Fixing corrupted scenes, elements (objects, lights, helpers, cameras, etc) in 3ds Max
IssueOccasionally, when working in a scene and/or copying, translating, modifying 3ds max elements, the software may crash for no apparent reason. This may be a result of corrupted elements: object geometry, lights, cameras, etc... within the scene.
Here are several troubleshooting techniques used to identify and repair them.
Identifying the Problem Element(s)
- If the scene has many elements, try systematically deleting them in groups or individually to see which one is responsible for the crash.
- It could be an object, camera or light that is causing the problem. Press the "h" key to invoke the "Select Objects" dialogue (See Figure 1)
- Delete half of the scene elements. Save as a new scene. Reopen and see if it crashes. By repeating this incrementally one can narrow down a single problem element in complex scenes.
Figure 1: Select Objects dialogue
Repairing, Rebuilding and Deleting Problem Elements
- Once the problem element is found, you may have to recreate it from scratch.
- If it is object geometry, use the STL Check modifier to analyze your object geometry for errors.
For example: "STL Check has found 116 errors on this character's right eye" (See Figure 2)
Figure 2: STL Check
If it is a grouped object comprising many smaller objects, link them all to a Dummy object.
- Select File > Export / Export Selected, and then transfer it to your hard drive in 3ds max format.
- From 3ds max's File menu, choose 'Import' and re-import your file.
This Export/Import can be done to individual objects as well - often it "resets" inconsistencies within the geometry.
Sometimes it can be the material which is causing errors, crashes, etc...
- Apply a new grey default material to the object and see if it crashes.
- If the object is using maps, remove them, and then test to see if it crashes.
- If it no longer crashes, check all maps, resave the images and animations in your paint or video editing programs. This simple action often fixes data which has been corrupted within the image file.
- By systematically testing each map, the process of elimination will identify which ones may be problematic.
Using the Merge command
In the main menu of 3ds max
, under Files, you will find the 'Merge' option. This is powerful tool useful for salvaging corrupted scenes and/or elements. Often a scene which crashes intermittently can be repaired by using it.
Here are several scenarios:
- Your scene crashes intermittently. Choose File > Reset. This resets 3ds max to its default state. Choose File > Merge and then select your problem scene. Merge it into the reset scene.
- If you have isolated and repaired individual objects from a problem scene, use File > Merge to combine them back into the original scene again.
- If you have isolated and repaired problematic materials from a scene, then use File > Merge to combine them back into the original scene again.
- The overall workflow is to test/repair any problematic material, object, etc... in a new separate scene. Once they are fixed, then simply Merge or Import these into the original scene.
- Eliminate the element(s) from the scene which are still valid.
- Narrow down the parameters to the suspect element(s).
- Isolate and test these problematic element(s) in a single empty scene to identify the corrupt element that is causing the crash.
- Fix and merge back into your original scene the fixed element.
The above steps are common troubleshooting techniques used for problem elements which have become corrupted within 3ds max. It is simple detective work really