20Concepts Lesson 04 - Messages Part 2

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(Needed: Example Video)

(Needed: Overview Text) In this lesson we will extend the vocabulary of messages to include lists. Lists are an important type of message and are necessary to control many different types of objects. We will also look at how to begin saving the state of patches we create so that when we open them back up, all of those settings we painstakingly made the last time we worked with them are set the way we expect them to be.

(Needed: Fixture Patches with download)


From shifting colorspace in movies to moving 3D models around the screen, lists are a core component of controlling Max objects. In the most basic sense, a list is any message that has more than one element. Let's start out with a list that you are likely to use in many patches. Go ahead and create a VIZZIE PLAYR object (remember, we can do this using the File Browser, or by Right-Clicking anywhere in an unlocked patcher and using the "Paste From > VIZZIE PVR" selection). Last time we worked with PLAYR we simply dragged and dropped a movie file into the PLAYR objects preview window. This time, drag your movie file onto a blank part of the patch and let go of the mouse button. A small contextual menu should appear with three different options. Select the bottom option that says "create a message box with 'read <moviename>'" and you should see a message box with the word read followed by the name of your movie. Connect the outlet of your message box to the far right inlet of the VIZZIE PLAYR object. Next, lock your patcher and click on your message and you should see the movie begin to play back.

The message we have just created is a great example of a simple list: it starts with a command for the movie player--the word "read"-- followed by the name of the movie file that we want to play. While this list is made of only two elements, many of the lists we use in max can contain many more. These more complex lists require special tools to manage. Next we will look at how to begin creating and managing larger lists.

Packing and Unpacking

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Loadbang - Saving States

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Web Links

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by Darwin Grosse and Cory Metcalf