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Utility: Object Line Color

This panel allows you to control the colors generated on an object-by-object basis. It also allows you to control the color of intersecting lines.


Assigning line color

To assign a line color, first select the 3ds Max object (or objects) that you want to modify. Then click a radio button to specify which color you want (ambient, diffuse, specular, custom, texture, texture & lights, or texture lights & shadows) for that object. Finally, click the Assign to selected objects button.

What color to use

Most of the time, you will select the object’s Diffuse color in the main Lasershow Converter MAX rendering window. This allows the lines generated on the laser to be the same as the Diffuse color of the object. But occasionally, you may want to force an object to be a different color. In this case, you can assign a custom color to an object.

When you click on the colored swatch, a dialog box appears that allows you to select the exact color you want.

Original shaded objects Rendered with cyan cube
having a custom color of yellow

Texture color, Light shading, and Shadows

A relatively new feature of this plug-in is the ability to pick up the Texture color, Light shading and Shadows cast by lights. The Texture color works a lot like the Diffuse color, but it additionally allows you to pick up any texture information that is in the material assigned to the object. When you use the Texture color selection, the texture will be used with full brightness with no shadows or shading, regardless of the lights that are used in the scene. The Light shading and Shadow modes of the plug-in allow you to use take advantage of any lights that are in the scene. Note that both the Textures & Light shading as well as the Light shading & Shadows modes both will pick up the texture information from the materials.

Cube with orchid picture as texture Rendered with Textures & Light shading

The color of intersecting lines

As shown above, Lasershow Converter MAX has the capability to create lines where multiple objects intersect. But what object is used to determine the color of the intersecting lines?

Original shaded objects Cyan cube determines
color of intersecting line
Magenta cube determines
color of intersecting line

By default, Lasershow Converter MAX will favor the color of the object drawn first. However, you can control this on an object-by-object basis using the Color of intersecting lines drop-down list. The options available in this list are:

  • Color of this object: Uses the color of this object (if it was created before the other object)
  • Color of object drawn later: Uses the color the other object ( if it was created after this object)
  • Color of the closer object: Uses the color of the object that is closer to the viewer.
  • Color of the farther object: Uses the color of the object that is farther away from the viewer.

What is meant by "created before the other object"?

When you create objects in 3ds Max, these objects are usually built up from standard types of objects like spheres, cylinders, etc. If the first object that you create is a sphere and the second object you create is a cylinder, the sphere is the “object created before” the cylinder.

The actual object number is shown in the Lasershow Converter MAX Laser Preview panel. As you select different objects, you will see this object number updated.


The main point to understand is that the object drawn first is the object that gets to choose what color the intersecting lines will be.

Why not always use the "Color of the closer object" as the color of intersecting lines by default?

Although this might work for some scenes, it might allow the colors to change in ways that are not obvious at first. Complex camera motions can make it so that an object that is closer on one frame, is not the same object that is closer on another frame. This can make the colors of intersecting lines change from frame to frame, which can be disturbing.

Most of the time, you should select either Color of this object or Color of object drawn later. Selecting one of these will ensure that no matter what happens, the color of intersecting lines will always be consistent.

See Also

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tools/lcmax/object_line_color.txt · Last modified: 2021/05/03 11:40 by Bob Varkevisser