autoPACK: INSTALLATION for Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 64-bits
Current installer Version is 1.1.1
This installation includes uPy, ePMV, & autoPACK
This early installation for Autodesk 3D Studio Max 2013 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 Max, Maya, SoftImage, Cinema 4D, Blender 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 10 minutes.
If you encounter difficulties, please visit the forum to search for answers or ask questions.
Running autoPACK in 3D Studio Max requires three major installation steps
You will install the SciViz plugin for 3D Studio Max from an Autodesk website.
SciViz provides a Python API and a Python engine to allow 3D Studio Max to be accessed through the Python programming language.
You will install a specific version of Python (2.6.6) as instructed during the SciViz installation.
You will install a plugin suite, developed by us called the uPy Plugin Suite 1.x.
This suite includes the uPy software (to generate the GUI an geometries), the ePMV software and the autoPACK/cellPACK software.
1. Install uPy Plugin Suite 1.x which includes ePMV and autoPACK for 3ds max 2013 64-bits
Make sure you have Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 64-bits installed (not 3ds Max Design, etc.)
You can download a trial at: http://www.autodesk.com/try3dsmax
Download and install Autodesk's latest Sci-Viz plug-in for 3ds Max from:
http://labs.autodesk.com/utilities/sciviz (Last updated April 26th, 2013)
Install Python 2.6.6-64 bit by following instructions at http://www.python.org/getit/releases/2.6.6/
Do not perform this step if you already installed Python 2.6.6 while following the Getting Started instructions during your Sci-Viz installation.
Download the uPy plugin package from
Run the .msi and follow the onscreen instructions.
We recommend accepting the default path for the TSRI-autoPACK folder when prompted.
Restart 3d Studio Max
Customize your 3ds Max UI to provide easy access to ePMV and autoPACK
From the menu select Customize > Customize User Interface . . .
Choose the appropriate tab (toolbar to make buttons or the menu tab for menu access)
Go to the category and select uPy Plug-ins
e.g. adding to the toolbar
You will see 2 actions AutoCell and ePMV you can add them to a toolbar, to any menu etc....
For more information on customization see the 3ds Max online customization documentation
Update autoPACK (see http://www.autopack.org/install/update)
Update ePMV (follow the same process but update from the ePMV help menu)
Restart 3D Studio Max
2. Getting Started (basic tutorials for ePMV and autoPACK)
3. Improve your software by volunteering to complete the surveys regularly
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.
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!
We are constantly making updates and improvements, and adding models and features, so please update immediately after you install
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:
Remove _MaxPlus.pyd and MaxPlus from C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2013\
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.
Remove uPy.dll and uPy.pdb from C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2013\bin\assemblies\
Remove MGLToolsPckgs from C:\Users\youUserAccountName\AppData\Local\Autodesk\3dsMax\2013 - 64bit\ENU\plugins\
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.
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
Start 3ds Max
Click the Viewport Tab
In Diplay Drivers click Choose Driver
Write down your current settings in case you want to return to them after using autoPACK or ePMV
Check [√]Open GL and click OK
To run autoPACK simultaneously with Maya and 3d Studio Max and/or Cinema 4D
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 will soon be fixed by Autodesk, but in the meantime, it is possible to run both programs simultaneously by following this protocol:
Leave the PYTHONPATH Environment Variable that gets written by either SciViz or uPy's .msi as PYTHONPATH
Both installers create this path redundantly
Start Max (you don't need to start the plugins)
After Max is running, change PYTHONPATH to PYTHONPATHmax so it becomes invisible to both Max and Maya
you can access the Python Path Environment Variable at ControlPanel>SecurityAndSystem>System>SystemProperties>Advanced>EnvironmentVariable
Anytime you start Maya, PYTHONPATH must be hidden as something like PYTHONPATHanything
Anytime you start Max or Cinema 4D on Windows, you need PYTHONPATH to be just plane PYTHONPATH