Quick Parent Link MAXScript

Pick a hierarchy a little faster

Posted May 27, 2012
Last Updated Jul 19, 2013

This MAXScript function allows you to quickly pick the hierarchy of objects in a way that might be a little more efficient for you than the Select and Link function in 3ds Max. Using the traditional Select and Link function, linking a long chain of objects can be a little tedious; this function removes some mouse clicks.

Installation

  1. Download the Quick Parent Link 1.5 MAXScript.
  2. In 3ds Max, click MAXScript > Run Script and browse to the download (named #_wallworm_quick_parent.ms).
  3. In 3ds Max click Customize > Customize User Interface. Choose to create a keyboard shortcut, menu, etc.
  4. Under the category drop-down, find wallworm.com.
  5. Assign the function labeled Quickly Link Objects by Picking. If you assign it to a quad or button it's display label will be Quick Parent Link.

Using Quick Parent Link

  1. Start Quick Parent Link with the shortcut you created above.
  2. Pick an object that is to be the end node in a chain of objects (the deepest child in the chain).
  3. Pick the next parent.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you get to the root parent node.
  5. If you need to add another branch, hold ALT and click a new end child node and repeat steps 3+.
  6. To exit the function, right-click the viewport.

Swiping the Parent Chain Path

Added in version 1.2 is the ability to paint the path of the chain. To do this, simply follow the instructions above but instead of picking objects, press the left mouse button down and hold it down... then paint across the objects from child to parent. This is useful if there is not a lot of clutter and you can easily stroke along the chain. For example, you could link all the vertebrae in a spine by swiping in one sweep from the tailbone to the head.

Using Quick Parent Selection

There is a second macroscript added in version 1.5 called Quick Parent Selection. This is similar but does not give you a visual cue about the selection. Instead, you make a selection and then apply the function to the selection you made. The order you select the objects is the order of links from deepest child to root.

You can assign this function via the category wallworm.com and Quick Parent Selection.

  1. Make a selection of objects. The best may be to use the Paint Selection mode in Max and select from last child to the root.
  2. Run the Quick Parent Selection function.

I added this version because the code for selecting nodes in Quick Parent Link can only work on geometry nodes, and some users want the ability to use the tool with helper objects.

Comment

No HTML Tags are permitted.

Shawn Olson

Jul 26, 2013

I recently updated this script to include "Quick Parent Selection" that will make a hierarchy chain from the current selection based on the order of the selected objects.
Angry Teapot Level Design Awards

Newsletter Subscription