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Autodesk 3ds Max Installation

autoPACK: INSTALLATION for Autodesk 3ds Max 2014 64-bits
                            Current installer version is 1.1.5
                            Requires 3ds Max 2014 Extension (also called the 3ds Max Subscription Advantage Pack)

Overview

    This installation includes uPyePMV& autoPACK

    This early installation for Autodesk 3D Studio Max 2014 is an alpha version- use at your own risk and save frequently.
    uPy (ubiquitous Python API) enables ePMV and autoPACK to work in Autodesk 3ds MaxMaya, SoftImageCinema 4DBlender and DejaVu by writing only one plugin instead of >5.
    ePMV (embedded Python Molecular Viewer) provides all of the capabilities of molecular graphics and molecular mechanics software directly in your 3ds Max GUI.
    autoPACK positions 3D geometries into, onto, and around volumes with minimal to zero overlap. autoPACK mixes several packing approaches and procedural growth algorithms. autoPACK can thus place objects with forces and constraints to allow a high degree of control ranging from completely random distributions to highly ordered structures.
    cellPACK is a specialization of autoPACK that generates probabilistic 3D models of large sections of cells that can contain dozens to trillions+ of molecules. It can position these molecules to recapitulate observed data where available and can further optimize the molecular interactions on a local level as each molecule is placed into a mesoscale model.
    If you have experience with 3D software on a Windows operating system, especially with 3ds Max, this entire installation should take less than 6 minutes. 
    If you encounter difficulties, please visit the forum to search for answers or ask questions. 
    We ask that you fill out the optional survey to help us improve the installation procedure.

    History

    1. The prototype Python interface for 3d Studio Max has graduated to become the 3d Studio Max Extension.
      1. The prototype called Sci-Viz was available for one year and ceased to function for 3ds Max 2013 and 2014 on November 1, 2013
      2. The same functionality is now available via the 3ds Max subscription advantage pack (also called the 3ds Max 2014 Extension
        1. which now includes a Python API and Python 2.7.3 
      3. This new version is expected to gradually offer features like the ePMV-scripting interface and other features (full functionality) not previously available in the 3D Studio Max version of the uPy Suite as well as many Max-specific enhancements. 
      4. Thank you for your patience and support with these free open-source projects!


    Running autoPACK and ePMV in 3D Studio Max requires 3 major installation steps detailed below:

    1. You will install the 3ds Max 2014 Extension for 3D Studio Max from the Autodesk website.
      The 3ds Max 2014 Extension provides Python 2.7.3, a Python API, and a Python engine to allow 3D Studio Max to be accessed through the Python programming language.
    2. You will install a plugin suite, developed by us called the uPy Plugin Suite 1.1.x.
      This suite includes the uPy software (to generate the GUI an geometries), the ePMV software and the autoPACK/cellPACK software.
    3. You will setup 3ds Max to access your plugins

    Step 1: Install 3ds Max 2014 64-bits with 3ds Max Extension

    1. Make sure you have Autodesk 3ds Max 2014 64-bits
    2. Register for the 3ds Max Subscription Advantage Pack and install at http://www.autodesk.com/subscription/overview
      1. This extension provides the Python computer language access needed to run our uPy programs autoPACK, cellPACK, and ePMV.

    Step 2: Install the uPy Plugin Suite 1.1.x which includes ePMV and autoPACK for 3ds Max 2014 with Extension

    1. Download the uPy plugin suite installer from
      1. autoPack_3dsMax2014Ext_1.1.5.msi
      2. Run the .msi and follow the onscreen instructions
        1. Click Yes to allow the installation and if necessary click more information if Windows posts a warning screen.
        2. We recommend accepting the default path for the TSRI-autoPACK folder when prompted
    2. Register for the 3ds Max Subscription Advantage Pack and install at http://www.autodesk.com/subscription/overview
      1. This extension provides the Python computer language access needed to run our uPy programs autoPACK, cellPACK, and ePMV.

    Step 3: Setup 3ds Max 2014 to access your plugins

    1. Restart 3d Studio Max
    2. Customize your 3ds Max UI to provide easy access to ePMV and autoPACK
      1. From the menu select Customize > Customize User Interface . . .
      2. Choose the appropriate tab (toolbar to make buttons or the menu tab for menu access)
      3. Go to the category and select uPy Plug-ins
      4.  e.g. adding to the toolbar
        1. You will see 2 actions AutoCell and ePMV you can add them to a toolbar, to any menu etc….
        2. For more information on customization see the 3ds Max online customization documentation
    3. Update autoPACK (see http://www.autopack.org/install/update)
    4. Update ePMV (follow the same process but update from the ePMV help menu)
    5. Restart 3D Studio Max


    Getting Started (basic tutorials for ePMV and autoPACK)

    1. Follow the basic tutorials then experiment on your own.  If you find a bug, check the forum to see if its already been fixed, and if not, let us know.
    2. New to Max? For an introduction to the interface, please watch Chris Murray's 3ds Max UI Primer for new Artists on YouTube.


    Improve your software by volunteering to complete the surveys regularly

    1. Survey page



    Troubleshooting

    1. WARNING: With the current Alpha release version of ePMV 0.5.145, there are some performance lags for atom and stick models. We recommend working only with small molecules like 1crn if you plan to turn on sticks.
    2. Update your ePMV and autoPACK software frequently to get the latest performance, stability and functionality enhancements with just a couple clicks directly from within the GUIs!
      1. We are constantly making updates and improvements, and adding models and features, so please update immediately after you install
    3. If and only if you alpha tested autoPACK or ePMV with any version prior to December 18, 2012, you must fully uninstall both Sci-Viz and the uPy components:
      1. Remove _MaxPlus.pyd and MaxPlus from C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2013\
      2. When you get to the SciViz installation step III below, first choose the uninstall option to ensure that all components are deleted. Finish, then run again to install SciViz freshly.
      3. Remove uPy.dll and uPy.pdb from C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2013\bin\assemblies\ 
      4. Remove MGLToolsPckgs from C:\Users\youUserAccountName\AppData\Local\Autodesk\3dsMax\2013 - 64bit\ENU\plugins\
      5. When you get to the "Download the uPy plugin package here: autoPack_3dsMax_111.msi" step below,  first choose the uninstall option to ensure that all components are deleted. Finish, then run again to install uPy freshly.
    4. DEPRECATED– Do this only if you encounter problem with Nitrous, but with the latest ePMV update, Nitrous can be used without issues
      Symptoms only present in ePMV and include: colors and geometries won't update properly and frame updates will take excess time
      1. Start 3ds Max
      2. Click Customize>PreferencesSettings
      3. Click the Viewport Tab
      4. In Diplay Drivers click Choose Driver
      5. Write down your current settings in case you want to return to them after using autoPACK or ePMV
      6. Check [√]Open GL and click OK
    5. If and only if you ran the Sci-Viz plugin between October 2012 and July 2013, you may have a problematic PYTHONPATH that will cause a python path conflict that exhibits itself when you try to run autoPACK simultaneously with Maya and 3d Studio Max and/or Cinema 4D. New users will have no issues.
      1. We just discovered that there is a python path conflict caused if you install SciViz (Python engine for 3D Studio Max) from Autodesk on the same Windows computer with Maya. This was fixed by Autodesk in the June 2014 release of sci-viz, but if you have trouble trying to run Maya or Cinema 4D from an older installation, be sure to remove the PYTHONPATH Enviroment Variable:
        1. Change PYTHONPATH to PYTHONPATHmax so it becomes invisible to both Max and Maya
          1. you can access the Python Path Environment Variable at ControlPanel>SecurityAndSystem>System>SystemProperties>Advanced>EnvironmentVariable