BMax Tools or how I left 3ds Max :)

original post:

this is my first post at BA so first of all i want to say hi :wink:

short background: in the last ca. 11 years i was using 3ds max for low-poly game asset creation (for games that never materialized - but that’s another topic :)), from modeling, texturing to rigging and animation.
during this time i was also checking the evolution of blender (first time it even wasn’t open source and last time it was release 2.49) and although i liked it it somehow was not a match for app i was using (unstable, lack of tools, weird…)
now a week ago i gave it another shot and downloaded release 2.68a and was blown away. i can say i was waiting all these years for blender to reach this maturity (it even contains 3ds max preset - YES).
however as i’ve said i’m used to 3ds max so to satisfy my needs (or habits?) to full extent i’ve coded a small addon i’ve named ‘bmax tools’.

‘bmax tools’ is basically a panel and on/off toggle-able right-click context menu that provides centralized access to tools that i’ve found essential (read most used by me) in “ol’ skool” poly modeling->texturing->rigging->basic animating (i’m not much of an animator) i’ve also cleaned up the UI to great extent (see attachments) and added some tools that i could not replicate with native blender’s functionality (or i didn’t find them):

  • interactive align tool dialog (simple and advanced align tools were not the right thing for me)
  • interactive mirror tool dialog
  • copy selection dialog
  • select from scene by name + filter by object type dialog
  • unfreeze/unhide by name + filter by object type dialog

i hope you’ll enjoy it.

this is how my main workspace looks like :slight_smile:

DOWNLOAD: (206 KB) - zip contains .py addon script + my startup, userpref and keymap files + changelog.txt

BLENDER VERSION: 2.77a, 2.78 (startup, userpref and keymap files are exported from 2.78 and not tested for backwards compatibility)

INSTALLATION: please see post #84


THANKS TO: @docent and @emboo2 for valuable feedback


  • Space UVs is based on code by Dan Wheeler (quizkid)
  • parts of maya 3D view color scheme taken from theme by MZiemys
  • all the people that designed/created 3dsmax and maya…and of course blender :wink:

little ‘extra’ blender hacks for the curious :smiley:


Hello Ozzkar, welcome to the fold. I’m a Maya user who popped on over as well, and seriously started using Blender around the 2.63 point. Once you really take a good hard look at Blender, its quite an amazing little application isnt it? Anyways, glad you are here. I think its good to have users of other applications who bring with them workflow experience and can apply it to blender, which ultimately helps it grow and develop into a tool for a wider audience. Thanks for the script.

Also i recommend hitting up a few of the blender channels on (one of them is full of developers and the other users).

An other maya “veteran” over here!, welcome!!!, glad to see i’m not alone switching =), cheers and all the best!

thanks :wink: this is exactly how i feel. i’m amazed how blender today combines the best of various worlds and and it’s own goodies.
i think the biggest obstacle for new users is it’s different terminology for what are basically the same features in other apps as well as it’s modular design making the user make several separate actions (albeit more flexible approach in the end) whereas in other apps user would just klick one button.

thanks for the tip. i was never a member of an irc channel so maybe it’s the right time to change it.

thank you very much :wink:

align tool

mirror tool

select from scene (filtered selection list)

object mode:

edit mesh mode:

pose mode:

Thats some very nice tools! And a very nice level of contribution :slight_smile:

Indeed, those are some very useful tools. I come from a Max background as well and especially the “select by type” has always been somewhat of a chore to me in Blender. I will definitely use your tools, thanks! :slight_smile:

download add-on

all custom hot-keys are derived from blender’s 3dsmax preset (only when you use keymap, startup and/or userpref files, also i may list some shortcuts that may have their original default values, but i’m positive i’ve tinkered with them, so just in case):


hot-key action
Shift+Spacebar Search Menu
Shift+F2-F12 Set Screen Type
F1 3D View / UV Editor > Tool Shelf on/off
F2 3D View / UV Editor / Graph / Dopesheet > Properties on/off
F3 Screen Header on/off
F4 Open Screen Type Selection menu
Spacebar Toggle Full Screen
Ctrl+Y Redo

3D View

hot-key action
C+LMB Set 3D Cursor
Ctrl+LMB Add/Remove to/from selection
Shift+LMB Mesh > Pick Shortest Path
Ctrl+A Select All
Ctrl+E Mesh/Curve/Armature > Extrude
Ctrl+D Mesh > Edit Edges menu
Shift+` Show All Layers
\ Mesh/Curve > Separate
E Rotation mode
Q Select mode
A Select Snap Element
S Toggle snapping on/off
D Open BMax Tools Viewport menu
G Show Floor Grid on/off
Alt+B Cycle through backgrounds
Alt+C Circle Select
Alt+` Set 3D Cursor To Selection
` Open Rotation/Scaling Pivot menu
1-4 Select sub-object level

UV Editor

hot-key action
C+LMB Set 2D Cursor
LMB Select
Ctrl+LMB Add/Remove to/from selection
LMB Drag Border selection
Ctrl+LMB Drag Add to border selection
Shift+LMB (Drag) Select and move single element
Ctrl+A Select All
Ctrl+I Invert selection
Q Mirror
W Move
E Rotate
R Scale
T Shear
A Select Snap Element
S Toggle snapping on/off
D Open Weld / Align menu
F Open sub-object level selection menu
G UV Editor / UV Sculpt > Toggle UV sculpt mode
Alt+L Select UV island under the mouse pointer
Alt+C Circle Select
Alt+` Set 2D Cursor To Selection
` Open Rotation/Scaling Pivot menu
1-4 Select UV sub-object level
Shift+Alt+RMB Set Tile
Shift+E Unwrap

Graph Editor

hot-key action
C+LMB Set Time Cursor
Ctrl+LMB Extend selection
Ctrl+Alt+LMB Extend column selection
Shift+LMB Curve selection
Ctrl+Shift+LMB Extend curve selection
LMB Drag Border selection
Ctrl+LMB Drag Extend border selection
Alt+` Set cursor to selection (jump to keyframes)
` Open Rotation/Scaling Pivot menu
Q Extend
W Translate
E Rotate
R Resize
A Select Snap Element

Dopesheet Editor

hot-key action
C+LMB Set Time Cursor
Ctrl+LMB Extend selection
Ctrl+Alt+LMB Extend column selection
LMB Drag Border selection
Ctrl+LMB Drag Extend border selection
Ctrl+R Set keyframe type
Alt+` Set cursor to selection (jump to keyframes)
Q Extend
W Translate
E Slide
R Scale


hot-key action
LMB Drag Border Select
Ctrl+LMB Add to selection
Shift+LMB Select recursive

thanks, it feels good to read your post :slight_smile:

i’m glad you find it useful ;). today i’ve made some minor updates, you can find more in OP and post #10.

your tools and interface you have made look very good.thanks.any interest in doing a Array tool(like max) with scaling,move rotate options(cumulative,random).


well i didn’t plan to implement it, but your suggestion surely is a food for thought.

You have done hard work, very clean UIs, especially align tools even it has same properties than Advanced Align Tools addon. Min and max are always good for positioning objects in interior environments.

Very nice. Although I migrated from Maya/Max back in 2009, these tools look too good to pass up. Good job with all of this, and welcome to the wonderful world of Blender.

Love the add-on, I’m also 3ds user. Selecting by type is priceless, before addon I was stick with selection name pattern… Is it only my error that align is affecting position in non selected axis? I like puting things on ground by min to max in Z only. I know sanping can handle this easily but I’m using snapping to other stuff so changing the mode from vertex to face snap is to long… So for me it would be usefull to change position in only 1 axis… But again THANKS FOR ADDON !!!

align (the dialog) should affect selected axes only. i’ve looked into it but could’t replicate behavior you mention. could you please describe the steps that lead to this behavior in more detail? btw. target to align to is always the active object (or 3d cursor when selected, then also the active object is aligned)

advanced align tool (with quite a bit more functionality) was a part of inspiration (as well as simple align tool and of course 3ds max’s align selection dialog) :wink:

thanks, i hope you’ll find these tools useful.