MAX News Archive

Archived Plugin News  –  April 2002

Plugin Update: Import / Export

This all new version of maxVR.qt allows you to render out your scenes to Quicktime VR and Quicktime VR Panoramas direct from Max. It includes full support for Quicktime 5.0, including Cubic VR, Panorama VR, and Object VR, as well as hotspot editing.

maxVR.qt is available for Max 3 and 4, and costs $195. The upgrade price from v1.0 is $75.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v0.4.5 are:
- Fixed irradiance and photon reset cache bug
- Render in Material editor
- Other minor bugs fixed.

Plugin Update: Global Utilities

This is the same plugin mentioned directly below this news entry (Mtol v1.0), but the name and version number has now changed.

New Plugin: Global Utilities

This global utility allows you to rotate and zoom perspective/user viewports using the left mouse button together with the ALT and CTRL keys. This is useful for those of you with no middle mouse button, or for people using a Wacom tablet.

Misc Update: Updated Max 4.2.9 patch

Discreet have posted an updated version of the Max 4.2.9 Patch 1. This corrects the problem with shadow maps that was introduced with the patch. The other 3 patches are unchanged.

You can view the readme file here, and the patch itself is here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.2 are:
- This is the new OpenSource version of the plugin. Source code is now available.

Site News: New Di-O-Matic links

I have updated all of the links for Di-O-Matic products and free plugins, as they have just launched a new version of their site, and all the links have changed...

Site News: Live Chat coming up...

Inside Computer Graphics are hosting a live chat with Igor Posavec, a talented 3D artist from Germany. You can get more information on Igor, and view some of his latest work by visiting the Artist Spotlight at InsideCG.

The Live Chat event will be held on Saturday May 4th at 11:00AM PST. For more time zones, information and a formal letter you can use to announce this event please visit

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v0.4.4a are:
- Corrected material name problem
- Corrected long file name problem
- Improved temporary file management
- Added protection to detect VLight

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.7.4 are:
- The 'Search Paths'->'Shader' setting is now recovered from a saved file correctly
- Displacement shaders now reliably get placed in archives
- When creating archives the 'camera blur' setting caused maxman to grab geometry more than once - Fixed
- Different default texture filters can now be set for displacement and surface contexts
- Animated visibility controls no longer cause a crash
- VolumeFog atmos objects with SphereGizmos attached will now be placed in the rib and a basic shader attached

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.7.4 are:
- The 'Search Paths'->'Shader' setting is now recovered from a saved file correctly
- Displacement shaders now reliably get placed in archives
- When creating archives the 'camera blur' setting caused maxman to grab geometry more than once - Fixed
- Different default texture filters can now be set for displacement and surface contexts
- Animated visibility controls no longer cause a crash
- VolumeFog atmos objects with SphereGizmos attached will now be placed in the rib and a basic shader attached
- MaxMan Lite now comes bundled with a license so you no longer need to request a MaxMan Lite license

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.0 are:
- It is now possible to smoothly move the viewpoint to a specified camera position by calling a single function. The function 'Match' has been added to the TurnTool CameraCtrl object. Simply add the cameras you want to the scene in Max and use Match from the web page to move the viewpoint.

Eg: by calling TNTDoCommand('CameraCtrl.Match("Camera02", 1500)') from your html web page the current view will smoothly match that of Camera02 over a period of 1.5 seconds.

Check out this example to see camera matching in action.
For further information refer to the TurnTool Manual.

New Plugin: Import / Export

This plugin takes a frame from a max scene and exports it as a function which can be called from C code (*.CPP file), basically a set of calls to OpenGL.

Plugin News: SpeedTree soon available for Max

IDV, Inc. have announced the upcoming release of their SpeedTreeMAX plugin.

SpeedTree is the first virtual tree creation software that occupies the middle ground, between trees that require a minimum of computer resources but don't look realistic and extremely realistic trees that use a great deal of computer memory and can require days of computer time to generate still images and animations.

While a high-detail tree may use two million polygons (a basic unit of virtual geometry used in 3D software), SpeedTree trees can use a few hundred or a few thousand polygons, and yet look highly realistic up close or from far away. The software also allows the user to create an infinite variety of trees, and to make the trees blow in the wind, at any wind speed from gentle breeze to hurricane.

SpeedTreeMAX will be available in the 2nd quarter of 2002 from Digimation with a list price of $395.

New Plugin: Import / Export

An exporter that allows you to save models as .P3D files, which can then be converted to .OOF files, the format used by Descent3.

New Plugin: Import / Export

Allows you to export scenes and meshes in the SOD format for use in Activisions Star Trek Armada 2.

New Plugin: Import / Export

Allows you to export scenes and meshes in the SOD format for use in Activisions Star Trek Armada.

New Plugin: Import / Export

This plugin exports MDL models for the MED 3DGame Studio Modeller.

New Plugin: Materials

Controls placement of different materials based on the elevation, slope and exposure of the rendered pixel. Designed to make mapping of terrains much simpler.

Thanks to Johnny for finally recompiling this very useful plugin.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v3.0.1.7 are:
- This small update fixes a memory leak in the plugin.

Site News: Updated links

I've updated all of the links for Terralux plugins, because Andrei Zmievski now has a new site called Gravitonic.

New Plugin: Animation

Whether you're a game developer, television graphics artist or feature film animator, FaceStation lets anyone create expressive, realistic facial animation. FaceStation uses Eyematic's patented computer vision technology, automatically locating and tracking facial expressions and mouth movements in real-time, using just a standard video camera. No messy or cumbersome face markers, no time-consuming post-processing and no expensive dedicated hardware is required.

An animator's dream come true, FaceStation is a suite of software applications that work together to give you a complete toolset for facial animation. Just point a camera at your face and enjoy hands-free, natural facial animation - it's that simple! FaceStation integrates directly into popular 3D software platforms, providing real-time feedback of your actual character being driven by computer-vision magic.

Eyematic's computer vision technology is the only system capable of automatic facial feature location and complete expression tracking in real-time, without any markers, pre-calibration or additional hardware. Based on years of research by leading scientists, Eyematic's technology was recently awarded several U.S. patents with additional patents now pending. FaceStation brings serious intellectual horsepower to the professional facial animation process.

FaceStation is available for Max 4 and costs $1995.

New Plugin: Materials

This is a 2D procedural texture map that creates repeating hexagonal tiles, separated by mortar.

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Changes for v2.0.0.02 are:
- David Wulff updated the code and recompiled the plugin for Max 4.2x

New Plugin: Import / Export

This plugin allows Max to export files in the Wild Magic format. Wild Magic is a real-time 3D graphics engine, available as source code together with the book 3D Game Engine Design by David H. Eberly.

The source code for the plugin is also available, you can get it here.

New Plugin: Import / Export

This plugin exports mesh, skeletal animation and texture mapping data into Valve's SMD file format. It was orginally developed by Valve for Max 1.x and 2.x. This version is an improvement over the other SMD exporter here at MAX Plugins, in that it now correctly exports the mapping coordinates of all models, and is compatible with all versions of Max 4.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.00.009 are:
-DEFs and USEs Appearance nodes (Max materials) using the Max material names. For multi-materials, adds comments indicating the name of the parent multi-material and the sub-material slot number.
- Slightly changes the format of DEFed node names.
- Works around a problem with certain geometry where Max generates an incorrect number of vertices and fails to initialize the extra vertices.
- No longer exports the geometry of nodes whose Renderable property is false.
- Anchor nodes pointing at viewpoints within the world could use the wrong viewpoint name - Fixed.
- Sound node and DirectionalLight direction vectors and Billboard node axisOfRotation vectors were incorrectly scaled when 'Scale to VRML units' is selected - Fixed.
- When outputting objects that have sets of faces using different materials from multi-material the exporter would leak some memory and repeatedly perform the same computation - Fixed.

New Plugin: Import / Export

VirtuaLight for Max is a plugin that generates VIB scene files and shader files that can be rendered with the VirtuaLight renderer. It comes with a number of additional texture and object plugins that allow you to make full use of the renderers features.

Although the plugin looks like a normal render plugin, you still need to have VirtuaLight (at least version 1.2) installed. You can download the renderer here.

New Plugins: Import / Export

This is a collection of plugins for creating new levels for the game Ghost Recon. It includes a map editor, a map exporter, a portal helper object and an RSB image loader.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.3 are:
- Added support for native skinning

More information and source-code is available here.

Misc Update: SDK help file

Cuneyt Ozdas has kindly recompiled the Max SDK help file into a searchable CHM file. The contents and index are quite disorganized but at least you can use search within the pages.

Please note that this is a quick conversion that fills the searchable sdk help gap while waiting for the official sdk.chm release from Discreet. Use it at your own risk!

You can get the new help file here.

Plugin Update: Character Studio v3.21a available

Discreet have released a patch for Character Studio, taking it to version 3.21a.

Changes for v3.21a are:

BIPED 3.21a
- Fixed Biped problems with Windows 2000 memory and GDI objects
- Moving and setting keys no longer causes UI freezing in Windows 2000 with SP2 or higher
- Fixed a memory issue when loading CSM files
- Sliding touchdown and lift-off keys will now update the footstep pattern correctly
- Color-coding of leg keys in Track View has been restored
- Toe bones now update correctly in Animate mode when the mouse is released while the pivot point is positioned on a middle or base toe link
- Loading Max files with bipeds now correctly allocates GDI objects
- Fixed bug where rotation of foot pops in certain cases when Animate mode is on
- Loading Mo-Cap with footsteps, opening Track View and sliding keys with the Range Bar no longer causes all but the first key to disappear
- Crash bug fixed when loading BIP file and rotating foot when Biped Motion Panel is not open
- Horizontal bending of Trajectories now updates correctly when dragging the spinner up and down

- Physique 'Off-By-One' naming has been fixed when loading PHY files
- The naming convention for physique links has been changed when using Max bones
- Physique is designed to have no deformation when the vertex weight is equal to zero. You should not translate the mesh separately, when the vertex weight equals zero. If you want as little deformation as possible, you should set the vertex weight to .001

The read-me file is available here, and the patch is available here.

New Plugin: Import / Export

This plugin exports skeletal based character models and their animations from Max into cal3d files.

Cal3d is a skeletal based 3d character animation library written in C++ in a platform-/graphic API-independent way. Originally designed to be used in a 3d client for Worldforge, it evolved into a stand-alone product which can be used in many different kinds of projects.

Plugin Update: Controllers

Changes for v1.02 are:
- Fixes a crash when the ui would not go away and you would save and load

New Plugin: Utilities

This plugin allows the user to generate pictures and animations from within Max which are calculated using the 4D-Vision method. These pictures and animations create a three-dimensional experience for the user when viewed on 3D-Displays by 4D-Vision.

Misc Update: SplutterFish site updated...

SplutterFish, LLC have updated their website. There is now an updated development roadmap, an interview with Steve Blackmon in Millimeter magazine, some new images, an updated FAQ, and the Brazil R/S system requirements and purchasing info have been brought up to date.

The SplutterFish team will be in the Discreet Sparks Pod every day from noon to 1 pm during the NAB in Las Vegas, where they will be showing off their latest work, so go and pay them a visit.

New Plugin: Import / Export

Eovia have released an Importer / Exporter for registered users of Amapi3D. The Amapi3D plugin for Max establishes a direct link between Max 4 and Amapi3D. The two programs are then able to exchange objects and modify them, thus taking advantage of both softwares capabilities. This version does not work with Amapi3D V6.0. you need first to upgrade to Amapi3D V6.1 in order to use it.