MAX News Archive

Archived Plugin News  –  October 2003

New Plugin: Controllers

AutoVox is a plugin that will enable your 3D character to speak realistically with a minimum of effort. AutoVox consists of a phoneme based speech controller plugin and a utility plugin. Composite phoneme mouth shapes are generated by blending percentages of various targets.

Animation is completely automated by AutoVox. AutoVox has a new speech recognition feature allowing animators to capture sound and do speech animation simply by speaking into a microphone. Furthermore, animators can enter or load a piece of text into AutoVox's Script Editor and AutoVox does the rest. Users can edit keys generated by AutoVox in any traditional manner using Max, and they can fully customize AutoVox's phoneme mapping table, thus allowing them to virtually make any type of character speak, be it a realistic human character or a cartoon character. A preview of your animation is generated using a synthesized voice or your own voice if you use the new speech recognition feature. This voice can be used as a scratch track and can be replaced by the user's own sound track.

Plugin Update: Global Utilities

Changes for v1.03 are:
- First Max 6 version
- Added support for alpha component in color swatches (Max 6)

Plugin Update: Audio

Changes for v1.2 are:
- Max 6 support
- Backwards scrubbing for Max 6 or higher
- Optionally specify the number of loops for a given track
- Modeless sound trax dialog
- Backwards playback ('ping pong' mode)
- File move up, move down, sort (arrange files in listing)
- Playback selected range with visual cue
- Play once option
- Increased maximum number of tracks from 64 to 100
- Improved audio scrub and playback tracking
- Support for audio files larger than 64 MB
- 15 new MAXScript commands for direct script control of Sound Trax

Sound Trax is available for Max 4 to 6 and costs $150 until the end of the year. After that it will be priced at $175. Boomer Labs is also offering a short term competitive upgrade option for owners of Flex Sound. Registered owners of Flex Sound may buy Sound Trax 1.2 for $125 until the end of the year. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v1.1 are:
- Several bug fixes
- Support for Max 6

Voice-O-Matic is available for Max 4 to 6 and costs $299. A demo version is available here.

Plugin News: Texture Layers now available for Max 6...

Mankua have announced that Texture Layers for Max 6 is ready. Registered users can request an update by sending an email with their info and invoice number to:

Plugin Update: Modifiers

This is a straight recompile for Max 6, there are no changes to the plugin.

New Plugin: Global Utilities

The Bookmark Global Utility Plugin implements basic perspective viewport bookmarking capabilities. It creates a dockable CUI Frame Window that is dialog based. In addition, it function publishes its visibility state and implements saving and loading methods.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Paralelo Computação have updated all of their Fly3D import and export plugins to work with Release 2.07 of their Fly3D game engine.

New Plugin: Materials

This is a new version of the already excellent Color Correct plugin. It now offers more control and adds support for alpha channel adjustment. It is still in Beta, and comes with no documentation. If you find any bugs, or want to comment on the new version, you can post them here.

The link above is for the Max 6 version, if you are using Max 4 or 5, you need this version.

Plugin News: CAT demo version available...

Character Animation Technologies Ltd have posted a demo version of their upcoming plugin Character Animation Toolkit (CAT).

With CAT you have a fully customizable animation rig that supports an unlimited numbers of limbs, has a parametric motioncycle system that doesn't limit your creativity, intuitive rig manipulation that you can assign all Max animation controllers, a powerful mocap importer that supports popular motion capture formats and a non-linear animation system that allows you to use all of the above at once, on different parts of the rig, simultaneously.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v2.5 are:
- Max 6 support, as well as Max 4 and 5
- Dynamic Boolean Operations, allowing manipulation of Boolean operations on the fly
- Quick Help
- New Material Application Options allows the user to control how materials are inherited from Boolean operands

Power Booleans is available for Max 4 to 6 and costs $195. Registered users can upgrade to version 2.5 free of charge. You can read the full press release here. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.08 are:
- Corrects a problem with UV coordinates

Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v1.5 are:
- New Float Licensing protection scheme
- New spinner to facilitate navigation between channels added in the Channel parameters rollout
- Fixed bug which automatically set Weight values to 0.0 when loading a .mom file
- Flat Tangent type added in the Keyframing rollout for users with Max 5 and higher
- Improved Extract to scene functionality
- The MOMMaterial now fully supports displacement morphing
- Undo added for the Create MOMMaterial button

Morph-O-Matic is available for Max 4 to 6 and costs $199. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v1.5 are:
- Unlimited number of vehicles and wheels
- Vehicles can collide with moving scenery of high triangle count
- Realistically simulates vehicle intricacies like offset angle steering, 4 wheel drive, unequal a-arm suspension, rigid axle, and more
- True 3D physics has realistic friction and collision with any shape
- Extras like Hitch and Hook allow for complex animation
- Managing scenes is implicit with Physics Calculator, everything loads and saves as you left it
- VS 1.5 can use a collection of MAX objects, a single object, a group, or nested groups to define a chassis, wheel, scenery, or obstacle
- Inserts keyframed motion to dynamic simulations by taking the velocity of the simulated object at the first frame of the simulation
- Intuitive settings like speed, grip, meters, shock length, etc. make adjustments easy

Vehicle Simulator v1.5 is available for Max 4 to 6 and costs $599. A demo version is available here.

New Plugin: Texturing

Diffractor is a plugin for creating different kinds of light effects on transparent and glossy type surfaces. For example, when you look at diamonds or other stones, you might see different colors reflected within the surface of the gem. Diffractor can help you to create that same effect in a fraction of the time that a raytracer (if it is even capable of it) can.

Diffractor is implemented as a procedural map that is normally applied to the self-illumination or environment map channels of a standard or raytrace material. As such, it does not rely upon any mapping coordinates (UV or XYZ), which makes setup and usage very quick and easy.

Diffractor also fully supports masking and it's own internal bump mapping, which enables you to easily restrict where the diffraction effect appears on the object as well as apply certain types of special effects to the diffraction effect via the bump map channel.

Diffractor is available for Max 4 to 6 and costs $120 for a limited time (normally $135). A demo version is available here.

Plugin News: First batch of Digimation plugins ready for Max 6

Digimation, Inc. have started posting patches for Max 6 compatibility on their server. It is quite a list, so take a look here.

They have also announced that the following plugins won't be available for Max 6:
- Darwin
- FlexSound
- Splash! Max
- Terrascape
- Ultrashock
- X-Ray

Plugin News: All DCP's available for Max 6...

Turbo Squid have announced that all Discreet Certified Plugins (DCP's) have been re-engineered to work with Max 6. All registered users of DCP's will receive an email instructing them how to upgrade current DCP products to work with Max 6.

Site News: Max 6 is shipping...

It's now official, Discreet started shipping Max 6 today. You can read the press release here.

Tomorrow I'll be starting the new Max 6 database, I should think it won't be long before a load of plugins get recompiled.

Plugin News: GHOST 3D plugins for Max 6...

GHOST 3D, LLC. have announced new Max 6 versions of its full line of 3D modeling, conversion, digitizing and reverse engineering products. The new product versions are available to authorized Max 6 users only through Authorized Resellers or direct from GHOST 3D.

You can find the press release here.

Plugin Update: Post FX

Changes for v1.4 are:
- Fixed gamma correction in Video Post

AF Export Channels is available for Max 3 to 5 and costs $34.99. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes in Service Pack 1 are:
- Completely re-designed Distributed Rendering system
- Adds a new fR-Matte/Shadow material type
- Provides Level of Detail controls to the fR-Image Global Illumination engine
- Clicking in the rendering window tells the renderer which bucket should be rendered next
- General speed and performance enhancements and fixes
- Fully compatible with Max 6, as well as Max 4 and 5

All registered users of finalRender Stage-1 will receive an email from TurboSquid instructing them how to obtain the free service pack.

New Plugins: Import / Export

Touchdown Entertainment, Inc. have released the Tron 2.0 Level Editor, which contains a number of Max plugins for creating your own levels and models for Tron 2.0.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.02 are:
- Fixes a bug in the UV mapping export

The link above is for the Max 4/5 version, you can get the Max 3 plugin here.

New Plugins: Render Effects

I've just discovered a load of plugins from Pavel Kuznetsov that I had left out of the database:

Milky Way for Max 3, 4 and 5.
A render effect for creating a starry sky. Includes the possibility to assign stars Object / Material ID's, motion blur and other effects such as Hyperspace.

Surface Blur for Max 3, 4 and 5.
This effect is intended for blurring down shiny surfaces, including transparent and reflective surfaces.

Throughout for Max 4 and 5.
Allows you to apply effects such as Glow and Highlight to objects behind other transparent objects. Uses Object ID or Material Effect ID to apply the effect.

Adjust Color for Max 5.
This effect is useful for tuning brightness, contrast and gamma in the RGB channels.

Distance Fade for Max 3 and 4.
Allows you to modify color and alpha-channel of your scene depending on depth (Z- buffer). It can be used to imitate the standard fog/mist (it works considerably faster than the usual effect), and can also be applied to specific objects.

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Changes for v1.11 are:
- Fixed serious bug (crash) when opening MeshAK in Max 5.1
- 'Loop' now also selects edges which have only one visible edge at the end

New Plugin: Utilities

LaunchPad has been designed as a simple but useful file loader for Max 4 and 5. It will not only load .max files into Max, but will also launch any other file (e.g. .AVI .MOV .JPG etc) that has a windows association, into its associated program.
It is easy to maintain, and add to, as it simply reads your current directory structure to display your files in customisable categories. Although initially created for simplifying Max demonstrations (by removing the need to search for .max files and animations etc, during a demo), it can also be used by any Max user for basic project management.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Paralelo Computação have updated all of their Fly3D import and export plugins to work with Release 2.06 of their Fly3D game engine.

Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v1.5 are:
- New Float Licensing protection scheme
- MAXScript support in Attach-O-Matic and Link-O-Matic
- 'Detach Object' option added in Attach-O-Matic
- 'Threshold' in Copy-O-Matic now unit-based

Morph ToolKit is available for Max 3 to 5 and costs $199. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Texturing

Changes for v1.2 are:
- Material ID override for VRay materials

AF Material Correct is available for Max 3 to 5 and costs $14.99. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Post FX

Changes for v1.3 are:
- Progress bar fixed
- Registration box fixed (in registered version)
- Gamma correction
- Image Aspect - render setting supported

AF Export Channels is available for Max 3 to 5 and costs $34.99. A demo version is available here.

New Plugin: Render Effects

This is a render effect which uses the G-Buffer to create a line drawing of your scene.

Plugin News: RealFlow 2.5 to be released soon...

Next Limit have put up new information about the upcoming release of RealFlow 2.5.

Plugin News: New info on Vehicle Simulator...

George Barjoud has posted some movies made with the upcoming Vehicle Simulator v1.5, which will be available soon.