Tip – Custom Rule of Thirds & imageCompHelper

These last months, I’ve seen a lot of people “discovering” a great free script by Christoph Bülter called imageCompHelper. It helps you visualize the Rule of Thirds inside the 3dsmax viewport, as a composition help for your camera shots.
Luckily, I heard about about it some years ago, and I’ve used it since 3dsmax2010, I think. It’s a great script, and it is for sure a great helper for your compositions. Even though I don’t have the latest version, which includes new composition schemes.

Custom Rule of Thirds 01

Custom Rule of Thirds 02

Great, and very useful, indeed. But I’d like to share a tip, to use that “Rule of Thirds” without the script, in case you don’t have it, or you don’t find it, you can’t install it on your PC at the office, or Christoph’s server is down (as it is now, as I’m writing these lines).

Just use the Safe Frames in your Viewport Configuration!. You know, those coloured rectangular frames that appear in your viewport to see the proportions of your render output, and to suggest safe areas for work intended on TV Monitors. Most people I know only use a couple of these lines: Action Safe and Title Safe.
My tip is to use the last one, User Safe, to recreate the lines of that “Rule of Thirds”, simply by assigning the value of 66.6.

Custom Rule of Thirds 03

Custom Rule of Thirds 04

As you can see on the images above, both are on: imageCompHelper with the Rule of Thirds (yellow), and Safe Frames with 66.6 applied to User Safe (pink, exaggerated in order to see it clearer). And they match perfectly. So you still have those 4 “Strong Points” of composition.
Moreover, if you need the Golden Ratio instead of the Rule of Thirds, the value you need on User Safe is about 76.3-76.4 (this is more aproximated).

Custom Rule of Thirds 05

That’s all. I know it’s a small tip, just in case you don’t have the script or can’t use it. But if you can, use it. It’s better, it’s more complete and it has more schemes apart from Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio.
Anyway, I hope you find my solution helpful.

Best regards.


  1. ale Responder

    Yo es que soy más de la regla de los cuartetos

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