MAX News Archive

Archived Plugin News  –  December 2009

New Plugin: Utilities

This utility allows you to do real-time streaming and recording in Max using the ARENA Motion Capture Software.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v2.45c are:
- Adds support for Max 9 to 2010 (32-bit only)

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.8.29.0 are:
- Adds a new preprocessor sample command: 'MergeTrackGroups'
- Edge renaming now affects the internal/external edge for subgraph nodes
- The Blend editor now remembers the last model associated with a graph
- The Blend editor will now properly open double-clicked .DGE source files
- Adds a feature to export allowing the user to override the default tool coordinate frame
- The scroll bar in the Blend Editor now responds to mouse input
- UI Work in the Blend Editor to make things a bit clearer
- Exposed GrannyControlHasEffect
- Fixes a bit of uninitialized data in the blend editor
- The documentation of the granny_transform::Flags member is now a little clearer

Granny Exporter is available for Max 6 to 2010, and is part of the Granny Toolkit which costs $12500.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for SP1a are:
- Fixes a crash when starting the ActiveShade renderer
- Fixes an error during V-Ray RT initialization
- Fixes a crash with non-English versions of Max 2010
- Fixes an issue with safe frame enabled
- Fixes issues running the RT render server as a Windows service on the client machine
- The Composite map (in Max 2009 and later) now works for bump maps

V-Ray RT is available for Max 9 to 2010 and costs $299. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v6.01 are:
- After changing FSAA mode, you no longer need to select Stereo None to start rendering again
- Fixes the warning window 'no converter' displaying on x64
- The Terrain following popup window now opens on top of the graphics window
- Terrain following on large models no longer costs too much performance
- AVI maps are now rendered
- Miscellaneous stability fixes
- The Translator no longer exports large models only once

VR4MAX is available for Max 6 to 2010 and costs €1100. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.2.1 are:
- Adds 'Additional Materials' setting to the Materials page of the Scene Settings dialog
- Adds 'Exported Parent' setting to the General page of the Object Settings dialog
- Adds animated root start time override settings to the Mesh Animation Settings dialog
- Removed embedded OgreMax viewport label due to the annoying flicker
- Modified the external viewer launcher to include the scene up axis
- The material exporter now uses material prefixing for filenames of exported materials
- Fixes a bug that caused skeletons to deform meshes incorrectly in OgreMax scene viewports
- Fixes two static controls in the Mesh Animations dialog having a 'disabled' appearance in Max 2010
- Fixes the material selection dialog only allowing OgreMax materials to be selected
- Fixes a bug with the material prefix not being prepended to materials in some situations

The freeware version has also been updated.

OgreMax is available for Max 8 to 2010 and costs $250. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for Build 1725 are:
- Bug-fixes

New Plugin: Utilities

Zookeeper is a plugin used for organizing, managing, and visualizing complex scenes. Written completely in .NET Zookeeper provides a fresh, novel, and intuitive interface into your scenes.

Zookeeper is available for Max 2009 and 2010 and normally costs $249. For a limited time you can purchase a license for $199. A demo version is available here.

Site News: Happy Holidays!

MAX would like to wish all visitors to the site all the best for the holidays. I hope you have a good and peaceful one.


Site News: Lack of updates...

Sorry about the lack of updates recently, but I was in production stress right up to Christmas and had no spare time at all for the site. The worst is over now, so it's all back to normal here.


Plugin Update: Texturing

Changes for v1.50 are:
- Adds single pass rendering for multiple objects
- Adds surface angle based seam assignments
- Flatiron can now automatically distribute objects over multiple texture maps
- Adds support for selection sets
- Adds MAXScript support for all the new features
- A few minor user interface improvements
- Various minor fixes

Flatiron is available for Max 9 to 2010 and costs €249. A demo version is available here.

Plugin News: messiah offer extended...

pmG Worldwide, LLC. have extended their special offer for Autodesk users until December 31st 2009. As a Max user, you can buy messiah:Studio 4 Pro for $499 instead of $999, and messiah:Studio 4 Basic will cost you $299 instead of $399.

New Plugin: Texturing

The SigerShaders are scripted plugins for use with V-Ray v1.5 and higher that control many components of the V-Ray Material based on specific Material criteria.

This set contains 20 Flooring presets (12 Hardwood, 8 Concrete) which can be customized flexibly and, most importantly, quickly, for all needs. The Flooring shader only exposes the settings that are important in creating a highly realistic and optimized material.

SigerShaders VFloor is available for Max 2009 and 2010, and normally costs €37.99. Until January 5th 2010 you can purchase any of the SigerShaders plugins at a 20% discount and also receive a free copy of their Siger Texmap RAL Color Solid (normally €19.50).

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v2.0.52 are:
- Fixes issues with saving Split Render Channels
- VrayCam can now be created from animated cameras

VrayMultiStageRender is available for Max 9 to 2010 and costs $10. A demo version is available here.

New Plugin: mental ray Shaders

This is a cartoon shader (XToon stands for extended toon shader) based on the articles by French researchers Pascal Barla, Joëlle Thollot and Adrien Bousseau (among others). It works as a mental ray 3.5+ shader for mental ray standalone and is compatible with Max, Maya and Softimage|XSI.

DL3D XToon shaders are available for Max 9 to 2010 and cost €30. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modelling / Animation

Changes for v3.3 include:
- Adds new modes to define the variation of plants in the distribution area
- New Scale Falloff from area splines
- Collision checking has been rewritten completely
- Distribution Map now supports all types of maps, not only bitmaps
- Items can now be rotated along any axis, not only Z
- Adds random rotation for X and Y axis
- Scattering process now is fully multithreaded using all CPU cores
- Adds Tint Color Maps including random and texture modes
- Adds new Creation Tools modes
- Scattering over complex surfaces is now possible
- And much much more. A full list of changes and fixes can be found here

The free Forest Pack Lite has also been updated to v3.3, and now has collision checking enabled as well as most of the new features (like Diversity).

Forest Pack Pro is available for Max 7 to 2010 and normally costs €250. For a limited time it is on sale for €200. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.1.6.0 are:
- Fixes several issues with loading assemblies that are blocked
- Exposes (numerous) methods throughout the SDK containing function pointers
- This will be the official build used for Zookeeper 1.0

Plugin News: Vue 8 Personal Learning Edition available

e-on software have announced the immediate availability of the Personal Learning Editions (PLE) of Vue 8 xStream and Vue 8 Infinite. The Vue 8 PLE is a fully functional version of Vue 8 xStream/Infinite, and ships with a wide selection of Vue 8 presets, as well as the complete PDF Reference Manual. You can download the Vue 8 PLE for free from

The PLE is for personal, non-commercial use only. Network rendering is disabled, and renders may be watermarked and carry a logo. Files created and saved with the PLE cannot be exchanged with other PLE users and are not compatible with other versions of Vue.

New Plugin: Utilities

FX|Cluster (FXC) is a network software making it possible to speed up rendering by splitting an animation or single frame render over multiple render nodes. FXC provides an effective queuing system with easy-to-use job management for a multi-user environment.

FX|Cluster RenderStudio is available for Max 8 to 2010 and costs €129. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Changes for v1.0 are:
- Adds support for Max 2009 and 2010 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Plugin News: Roadkill Professional for Max...

Roadkill Ltd., makers of the Maya plugin Roadkill Professional, are getting ready to release a Max version of the popular UV unwrapper. There is no information yet on when it will be released, but it will be available for Max 9 to 2010 in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

New Plugin: Modelling / Texturing

This mental ray shader pack contains a displacement shader for generating offshore ocean surfaces and foam from physical parameters such as wind speed, swell amount, etc... It is based on physical oceanography, resulting in realistic wave animation and look.

Bundled with the displacement shader is a surface shader which simulates light absorption under different lighting conditions and also handles caustics.

A real time viewport deformer plugin for Max and Maya is also included. It can be used for previsualization purposes, but also to directly represent the ocean surface.

DL3D Ocean Shader is available for Max 9 to 2010 and costs €118.40. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for SP4a are:
- Adds support for projection mapping when doing texture baking
- Adds an option to link the V-Ray VFB to PDPlayer
- Fixes turning off 'Affect specular' for dome lights making it invisible to reflections
- Fixes a crash when importing a particular .vrmesh file
- VRayFastSSS2 material with VRayDirt and a standard light with VRayShadowMap no longer crashes
- The 'prepass samples' option in the motion blur rollout now works
- Fixes stuck buckets with VRayEnvironmentFog and mesh gizmos
- Fixes issues with VRayEnvironmentFog and mesh gizmos with modifiers
- You can now remove gizmos/lights from VRayEnvironmentFog
- ParticleFlow instancing now renders all mapping channels of original mesh
- Fixes a crash with VFB region render when region is outside of image
- The option to save the DR servers to the scene is now turned off by default
- Fixes some licensing issues

V-Ray is available for Max 6 to 2010 and costs $999. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v1.1.0 are:
- New projection algorithm
- Fixes some minor bugs

InsertShape is available for Max 2008 to 2010 and costs $40. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Connection

Changes for v6.0.2.6082 (32-bit) / 6083 (64-bit) are:
- Fixes reading files with cross-sections created in 5.7 and edited in 6.0
- Fixes a crash that occurs during the cutting of objects with callouts
- Fixes HDR material not rendering in HDR ray tracer
- Fixes cross section with DirectX driver cuts world axes and Grid
- Fixes a crash when loading another file after creating callouts in a unusual manner
- Implements an option to clip callout text by ellipse/rectangle
- Fixes a crash with measurements and steps

Deep Exploration CAD Edition is available for Max 5 to 2010 and costs $2995. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modelling / Animation

Changes for v3.2.11 beta are:
- The 'Separation' parameter has been renamed to 'Radius'
- Adds local 'Radius' parameter to Geometry List items
- Fixes random scattering issues in 32 bit computers
- 32-bit and 64-bit nodes now generate similar distributions
- Creation Tools by reference now works properly with scaled objects
- Fixes Mental Ray triggering an error 'locating instance fmr_...' if current layer is hidden
- Forest Material no longer crashes in Mental Ray if base material is undefined
- Documentation has been updated

Forest Pack Pro is available for Max 7 to 2010 and normally costs €250. For a limited time it is on sale for €200. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2010.2.1 are:
- Photometric lights no longer incorrectly rotate upon import into Max

Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for v2.0 are:
- Adds support for 64-bit Max 2010
- Adds new multibrush to link TexPaint3D to any 2D editing software
- Fixes errors with the use of different 'paint-bitmaps' within the same material
- Performance is three times better than v1.6.0
- Scenes using previous versions of TexPaint3D are not recognized by v2.0

New Plugin: Import / Export

The SimLab SketchUp Importer for 3DS Max allows you to add the artistic touch to your SketchUp models in the powerful Max environment. Assign advanced materials, add 3DS objects, and create high quality renders. It also gives you access to a great variety of free high quality SketchUp models, available in the 3D Warehouse, and use them to complete your Max scenes.

The plugin is free for non-commercial use, so you can evaluate it to make sure that it works fine with your models, and that you like its quality and speed. To use the plugin commercially you need to obtain a license, which costs $75.

Site News: The new MaxUnderground is online...

In case you haven't already seen it, make sure you head over to the new version of Max Underground. Congratulations to Pablo for getting everything organised and working hard to get the new site out of the door!

Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v4.10 are:
- Installer improvements for service updates and Windows7 support
- Accuracy for certain mesh deformation calculations increased
- Soft selection options added to improve vertex based fine tuning workflow
- Adds a converter to/from Skin modifier
- License validation more responsive
- Various minor improvements

BonesPro is available for Max 9 to 2010 and costs €299. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.13 are:
- Adds support for Max 2009 and 2010 (32-bit only)
- Fixes dummy objects getting tagged as mesh nodes
- Fixes Max node name stripping

Site News: Autodesk Masters nomination

This year's Autodesk Master nominations are out and I am very honored to have been nominated along with many other people that I know (of) and respect! If you want to cast a vote (not necessarily for me :o) then head over to the Area.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.0 include:
- The Shaderlight window now has zoom and scroll capability
- Super-sampling has been further improved with the addition of Mitchell filtering
- Changes to image-based lighting improve both rendering time and quality
- The Active Photon Tracing algorithms have been improved
- Texture filtering has been improved, particularly with respect to environment textures
- MELT allocation is improved ensuring memory usage doesn't exceed available system resources
- Several bugs have been fixed to improve overall stability
- Feature-related bugs like sample rendering in the material editor have been addressed

ShaderLight is available for Max 2008 to 2010 (64-bit only) and costs $895. ArtVPS is offering a 50% discount to anyone who downloaded pre-release versions 0.1, 0.2 or 0.3. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Global Utilities

Changes for v1.0 are:
- No changes, I've just recompiled it for Max 2010 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Thanks to Last Pixel for letting me have the source code.

Plugin News: Hair Farm beta now online

Cyber Radiance have released the pre-release beta evaluation version (v0.9) of their upcoming plugin Hair Farm. It is available for Max 9 to 2010 in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavours, and you can download it here.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.1.5.5 are:
- Access has been provided to many inline static class methods previously not accessible
- HSVCallback used for interactively displaying and updating color pickers is now a pluggable type

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.0.440 include:
- Fix to ensure alterations to area lights will trigger placing of objects
- Fix to better handle decompression of corrupt image files
- Fix to handle shadow rays for triangles without materials
- Fix to mi_noise_3d_grad

Rendition is available for Max 9 to 2010 and costs $395. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.2 are:
- There are now two OgreMax Scene Exporter versions: a restricted free one and a commercial one
- Adds a feature to export the scene as a mesh
- Adds 'External Viewer' submenu to the OgreMax menu
- Adds support for 'Wire', '2-Sided' and 'Faceted' settings of a Max standard material
- Adds a setting to the Global Settings dialog to launch the external viewer after export
- Removed the 'None' External Viewer setting from the Global Settings dialog
- Modified the tolerance used for determining mesh instances
- Modified some of the 'Customize Submeshes' controls to improve usability
- The Refresh button of 'Customize Submeshes' control now only refreshes the texture coordinate sets
- Modified the installer to remove the WinViewer's settings file during uninstallation
- Fixes a bug with submesh settings being discarded
- Fixes a bug with OgreMax material user data files always being created
- Fixes a bug with submesh names being assigned to the wrong submeshes
- Fixes a bug with 'Export Selected Objects' crashing when bones are selected
- Fixes a couple of bugs with mesh merging
- Fixes a bug with 'Export Selected Objects' crashing

OgreMax is available for Max 8 to 2010 and costs $250. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.0.24 are:
- Adds a texture preview window
- Adds support for visualizing IES emitter patterns in the viewport
- Adds support for the 'use alpha' texture flag
- Layers with only an emitter (no BSDFs) now use the emitter color in the viewport
- Adds attenuation unit support for BSDFs
- Textures with 'show map in viewport' checked now use the correct UV channel
- UV channel control in the Maxwell Render bitmap now starts at 1 instead of 0
- Fixes a crash when switching to mental ray
- Fixes a crash when replacing a Maxwell material with a different kind of material
- The backface culling setting is no longer ignored for objects with Maxwell materials
- Fixes a crash when rendering a scene containing a referenced material with a missing MXM
- Non-renderable curves are no longer rendered
- Fixes IBL lighting and reflections being too bright in the high quality viewport
- Layers with no (enabled) BSDFs no longer draw garbage in the viewport
- Diffuse lighting is now correct in the high quality viewport

The Maxwell 3ds Max plugins come with Maxwell Render, which is available for Max 7 to 2010 and costs €895. A demo version is available here.

Site News: Advertising space...

As soon as work allows, I'm going to be making some changes to the site so that I can put in a leaderboard banner at the top of the page. The changes have got to be made to the backend of the site to enable statistics for the banner.

If you would be interested in advertising here, just drop me a line at the email address above.