Forums > MaxMSP

OMG THE INSPECTOR THIS ROCKS!

April 7, 2009 | 4:19 am

Ive been using max since jitter came out, and when 5 came out I fell in deeper love with it, but today I found the best thing about 5 which is using the object inspector for everything!! I dont know how I missed this, I didn’t really see its importance in the new features stuff, but its amazing, it has every parameter for any object you select and you can either control them directly or drag and drop them out onto the object to get in patch control. I really think that this needs to be more focal in the intro to max doc, even in that tutorial zero video, because it makes max sooooo much easier and faster.

I love you cycling 74, so much


April 7, 2009 | 4:33 am
Axiom-Crux wrote on Tue, 07 April 2009 16:19
or drag and drop them out onto the object to get in patch control

Oh, that is cool, instant message box, I didn’t know that! Many thanks.


April 7, 2009 | 4:38 am

Oh and open the clue window, it will give you info on every param you roll over!! wtf seriously!!


April 7, 2009 | 4:38 am

oh dude not just message boxes, check the help doc on it, its insane



efe
April 7, 2009 | 6:12 am

It is really cool, I agree


April 7, 2009 | 8:39 am

Hehe good to see some enthousiasm! Must admit i didn’t know you could drag from the inspector. I sometimes use the menu you get when you click on the left inlet to create the instant numboxes, which is essentially the same thing.


April 7, 2009 | 11:08 am

yeah thats what I have been doing, but now you can adjust any parameter of an object by draging on the floats or ints or typing, and then if you need that param you can pull it out into the patch, even take out the current value by holding option when you drop it. No more loadbangs: you can freeze an atribute and it will make it load to that value!!!! so rad, just so damn rad

Until yesterday I had been under the impression that the inspector was only for editing colors and look of gui objects and the patch, I had no idea that every single object had all of its parameters as attributes.


April 7, 2009 | 2:06 pm

Very good points. I won’t be using the freeze option for now I think…I don’t like the idea of things being hidden in there. Even while they turn blue, i’m sure i’ll forget to look there at some point. I’d be searching throughout the entire patch why my copied number box won’t go any higher.

But never say never…


April 7, 2009 | 3:15 pm

they still move, it just initiallizes the value, not stops it from moving, its like a loadbang without having to have all those cluttering message boxes with values everywhere


April 7, 2009 | 10:40 pm
Axiom-Crux wrote on Tue, 07 April 2009 11:15
its like a loadbang without having to have all those cluttering message boxes with values everywhere

This freeze option is only available for attributes, right? So in this case, you could just type "@myatribute value" into the object box to save the loadbang clutter right? Unless that counts as too much clutter. To me I suppose seeing the initial attribute values on the object seems more elegant so I don’t have check the inspector to see the initial value.

I bring this up because I had not noticed this feature of the inspector before and was curious if it offers anything over typing the initial attribute values into the object box itself. One thing I found is that the @audiofile attribute for [sfplay~] seems to only work from the inspector (I’m not sure if this is a bug.


April 8, 2009 | 12:46 am

Interesting!

How does it work in Windows? I tried dragging attributes using both shift, ctrl and Alt, but they all just created a message box with the $1 $2 parameters, never the current parameter as shown in the inspector.


April 8, 2009 | 4:53 pm

think you have to drag it next to the object rather then onto it, which I think should be changed.. but not on windows so cant check.


April 9, 2009 | 3:08 am
Axiom-Crux wrote on Wed, 08 April 2009 11:53
think you have to drag it next to the object rather then onto it, which I think should be changed.. but not on windows so cant check.

On Windows, if you drag somewhere not on an object, it’ll give the $1 $2 as appropriate to the attribute, but not connect it. If you hold Alt it’ll give the current value as a parameter, which could be good for things like bgcolor to hook up to other objects (easy way to transfer attributes). If you drag it onto an object, it’ll connect, but even if you hold Alt, you’ll still get the $1 $2 etc., which makes sense—the object is already at that value. It also knows which attributes are usable by different objects, so things like bgcolor can be drag-connected to a lot of objects, but something like "oncolor $1 $2 $3 $4" for an LED won’t connect to objects without that specific attribute. Very smart (and would be confusing if it didn’t work that way…)

I also found that you can do a lot with multiple objects via the Inspector too—whatever attributes are shared can be set all at once. You just don’t get the little Inspector button (where would it show up?), you need to do the control-I to get it. Try selecting one number box and see the Inspector, then select multiple similar ones: everything stays except the Scripting Name, which needs to be unique. Now include a different object like a multislider: a bunch more attributes disappear since they aren’t shared. That’s really great design and planning from the start of the 5 rewrite, to track all that. It’s pretty illuminating to have the Inspector up and just shift-click to select various combinations, it helps make sense of all the attributes that are unique versus shared.

A bit off-topic, but a couple more things I noticed when moving and resizing. Hold Shift when stretching things like number boxes, comments, messages, or objects bigger or smaller and things scale instead of just get wider/skinnier. Hold Control (apple) and drag a selection box, and you’re in Scale Spacing mode. Control while resizing will resize with the grid snapping, whether it’s on or not. This can be used in combo with Shift too.

When moving objects using arrow keys, Shift will temporarily toggle between grid or non-grid. So you can keep the global preference you like but disable/enable it for certain actions. And finally, holding Shift while moving will snap to horiz/vertical, will let you move off these lines, but keeping it held down will snap when you get close again. (This has been there for a long time and is very handy, though with the grid in 5 it’s not as crucial.)

I agree, the redesign of all these things absolutely rocks! If you’re not patching with one hand near those modifier keys, you’re definitely not taking full advantage of the shortcuts. I definitely have seen lots of students (not to mention myself) doing things the slow way and when I point out these things, I see that combination of "Wow!" and "Sigh… if only I’d…" … just have to encourage budding Maxers to experiment with all these things a LOT at the beginning, it will save so much time and give you more great patching ideas!

Smile

BTW the Clue Window up when rolling over the Inspector attributes is *fantastic*, thanks for pointing that out. Probably could spend a full week just doing that for all objects, learning about those many many attributes which I don’t quite understand….


April 9, 2009 | 4:50 am

After playing around with dragging attributes onto the patcher I am very grateful to have this pointed out–really will save some time.

Thinking about it more, I can see how using the freeze option would save some clutter when doing application design, but at the moment I can’t see myself wanting to use it for my own patches in that the info wouldn’t be right in front of me (at least on my laptop I don’t think I’d want the inspector constantly open). I am curious though what situations people do like using the freeze attribute option because perhaps I could be convinced to change my ways for the better.

seejayjames wrote on Wed, 08 April 2009 23:08
BTW the Clue Window up when rolling over the Inspector attributes is *fantastic*, thanks for pointing that out. Probably could spend a full week just doing that for all objects, learning about those many many attributes which I don’t quite understand….

Oooh, now I get it. Just for mousing over objects it seemed kind of pointless–now it seems super handy.

With all these new stuff I now know about the inspector and clue windows, I want to start using three displays even more….now where is my big bag of money… :/


April 9, 2009 | 9:47 am

on a more subtle note:
i also like how you can have just one single inspector window open, select a different object and the inspector will change to show the attributes of the newly selected object(no need to close it at all(like in Max 4.6.3 where you had to close it, then select a new object and then open a new inspector specific to that object) if you’re going to be working with attributes extensively).


April 9, 2009 | 10:32 am

I tend to freeze "scalarmode" in [vexpr] when I make use of it. It saves me clogging up the screen with the attribute typed in every [vexpr] box and it is usually easy to tell whether the second inlet is receiving a list or not. Nothing major but it frees up some screen space, looks a bit neater and is still fairly obvious.

lh


April 9, 2009 | 9:23 pm

one thing I wish they would change is that when you drag an attribute out it changes the inspector back to blank, I wish it stayed on the object so I could drag out more then one, or select more then one at once and drag them all out, or freeze them all at once… super handy! I guess I realized this is way nicer with jitter because everything is atributes and you usually have to initiallize soooo many attributes in every object that freezing definatly helps.


April 9, 2009 | 9:28 pm

That is odd, I can drag multiple attributes from the inspector and drop them onto a patch without the inspector turning blank. I’m on a mac running 10.4.11 and max 5.0.4 if that makes a difference.

EDIT: even stranger, I just tried doing the same thing as before but holding down the alt button to see if it made a difference and now no matter what I do the inspector turns blank, alt or not.

lh


April 10, 2009 | 3:45 am

Yes, the inspector features are cool, but they may slow down Max at an incredible level. If operations on a high number of objects like Copy, Paste, Drag, Delete, seem slow, try again with the inspector window closed. On my Powerbook G4, the difference is huge.
J-F.


April 10, 2009 | 4:50 am
Jean-Francois Charles wrote on Thu, 09 April 2009 23:45
Yes, the inspector features are cool, but they may slow down Max at an incredible level. If operations on a high number of objects like Copy, Paste, Drag, Delete, seem slow, try again with the inspector window closed. On my Powerbook G4, the difference is huge.
J-F.

I was noticing problems like this on a Penryn MacPro as well. I tried setting the box fadetime preference to 1ms and while there is still a little bit of lag it made a big difference. With the fadetime at default, even dragging a cable seemed very slow with the inspector open.


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