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3ds Max® 2010 Bible by Kelly L. Murdock

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Chapter 51. Expanding Max with Third-Party Plug-Ins

A plug-in is an external program that integrates seamlessly with the Max interface to provide additional functionality. Autodesk has adopted an architecture for Max that is open and enables all aspects of the program to be enhanced. Max ships with a Software Developer's Kit (SDK) that enables users to generate their own plug-ins. Many companies currently produce plug-ins, and other users create and distribute freeware and shareware plug-ins.

The purpose of this chapter isn't to cover all the available plug-ins or to teach you how to create plug-ins, but simply to show you how to install and access plug-ins. At the end of the chapter is a list of Web links you can use to locate plug-ins for Max. The entire architecture of Max is built around plug-ins, and many of the core components of Max are implemented as them. Max ships with a robust SDK that includes all the information you need to create your own plug-ins.

A key feature that allowed Max to become and remain so popular is that users can download and install plug-ins that extend Max's power and functionality. Plug-ins allow Max to adapt to the needs of each user as well as keep up with new ideas.

One plug-in that is worth closer inspection ships with Max and is installed by default. The Turbo Squid Tentacles plug-in provides access ...

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