3dsmax 2019.3 update shows license message everytime max is started



We use the evaluation version of Krakatoa for the PRT loader that we use together with our licensed Frost.
The new 2019.3 update’s changes to ActiveShade now effectively cause the Krakatoa licensing dialog to pop up everytime you start 3dsmax.

See the attached stack trace.

Is there any way to disable Krakatoa as a renderer so the license dialog won’t pop up and still be able to use PRT Loader?

If not, do you plan to patch this issue?


I’m having the same problem here…


I believe the paths will be listed in 3dsmax.ini or plugins.ini. Remove the paths to Krakatoa and see if that helps.


I don’t understand what you mean. Obviously I don’t get the licensing dialog if I remove the path to Krakatoa, but then I also don’t get the PRT Loader which is part of the plugin. :neutral_face:


Ah, if you’re making use of Krakatoa in the scene that is a problem. Thinking around this problem a bit here… I wonder if the problem is in how you’ve set up your license servers. Flexera (who provide the licensing tools for both Autodesk and Thinkbox) occasionally break backward compatibility between the lmgrd license server and the client applications.

Are you both using floating licenses for Krakatoa, and if so, did you use our License Server Installer when you were setting up your licensing? If not, can you remove the “Thinkbox_*.lic” file from your existing license server installation, restart that, then run our installer? Having the two servers ends up being more robust as it avoids this problem and also removes the need to kill all licenses to upgrade / downgrade.


Just an update here that we have another case in the ticket system. It seems that Krakatoa 2.7.0 is (possibly) not affected. I’m not sure now if this is a license server issue and I’m going to escalate.

Update: As of 11:25am CT we’re not sure if Krakatoa 2.7.0 is affected or not. We have pieces of reports from different customers and so far none are perfectly linked to each other.


Hey guys,

From my understanding of the issue it sounds like the popup is happening at max load but Krakatoa is actually still working. You can try adding a popup handler to the max plugin to ignore this popup at max load. To do so modify…


Add the following popup handler:

self.AddPopupHandler( “Krakatoa error.*”, “OK” )

Please let me know if this works! It won’t solve the issue when loading the GUI on a workstation but it should hopefully allow you to ignore the popup at render time.




Also, can you both please provide the pop-up itself and any job reports? The call stack is good, but we’re trying to get a feeling for what everyone’s problems are.


I appreciate the help from both of you but I think there is some confusion here. Let me reiterate the issue:

  • Our company uses Frost using a floating license server.
  • We also use the evaluation version of Krakatoa (with no license), only for the purpose of using the PRT Loader with Frost, which does not require a license.
  • Again, we have licenses for Frost, but not for Krakatoa. We do not use Krakatoa as a render engine nor any of the features that should require a license.
  • We do not use Deadline, we use an in-house render farm management solution.

@cmoore: Would you be able to share that Python script you’re referring to? If I can see what’s it doing I can probably replicate the functionality in our own pipeline plugins.

@eamsler: I can’t imagine this is a license server issue. The issue as I see it is that Krakatoa is asking for a license without the user trying to access any of the features that require a license.


After some internal research, our guess is that Active Shade in the 2019.3 update is loading all renderers whether they’re being used or not. Because you don’t have a license, it’s creating that dialog and likely another one about not finding “InitRender in undefined”.

Adjusting the code Charles mentioned, you’ll want to make a backup of "[repo]\plugins\3dsmax\3dsmax.py” and add this line to the other “AddPopupHandler” code in the plugin:

​​self.AddPopupHandler( "Krakatoa .*[Ee]rror.*", "OK" )

For example I changed this at about line 3258:

        # Ignore 3dsMax MAXScript Debugger Popup (ENU, FRA, DEU, JPN, CHS, KOR, PTB)
        self.AddPopupIgnorer( "MAXScript .*" ) #ENU #JPN #CHS #KOR
        self.AddPopupIgnorer( ".* MAXScript" ) #FRA #PTB
        self.AddPopupIgnorer( "MAXScript-Debugger" ) #DEU
        self.AddPopupIgnorer( "MAXScript-Aufzeichnung" )
        ​​self.AddPopupHandler( "Krakatoa .*[Ee]rror.*", "OK" )


Thank you for your report! We have reproduced the problem, and we are working on a fix now.

Unfortunately I am not aware of any workaround. I don’t think that the popup handler that was proposed above will help – the popup appears only in workstation mode; during Deadline rendering a non-popup error occurs instead.


@paul That’s great to hear, thank you!

Are you able to provide some estimated time frame for a fix? It’s the last thing stopping us from upgrading a rather large pipeline to 2019, and I need to make a decision whether to wait for a fix or instead upgrade the pipeline to 2019.2 (rather than 2019.3).


@Rotem Sorry, I don’t have a time estimate yet.

I should make sure that I’m seeing the same issue as you:

  1. You’re running 3ds Max in interactive workstation mode, right? (As opposed to running on your render farm?)
  2. While starting 3ds Max, you see a “Krakatoa Licensing Error” dialog?
  3. After dismissing that dialog, you see a “Krakatoa error in MAXScript function …” dialog?

Does that match what you’re seeing?

Did you try testing on your render farm too? (I’m just curious; I expect that you will see a similar error there.)



I tried it on my renderfarm and are getting failed jobs due to the same error…


@paul That is correct, I’m getting exactly that. I will test tomorrow on the farm and report back.


Yes, error also for network renders. The license dialog doesn’t pop up but the problem is the same:

2018/12/30 09:25:49 ERR: [23212] [21304] Krakatoa error in MAXScript function FranticParticleRenderMXS.InitRenderer() - -- Unknown property: "InitRenderer" in undefined
2018/12/30 09:25:49 ERR: [23212] [21304] An unexpected exception has occurred in the network renderer and it is terminating.

Ridiculous that max tries to initialize ActiveShade renderers when starting in net render mode.


Alright, thank you for confirming!


Are you able to give a rough estimate by this point if a patch is expected within the next few weeks or not?


I can’t say for sure when it will be released, but I’m watching over it here. If anyone else is getting stuck, we can help you work around it while we work on getting an official patch out the door.


@Rotem @Martians This error should be fixed in Krakatoa MX 2.8.6, which is available from our download site now.