers the possibility to animate the position, rotation, and scale of objects. The final value of these transformations for the In Animation case will correspond to the initial transformation of each object when loaded into the sequence. What is defined here is how much an object moves, rotates, or scales until it reaches that initial state when entering the scene.
– Move: you set a “world axis” for the movement (X, Y, or Z) and the distance the object will move.
– Rotate: you define “world axis” and a rotation angle.
– Scale: you have the option to define an initial scale if you want the object to be visible at the beginning of the animation or set it to zero if you want it to appear out of nowhere. The final scale will be always 100% (the original size of the object).

Defines the number of frames during which the animation of each object will overlap with the animation of the previous object. You can set a negative value to move them away form each other or create gaps between consecutive animations.

Determines the speed or acceleration of the animation at the beginning and end of it. It is equivalent to manipulating the tangents of the keyframes in the Curve Editor.
There are 5 options:
– Linear: linear animation, without changes in pace.
– Ease in: starts slow, ends fast.
– Ease out: starts fast, ends slow.
– Ease in/out: starts slow, accelerates, ends slow.
– Spring: linear animation, with a small bounce (inertia) at the end. Useful to give a semi-cartoon style to the animation.

Start Hidden
If activated, objects start the animation hidden (with zero scale) and suddenly appear at the Start frame.

Exit Animation (OUT)

This type of animation is the one through which objects leave the frame or disappear from the scene.

The parameters are exactly the same as for the IN animation explained above, with 2 exceptions:
– At Scale setting, an end scale value can be defined, which sets the final size of the object at the end of the animation. The initial scale of this animation is always 100%. If you want the object to disappear, use a value of zero.
– Reverse anim. order: if this checkbox is on, the OUT animation will be performed in reverse order to the IN animation. That is, it will start with the last object to enter the scene and end with the first one.

Main Animation

The Model/s animation mode presents an additional tab called Main Animation, where you have the option to configure a turntable animation for your models.

If you leave the “still” option active, the model will remain static during the period of time between the IN animation and the OUT animation. If you choose the Turntable Animation option, the corresponding parameters will be enabled. They are explained below.


Here you establish whether you want the “turntable” animation to take place throughout the object’s animation time or between the “IN” and “OUT” animations.

Z Rotation
Defines the value of the total rotation of the object on its Z axis. For example, if a 360-degree angle is defined, the object will make a complete turn.

Determines the speed or acceleration of the animation at the beginning and end of it. It contains the same options already explained in the “Entry Animation (IN)” section.

Turntable object

Showcaser offers you the possibility to create a turntable object. This consists on a rotating platform that serves to appreciate the model from all angles.
If this box is checked, the plugin enables the following settings.

Parametric/custom mesh
You can tell Showcaser to generate a parametric turntable object, consisting of a 3dsMax Chamfer Cylinder primitive, or specify a custom mesh to use. In the first case, you can configure the radius and height of the cylinder. In the second case, you can choose your model from the scene.

The turntable objects that are created are instances from each other. This way, you can modify their parameters or their mesh in 3dsMax, affecting all instances. Every time the plugin generates a new animated sequence, the previous turntable objects are deleted and new ones are created, but their material is preserved.

9. Building & Editing the Animation


This large button at the bottom of the interface is the one that executes the action of generating all the animations corresponding to the current sequence, based on the defined parameters.

Showcaser works by creating a helper for each object and assigning it as its parent. It then generates the corresponding animations on each helper. All helpers are assigned to the “Showcaser” layer and will be hidden by default.

The plugin locks the transformations of the objects once they are animated so that the user does not accidentally modify them. This is because, since the animations are performed on the helpers, if you modify the transformations of an object in the sequence (which is a child of the animated helper), you will get unexpected and confusing results. To edit animations manually, it is done as explained below.

Edit Animation Manually
This checkbutton allows you to switch to manual editing mode to modify animations with 3dsMax native tools and make more advanced and precise adjustments.

Important: This editing mode is intended for a stage after the automatic creation of animations with Showcaser. Once you make manual modifications, if you run (RE) BUILD ANIMATION again, the modifications will be lost.

With this mode active, if you select the animated objects, you will see the classic 3dsMax keyframe marks on the trackbar, so  you can edit them either there or in the Curve Editor interface.
This mode also allows you to modify the transforms of the animated objects, which are otherwise locked, affecting the whole animation. (In practice you will be changing the transforms of the parent helpers).

The 4 buttons located at the bottom of the UI, two on each side of the Edit Animation Manually button, are quite straightforward to understand. Just hovering over them and reading the tooltip is enough to know what they do. These are their functions:
– Select objects in the current sequence
– Select all Showcaser animated objects in scene
– Delete animations on selected objects
– Delete all Showcaser animated objects in scene

10. Help / About section

This section includes some links to the online tutorials, this manual and Spline Dynamics Youtube Channel. There’s also 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

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


Enjoy Showcaser!