MAX News Archive

Archived Plugin News  –  May 2003

Plugin Update: Particles

Changes for v5.1.061 are:
- Fixes the crash bug when using 5.1.06 and displaying the map.

Plugin News: V-Ray at 30% off for finalRender users...

Chaos Group announced today that due to the great amount of requests, their V-Ray Advanced renderer will be sold at 30% off its original price and will cost only $559 for users who prove to have purchased a finalRender license. The offer ends June 08, 2003. For more information contact them at from

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.01 are:
- Quads are now exported properly.

The link above is for the Max 4 version, you can find the Max 3 version here.

New Plugin: Bitmap I/O

This OpenEXR Bitmap I/O plugin gives Max the ability to read and write OpenEXR files, a high dynamic range-capable open source image file format. The SplutterFish plugin goes a bit beyond the 'standard' OpenEXR format, taking advantage of the flexibility of the format itself.

New Plugin: Utilities

This small plugin provides access to the PC speaker for playing 'beeps' within MAXScript.

New Plugins: Import / Export

Makes transferring files between Max and Ultimate Unwrap3D easier, and also overcomes limitations of the 3DS file format. Imports and exports materials and animation, including support for Character Studio.

Plugin Update: Materials

Changes are:
- The RealFlow Particle Material has been updated

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.09.03d are:
- Fixed a bug in the VRayDisplacementMod modifier that could cause instabilities
- VRay lights could cause crashes in some cases
- Broadcasting of NOTIFY_RENDER_PREEVAL was disabled as it could cause the rendering to crash/hang

Plugin Update: Texturing

GhostPainter 2.0 is a solution for texturing and painting of 3D objects as well as post-production of rendered images. It comes with several Photoshop plugins that interactively communicate with Max.

Unique features like 'vector based texture unwrapping' to Photoshop paths allow the user to get resolution independent unwrapped UV texture information. You can also automatically create Photoshop selections from selected faces or even selected edges of an object. Furthermore all additonal Photoshop plugins are recordable in actions so that custom Photoshop actions can be used to perform repeatable tasks.

GhostPainter 2.0 directly connects to Photoshop and allows the user to paint on any object within Max. All of the Photoshop tools, commands and filters may be used to manipulate the texture of the object. The enhanced realtime feedback now gives direct paint feedback between the Photoshop screen and the Max modeling viewport.

GhostPainter 2.0 is available for Max 4 and 5, and costs $245. Upgrades are available from version 1 for $95.

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Changes for v1.1 are:
- Fixed Mapping Preserve bug caused by UVW Box mapping

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.09.03c are:
- Fixed the single frame irradiance map not clearing properly for each frame

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v6.0 are:
- There are too many new features and bug-fixes to list here, for a full list of changes go here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.09.03b are:
- VRay did not load on Windows NT
- Normal glossy reflections did not always render

Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for v12.05.2003 are:
- Added Camera/World/Object space options (was previously hard coded to Camera space)

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.09.03a are:
- V-Ray material is re-organized and split into rollups
- V-Ray material supports anisotropy for glossy reflections
- Min/max rate for interpolated glossy effects is decoupled from the min/max rate of the irradiance map
- Improved compatibility with the finalToon render effect
- Added an Exclude button to V-RayLight
- Added a messages window that outputs some useful information
- Shift parameter in V-RayDisplacementMod works with both 2D and 3D displacement
- Fixed a memory leak with 3D displacement in animation
- GBuffer channels were not correct for objects behind other 'Invisible to camera' objects

New Plugin: Import / Export

Allows Max to export Metasequoia files (*.mqo). Metasequoia is a shareware polygon modeler for 3DCG and game development.

The link to the plugin above is for the Max 4/5 version, if you are still using Max 3, you need this version.

New Plugin: Modifiers

Mesh Army Knife is a customized version of the standard modifier 'Edit Mesh'. It includes the following enhancements and new features:
- Leaner Interface
- Options are saved
- Better Navigation in command modes
- Properties Checkboxes
- Attach and Attach List
- Vertex Target weld UV correction
- Target weld color correction
- Hidden Edges unselectable in Objects with 'Edges Only'-flag
- VisEdges Mode
- New Buttons in Edge mode: All Vis, All Invis, Mat Vis, Tile Vis
- New detach buttons and detach details
- New Subobject Levels 'UV Faces' and 'UV Polys'
- New UV command mode 'Turn'
- New UV command mode 'Map'
- New spinner 'Offs'
- New Button 'SelThis'
- Fixed Edit Mesh mapping bug
- Fixed Edit Mesh Vertex Color Bug
- New Geometry Paint Feature: Selection, Deletion, MatID, Vertex Paint and Sculpt tools

For a full description of all the features, take a look here.

New Plugin: Animation

Voice-O-Matic is an easy-to-use but powerful plugin that automates the process of lip synchronization for your animated characters directly inside of Max. Simply feed a recorded audio file to Voice-O-Matic, and its powerful algorithms will automatically generate timing and lip position data for your characters.

Voice-O-Matic analyzes the phonemes within an audio file and automatically create standard keyframes, allowing animators to quickly tweak the results.

Features include:
- Complete phonetic support, use up to 40 different phonemes
- Support most languages, including English, French, Spanish, Japanese and others
- Text input, for accurate syllabic recognition (only in English in v1.0)
- Intelligent smoothing, to get better lip synchronization results
- Standard keys creation on Bezier controllers, so animations can be modified easily
- Full support of animation plugins like Morpher, Morph-O-Matic or Facial Studio
- MAXScript support

Voice-O-Matic is available for Max 4 and 5, and costs $299.

New Plugin: Miscellaneous

This is a command line renderer for Max scene files. Write batch files to control rendering, pick up dropped frames, etc.

This tool will also work with the Smedge2 network rendering distribution system. Smedge supports many applications in addition to Max, and you only need SFRender when using smedge with Max.

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Changes for v5.1.06 are:
- Adds a switch to turn on/off the automatic background reload for MatIDs
- Fixes the gap issue on flatten (I think)

New Plugin: Modifiers

This is basically the standard built-in Optimize modifier with added options for preserving UVW mapping and Vertex Color channels.

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Changes for v1.51 are:
- Fixed a problem which caused crashes on processors that don't support SSE
- Sometimes self-collisions were erroneously detected when they shouldn't have been - Fixed.

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Chaos Group have posted a new version of their cloth simulator SimCloth. It is available in 3 different flavours:
- SimCloth3 v1.5 for Max 3
- SimCloth3 v1.5 for Max 4
- SimCloth3 v1.5 for Max 5

SimCloth3 is also open source so that you can modify it to suit your needs. The source code for all versions is available here.

New Plugin: Import / Export

Allows Max to export *.N3X files, which can be converted to 3D screensavers for the Nokia 3410.

Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for v1.1 are:
- Adds MAXScript support
- General bug fixes and improved stability
- Full source code available