MAX News Archive

Archived Plugin News  –  July 2002

Plugin News: Power Solids demo version

nPower Software have posted a demo version of their upcoming Power Solids plugin. The Power Solids pre-release version has a three week evaluation period, and you can get it here.

They are also offering a special early buyer price. For $350 you can start working with the pre-release version until the plugin ships, once the plugin is released, it will cost $495. Expected release date is September 15, 2002.

Plugin News: New version of FaceStation

Eyematic Interfaces, Inc. have announced the upcoming release of FaceStation 2.

This is a major upgrade to its award-winning professional 3D facial animation software suite. FaceStation 2 integrates Eyematic's patented computer vision technology with speech analysis techniques to dramatically improve the realism and accuracy of the resulting facial animation. This integration also simplifies the creation of high-quality multiple language content and sound-based animation effects. FaceStation 2 includes additional professionally designed, ready-to-animate characters as well as workflow and usability improvements.

FaceStation 2 also includes an enhanced version of Avatar Editor, allowing the creation of ready-to-animate characters complete with morph targets simply using front and side photographs.

FaceStation 2 is currently undergoing beta testing and will be available for Max users starting next month. The suggested retail price is $1,995 US. All existing FaceStation customers will receive a complementary upgrade when FaceStation 2 is released.

You can read the whole press release here.

Plugin News: Crowd Creator announced

cebas Computer GmbH have announced a new crowd creation system for users of Max. This plugin, called Crowd Creator, allows the user to build crowds of thousands of people to populate animations of arenas, theaters, shopping centers and other busy environments. Crowd Creator provides a fast and easy way to bring these environments to life.

Crowd Creator is under development and pricing has not been announced at this time. You can get the full press release here.

Plugin News: Renderers

cebas Computer GmbH have announced the upcoming release of a new cel and illustration rendering engine for Max called finalToon.

A true 2D/3D tracing and rendering engine, finalToon can create human artist effects such as woodcut-style crosshatching that have been elusive for software until now. In addition, all types of technical illustration and cel shading are also supported as well as flash export.

finalToon is included with finalRender Stage 1, and will also be sold separately for $295. It will ship in the fall of 2002. You can get the full press release here.

Plugin News: Renderers

cebas Computer GmbH have announced the upcoming release of finalRender Stage 1.

The new renderer is a complete replacement renderer for users of Max 4 and higher, and continues in the tradition of fast and practical high quality GI and rendering, while adding many new options and features, some unprecedented in commercial software:
- A new form of per-bucket scene division called DynaMSP that allows fast rendering of large scene files.
- Speed enhanced Global Illumination called HyperGI that yields fully GI-lit renderings many times faster than previous technologies. This technology also yields GI-lit animations that do not flicker.
- Networked GI and raytrace rendering that works on each bucket.
- A new form of displacment mapping called MTD that allows raytracing of enormous amounts of smooth displaced geometry in practical timeframes.
- A new analytical light particle model for creating reflected and refracted caustics more efficiently.
- A non-photorealistic mode that can yield painterly and illustration effects of excellent quality. This full-featured module, called finalToon, is covered in a separate press release and will also be sold separately.
- True 3D motion blur with minimal speed impact.
- A new mode for sub-surface scatter, where light penetrates translucent surfaces and lights them from inside.

finalRender stage 1 will ship in the fall of 2002 for a price of $695. You can get the full press release here.

Plugin News: VRay Siggraph special...

Chaos Group are running a Siggraph special on their VRay renderer. They are offering VRay Advanced for $559 instead of $799, and VRay Basic for $224 instead of $299. This offer is only available until the end of the Siggraph (July 25th).

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.00.010 are:

Bug Fixes:
- Fixed very poor mapping of attenuation values for Omni lights and Spotlights
- Fixed incorrect Far Attenuation End for both Omni and Spot lights when 'Scale to VRML Units' is selected
- Fixed output of incorrect values for a Spotlights HotSpot and Falloff angles
- Fixed incorrect output, in Quad, Ngon or Visible Edges mode, of objects using multi-materials
- Fixes a legacy bug that caused faces with less than 3 vertices to be generated when outputting Quads, Ngons or Visible Edges from geometry with holes in it
- Fixed mirrored objects being animated in the wrong direction

New Features:
- Added support for Decay for Spot lights and Omni lights
- Added support for 'Diffuse' and 'Ambient Only' check boxes and Contrast spinner on the Affect Surfaces panel of the General Lighting Parameters rollout
- Added support for Environment background color
- Added support for Environment global lighting level
- Added support for Environment global tint

The full list of changes is available here

Plugin News: Siggraph specials from Digimation...

Digimation have posted a PDF file with their price list of special ofers for the Siggraph. These specials offers are available until August 16 2002. You can get the PDF here.

New Plugin: Bitmap I/O

This Max 4 Bitmap I/O plugin allows reading of IFF image files produced by Maya. Currently it handles both 8-bit and 16-bit images, with or without an alpha channel. Z-images are unsupported. This alpha release also does not contain the ability to write IFF files.

Planned for future releases:
- Support for floating point Z-buffer images
- Write of 8/16-bit IFF files
- Decreased memory overhead
- Max 3 build

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.01 are:
- this version adds support for textures

New Plugin: Import / Export

Allows you to export Max files in the NetImmerse format that Freedom Force recognizes (*.NIF).

Plugin Update: MAXScript Extensions

Changes for v7.0 are:
- Adds 3 new functions, DeleteDirectory, MoveFile and scanlineRenderEx. The first 2 are obvious, the scanlineRender function contains extra variables that get/set values in the render dialog for the scanline renderer.

New Plugin: Import / Export

This importer allows max to import Quake3 MD3 files. At the moment there is no support for textures, tags or animation. The ZIP-file includes the source code.

Plugin News: Polybump demo version

Crytek GmbH have released a demo version of their upcoming commercial plugin Polybump.

PolyBump Plugin is the name of a new utility for Max 4 which uses the PolyBump technology. This technology allows you to create real-time models with normal maps from a given high resolution model to be used with low poly models. With PolyBump you can have much better looking models with less polygons at all tessellations. Less polygons equals less memory traffic, and faster frame rates.

The free evaluation version can only be used for testing purposes. It is limited to a maximum texture size of 256x256 and 35000 triangles per mesh. A Crytek Logo is burned into each normal-map. You can download the plugin here.

Plugin News: More news on Power Solids

nPower Software have posted some more information about their upcoming Power Solids plugin. There is now a gallery as well as the help file.

They will also be demoing Power Solids at Siggraph 2002 in IntegrityWare's booth (#16113), Digimation's booth (#5066), Discreet's Booth and 3D Labs Booth.

Plugin Update: Modelling / Animation

Changes for v1.5 are:
- natFX v1.5 now takes advantage of Max's native wind features. Create simple breezes to hurricane winds on your trees.
- Complete control over how many textures are used per model with the new function Material Nodes.
- natFX's texture manager enables you to easily manage the textures of trees. The Texture Manager organizes the textures of the plant, providing direct access to the texture type, width, height, file location and name. The textures can be individually selected and modified.
- You can now adjust the level of detail of both 3D and 2D elements. Adjust the LOD of wood, bark and leaf geometry. Send a tree with a low wood geometry LOD and high billboard LOD.
- Export options in natFX v1.5 now include PNG, RLA, RPF, TGA and TIF.

natFX is available for Max 4 and costs $990, including 10 plants of your choice. Additional plants are available for $100 - $150. A demo version is available here.

Plugin News: Workflow Max Beta test

GMCC Software has started a public beta test of its upcoming plugin Workflow Max.

Workflow Max is a self contained and fully integrated asset management system for users of Max 4 and higher. Workflow Max allows Max users to manage and share their digital assets by connecting them to each other and to the shared assets through an industry standard ODBC database. No additional software is required. Just add Workflow Max to your existing Max installation, and you have an instant asset management system.

For a limited time (during testing of the beta version), Workflow Max can be downloaded and installed free of charge any without usage restrictions. All we ask is:
- You tell us your email address so that we may keep track of how many people are currently trying out Workflow Max
- We would like to hear your opinion (good or bad) about our plugin, and how you think we could improve it. We would also like to hear about any bugs you may find.

You can get all of the details about Workflow Max and the download page is .

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v4.1.1.0 are:
- Minor update, removed the annoying message box that appeared after export

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.08.04p are:
- Objects with VRayMtlWrapper did not cast shadows from lights with VRayShadows - Fixed
- Objects seen through a transparent VRayLight were always supersampled by the irradiance map - Fixed

New Plugin: Particles

FlowTracer fluid shader is a volumetric plugin that creates realistic fluid surfaces with a metaball based engine. FlowTracer works with a RealFlow or RealWave particle .bin sequence or any particle emitter from your 3D package.

FlowTracer is available for Max 4 and costs $190. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.08.04n are:
- Fixed a bug that caused the wrapper material to crash if no base sub-material was selected.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Paralelo Computação have updated all of their Fly3D import and export plugins to work with the Release Candidate 2d of their Fly3D game engine.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.08.04m are:
- Caustics did not get affected by the Fog color of VRayMtl - Fixed
- Occasionally environment maps were not filtered - Fixed
- A new VRayMtlWrapper material type added. The purpose of this material is to allow control over GI, caustics and matte properties of specific materials. These settings override the settings for the particular object that the material is applied to. In this way you can have parts of the same object have different matte properties, for example, by applying different materials to faces with different IDs.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.3 are:
- Export your Actor faster using Partial Export
- Real-time Shader preview
- File aggregation and motion optimization decrease Actor file size

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.3 are:
- Export your Actor faster using Partial Export
- Real-time Shader preview
- File aggregation and motion optimization decrease Actor file size

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v0.4.5b are:
- Time Bomb extended to 31 July 2002