3D Tools


This collection of various unit converters and arch viz utilities are used on a regular basis at Ascension Studios. A few are original, but most are adapted from others work. Much thanks given to those mentioned in the descriptions of each tool.


This is a big one folks! For as long as 3ds max has been around, it has never had built in functionality to render an orthographic view at a specific scale (like you would from AutoCAD or Revit for construction documents and elevations). There have been plugins over the years, but nothing available for the latest versions of max.

Inputs will be more customizable via maxscript in the future, but for now just select a scale from the drop-down list, then a paper size that suits you (currently US only).

Huge thanks goes to Mike Spivey for helping figure out the math for non-square image sizes!


This is a simple tool to calculate proportions. Simple place ‘x’ in the slot of your unknown value.

Based on the math calculators at CSGNetwork.


This is a tool for quickly converting inches to feet and inches, and vice versa. Supports decimal inches (no fractions). Just tab thru the input fields to solve them.

Based on the math calculators at CSGNetwork.


This tools converts units of the most common metric and imperial lengths, and works in both directions. This very small subset is based on the amazingly powerful and thorough unit converstions site, MegaCoverter.


While you can do similar conversions in Photoshop, this tool is much faster. Plus, it will even change the background color to match your entry. Great for coding in colors to HTML or getting RGBs from code.. Based on the color converter at maettig.com.

Render Time Calculator

Thanks to Simon Reeves for developing this great simple calculator. See the description on the linked page for more info

Production Resources

This is a list of some indispensable tools that we use in production on a regular basis.

  • 3ds max Plugins & Scripts

    SoulburnScripts – download these NOW if you haven’t already!
    Motiva scripts – Change Paths, Collector, & Converter are crucial for working with data from or sending data to an outside source…easily adapt a scene to your own pipeline
    ColorCorrect – for when you don’t want to open that texture map in Photoshop to make a simple color adjustment
    ForestPack Pro – fantastically powerful entourage placement plugin for 3ds max
    Clone – from the makers of ForestPack, easy procedural cloning
    Digital-X – just grab all their scripts; they’re great
    FumeFX – industry leading dynamic fluid simulation for 3ds max
    Populate:Terrain – clean up those nasty triangulated terrain meshes
    Hunter – scan max scene for objects, modifiers, etc and make batch changes (select, delete, disable, etc)
    Modifier Modifier Zorb – make global selections, edits, or randomizations on scene objects and modifiers
    RenderMask – create quick masks of selected objects without rendering final frame
    Miauu’s MaxScipts – a huge assortment of very useful functions that should have been included in 3ds max to begin with…worth the small price

  • Other Visualization Tools

    ReMake – an app from Autodesk for creating 3D models from photographs
    Sketchfab – view and interact with 3D models in your browser; high quality w/ free 3ds max plugin
    open3mod – fast, open source 3D model viewer; great for previwing OBJ, 3DS, FBX, etc
    Hugin – free, easy-to-use spherical panorama stitching software
    FSPViewer – a free spherical panorama viewer; great for quickly viewing rendered panos
    DJV – stand-alone image sequence RAM player
    netfabb – great free tool for viewing and repairing STL files for print

  • Run your business from the Cloud

    Freshbooks – create estimates, track time, and send invoices
    Capsule – manage client communications and schedule tasks
    Dropbox – ubiquitous cloud storage & file sharing
    ReviewStudio – review your work & collaborate with clients live
    Adobe Send – send large files to clients simply & affordably

  • Free Windows Productivity

    AVG – rock-solid anti-virus software
    FileZilla – fast, robust, and dependable FTP client
    7-Zip – great ZIP archive utility
    VLC – lightweight audio & video player that plays every format
    TextPad – simple and powerful notepad replacement
    XNView – simple image viewer for every file type
    Listary – search and quick switch folders with lightning speed!