MAX News Archive

Archived Plugin News  –  August 2006

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.7.0.6 are:
- Settings have been partitioned into 'basic' and 'detailed' sets
- Max file is now saved every time the Granny settings are changed
- A complete list of all changes can be found here

Granny Exporter is available for Max 5 to 8, and is part of the Granny Toolkit which costs $12500.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v0.2.2 are:
- Fixes export of normal values
- Fixes import of normal values
- Changes import of bones to merge non-accum nodes with parent
- Changes import of animation to merge non-accum nodes with parent
- Adds option to clear animation on import

Plugin Update: mental ray Shaders

Changes for v1.01 are:
Added new Conversion shaders
- drInteger2Boolean_v1
- drInteger2Scalar_v1
- drInteger2Vector_v1
- drInteger2Color_v1
- drBoolean2Integer_v1
- drScalar2Integer_v1
- drVector2Integer_v1
- drColor2Integer_v1

Added new State Shaders
- drStateReflectionLevelScalar_v1
- drStateRefractionLevelScalar_v1
- drStateLabelScalar_v1
- drStateInstanceScalar_v1
- drStateRayTypeScalar_v1

Added new Utility Phenomenon
- drRayTypeSelect_v1

Moved following shaders to the Deprecated list
- drStateReflectionLevel_v1
- drStateRefractionLevel_v1
- drStateLabel_v1
- drStateInstance_v1
- drStateRayType_v1

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v0.14 are:
- Slightly modified convexity algorithm
- Improved workflow

Tension Modifier is available for Max 6 to 8, and costs $20. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v0.2.1 are:
- Replaces the Tri Stripper with a new version
- Fixes issues with transforms on extra nodes and collision meshes

Plugin Update: Utilities

Marsel has also made the Schematic Material Editor plugin open source, and it also has it's own page over at SourceForge. This is the same as the last closed-source beta release of the plugin, but it has been ported to Max 9 and Visual Studio .NET 2005.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Marsel has made the Scene Manager plugin open source, and it now has it's own page over at SourceForge. This is the same as the last closed-source release of the plugin, but it has been ported to Max 9 and Visual Studio .NET 2005. There are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions available for download.

Site News: Max 9 database goes online...

I've added the database for Max 9, and had to make a few changes to the PHP code due to 64-bit and 32-bit versions of plugins. At the moment there are just 2 plugins in there (see above), but I'm sure this will start changing soon. Dave

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2006.08 are:
- Beta support for the import and export of Collada format
- NURBS are now supported on export and import
- Adds support for Geometry caches
- New options for Z-up to Y-Up axis conversions
- Improved support for normals and smoothing groups
- Bones can be imported as true bones or as dummies
- Improvements to warning and error message display
- Frame rate can now be imported from the FBX file
- Enhanced name-handling algorithms
- Physique modifier is no longer supported
- Two new scripting commands have been added
- A few bug-fixes

New Plugin: Import / Export

Enables Max to export F3D and MA files for use with Luxinia, an easy-to-use 3D engine. F3D files support multiple meshes, helper objects, skinned/physiqued objects and multi-materials. MA files are for animations, exporting animation keys with an optional snapshot every 'nth' frame.

New Plugin: Import / Export

kW X-port can export a scene as geometry and animation out of Max 8. It correctly exports geometry skinned with the ISkin modifier, as well as regular objects, with up to 2 channels of UV data, tangents, binormals, and other useful geometry options.

Additionally, it can re-write texture references (turn them relative, and/or change the extension of all textures to .dds), and ignore (or include) geometry with no material assigned.

For animations, both skinned and un-skinned animations are supported, and you can define multiple animations as separate subsets of the Max timeline. Each has its own name, and they can even have different time scales.

New Plugins: Import / Export

These plugins enable you to create and edit content stored in the NetImmerse File Format. NIF files store the 3D models used in several popular PC games based on the NetImmerse/Gamebryo game engine. There is also a utility for setting collision, layer and material attributes, and an object plugin for creating furniture markers.

New Plugin: Texturing

UV Tools is a plugin for making the process of UVW mapping easier. Designed mainly for use while in Editable Polygon mode, you can use it directly alongside while you are modeling or editing your geometry.

Some of the more intresting features include:
- stitching of uvw's
- element selection and other selection methods
- unfold mapping
- aligning uvw's
- adjusting uvw tiling and offset on the fly

UV Tools is available for Max 8, and costs $30. A demo version is available here.

New Plugin: Animation

Craft SphereCam moves a camera along a spherical path centered on the object being filmed. You can move Craft SphereCam around the spherical path in real time while recording, to get great shots from any angle instantly and intuitively. Craft SphereCam comes equipped with an Anti Roll Regulator which keeps the camera from rolling during animation - regardless of how Craft SphereCam's position changes.

Craft SphereCam is available for Max 6 to 8, and costs $198. A demo version is available here.

New Plugin: Global Utilities

As reported a couple of weeks ago, Autodesk and Realviz have teamed up to offer MMTrack v2.0, an automatic 3D tracking plugin, for free to Max and Maya users (normal retail price $560).

The plugin is now available for download, and users who take up this offer will automatically receive upgrades to forthcoming releases of MMTrack (compatible with subsequent releases of Max and Maya) free of charge for the duration of the offer period. The offer is valid from August 1, 2006 through August 1, 2007.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v3.50832 are:
- Fixed a bug with 'restore object properties (viewports)'
- User-set preview settings can be saved/loaded as default for a renderer
- Added user settable preview overrides via a string field
- Shape objects are now captured for properties
- Adds support for velocity render element
- Fast Rasteriser Samples uses max AA setting for preview overrides if override AA is enabled

RPManager is available for Max 6 to 8, and costs $300. A demo version is available here.

Plugin News: Power NURBS 2 features...

David Gill from nPower Software has posted a list of features for the upcoming version of Power NURBS on the nPower forum:
- 64 bit support
- Max 9 support
- Surface draping
- Official release of the bonus tools (which were pre-release features)
- Performance improvements - some of which are huge
- UI simplification
- Bug fixes
- Additional features which may or may not make it in depending on timing

Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for v1.01 are:
- Fixes a bug when previewing the plugin in the Material/Map browser

New Plugin: Materials

This is a variation of relief mapping which uses multiple depth layers to represent non height field surfaces. This means that the relief-mapped object can be viewed from both sides while still producing correct parallax and views that are consistent with the 3D geometry they represent. More technical information can be found here.

New Plugin: Materials

ColorEdge is a procedural texture which changes the color along the VISIBLE edge faces of an object, allowing you to define color gradients and add noise effects.

Plugin News: V-Ray 1.5 RC2 available...

Chaos Group have announced that V-Ray 1.5 RC2 for Max 6, 7 and 8 is available for download to registered users. For detailed information on the new features in V-Ray 1.5 take a look here.

Plugin Update: Connection

Changes for v5.11 are:
- Improved network rendering
- Improved xStream OpenGL engine stability
- Improved stability of the plugin when using the Vue interface

xStream is available for Max 7 and 8, and costs $495.

New Plugin: mental ray Shaders

This is a huge collection of 153 shaders for mental ray 3.4 that is aimed at making it easier to create custom networks of shaders. The drUtilSuite includes the following categories of shaders:
- Logic Shaders
- Conversion Shaders
- Layer Shaders
- Math Shaders
- Utility Shaders
- State Shaders

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v1.2 are:
- Adds 'Translational Sweep', which generates 'swept' objects along a polyline with no self-intersections

hbBool is available for Max 7 and 8, and costs $295. A demo version is available here.

Plugin News: Vue 6 xStream announced...

e-on software, inc. have also announced the upcoming release of Vue 6 xStream. New features include:
- Interactive real-time EcoSystem painting and layered EcoSystem materials
- Spectral atmosphere engine
- Flicker-free SolidGrowth 4 plant technology
- Ventilators for local wind effects
- Entirely re-written radiosity engine
- New animation graph editor
- Absorption and multiple internal scattering
- Large amplitude displacement mapping
- Volumetric shaders and HyperTextures
- Motion tracking import from Boujou or MatchMover
- Multi-shape area lights
- Re-posing of Poser characters directly inside Vue

Vue 6 xStream is expected to ship in the next month or so as a 32 and 64 bit application, and will cost $895 for a node-locked license.

Plugin News: Ozone 3 for Max

e-on software, inc. have announced a new version of their atmosphere plugin Ozone. Up to now, Ozone has only been available for Lightwave and Cinema 4D, but the new version will also cover Max, Maya and XSI.

Ozone 3 is due to be released in the last quarter of 2006, and is expected to cost $199.

Plugin News: CAT v2.5 announced...

Softimage have announced the new version of their character animation plugin CAT v2.5. There is no mention of when it will be released, but new features include:
- New gizmo system for rigging
- New copy and paste feature for poses and animation
- New pose mixer tool
- New 'Walk on Line' walk mode
- Gradient and direction controls for walk cycles
- New 'Cap' layer type for smoother interpolation of motion capture data
- New batch importer and exporter for transferring assets

CAT is available for Max 6 to 8, and costs $995. A demo version is available here.

Plugin News: FumeFX announced...

Sitni Sati d.o.o. have announced their upcoming fluid dynamics plugin FumeFX.

FumeFX is intended for realistic simulation of fire and smoke and their interaction with the scene. Fire and smoke are physically based, with gravity, temperature, pressure, objects, velocities and external forces influencing their behavior. Open architecture will allow users to tune, tweak and extend FumeFX feature set to accommodate specific tasks reliably and efficiently.

FumeFX release is scheduled for the end of 2006.

Plugin News: Max 9 announced...

Autodesk have announced Max 9, with some great new features like a 64-bit version, mental ray v3.5, improved viewport speed, and much more. Head over to the Autodesk Max 9 pages for all of the information.

Plugin Update: Global Utilities

Changes for v1.0.1 are:
- This is a major update with much too much to list here. You can find the complete ChangeLog here