MAX News Archive

Archived Plugin News  –  July 2003

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.1.3 are:
- Added particle filter
- Changed option dialog to have tabbed interface
- New dockable toolbars
- Added: dragging items into empty space in layer manager creates a new layer with those items
- Fix: when Onion is absent Max crashed on move layers to group
- Fix: Undo/Redo crash completely gone
- Fix: Dissapearing name when pressing escape while editing item label
- Changed item management system to automatically remove hidden/frozen items in runtime when hidden/frozen filter is on
- Slight improvement in GUI color adjustment
- Fix: SE now hides if its docked when Expert Mode is turned on

New Plugin: Modelling

Shave and a Haircut is a hair system from Joe Alter that Splutterfish has ported to Max. Shave couples an easy and intuitive 'styling/combing' interface with a powerful capability to render the highest-quality imagery. Shave's natural workflow enables artists to quickly 'grow' and 'comb' hair, easily change shader properties, apply dynamics, and render. Shave integrates easily into Max's default renderer, or a third-party renderer, and frees the artist from any technology-imposed confines.

Shave and a Haircut is available for Max 3 to 5 and costs $485 for the Shave Bundle, which includes one workstation license and 8 render-node licenses.

New Plugin: Texturing

Pencil+ is a non-photorealistic shader plugin that allows you to give your renders a hand-drawn, pencil look. You can stack different types of pencil strokes on top of each other to achieve effects ranging from a delicate pigment pen drawing to a vivid colored pencil image. It is also possible to create flat cel-painted images.

Pencil+ is available for Max 4 and 5, and costs 30,000 YEN. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.2 include:
- Numerous stability and performance improvements
- Banshee Distributed Rendering Manager
- Improved Brazil Toon shader
- New Skin shader
- New Brazil optimized plugin shadow types
- Support for photometric IES files

Brazil r/s is available for Max 3 to 5 and costs $1200 (Artist Bundle - 1 workstation license + 2 render licenses).

Plugin News: Turbo Squid releases Turbo Toolkit...

Turbo Squid, the exclusive publisher and worldwide distributor of the Discreet Certified Max Plugin Program, today announced the release of Turbo Toolkit, a suite of eight premium Discreet Certified Max Plugins in a single product. When purchased separately the products sell for nearly $4000 US. The Turbo Toolkit is being offered for $1695 US until Aug. 31, 2003.

The Turbo Toolkit includes the following plugins:
- finalRender Stage-1
- AfterBurn3
- DreamScape2
- HumanIK
- Kaldera
- ACT 1.6 PRO
- finalToon
- Texture Layers v2.0 (soon to be released)

Site News: Max Underground returns...

Just a quick note to let you all know that Max Underground is back online. Welcome back, guys!

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.1.2 are:
- Added a completely re-designed tree-based layer manager
- Added toggle to auto-update tree or layer manager on the fly
- Added all the filter toggles into right-click menu
- Better middle-button panning algorithm
- Fix: Window dissapearance after closing while in dock mode
- Fix: Changes made to prevent weird docking behaviour
- When not in always show selected mode, first visible parent of an item is now highlighted
- All options are now remembered

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.09.03i are:
- This build resolves some network stability/incompatibility issues which caused V-Ray to hang and even crash during startup or while rendering

New Plugin: Renderers

finalRender Stage-1 has finally been released, after more than 9 months delay. New features include:
- True 3D Motion Blur
- Dispersion
- Multiple Cameras
- Distributed Rendering
- True 3D Micro Triangle Displacement
- Hyper-GI
- Sub Surface Scattering

finalRender Stage-1 is a DCP available for Max 4 and 5, and is priced at $795. Turbo Squid are offering an introductory special price of $695 for a limited time. Owners of finalRender Stage-0 can upgrade for $175.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.1.1 are:
- Added a toggle to switch SE between Max-dockable window, and windows frame
- Added 'pure' Max viewport replacement
- Changed shift-click functionality for hierarchy buttons to close whole hierarchy
- Added middle-button panning
- Removed hard-exit option
- Removed dope sheet option
- Fix: Icons now displayed by the base object
- Fix: Attach->Select crash
- Changed not-in-focus selection color to dark grey

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.09.03h are:
- Fixed a bug that could cause crashes when manipulating objects in the viewports after rendering with VRay and other anomalies in Max
- Added an Affect alpha parameter to VRayMtl
- Fixed a bug that caused objects excluded from illumination by VRayLights to be illuminated when the lights' Store with irradiance map option is on
- Added another color mapping mode, called HSV exponential

Plugin News: MetaReyes now for Max 5...

Reyes Infografica have released an update for their MetaReyes v5.1 plugin, allowing it to work in Max 5.1.

MetaReyes is available for Max 4 and 5, and costs €165. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.1.0 are:
- Fixed the ungroup bug
- Added a 'Curve Editor...' option which opens the curve editor for a specified object
- Changed visibility toggle icon
- Addition of many new icons for such objects as targets, NURBS, editable poly, patchgrids, etc
- Fix: Crash on 'Select All' menu when right clicking on world icon

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.0.9 are:
- Added ability to load SE right into the viewport through viewport's right-click menu
- Added 'Exit Scene Explorer' option to display menu
- New icons
- Added item sorting on high and low levels
- Fix: dock in viewport resizing bug
- Fixed object highlighting and some general tree UI components
- Fixed hidden filter problem
- Fix: Open groups open, closed groups stay closed
- Fix: Shift click items' icons toggles items on the same level, Alt click toggles parent and all of its children

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.0.8 are:
- Added a dockable popup curve editor accessible via right-click -> Curve Editor
- Fixed dock to viewport bug
- Added option to name double-click open object properties
- Added Open/Close group option
- Added delete layer with items dialog
- Added an option to turn off wire color and material indicator display
- Darkened animated object color
- Added indication of whether a group is open or closed
- Changed 'Toggle transparency' button to 'Toggle always on top'
- Fix: ungroup crash
- Fix: Current layer/Scene reset crash
- Added refresh option to invalidate the tree data

New Plugin: Materials

This plugin allows Max to render normalmaps as bumpmaps. Simply put this texture in the bump channel and its submap rgb will affect the render. Works especially well with the Discreet Normalmap Generator Utility. The next version will have the option of choosing from ATI, NVidia, or Discreet style map standards.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.0.7 are:
- Fixed major replace toolbar bug which caused a MAX crash
- Fix: Memory leak in layer manager's left click
- Changed simple dialog frame to fully featured frame window
- Added object not-in-focus additional highlight
- Changed the object-with-material outline color, and made it optional
- Added option to disable parent-target bonding
- Changed Shift-click toggles to affect only parent and its siblings
- Added menu bar with basic features
- Added hide all/freeze all right click menu options
- Added create from selection layer option
- Fix: Select all children now selects all children even if the tree is not expanded
- Double clicking the SE window maximizes it
- Added experimental hierarchy dividers
- Layer manager now supports horizontal docking

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.0.6 are:
- Fix: Hierarchies are now all closed by default
- Fix: Shift-click on hierarchy fully expands/collapses it
- Shift-click on item freeze/hide toggles, toggles the whole scene
- Control-click on item freeze/hide toggles all items except the one being clicked
- Added right-click layer menu with additional layer functionality
- Added options to change layer inheritance by category
- Fix: refresh problem on target-parent bonding
- Fix: Filtering out lights and cameras will now filter out their TRUE respective targets as well
- Added indication of whether item has a material or not
- Fix: backward compatibility with MAX R4.x (no layers)
- Added filtering of unnecesarry Particle Flow elements

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Changes for v1.02 are:
- Bugfixes
- Added Adjust Vertex Colors dialog (hue, saturation etc.) for verts, faces, polys and elements
- You can now pick the color at a point with CTRL in the vertex paint tool
- For a full list of bugfixes and features, go here.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.0.5b are:
- Fix: double-click in layer window crash Max
- Fix: 'search' and 'search rename' do not open
- Added comprehensive dockable layer manager
- Added ability to remember sub-toolbar toggles
- Changed ini filepath to plugcfg
- Fix: hide/unhide for group icon will hide/unhide all group members
- Fixed redraw problems with node colors and toolbars
- Item sorting partially implemented
- Added Properties... option to the right click menu
- Added object/target bonding
- Fix: Particle-type systems display particle item
- Multiple selection hide/unhide freeze/unfreeze now affects the whole selection
- Ctrl+click on hierarchy button expands/collapses whole hierarchy

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.0.4 are:
- Colors by default derived from Max's CUI
- Display of objects' color right inside the tree
- XRefs displayed bold (Animated objects displayed red)
- Removed obsolete tree background color change option
- Fixed object's name dissapearing bug
- Fixed hide/unhide sync bug
- Added group/ungroup right click options and fixed old ones
- Added window position-remembering code through .ini registration
- Added generic Rename function to assign unique names to a set of items
- Replaced main spline icon with a more suitable version
- Fixed grouping/ungrouping problem
- Fixed Unlinking through drag'n'drop
- Added Unlink option to right click menu

Plugin News: ScreenSaverMax demo version...

There is now a demo version of ScreenSaverMax v1.0 available for download, you can get it here.

ScreenSaverMax allows you to create and export 3D screensavers in Max 4 and 5. Two versions of the plugin are due for release in July 2003:

- SSMax Standard - cost $100
Standard Edition will enable Dynamic and Logo screen savers to be exported from Max 4 and 5 scenes. Although owners of the Standard Edition will be free to distribute the screen savers they generate with the software, they will NOT be entitled to charge for them.

- SSMax Professional - cost $300
Professional Edition enables Dynamic, Logo, and fully animated Movie screen savers from Max 4 and 5 scenes. Owners of the Professional Edition will be free to distribute unlimited screen savers commercially.

Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for v2.51 are:
- Adds a non-clamped material.

Thanks to Chad Capeland for letting me know what was updated.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.0.3 are:
- Fixed dialog closing problem
- Fixed camera/light filtering problem
- Added filters for bones, bipeds, and groups
- Added: Ctrl+click selects ONLY current filter, alt+click selects EVERYTHING BUT the current filter in the toolbar
- Fixed renaming problem when cloning objects
- Fixed renaming problem when creating bipeds
- Fixed right-click delete problem
- Regorganized show/hide toggles in object popup menus
- Added full support for object groups

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.0.2 are:
- Fixed enter/esc handler problem while editing object name
- Added tooltips to all toolbar buttons

New Plugin: Utilities

This plugin allows you to easily manage objects in a scene through a visual framework. Many advanced procedures such as searching for items and replacing their text have been implemented.

Features include:
- Dynamic object creation/destruction from inside and outside of SE dialog
- Object type distinction by icons and miscellaneous visual components
- Linking/unlinking items through drag-and-drop within the tree, or in the viewports
- Option of item hierarchy rearrangement to avoid previously degenerate linking operations
- Hiding/freezing items by clicking on icons beside them
- Searching of items by one or more of the following: text, polygon count, volume (size), color, and order of creation
- Replace item text in all items
- Shows currently animated objects
- Filtering the display of items based on the object types
- Extended GUI with in-Max docking abilities
- Help and documentation files accessible from inside the plugin
- and more...

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.2 are:
- Several additions have been made since the last release. These include enhancements in modifier stack and animation exporting.

Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for v0.2 beta are:
- Fixed possible performance problem

New Plugin: Materials

This is a texture plugin that will adjust the gamma of the incoming texture. You can control the master gamma and the rgb channels separately. Unlike the gamma in the bitmaptexture, this can adjust the gamma curve for any Max texture.

New Plugin: Texturing

Kaldera is a Max 5 utility that lets you render full scene information into texture maps based on an object's appearance and relationship between itself and other objects and elements in the scene. This texture maps are then 'baked' into the object: that is, they become part of the object via mapping, and can be used to display the textured object rapidly on Direct3D devices such as graphics display cards or game engines.

Kaldera is available for Max 5 and is a Discreet Certified Max Plugin. The regular retail price is $395, but for an introductory period it is available for $295.

Plugin News: Pencil+ for Max...

For any of you that can read Japanese, PSOFT Visual Products have posted some very interesting stuff about their new plugin Pencil+, an advanced non-photorealistc shader.

According to the site, an English version is in the works, so I'll post it here when it's online.

New Plugin: MAXScript Extensions

This extension enables MAXScript access for the commercial script RPManager and the freeware script PSDPathUnwrapper.

Site News: No news this week...

I'm out of the office from Friday 27th June until Saturday 5th July, so I won't be able to update the news in that time. I'll catch up on everything when I'm back. Dave.