Here’s a 3ds Max 2017 compatible version of the great and famous Outliner scene management script by Pier Janssen. This version (2.1.6) now works with the latest 3ds Max release ( currently 3ds Max 2017 ) without crash on open.
The fix for 3ds Max 2017 includes a workaround for a bug that exists in 3ds Max 2017’s array declaration with ByRef array initializers.

This version is still compatible with 3ds Max versions from 2013 and later.
I placed a comment on the original Outliner scriptspot page too.

Download the Outliner 2.1.6 SF package here

The updated source is available on my outliner fork on github ( 2013 branch )


Outliner 2.1.6 SF: Compatibility release for Max 2017+
Please share this:

25 thoughts on “Outliner 2.1.6 SF: Compatibility release for Max 2017+

  • Hi there,
    Is it possible to add a line to colorschemes.ini to change the nestedlayer/parentlayer into bold or some color change?

  • Hey there,
    First of all thank you for putting your efforts into this script.
    Any possible updates for latest releases of 3ds max?

    Is it possible to assign a keyboard shortcut for “make a new group” (from the selected objects) ?


  • Thank you for updating the script!
    I found something its different to version, I don´t know if its the idea, setup issue or a small bug.

    If you click an object in the viewport, his layer is highlighted (light blue) and the parent layer too.
    But the object itself isnt highlighted.
    If you click a layer or an object (in outliner), this layer/object isnt highlighted, just the parent layers.
    So you really dont know if you have clicked the right one.

    On the previous version the layer/object you select is shown highlighted (dark blue) and the parent layers in light blue.
    So you always know what object/layer is current selected and which are the parent layers.

    Its a small issue but help a lot in the workflow.

    Thanks again!

  • Ah great improvement over Max’s buggy option. The only major problem I have is that, when you “Add Selection To”, the layer names aren’t alphabetized. So, it takes a little longer to find the layer you need. I can’t seem to see the reasoning for the layer sorting.

    Another small issue is the light bulb icon for each layer. It seems backwards to me. I would think if the light is on, the layer is visible. But it’s actually, if the light is off, then the layer is visible. It’s taking me a little to get used to it.

    G2Zs I noticed your issue as well, but if you “invert” the “Icon Set” under >Options>User Interface. It should help identifying the active layer much better.

  • Thank you for the updated script, very usefull!

    I would like to ask, how can I change the icons? (to make non active layer icon a little bit more different from the active layer icon)

    I tried to modify the icons in the c:\Users\*username\AppData\Local\Autodesk\3dsMax\2017 – 64bit\ENU\scripts\outliner\ui\icons_dark\

    folder, but I dont see the changes.

    Thank you!

    1. Never tried modifying the icons. Are you sure you have switched to the dark ui and have modified the correct size ?
      They come in 16×16 and 24×24 resolution, as the bmp filenames already hint

  • Will this create and manage layer scene states (on and Off), because the max ones do not work!

    1. Just tested layer toggle recording via scene states and State Sets ( in case i misunderstood you) and both ways work for me in 3dsMax 2017 Update1 ( = SP3). The 3ds Max built-in Layermanager and Outliner record the layer toggling quite perfectly in both of the options ( State sets and Scene states )

      Are you on the latest service pack ( = SP3 ) ?
      Maybe this was broken in one of the previous SP releases or in plain Max 2017 release version ?

  • I’m finding “outliner_2_1_5.mzp” and “outliner_2_1_6_SF.mzp” crashes on Windows 10. This is on Max 2014.

    After updating from Windows 7 to Windows 10, I’m finding “outliner_2_1_5.mzp” crashes when trying to initiate. It will draw the window but crashes before populating it. This also happens with “outliner_2_1_6_SF.mzp”.

    What I’ve found is in “”, if I comment out the following both versions will work:

    cui.RegisterDialogBar outliner_main \
    minSize:[mainMinWidth, mainMinHeight] \
    maxSize:[-1,10000] \
    style:#(#cui_dock_vert, #cui_floatable, #cui_handles);

    1. Thanks for the report. Are you still able to dock the outliner window then ? The crash might hint a general incompatibility between maxscripts UI docking in Max 2014 and Win 10. But i did’nt test Max 2014 on Win 10 though ( Max 2014 is certainly not officially supported on Win 10 )

  • If this script could retain sub layer structure when copying multiple objects to a new layer it would truly be outstanding.
    I’ve used Outliner for years, I simply couldn’t use Max without it.
    Many thanks for keeping it going.

  • Tip for anyone who has problems seeing the selection in the outliner due to UI colours – find the “colorschemes.ini” file (it’ll be in your user/appdata etc 3dsmax folder) and change the “SelectionForeColor” to something else, reload outliner to test.

    1. Thanks a lot of this tip! It was driving me crazy

      the “colorschemes.ini” can be found at C:\Users\AppData\Local\Autodesk\3dsMax\2017 – 64bit\ENU\scripts\outliner

      I also changed “SelectionBackColor” from “hilightText” to RGB values


    Outliner is still better than scene explorer…

  • Thank you for reviving Outliner. Works very smooth. I have it ticked for autostart but I thought that was the problem but not now.

    Steps to get bug:
    – Open scene
    – Drag maxfile from explorer to Max window to open new file.
    – Outiner doesn’t update

    Works fine when using recent files and though open dialog but dragging is not updating script.


    1. Will have a look at it, but i guess this was the case with the previous versions too ?
      Only things i touched in this release were the Max 2017 incompatible parts, so this bug would have transported over.
      I know at least one other bug: when you change colors in 3ds Max, Outliner does’nt respect it’s inverted icons/dark UI toggle

      1. Not sure, it’s been a while since I used it, I jumped back on board as soon as you took charge of the updates so to speak. But, if I remember correctly I don’t think I had any issues as I use this method of opening files a lot. No biggie, just thought I’d make you aware. If you can fix it then even better. Just glad of the fix from you.

      2. Hi, it was a Simple enough fix when I looked at it. I just added another callback in the file:

        Add under struct for outlinerCallbacks

        (Pair key:#filePostOpenProcess value:”outliner_callbacks.filePostOpenProcess()”),

        * filePostOpenProcess
        function filePostOpenProcess = (

  • Thanks Josef, fantastic news. Haven’t used Outliner in a few years. Scene Explorer 2.0 still isn’t really solid after 2 releases. bit of a shame. Looking forward to trying out Outliner in Max 2017.

Comments are closed.