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Plugin News  –  February 2017

Wednesday 22 February 2017 - 02:44


New Plugin: Animation

DriverMaster is a tool that will automatically create a 4-wheeled car rig in Max. You can easily animate the motion for the vehicle manually or by using a curve in the scene. The script will also make the wheels stick to the ground, even if the ground is a terrain. DriverMaster gives you a fast set up, dynamic suspension, automatic wheel ground contact, automatic wheel rotation and offset attributes for adjusting/animating your car on top off the generated animation.

DriverMaster is available for Max 2012 to 2017 and costs $50.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v1.01 are:
- Fixes an installation / activation bug
- The maximum value for the Distance spinner in the 'Normalize' tool was increased to 10000

Spline Cleaner is available for Max 2012 to 2017 and costs $30.

New Plugin: Utilities

Object ID Organizer lets you quickly organize / inspect Object IDs in the scene and create MultiMatteElements or Corona CMultiMattes. Features include:
- Sort object list by Name, ID, Class or Layer
- Multiselect and change ID
- Reset all MatID to 0 (select all -> press 0 button)
- Select on list by ID (switch 'change' -> 'select' or 'add to select')
- Select and Auto-select by scene objects
- Filter and Auto-filter by scene objects (it will show only selected scene objects)
- And the other way - select scene objects by selected list items
- Add / Delete MultiMatteElements or Corona CMultiMattes (depends on current renderer)

Object ID Organizer is available for Max 2010 to 2017 and costs $4.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v3.05-4.30 are:
- Updates Octane Renderer to 3.05.3
- Fixes cameras turning invisible when copied
- Fixes a crash when using the AO Render element
- Adds an Ambient Occlusion Texture for Direct light Kernel (color / value)
- Removes deprecated GI light modes from the kernel settings combo
- Fixes a crash on drag and drop of environment textures to the material editor
- Adds a User Global option to disable the preview of environment textures in the material editor
- Improves the V-Ray converter
- Fixes camera settings that may be missing in orbx exporter
- Adds an Octane menu to the Max main menu

OctaneRender is available for Max 2013 to 2017 and costs $619. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.2.3 are:
- Fixes a MAXScript error occuring when loading some Max scenes
- Improves handling of deleted online library presets
- Fixes online library updates failing on some system locales
- Fixes handling of UNC database paths in database utilities (affects installers)
- Fixes preset validation before uploading

Material Manager is available for Max 2012 to 2017 and costs €99.

Plugin Update: Texturing

Changes for v1.4.4.01 are:
- Fixes MAXScript errors and possible crashes when loading legacy scenes

Walls & Tiles is available for Max 2012 to 2017 and costs €79. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v8.0.16.1 are:
- The Repository installer now has an option to specify the path to MongoDB pre-packaged binaries
- Fixes a bug that caused the Slave's affinity to be set even when disabled
- Fixes the Slave ignoring a job's failure criteria if it was connected to the Proxy Server
- Fixes a bug that prevented the Slave from dequeuing jobs when connected to the Proxy Server
- Fixes a bug that could cause the Slave to crash on Mac OS X
- Fixes a Slave bug that potentially caused the creation of extra sandbox processes
- The path mapping Scripting API functions now accept an option to read in the file as bytes
- Adds a new DirectoryUtils.SynchronizeFiles() API function that can skip existing files
- Adds a DirectoryUtils.SynchronizeFilesAndReturnList() API function
- Reverts some process cleanup code that was breaking AFX renders when using concurrent tasks
- Adds checks to prevent submission to the Cinema4DBatch plugin if using Cinema 4D 14 or earlier
- Fixes a warning message in the Cinema4DBatch plugin about float-based input for the frame range
- Fixes a Mantra Standalone regression where path mapping corrupted binary data in the IFD file
- Increases modo's timeout while waiting for Jigsaw to start
- Fixes a bug in the modo output that only showed when using tiled exrs
- Adds support for 'vray_file' to pattern match in the modo plugin for path mapping
- The FontSync event plugin now exposes 2 additional options for Windows Font Syncing

Deadline is available for Max 2010 to 2017 and costs $185 per node. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Lighting

Changes for v5.4.1 are:
- Adds support for Redshift renderer in Max
- Render View now supports transparency for Area Lights
- Rear of area lights now have a light icon image mapped to them to identify the back of light
- The Brightness slider/value no longer displays incorrectly after switching lights
- When loading projects from earlier versions 5.4 no longer ignores the lights rotation setting
- Fixes the crash bug with SolidWorks Visualize
- Fixes Maya/Arnold - HDR Light Studio production render content having the wrong file format
- Increases sky shader sampling for more accurate colour, resulting in a slower render

HDR Light Studio is available for Max 2014 to 2017 and costs $995 plus $145 for the Live Connection plugin. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v3.8.6 are:
- Shatter now supports vertex colors
- Adds new vertex color shatter style
- Adds a new 'Set All Values to Defaults' fracture option
- Current basic fracture options are now saved after deleting the fracture body
- Fixes local shatter locator disappearing when changing object position or object is animated
- Fixes pdi modifiers appearing in the modifier list when they shouldn't
- Fixes original object becoming not-renderable after 'Shatter Undo All'
- Fixes Max freezing with 'Create Fracture Body' on complex models
- Fixes a local shatter style crash when user sets 0 shards
- Fixes 'Undo Last Shatter' ignoring the 'Create Rigid Bodies' option
- Fixes initial position being lost when changing centre of mass
- Fixes a Max crash when doing shatter undo all after isolate fragments
- Fixes shatter failing if the mesh has several edit poly/edit mesh modifiers applied
- Fixes changing num shards interacting badly with hi-poly meshes
- Fixes shatter preview mode slowing down with hi-poly meshes
- Fixes an application crash when shattering some complex non-convex models

Pull Down It Pro is available for Max 2013 to 2017 and costs €395. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v2.8 are:
- VFB+ is now completely free for personal and commercial use
- The Max 2017 version adds support for high DPI monitors
- Adds support for very large images (over 2GB)
- 'Contrast' now uses an improved S-curve algorithm
- Improves UI icons
- Fixes DOF crashing Max 2017
- Fixes the broken V-Ray mouse tracking in Max 2017
- VFB+ is now compatible with V-Ray DR in V-Ray 3.40 and above
- Fixes incorrect output gamma in older versions of Max
- Fixes Photoshop sometimes not being detected

Big thanks to Rotem for making this incredibly useful plugin freeware!

New Plugin: Modelling

Spline Cleaner is an advanced batch processing tool for cleaning, repairing and managing spline curves in Max. You can select, attach, detach and delete multiple shapes using smart filters: by size, by length, by proximity, by similarity, by wirecolor, by layer, etc. You can also optimize, normalize, weld vertices, reduce number of vertices, attach selected, explode splines/segments, remove duplicated curves, fix gaps, restore damaged segments, eliminate garbage, and more.

This tool is ideal for cleaning and repairing spline curves imported into Max from vector drawing software or CAD software, such as Adobe Illustrator or AutoCAD. Either for architectural plans, animation paths, terrain contour lines, logotypes, vector text or any spline-based 3D model or project.

Spline Cleaner is available for Max 2012 to 2017 and costs $30.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v8.6.8 are:
- This will be the final Muster 8 release, development will now switch to Muster 9 only
- Fixes a Linux/Mac issue with multiple connections being given priority on the lowest sockets IDs

Muster is available for Max 9 to 2017 and costs $85 per node. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v3.50.03 include:
- Enables V-Ray usage as an interactive production renderer (IPR)
- Enables the resuming of bucket renders from raw .vrimg files in V-Ray
- Enable the resuming of progressive renders in V-Ray
- Adds an experimental implementation of adaptive lights to V-Ray
- Optimizes GI rendering in V-Ray
- Adds VRayRawDiffuseFilter, VRayRawReflectionFilter and VRayRawRefractionFilter render elements
- Adds a fallback to limited functionality Demo mode if no license is present
- Adds V-Ray RT support for direct output to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive
- Adds object picking in the V-Ray RT VFB
- Enables 'Set focus distance' in the VFB for the selected camera in V-Ray RT
- Adds V-Ray RT support for adaptive lights
- Adds distortion support for physical cameras in V-Ray GPU
- Adds aerial perspective support to V-Ray GPU
- Adds support for matte materials shadow catcher to V-Ray GPU
- Adds support for the VRayStochasticFlakesMtl material to V-Ray GPU
- Initial implementation of on-demand mip-map textures in V-Ray GPU production rendering mode
- V-Ray GPU now uses less CPU memory when rendering scenes with many textures
- V-Ray GPU now uses less GPU memory when rendering scenes with many textures
- Implements V-Ray GPU support for Render mask
- Adds V-Ray GPU support for the velocity render element
- Improves handling of geometry and materials updates during ActiveShade in V-Ray GPU
- Adds a Low GPU thread priority option to V-Ray GPU
- Adds V-Ray GPU support for the additive mode of the VRayBlendMtl
- Adds V-Ray GPU support for transparency for the layers of the VRayBlendMtl
- Adds V-Ray GPU support for VRayAtmosphere render element
- Fixes differences in lighting between V-Ray RT CPU and GPU
- Fixes differences in texture blending between V-Ray RT CPU and GPU
- Adds V-Ray GPU support for Irradiance Map from file
- Adds V-Ray GPU support for RenderID, ObjectID and MtlID render elements
- Implements ground projection of VRayHDRI in V-Ray GPU
- All supported procedural textures work as bump maps when used through VRayColor2Bump texture
- Implements support for Forest Color texture in V-Ray GPU
- Adds V-Ray GPU support for Mapped, Linear and 4 corners gradients in Gradient Ramp texture
- Adds V-Ray GPU support for adaptive lights in CUDA (both in Production and in ActiveShade)
- Adds V-Ray GPU support for the planar VRayClipper
- Implements VFB hardware acceleration support for lens effects
- VFB lens effects now work on the denoised result if a denoiser render element is present
- VFB lens effects can now be enabled and adjusted during rendering
- Implements a Glossy Fresnel option in VRayMtl
- Includes the alSurface shader port for V-Ray in the installation
- Integrates support for NVIDIA MDL
- Adds initial support for VRayMDLMtl in V-Ray RT
- Implements a scene node that supports rendering geometry and materials from a .vrscene file
- VRayToon can now store the toon outlines in a separate render element
- VRayVRmatMtl now updates on filename change in V-Ray RT
- Adds support for user property tags in the VRayProxy file names
- Adds the ability to capture and render the back lighting in VRayScannedMtl
- Adds a render preset for Maya Fluids vdb to VRayVolumeGrid
- Adds VRayVolumeGrid support for Cap Mesh mode in V-Ray RT
- Adds a V-Ray Toolbar button to make selected objects shadow catchers
- ...and much more! A full list of changes and fixes can be found here

V-Ray is available for Max 9 to 2017 and costs $1040. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v4.5 are:
- The Easy Peel script has been updated
- Adds an 'Extend to Seams' button

miauu's Script Pack Volume 2 is available for Max 9 to 2017 and costs €17.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for Alpha 3.08 are:
- Updates internal Cycles code to version 1.8.1
- The default render tile size is now 192x192 pixels
- Adds multi-GPU CUDA support
- Adds light path configuration options
- Adds an option to set the sampling RNG seed
- Updates third-party libraries (Boost, libjpeg-turbo, libpng, OpenImageIO and zlib)

New Plugin: MCG

Zoolinderrr gets around the default Cylinder limit of 200 height segments by giving you a new cylinder object that has a 9999 segment limit. Useful in cases where you need to stretch your cylinder along a really long path and you need lots and lots of segments.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.1.4 are:
- Adds environment override (alpha environment)
- Adds falloff custom direction
- Adds an image sampling random seed
- Updates conversion of standard bitmap textures
- Updates conversion of Corona bitmap textures
- Adds Corona mix texture conversion
- Adds V-Ray fog color conversion
- Adds normal map conversion (V-Ray and Corona)
- Adds conversion of complex V-Ray textures
- Fixes black halos on shadowed reflection highlights

FStormRender is available for Max 2014 to 2017 and costs €20 per month. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Objects

Changes for v1.0 are:
- Adds support for Max 2017

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v3.05-4.29 are:
- Updates Octane Renderer to 3.05
- Fixes the Neutral Response save/load state checkbox in Camera Settings when using presets
- Fixes the viewport when rendering a texture bigger than 4GB (64bit)
- Fixes the amount value for mix texture and mix material to be in range [0, 1]
- Improves performance of evaluation for Octane viewport
- Fixes a crash in camera creation when the user cancels by switching to another object creation
- Fixes Constant Gradient preview in Max Gradient Material
- Fixes material preview in Max viewports
- Adds separate AO distance for info pass, independent from direct light kernel mode
- Fixes frame update from RealFlow meshes

OctaneRender for 3ds Max is available for Max 2013 to 2017 and costs $619. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v0.4.1 beta are:
- Fixes rendering on locales where the decimal separator is not a period

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v0.0.0.8b are:
- Adds the LR_Archglass shader
- Adds the LR_Carpaint shader
- Adds the LR_Cloth shader
- Adds the LR_Glossy2 shader
- Adds the LR_GlossyTranslucent shader
- Adds the LR_Matte shader
- Adds the LR_Matte_Translucent shader
- Adds the LR_Rough_Matte shader
- Adds the LR_RoughGlass shader
- Adds the LR_Velvet shader

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.26 are:
- Adds support for Corona G-Buffer ID and CMultiMatte
- Fixes activation error on second start

Material ID Organizer is available for Max 2009 to 2017 and costs $4. A demo version is available here.

New Plugin: Modelling

Laubwerk Plants are your easy way to use high quality, botanically approved plants with multiple variations, ages and seasons in your 3D application. Visual plant library browsing, a wide range of Level of Detail Options and much more comes through the bundled Laubwerk Player, a piece of software that brings the plant dataset to life.

Plants Kit 10 includes the following temperate deciduous trees: Southern Catalpa, Voss's Laburnum, Tulip Tree, Persian Ironwood, Foxglove Tree 'Lilacina', London Plane, Yoshino Cherry, Pin Oak, Sassafras and American Elm.

Laubwerk Plants Kit 10 is available for Max 2010 to 2017 and costs €149. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v1.0.23 are:
- SketchUp: adds support to the SketchUp player for the latest version of Thea Render for SketchUp
- SketchUp: fixes a major bug that caused V-Ray for SketchUp 3 to use excessive amounts of memory
- SketchUp: adds support for HDPI displays
- Max: fixes a bug that could cause V-Ray distributed rendering to fail on slave machines
- Maya: disables filtering for opacity maps for better performance
- Maya: V-Ray high quality materials are now connected correctly
- Maya: V-Ray low quality materials now show diffuse color correctly
- Maya: improves skeleton mode
- Plants: fixes a bug that Fraxinus excelsior (Kit 6) had no translucency on leaves
- Plants: fixes a bug that Cyrtostachys renda (Kit 7) had no translucency on leaves
- Plants: fixes an issue that Acer saccharum (Kit 1) had a halo effect with translucency on leaves

Laubwerk Plants Kits are available for Max 2010 to 2017 and cost €149 each. A demo version is available here.

Site News: Available for contract work...

This is my monthly news entry to let people know that I am always available for 3D work (I don't just run this site, and I don't earn any money from it).

My main areas of work are commercials, industrial and technical animation, as well as programming and scripting. All of the relevant information can be found on my other site Animation Design, along with some videos of my work to give you an idea of what I can do. So if I can help out at all, just let me know.

Site News: Calling all freeware plugin developers

If you are a plugin developer with source code for plugins that you don't develop anymore, it would be great if you could get in touch with me. I would be glad to recompile as many old plugins as possible to stop them from disappearing for ever. Just mail me to let me know what sort of stuff you've got.

On a side note, this is how the Messiah:studio plugins got recompiled for Max 9 to 2012, as well as all of the Sisyphus plugins, so it's worth sending stuff my way :o)


Site News: News Archives

The news from previous months can be accessed by clicking on the 'Plugin news archive' link in the menu.