MAX News Archive

Archived Plugin News  –  January 2003

Plugin News: Di-O-Matic announces new plugin...

Di-O-Matic have released details of their upcoming plugin Voice-O-Matic.

This is from the press release:
'This revolutionary new extension contains an easy-to-use but powerful core that automates the process of lip synchronization for your animated characters directly inside of Max.

Voice-O-Matic simply takes lip synchronization to a new level by using an intelligent phonetic engine that can break down audio files cleanly and automatically assign correct phonemes (up to 40 of them) to make your characters talk in just minutes. It also has impressive language support and can handle French, Italian, German and Spanish as well as English where text can be used to get better syllabic result. Animators can also tweak their results with standard Bezier curve controls and sophisticated smoothing algorithms so that the fine-tuning process is quick and painless. And since it fully supports all current morphing technologies like the Morpher modifier, Morph-O-Matic, and Facial Studio, Max users won't have to worry about changing their production pipeline.

Voice-O-Matic is currently in development and a release date has yet to be set. It will be priced at $299.

New Plugin: Modifiers

This is a modified version of the shipping UVW Unwrap, and includes the following changes:
- Fixes a stitch bug on edges that align perfectly
- Expands the bitmap and filter ID field drop downs
- The material drop down only loads the first bitmap of each sub-material
- The mat filter ID automatically switches and loads the bitmap appropriate for that ID
- Fixes a stitch bug stitching when only one edge was selected
- Makes the unwrap matID filter drop down wider

Plugin News: finalToon released...

cebas Computers GmbH have officially released finalToon v1.0.

It is the first Discreet Certified Plugin to be distributed by Turbo Squid, who will henceforth be the exclusive worldwide publisher and distributor for Discreet Certified Max Plugins. Under the Discreet alliance, Turbo Squid will oversee the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of all Discreet Certified Max Plugins. The certification process involves an exacting quality-control process, and only the highest quality plugins will be included in the Discreet Certified Plugin program. Approximately fifteen plugins will be marketed during the first year of the program, all of which will represent best of class technology in their functional category. You can read the whole press release here.

finalToon normally sells for $495, but will be available at an introductory price of $395 until February 28, 2003.

Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for v2.11 are:
- Fixes the bug that was causing problems with max 5.1

Plugin Update: Global Utilities

Changes for v1.0 are:
- The plugin has been updated to run under Max 5.1. If you are still using Max 5.0, then you need this version.

New Plugin: Import / Export

This plugin exports Max scenes to *.RAD files, used by the Radiance renderer. This version of the plugin doesn't export smoothing or texture information. For more information on this and other upcoming plugins, take a look at the Lichtplaner website.

New Plugin: Utilities

Allows you to export MAX scenes with mapping coordinates to *.MD2 files for the Quake2 engine.

Improvements over the old freeware plugin are:
- Edit/import/export the palette
- Editable frame list
- Control over texture size
- Various bugfixes

QTiP is available for Max 4 and costs $20. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v1.4 are:
- Exporting of BrepObject created in Power Solids to IGES/Rhino/STEP/SAT file formats
- Added convenience buttons to set the display tolerances to High/Medium/Low as defined in the PowerSolids.ini file
- Added an option to allow the user to adjust tolerances while importing
- Modified the tessellation algorithm to prevent it from using too much memory in cases where the image size gets very large

Misc Update: Max 5.1 released...

Discreet have released the Max 5.1 patch. This is what it says in the Readme file:

Max 5.1 is a free, downloadable maintenance release which brings added stability to most major functional areas including Scripting, Trackview (Function Curve Editor/Dope Sheet), Skinning, the Controller Subsystem, Editable Poly, Morphing, Unwrap UVW, IK and Bones, Parameter wiring, Render to Texture, the Set Key Animation System, and the Software Development Kit.
Other improvements include general, across the board stability based on real-world production performance feedback since Max 5 began shipping at SIGGRAPH 2002.

You can get the patch here, and all of the other downloads (SDK update, MAXScript reference, tutorials update etc.) are available here.

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Changes for v1.15.2003 are:
- Added playback_original and playback_start playback types
- Removed notification of missing pointcache files in R5
- Speedup: Only reads the two extra cubic samples when using cubic interpolation now
- Should be better at catching when to close cache files
- Removed 'Apply To Spline' from UI
- Added Cache PreLoading
- Fixed bug with caches not loading with large numbers of active caches
- Sped up recording to network again
- Fixed UI flickering issue in R5
- Added 'Clamp Graph' to support looping playback better
- Check for invalid characters when basing initial cache filename after node name

Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v4.0 are:
- Quaternion-based function curves
- Support for Max native bones
- Forearm segmentation for more realistic twisting
- Integrates with Max controllers
- Visual Clipboard enables more intuitive pose and track editing
- Motion property analysis and visualization
- A Non-linear Animation Mixer
- Lock any animation down with the Animation Mixdown
- Prop Retargeting (up to 3 systemic prop objects)
- and much more....

Character Studio 4.0 is available for Max 3 to 5, and costs $995. Updates are available from $295. A 30 day trial version of the plugin is available here. UPDATE - the demo version of CS4 isn't available yet, despite the Discreet website saying it is. At the moment, the demo version is for CS3.

Plugin News: New Xfrog tutorials...

greenworks organic software have posted a step by step tutorial for Max users showing how to get the best from Xfrog and Max. Be sure to check out the time-lapse animation of a lily growing.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v2.01 are:
- Completely new design of dialog
- Fixed bug which crashed MAX if using color picker from script
- Fixed bug which caused incorrect color display with non-default MAX gamma setting
- Fixed bug which caused improper restoring of color picker options between MAX sessions

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v0.02 are:
- I don't know, but I will find out!

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.09.02q are:
- Fixed (hopefully) most of the Material Editor crashes
- Fixed some problems with Multi/Subobject materials
- The 'Don't affect GI on other mattes' option could not be unchecked; also this is renamed to 'No GI on other mattes'
- Added an initial version of the VRay VFB - see readme.rtf
- Added 'Exponential' color mapping mode

Plugin News: MooTools special offer...

MooTools are running a special discount on their software for the next 48 hours(up to January 9th). You can get 3D Browser for $19 instead of $39, Polygon Cruncher for $44 instead of $89.

Plugin News: Power Booleans v2.0 beta...

nPower Software Inc. have announced the new version of their Power Booleans plugin.

Changes for v2.0 include:
- Level editing (with visual hierarchy display)
- Reorder Boolean operands
- Easy modification of Boolean operation type
- Improved 'Quad based' meshing to facilitate mesh editing
- Site licensing

Power Booleans 2.0 will sell for $195. If you purchase Power Booleans 1.5 you will get a free upgrade to 2.0. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Changes for v0.0.1a are:
- Fixed a bug that could cause crashes at the end of the simulation
- Many overall improvements to the engine (both cloth and rigid bodies)
- Example files added to the .zip distribution

Plugin News: Digimation Plugin Sale...

Digimation, Inc. are celebrating the New Year with a plugin sale. For a very limited time (January 1st - January 15th, 2003) you can buy any product from Digimation, and get 50% off of any one of the select plugins listed here.

Happy New Year!: 

I'd like to wish all visitors to MAX a Happy New Year, and all the best for the next 12 months. Let's hope it's a good one, Dave