MAX News Archive

Archived Plugin News  –  November 2010

Plugin News: Announcing Stripes...

Mankua have released a load of information on an upcoming plugin code-named Stripes. Stripes, which is currently in alpha testing, is a unique suite of plugins and applications developed to add Ptex support to Max.

The plugins for Max comprise a utility to create, bake and export Ptex files, a modifier which applies an automatic UV channel to a PolyMesh object, and a texture that reads a Ptex file and renders it as a color and bump channel. The texture plugin currently works with the Scanline renderer, and mental ray support is planned in the near future.

The texture painting application supports the Ptex image file format, providing 2 painting modes, 3D painting and projection painting. Features like painting with patterns and stencils, and the use of layers to compose large textures provide huge versatility to artists optimizing their painting work flow.

If you would be interested in becoming a beta-tester, then head over to this page and apply.

The commercial release of Stripes is planned for the first quarter of 2011.

Plugin Update: Particles / Animation

Changes for v5.0.3.0190 include:
- API: activateEventsScript() and loadEventsScript() functions now work
- API: scene.setFps(0) no longer crashes RealFlow
- API: fixes a crash when adding new sphere / hemisphere primitives with excessive detail
- API: Scene::paint() function is now implemented in C++ SDK
- API: 'getNearestPointToObject' function in the 'PB_Particle' class now works properly
- SDK: the 'rotateAroundAxis' function now works properly
- SDK: the function 'onSimulationFrame' is no longer called when the object is inactive
- SDK: fixes a crash with 'getAdjoiningFacesToFace()' and 'getAdjoiningFacesToVertex()' functions
- SDK: per vertex normal is now set when using getGeometry() for meshes
- Caronte: fixes bugs related to serialization
- Caronte: improvements in deterministic behaviour
- Caronte: higher velocity working with network storage
- Caronte: reduction of files size on disk
- Caronte: better parallelization
- Caronte: the Rigid / Joints solver are more stable and precise
- Caronte: fixes a problem with rasterization processes
- Bullet mode is no longer disabled after a reset
- Fixes strange behaviour with dynamics in Caronte
- Command Line '-useCache' option now works for rigid and soft bodies
- OBJ object files now export normals and texture coordinates
- OBJ geometry can now be exported as a sequence
- Imported OBJ files now read texture coordinates
- RealFlow no longer crashes when using 16-bit tiff images
- RMB no longer allows interactions on Simulate or Build Mesh
- Grid displacement now just reads cache data in cache mode
- RealFlow now frees memory used to load displacement images during playback
- Fixes the Pxy format in grid-based fluids
- Speeds up generation of secondary elements from grid domains in cache mode
- Fixes contextual help in the batch script editor
- Fixes some missing attributes in Particle Tooltips
- Splash is now generated immediately when starting the simulation from a specific frame
- Foam simulation and grid simulation are now synchronised even in cache mode
- Fixes a bug with grid foam from a cached grid splash always being active
- Fixes a problem with foam being generated outside boundaries
- Speeds up scrubbing in the time line when using a 'Foam Texture'
- Fixes a problem with the Job Manager not applying Path Translation Rules properly
- Mass and volume are now modified for multibodies when changing the 'Scale>Geometry Scale'
- Speeds up loading scenes where a multibody has many objects
- RW Particle Interaction parameters are now duplicated when cloning an emitter
- The parameter '@ friction' in RW Particle Interaction panel now works
- Python API: fixes a problem with the constant EXPORT_SCENE_CACHE_BDC
- Python API: setParameter for List type parameters now allows the list index
- Python Master script now expands tabs as blankspaces correctly
- Fixes several Python Scene functions not returning an error message
- Fixes a banding problem when RealWave resolution is greater than wave quality
- Standard particle attributes are now set properly to new 'filling' particles in the Sheeter daemon
- Modifying a script in Simulation Events > Tree simulation window now updates in the windows tab
- Fixes an RF crash when doing a particluar undo/redo action
- View > 'Show Preview Caption' status is now saved on RealFlow exit
- Renaming nodes which appear several times in Exclusive Links now works properly
- Fixes a bug when using the MMB to drag&drop nodes to Global Links
- Fixes the XML Export form OK button sometimes incorrectly being disabled
- 'importFromXML' with rename flag = True no longer has a limit for renaming actions

RealFlow is available for Max 7 to 2011 and costs €2995. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modelling / Texturing

Changes for v1.1.05 are:
- Adds support for V-Ray 2.0

MultiScatter is available for Max 2008 to 2011 and costs €200.

Plugin Update: Modelling / Texturing

Changes for v2.5.9a are:
- Adds support for V-Ray 2.0

VRayScatter is available for Max 9 to 2011 and costs €150. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.3.6 are:
- Adds a normals setting to both the object and scene settings
- Adds support for the camera's orthographic window size
- Adds extra logic to remove the ':' character when generating mesh file names
- Adds extra logic to force the GlobalSettings XML file to exist after Max is closed
- Adds support for diffuse map alpha blending on standard Max materials
- Updated Ogre 1.7.x build to use Ogre 1.7.2
- Modified the OgreMax pass behavior to force transparent sorting if enabled
- The OgreMax texture unit conversion now uses the individual PRS components
- Moved the 'skeleton name' text box to the 'Mesh Animations' page
- The 'Always Export Skeleton' checkbox is now a combo box with more options
- Modified the 'Always Export Poses' checkbox on the 'Mesh' object settings dialog
- Fixes a bug that caused a crash when copying animated bitmaps during export
- Fixes non-absolute bitmap file names not being found during export

OgreMax is available for Max 8 to 2011 and costs $250. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.7.1.23917 are:
- Fixes 'dissapearing objects' bug when expanding a layer in newly loaded scene
- Fixes error message on attaching multiple polygon objects to another object
- Fixes a treeview update problem after undoing/redoing attaching of polygon objects
- Fixes layer displaying 'deleted' nodes after node creation is undone
- Fixes layer not showing expand button after first node is added to it
- Fixes nested layer propagating property states not being saved with the scene
- Anchor is now created as soon as ZK is opened
- Upgraded to Max.Net 1.2.7

Zookeeper is available for Max 2009 to 2011 and costs $249. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modelling / Texturing

Changes for v2.1 are:
- RFRK_Mesher can now import/export meshes
- Adds relax/tension filters to RFRK_Mesher
- Adds optimization to RFRK_Mesher
- Adds clipping to RFRK_Mesher
- Adds memory and threads control to RFRK_Mesher
- RFRK_Particler can now render geometry on demand (mentalray only)
- RFRK_Particler animation curves can control particle size according to magnitude
- Adds RFRK_Cloud, a tool for rendering volumetric data
- Adds RFRK_Displacement, a tool for rendering displacement maps
- Adds core/splash filter per sequence setting to RFRK_Mesher
- Adds radius per sequence setting to RFRK_Mesher
- All particle magnitudes available for rendering transferred to the mesh
- Adds smoothing to RFRK_Mesher
- RFRK_Mesher is now multi-threaded
- RFRK_Particler animation curves can control particle size using camera distance
- RFRK_Particler adds multipoint technology to increase particle count at render time

RealFlow RenderKit is available for Max 2009 to 2011 and costs $500. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Texturing

Changes for v2.1.0b are:
- You can now select the resolution of used textures (High / Medium)
- Minor interface changes
- The number of materials has decreased, but the quality is now higher
- You can leave the old version installed and still install v.2.1.0
- Adds a lot of new materials and presets
- Compatible with V-Ray 2.0

V-Ray Material Presets Pro is available for Max 2009 to 2011 and costs €75.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v1.0.3 are:
- The 'Optimize' parameter of the spline is considered for bending
- The 'Extract Segment' operation now works properly
- Library: Fixes material of marking lines

RailClone is available for Max 9 to 2011 and normally costs €200. For a limited time it is being offered at a 25% discount (€150). A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v0.4 Beta 13895 are:
- Bug-fixes

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for Build 20101111 are:
- Fixes a bug in the installer

Shader Utilities Pro is available for Max 2009 to 2011 and costs €149. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v0.4.5d alpha are:
- Fixes several problems with timers
- Adds Fedora 14 and MacOSX 10.6 support
- Optimized the rendering speed (approx. 2% faster)
- The Linux standalone renderer is now installed in /opt/ratGPU-versionXXX-arch
- Fixes some potential problems due to assert failures under Linux
- Fixes a problem unloading the OpenCL's compiler which caused random crashes
- CPU OpenCL devices are now listed as well
- Fixes a bug in the Max renderer that caused the process to stay in the task manager
- The Max plugins are now installed in the 'plugins' folder instead of in 'stdplugs'
- Adds the Max version to the plugin names to avoid problems
- The Max renderer no longer stores the ignored device list in the .max file
- Fixes a discrepancy between the CPU renderer and the GPU renderer
- Drops OpenMP in favour of TBB to avoid incompatibilities with MacOSX
- Recompiled using the latest libraries

Plugin News: Prototype of a new skin modifier

Morten Goder has posted a prototype version of a new skin modifier called MeshSkin which works with editable meshes. Vertex selection sets inside the editable mesh can be directly used with the skin modifier in order to adjust the weights according to the selected bones. He has also added a vertex selection modifier which enhances the workflow of the skin modifier.

At the moment this really is just a prototype, it hasn't been tested in a production environment, and it isn't very easy to use.

Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for v2.1 are:
- Fixes a crash that sometimes occurred when pressing the 'Assign' button

Updated 17.11.2010: added the changes to this version.

New Plugin: Modelling

Power SubD-NURBS can quickly and accurately convert sub-division models into a NURBS based format that can easily interface with CAD systems or CAD applications. This allows you to combine the conceptual design process of sub-division modelling with the engineering, analysis, and manufacturing design process of NURBS based CAD operations.

Power SubD-NURBS also features a new licensing model where you use credits to pay for each translation, so that you get exactly what you pay for. If you use it a lot, you pay more. If you use it less, you pay less. The base license comes with 200 credits, and the plugin show you how many credits a translation will cost before doing the actual translation.

Power SubD-NURBS is available for Max 2009 to 2011 and costs $295 (including 200 credits). A demo version is available here.

New Plugin: Renderers

ratGPU is a free OpenCL ray tracing renderer. Currently it only works with Max 2010 and 2011, but Maya support is also planned. It should work with any NVIDIA GeForce 8 (or above) or ATI Radeon 5XXX with at least 512MB of VRAM. You also need an internet connection because it contains an update system that is under development and needs testing.

This current Alpha will expire in January, 2011.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v3.3.6 beta are:
- Adds a new Points-Cloud display mode
- The new Max.Items parameter replaces the viewport Display->Simplification Level
- Improved scattering speed when using camera clipping
- Adds V-Ray 2.0 beta support
- The Surface->Auto feature now works properly with animated surfaces
- Collision info in Forest Stats window now shows correct results
- The current distribution is now preserved when changing to Custom Edit mode
- Empty meshes no longer trigger an error when used with Collisions

Forest Pack Pro is available for Max 7 to 2011 and costs €200. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.2.7.0 are:
- More methods and properties exposed
- Adds static GlobalInterface

MaxDotNet is available for Max 9 to 2011 and costs $675 for commercial use. For non-commercial use the plugin is free. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.7.0.22457 are:
- All rename boxes now span the view's width
- The rename box in tree view now appears correctly when in multi-pane mode
- Node order now updates in TV when nodes are sorted by name and a node is renamed outside of ZK
- New objects can now be added to tree layers and parent objects that are collapsed
- Adds an option to highlight selected scene node instances in tree views
- The biped filter now works
- You can now drop view and composite nodes into the composite templates palette
- Fixes a rare layer expand nodes error due to NullReferenceException

Zookeeper is available for Max 2009 to 2011 and costs $249. A demo version is available here.

Plugin News: V-Ray 2.0 final beta has started

Chaos Group have announced that the final beta for V-Ray 2.0 has started. The beta program is open to all V-Ray users who have already upgraded to the new version, Chaos customers who own the 'Three in One' bundle, as well as all those who have preordered V-Ray 2.0.

V-Ray 2.0 is due to be released on the 6th of December, 2010. Full details on pricing and upgrade pricing can be found here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v3.1 are:
- Adds support for mesh-only export
- Frame lists can now contain ranges of frames
- Adds the ability to skip GL commands
- QTiP can now use all of the image file formats supported by Max
- The help dialog now has a link to the QTiP tutorial and an email link to report bugs
- Load Palette can now use the Photoshop ACT format
- Adds texture oversampling to expand the usable image area in the exported texture

QTiP Pro is available for Max 9 to 2011 and costs $25. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Connection

Changes for v9.0 include:
- New flicker reduction algorithms
- Animated ecosystems with EcoSystem 4
- Relighting lets you adjust the lighting of the scene after the render completes
- Vue 9 renders up to 30% faster than previous versions
- Interactive network rendering
- A vastly improved Terrain Editor
- HDR multi-pass rendering
- New HyperBlob technology
- Adds support for custom interfaces
- Auto-saving and scene snapshots
- and much much more... a full list of new features can be found here

Vue 9 xStream is available for Max 7 to 2011 and costs $1495. Updates from Vue 8 xStream cost $395, and updates from Vue 7 xStream cost $795. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v6.20 are:
- Improved support for Arch & Design, Architectural, Mental Ray and V-Ray materials
- Fixes ArchVision RPC export failing with some RPC plugin versions
- Fixes some problems with non-smooth navigation
- Sliders in View Settings / Stereo settings now work properly
- Fixes a problem with rendering instanced objects
- Light point size now works correctly
- Fixes a problem where Extreme and NavPro crash when shutting down
- Multiple views on a single PC no longer crash Extreme
- The 64-bit installers no longer allow installation on a 32-bit OS
- Force/Torque of an ODE joint is now shown in the TextDial during session playback
- Fixes Modelview only working in scenes that use small units
- Fixes a problem with setting the visibility of a loading XRef
- Adds a search/replace system for changing properties on multiple objects
- You can now use strings to indicate registers in Navigator Pro
- Fixes a problem where ODE wire didn't create geometry
- Exporting baked multi-sub materials in a shell material no longer fails
- Translator statistics about meshes in the log file are now correct

VR4MAX is available for Max 6 to 2011 and costs €1100. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Atmospherics / Animation

Changes for v2.1a are:
- Multiple Scattering no longer causes flickering on few grid voxels
- FumeFX SL would sim only from frame 0 to 100, this has been fixed
- Smoke and Fire render elements saved to .exr format are no longer clamped
- Negative light multiplier no longer crashes Max
- Negative light multiplier no longer creates random color artifacts
- Illumination fix for finalRender versions older than 3.5
- Improved Preview Window redrawing

FumeFX is available for Max 9 to 2011 and costs $845.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v0.1 are:
- Adds support for Max 2008, 2010 and 2011 (32-bit only)

Plugin Update: Modelling / Texturing

Changes for v2.5.9a are:
- Fixes a rare problem with registration on a RAID system

VRayScatter is available for Max 9 to 2011 and costs €150. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2011.5 are:
- Adds support for the Softimage 2011 Advantage Pack
- Adds support for the Max 2011 Advantage Pack
- Adds support for the Maya 2011 Advantage Pack
- Softimage FBX plugin now uses the latest FBX library (2011.3)
- Drops support for Max 2008
- Adds a geometry cache (nCache implementation) to Softimage -> FBX
- Adds curve support to Softimage -> FBX import and export
- Adds a time control option to Softimage -> FBX import
- Fixes a crash trying to export a plotted XSI shape head with LipSync
- When exporting from Softimage to FBX, the scale factor is no longer always 10
- Fixes Softimage hanging indefinitely when exporting an object with SSS compound to FBX
- You no longer need to set the frame rate before loading a cache file in Softimage

Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for v3.01 are:
- Fixes the Tile map requiring a manual update to show up correctly after loading scene
- Adds a version tag to the coordinate rollout so you can see which version you are running

Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v3.1.2 are:
- Fixes a serious bug which caused a crash during the rigging process

MadCar is available for Max 2008 to 2011 and costs €200.

Plugin Update: Modelling / Animation

Changes for v1.2.3 are:
- Adds new Cluster ID Channels which, like UVW channels, can be assigned to multiple channels
- Hair Farm Renderer now supports Flat Mirror and Reflect/Refract maps in Buffer mode
- Adds a new modifier: HairStyle Scale
- Matte/Shadow material can now be used with hair
- Adds V-Ray support for Hair Farm render elements alpha, z-depth, and velocity
- Adds a new utility to remove all Hair Farm tools from the scene
- HairMesh Sim now has 'out of range' switches
- HairMesh Sim can now initialize the hair mesh shape at any desired time step
- HairMesh Sim can now continue a previously computed simulation
- HairMesh Sim now has a floating window with Start Simulation and Edit buttons
- HairMesh Brush now has a 'Show Direction Colors' option
- Toon diffuse for Hair Material Realistic
- HairToPoly / HairToInstances can assign different mat. IDs to each hair strand or group
- Hair Generate thickness variation is now linked to length variation
- When hair is converted to a spline object, the spline thickness value is automatically set
- Hair Farm's render elements Shadow and Hair can now smooth certain sharp shadow edges
- New Invert parameter in the Apply To rollout applies the modifier to the inverse selection
- Performance optimizations for Hair Farm materials and maps
- Various fixes and user interface improvements

Hair Farm is available for Max 9 to 2011 and costs $699.95. A demo version is available here.

Plugin News: V-Ray 2.0 pre-orders...

Chaos Group has started taking pre-orders for V-Ray 2.0, which will be officially released on December 6th. Between now and release day, you will be able to pre-order or upgrade at a special promotional price. Chaos Group will also allow pre-order customers and early upgraders to take part in the V-Ray 2.0 beta program, which will be opening on November 8th, 2010.

As if that wasn't enough, they have also released a more detailed list of V-Ray 2.0 features, which you can find here (PDF). If you are interested in upgrading or pre-ordering, the upgrade price list can be found here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.2 are:
- Adds support for SketchUp 8
- You can now import models as a single object with multiple materials, or as multiple objects
- Adds control over the scale of the SketchUp model

SketchUp Importer is available for Max 2009 to 2011 and costs $75. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.6.9.22220 are:
- Object groups can now be grouped in tree view (to create nested groups)
- Assigning a scene node's object slot as cluster input no longer causes an error
- Fixes an error on creating and opening some cluster templates
- Nodes created from cluster templates now have external ports visible by default
- Merging another scene in now properly merges layer groups and layers
- Fixes a crash when resetting/opening a scene after merging two scenes together

Zookeeper is available for Max 2009 to 2011 and costs $249. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.23 include:
- Max 2010 version moved from max9 plugin to the new max12 plugin
- Adds support for multi/sub-object materials
- Adds unsigned byte normalised and unsigned short normalised as export data types
- Fixes Camera and Light rotations
- Adds a feedback dialog box to the Maya and Max plugins
- The exporters now correctly write the 'index animations' option to file
- Fixes a recently introduced bug where the 4th bone index and weight would be garbage
- Updated documentation to reflect recent changes

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v2.3 are:
- Adds support for Max 2011 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.0 are:
- Adds support for Max 2010 and 2011 (32-bit only)