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Plugin News  –  December 2014

Friday 19 December 2014 - 07:25

 

Plugin Update: Texturing

Changes for v6.0.2.0 are:
- Fixes a bug in CR2 export window when checking/unchecking the 'Export to runtime' option
- Updated manual with tutorials and a complete reference section
- Adds warning messages when hovering over problem areas on the object in the viewport
- Fixes text size / spacing issue in the Quick Render Options window
- Fixes a problem welding seams on OBJ files exported from Poser
- Adds support for selective welding / unwelding

Blacksmith3D is available for Max 9 to 2015 and normally costs $209.95 (Pro version) / $109.95 (Standard version). You can currently buy a license at a 40% discount (Pro version: $125.97 / Standard version: $65.97). A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for RC4 are:
- Adds a 'Texture Setup' setting which also enables 'metalness approach' settings
- Re-organized the shader network which now has an easily accessible 'Inputs' group
- Adds an 'Invert Roughness' checkbox under Tweaks
- Adds GGX specularity
- Specular/Reflection sharpness/blurriness match better when using Lys specular cube maps
- Roughness is no longer gamma corrected to better match UE4's results


Plugin Update: Modelling / Texturing

Changes for v4.3.3 are:
- Adds a new 'ForestLOD' object for defining levels of detail
- Adds a new Area->Boundary Checking mode: Edge
- Adds Areas->Z Offset parameter
- Adds Areas->Limit by Surface Material ID parameter
- Areas->Falloff Affect has been separated into Density and Scale values
- Adds Forest Tools->Data exporter to XML files
- Adds General->Disable Pop-ups option, which is global and persistent
- Geometry->Get Size from Library has been removed and is now enabled by default
- Geometry->Global Size parameters have been removed from the UI (still MAXScript accessible)
- Geometry->Use Object Dimensions has been replaced by a local Scale parameter
- Adds a new Display->Proxy model: Arrow (non-symmetrical)
- Adds Display->Disable Object parameter
- Forest Tools->Instantiate copies User Props, ObjectID and wireframe color from the source object
- Display->Use DirectX has been changed to a global and persistent value
- The installer now supports multiple Max versions
- Adds 16 new Library presets: Gravel, including detail and large scale models
- Adds materials for Corona Renderer to the Library
- Distribution->Mapping Channel is no longer reset to zero the first time scene is loaded
- Fixes a crash bug using Undo after a Surface delete
- Fixes animation and point-cloud issues from objects with zero size at frame 0
- Adds Undo support for several operations in the Geometry rollout
- Fixes a problem in Exclude areas with Inverted Falloff Curves
- Fixes issues with Distribution->Diversity Map and UV Surfaces
- Fixes a rare problem related to missing Surfaces on load
- Fixes minor issues in MAXScript functions
- Fixes a potential crash bug with Forest cloning
- Forest Color no longer ignores the status of the Override checkbox when using Tint by Element
- Adds Undo support to Geometry->Copy/Paste operations

Forest Pack Pro is available for Max 9 to 2015 and costs €200. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v7.0 include:
- VMX Integration allows interaction with private and public cloud solutions out-of-the-box
- Maya, Modo and Rhino can now use 'Jigsaw' Multi-Region Rendering
- Upgrades the database to MongoDB version 2.6
- Adds support for After Effects CC 2014, Arnold for Houdini and Cinema 4D 16
- Adds support for Corona SDK, Fusion 7, NUKE 9 and RealFlow 2014
- ftrack now integrates with Deadline to enable a seamless render and review data flow
- Multiple UI enhancements
- Adds Slave Scheduling and Idle Detection
- Artists can now see the states of Slaves running on their machines, as well as control the Slaves
- All Slaves running on the same machine now share a license
- Draft 1.2 adds support for OpenColorIO, ASC CDL LUT and Unicode as well as licensing improvements
- You can now test dependencies through the Monitor's 'Job Dependency View'
- Pool and Group Management has been streamlined
- You can now run multiple Pulses and elect one to be the Primary

Deadline is available for Max 2010 to 2015 and costs $185 per node. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v2.15 are:
- Adds the option 'Cast illumination' to emitter nodes
- The emission sampling rate can now be set to 0, excluding the emitter from direct light calculation
- Adds the option 'Surface brightness' to emitter nodes
- Removes the pins 'Fstop' and 'ISO' from the camera imager node
- Scaled exposure in the camera imager so texture environments produce the specified colour
- Fixes incorrect rendering of Fresnel reflection on glossy materials with bump/normal maps
- Fixes a kernel hang in displacement in certain situations
- Fixes 'ghosting' sometimes occurring when sub-sampling was enabled in network rendering
- Fixes a bug in network rendering that could cause slaves to crash
- Adds diffuse roughness
- Adds new 'polygon side' texture node which renders polygon front faces white and back faces black
- Replaces 'coherent mode' with a float pin 'coherent ratio'
- Fixes incorrect warning of invalid daemon sub-net
- Plugin bug fixes

OctaneRender for 3ds Max is available for Max 2010 to 2015 and costs €459. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Modelling / Animation

Changes for v3.1.0.8 are:
- Hair curling now works when applied on top of hair strips and orientation is not rotated
- Fixes a problem with curling causing flickering on hair from strips objects with moving strips
- Fixes random hair flickering when hair clustering modifier is used with other modifiers
- Texture coordinates for per-strand UVs option are now assigned correctly with hair strips

Ornatrix is available for Max 2009 to 2015 and costs $499. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v1.071 are:
- Fixes bad naming of some objects
- Improved 'Connect at' and adds some help
- Adds tooltips and undo to the symmetry tool
- Fixes 'Restore the old name rig version' on the rename tool for digits and palms
- Fixes the scale of the FK chain
- Improved compatibility with Max in languages other than English

LH | Auto-Rig is available for Max 2011 to 2015 and costs €59 (€99 for the Cartoon version).


Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.4.01.121.1217 are:
- Adds support for all of the new Thea Render v1.4 features
- Improved support for XML characters in material names
- Thea Presto rendering improvements and optimizations
- Adds support for co-operative network rendering
- Fixes the rotation issue
- Fixes an issue with glossy layers
- Fixes a problem with re-using static meshes mixed with Skin or Physique
- The Material Editor now has an RT mode

Thea for 3dsMax is available for Max 2009 to 2015 and normally costs €395. To celebrate the release of Thea Render v1.4, you can currently get a license at a 40% discount, taking the price down to €245. A demo version is available here.


New Plugin: Utilities

Bitmap Tracking/Resizing is similar to the Asset Tracker, but it opens up a lot more ways to work with bitmaps.

Features include:
- Resize selected bitmaps to 2k, 1k, 512, 256, 128, 64px and save in new folder
- Sort files by name, image width, height, file size, path or status
- Advanced methods for changing paths
- Select objects by selected bitmaps
- Select / show materials by selected bitmaps
- Copy selected to new path with path replacement or just copy files
- Copy all with path structure (similar to Max archive)
- File status in 3 colors: Found - network, Found - local, Not found
- Supports .ifl files (resize / copy / path replace)

Bitmap Tracking/Resizing is available for Max 2009 to 2015 and costs $9. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v1.5 are:
- Adds Home Grid units display for visual scale reference
- Adds a toolbar button for 'always on' refGuides info
- Adds Shift+Click on Quick tool for continuous creation
- General bugfixes and optimizations
- UI licensing dialogs update and other minor UI updates
- refGuides Info no longer displays in a separate dialog
- Licencing system now supports version upgrades

refGuides is available for Max 2013 to 2015 and costs $12.60. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.2.3 are:
- Fixes files being exported but the Keyshot.exe process not creating a window


Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v3.3 are:
- Adds set object layer for shattering when current layer is hidden
- Fixed local shatter width parameter not working for some models
- Fixes local shatter align fragments on corners
- Fixes the Voronoi modifier not being deleted after deleting all pdi entities
- Fixes anim fracture bodies failing when animated node is different than the original shape
- Fixes path based preview points missing the last knot
- Fixes weird dynamics on first play after loading a scene in Max
- Fixes force fields ignoring breakable parameters of clusters

Pull Down It Pro is available for Max 2012 to 2015 and costs €395. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Updates: 2013/14 recompiles from Adam Wierzchowski

After doing the recompiles for Max 2015 at the end of last month, Adam Wierzchowski has now recompiled all of his freeware plugins for Max 2013 and 2014 as well (64-bit only):
- Frost v1.0
- Flat Colors v1.0
- Custom Filter v1.0
- EdgyBend v1.0
- DeFocus v1.2
- SHObject v1.0
- Spherical Correction v1.0


Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v6.1.1 are:
- Fixes models moving in the wrong direction when the axis was reversed
- Backspace can now be mapped to a button in the button mapping panel
- Fixes an unhandled exception in '3Dconnexion Properties' to do with XML reserved characters
- Fixes wrong character being displayed in the 'quick macro' field in the 'Buttons' panel
- The plugin now loads automatically in Max 2014


Plugin Update: Particles / Animation

Changes for v1.65 are:
- Adds a new advanced Slice modifier

RayFire is available for Max 2011 to 2015 and costs $385. A demo version is available here.


Plugin News: 3D-KStudio Christmas discounts

Alexander Kramer is having a Christmas and New Year sale and is offering a discount of up to 30% on all of his scripts, plugins and models. The offer is valid until January 15th, 2015.

Full details and pricing can be found here.


Plugin Update: Connections

Changes for v8.0 SP2 are:
- Callouts are now saved as procedural objects
- Callouts lists are preserved now in VDS 3.1
- Rich texts are now saved as procedural objects
- Adds a 'Fly time duration' setting to the Advanced Settings
- Adds a 'Start and End Pause duration' setting to the Advanced Settings
- Adds a 'Camera Navigation mode' setting to the Advanced Settings
- Adds an 'Output Size Background' setting to the Advanced Settings
- Notes are now saved as procedural objects
- Adds rendering of Flip Label billboard mode
- Adds rendering of the billboard modes View and Lock to Viewport
- Adds minor .vds format version to allow for file format changes without breaking binary compatibility
- Adds a new 'Cannot save file' warning when VDS is opened in Streaming mode
- Adds a new Layout called 'Work Instructions'
- Windows VDS renderers have been updated to render all features
- Adds a new Turntable Camera Navigation Mode
- Various user interface enhancements
- Adds support for Max 2015
- Adds support for Maya 2015
- Various CAD importer enhancements

SAP Visual Enterprise Author is available for Max 2010 to 2015. Pricing is unknown to me at the moment.


Plugin Update: Texturing

Changes for v16.029 include:
- Workaround for a deadlock problem that could arise in 3rd-party plugins
- Fixes an overflow problem when evaluating the timer after a long period of up-time
- A full list of changes can be found here

BodyPaint 3D is available for Max 2012 to 2015 and costs $995. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v1.21 are:
- Adds saved presets as a dropdown list to switch faster
- Options are now saved on close
- Slider channels now only show your chosen lipsync morph list
- Fixes the 'h' character
- Fixes an error with empty channels in the morph channels setup section
- Fixes spacing Gap mode

Prime Automatic LipSync Tool is available for Max 9 to 2015 and costs $70. A demo version is available here.


New Plugin: Texturing

The Multi-Tile UV Bake Tool is a commercial MAXScript that allows you to bake multi-tile texture collections in Max using common naming conventions such as MARI UDIM, Mudbox or Zbrush. By default, baking textures in Max is limited to the 0,1 UV Space. Without this tool, manually exporting/baking collections is extremely time consuming and quite forbidding, especially when dealing with large tile collections.

The bake tool was developed in order to process and export multi-tile uv data sets in Max for direct use with Amplify Texture 2 in Unity Pro, as an added bonus it's a great pipeline addition if you need to take your Max projects into other Multi-Tile Based authoring tools such as MARI.

Multi-Tile UV Bake Tool is available for Max 9 to 2015 and costs $25.


Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v2.4.1 beta are:
- New Style Description shows a general description of the style, base objects and parameters
- Adds UVW XForm->Random->Step increment for defining the step of random values
- Adds more exportable parameters to Segment and Transform nodes
- Exportable parameters/attributes are now sorted by category
- Adds Clear all to Export Parameters/Attributes
- Generator->Cap Holes has been removed because of insolvable texture issues
- Instancing is no longer disabled when using features not supported by the engine
- Adds a warning message to General->Stats to inform of features incompatible with instancing
- Fixes UVW XForm->Rotation issues
- Removed incorrect warning when connecting Arithmetic node to Segment->Exported Attributes
- Nodes with exported attributes are now properly collapsed
- Expression editor now displays result if node's output is not connected
- Fixes behaviour of Segment->Flat Top/Bottom when pivot is not aligned to bottom
- Fixes Compose node bug when using Segment->Alignment other than Automatic
- Removed isolated vertices on Generator->Clipping process

RailClone Pro is available for Max 9 to 2015 and costs €190. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Atmospherics

Changes for v3.5.5 are:
- Fixes a crash bug when clicking the FumeFX menu after prolonged FumeFX use

FumeFX is available for Max 2010 to 2015 and costs $845.


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.1.148 are:
- The plugin suite is no longer commercial!

Exocortex have announced that Exocortex Crate, their Alembic suite of tools for Max, Maya, Softimage, Arnold and Python, is now open source, making it free to download, use and modify.

A full explanation and all details can be found on their blog.


Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v3.10.01 are:

New features:
- Further optimizations for render speed
- Updated to OpenEXR 2.2.0 and adds new DWA compression options to VRayOptionsRe
- Adds support for point cloud rendering in Max 2015
- Adds a built-in DMC samples calculator for VRayLight, VRayMtl and brute force GI
- Adds a .vrmesh viewer tool for previewing .vrmesh / Alembic files in a standalone OpenGL application
- Updated to Embree 2.3
- Proxies and instances can now be accelerated by Embree
- V-Ray: Adds 'GI filter multiplier' option to control texture filtering for GI rays for VRayHDRI
- V-Ray: Embree can now accelerate hair rendering for Ornatrix and HairFarm
- V-Ray: New secondary matte environment background controls reflection/refraction of matte objects
- V-Ray: When created, V-Ray will automatically load a preset named 'default' if there is one
- V-Ray RT: Adds support for Carbon Scatter
- V-Ray RT: Adds support for the V-Ray VFB for ActiveShade session
- V-Ray RT CPU: Adds support for the VRayClipper object
- V-Ray RT CPU: Adds support for Ornatrix and HairFarm rendering
- V-Ray RT GPU: Adds support for using the light cache for GPU rendering
- V-Ray RT GPU: Adds support for coherent tracing (may improve rendering performance)
- V-Ray RT GPU CUDA: Adds support for the nVidia Maxwell GPU architecture
- V-Ray RT GPU CUDA: Adds support for the VRayFastSSS2 material
- V-Ray RT GPU CUDA: Adds initial support for hair rendering with Ornatrix and HairFarm
- V-Ray RT GPU CUDA: On-the-fly GPU kernel recompilation only includes features used by the scene
- Adds the ability to dock/undock History window / Color Corrections window to the main VFB window
- Adds highlight burn color correction to the VFB
- Adds 'background image' color correction to the VFB
- Adds the ability to save multi-channel .vrimg and OpenEXR files from the VFB UI
- Adds the ability to load arbitrary file formats in the V-Ray VFB for post-processing
- Adds a new plugin VRayInstancer for instancing objects in PFlow and other particle systems
- VRayHDRI: Adds image preview in the file open dialog
- VRayHDRI: Adds controls to specify UDIM/UVTILE tiles for the preview in the material editor
- VRayScatterVolumeMtl: Greatly improved calculations and adds the ability to use the light cache
- VRayScannedMtl: Adds support for rendering of scanned real-world BRDF materials
- VRayProxy: Adds support for hair and particle instances
- VRayProxy: Adds support for subdivision objects in Alembic files using OpenSubdiv
- VRayLight: Adds a Disc light shape
- VRayLight, VRayIES, VRaySun: Adds parameters to control diff/spec contributions separately
- VRayLightSelect RE: Adds 'mode' parameter to extract the full/raw/diffuse/specular contribution
- VRayMtl: Adds the GGX BRDF model
- VRayMtl: Adds clip opacity mode option for faster rendering of trees etc
- VRayMultiSubTex: Extended with new randomized modes for choosing colors
- VRayVelocity RE: Adds include/exclude list
- ply2vrmesh: Adds export options to export specified frames to separate files
- ply2vrmesh: Adds Alembic frame offset output to the files
- ply2vrmesh: Adds option to merge two or more .vrmesh files into one
- vrimg2exr: Adds -multiPart option to save OpenEXR 2 files with each render element in its own part

Modified features:
- V-Ray: Adds an option to open the V-Ray messages window on error or warning only
- V-Ray: Adds by Object IDs selection method for Render mask
- V-Ray: Adds MAXScript access to the Trace sets include/exclude flag
- V-Ray: Adds %numPasses and %numSubdivs stamp keywords
- V-Ray: 'Camera Motion Blur' is now controlled independently from the 'Motion Blur' setting
- V-Ray: Embree is now enabled by default
- V-Ray: Improved render speed when not using any render elements
- V-Ray: Light cache 'Use for glossy rays' option is now enabled by default
- V-Ray: Hair rendering in general has been optimized
- V-Ray: Reduced memory usage for hair and particles
- V-Ray: Renamed the 'Time independent' option to 'Lock noise pattern' in the DMC sampler rollout
- V-Ray: The default GI methods are now set to Brute force/Light cache
- V-Ray: The default image sampler is now set to Progressive
- V-Ray: The image sampler parameters rollout is now unfolded by default
- V-Ray: VFB is now always cleared when doing network rendering with render mask
- V-Ray RT: Improved refresh speed
- V-Ray RT: Removed the Show Mask option from the UI
- VFB: Improved anaglyph stereoscopic preview to reduce retinal rivalry
- VFB: Improved initialization speed of the History window when lots of images are in the history
- VFB: The vfbControl MAXScript function returns values for the commands that have states
- VFB: Made the History window compliant with the Max color theme
- .vrscene exporter: Adds a combo box to select between Scene Animation/Frame range
- VRay2SidedMtl: The translucency effect can be filtered through the diffuse color of the front side
- VRayClipper: A more robust and faster algorithm is now used
- VRayDirt: Adds a 'double sided' option
- VRayDirt: The distribution parameter can now take negative values for more defined edges
- VRayFastSSS2: Adds an opacity texture slot
- VRayHairFarmMod and VRayOrnatrixMod: Faster rendering of hair
- VRayHDRI: Adds MAXScript access to the 'coords' parameters
- VRayLight: Adds the ability to display the light name in the viewport
- VRayLight: Sampling of rectangle lights is now somewhat faster
- VRayMtl: Multiple layers of glass no longer render with noise
- VRayOSLMtl/VRayOSLTex: Improved shader cache logic
- VRayOSLMtl/VRayOSLTex: Removes dependency of shader name on the shader file name
- VRayProxy: Export texture coordinates for .vrmesh preview, if preview mesh is specified
- VRayProxy: Identical proxies are automatically instantiated
- VRayProxy: Show proxy color set names in Vertex Color texture 'Channel Name' list
- VRayProxy: Show extra Alembic color channels in 'Channel Name' drop-down of Vertex Color maps
- VRayProxy: Adds support for Material ID channel when rendering with point clouds
- VRayShadow: Made the U, V, W Area shadow sizes animatable in the VRayShadows params rollout

Bug fixes:
- Progressive sampler: Adaptive image sampling based on the Noise threshold now works correctly
- Progressive sampler: Fixes a crash with region rendering and the sample rate render element
- Progressive sampler: Switch to sRGB color mapping for AA, leading to faster sampling
- Fixes crashes when building the SD tree in certain scenes
- Render mask is now exported to .vrscene files
- DR: X-Ref scenes are now transfered with DR option 'Transfer missing assets'
- Fixes incorrect depth with camera motion blur for deep image output
- Fixes a crash with 'Render to fields' enabled in Max 2012
- Fixes an unhandled exception error when rendering geometry imported from Revit
- Fixes a render crash with ProBoolean scene geometry
- Fixes slow SD tree build on many-core machines
- Fixes a Max crash when pressing 'Last VFB' button and V-Ray RT is set as Production renderer
- V-Ray: Fixes an Embree crash on AMD machines
- V-Ray: Fixes Embree crashes with specific scenes
- V-Ray: Fixes incorrect rendering of Max Populate with motion blur with Embree
- V-Ray: Fixes DR hosts saved in scene being appended to the hosts list
- V-Ray: Fixes a crash when rendering a scene with PFlow that is not generating geometry
- V-Ray: Fixes imageSampler_renderMask_texmap MAXScript property name
- V-Ray: Fixes VRayMtl's 'Affect all channels' affecting matte surfaces seen through refractive objects
- V-Ray: Fixes light leaks when rendering bump mapping on surfaces that face away from the light
- V-Ray: Fixes Render mask with Light Cache as secondary GI engine causing a darker final result
- V-Ray: Fixes a render bug when render selection mask is used on objects with Renderable off
- V-Ray: Fixes tiled EXR clipping to half-float precision
- V-Ray: Fixes wrong error message appearing when license is not found
- V-Ray: Strand index is now returned to shaders (e.g. Ox Hair)
- V-Ray RT: Adaptive image sampling based on the Noise threshold now works correctly
- V-Ray RT: Fixes progress window update
- V-Ray mesh exporter: Fixes a crash when exporting point clouds with 'lowest level point size' < 1.0
- V-Ray mesh exporter: Particle systems now export with 'Export all selected objects in a single file'
- V-Ray Toolbar: Buttons now work after Max Custom UI Layout load/reset
- VFB: Color corrections edit boxes no longer accept values without pressing enter
- VFB: Fixes a crash with Lens effects and active link to PDPlayer when an update occurs
- VFB: Fixes a lag when clicking between the VFB and other Max windows
- V-Ray Bitmap to V-RayHDRI converter: Fixes an error when converting bitmaps to tiled EXR
- V-Ray Light Lister: Fixes an issue with light temperature
- VRayBPTracer: Fixes calculation errors causing NAN results
- VRayBPTracer: Fixes a crash with particular scenes
- VRayClipper: The clipper no longer shows up in ambient occlusion
- VRayClipper: The clipper no longer affects objects from its Exclude list when hidden
- VRayClipper: Fixes an ambiguous situation with instancing, rendering the last copy only
- VRayColor: Color swatch and gamma are now displayed as Additional Params in Slate
- VRayFastSSS2: Fixes a render crash when the object has a Dent texmap for displacement
- VRayFur: Fixes fur placement on 'Selected faces' for Max 2014/2015
- VRayHDRI: Fixes EXR textures always loading as 32-bit floating point
- VRayHDRI: Fixes a crash with IFL input when saving in a material library
- VRayHDRI: Fixes Crop/Place not working
- VRayHDRI: Fixes overbright pixels occurring with specific texture values
- VRayHDRI: The texture cache size for tiled textures now works correctly for values over 2 GB
- VRayLight: Fixes incorrect rendering of Dome lights with scaling
- VRayMtl: Fixes the Self-illumination multiplier value not being taken into account
- VRayOSLTex: Fixes a crash when used as an environment texture
- VRayPhysicalCamera: Tilt/Shift parameters are now reflected in the viewport when loading a scene
- VRayProxy: Fixes viewport select on preview meshes that fall outside the render-mesh bounding box
- VRayProxy: Fixes a crash when opening a scene containing a proxy created from an empty group
- VRayProxy: Fixes incorrect UVW coordinates with point clouds
- VRaySkinMtl: Fixes textured scatter radiuses not being taken into account
- img2tiledexr: Alpha channel is no longer created if there isn't one in the input image
- img2tiledexr: Fixes wrong pixel aspect in the output image

Here's a great video showing a load of the new features listed above.

V-Ray is available for Max 2011 to 2015 and costs $1040. A demo version is available here.


Plugin News: New Fabric for Max beta

Fabric Software Inc. have released a new beta of their upcoming plugin Fabric for Max. The Fabric Engine is an extensible, open and fast development framework that helps visual effects and games studios reduce the cost and risk of building custom tools.

If you are a programmer or a technical artist, you can apply to join the beta test.


Plugin News: Blacksmith3D December discount...

For the whole of December, Blacksmith3D are offering a 40% discount on their texture painting suite Blacksmith3D Pro / Standard. For that time, the Pro version only costs $125.97 and the Standard version costs $65.97.
More details can be found here.

Blacksmith3D is available for Max 9 to 2015 and normally costs $209.95 (Pro version) / $109.95 (Standard version). A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v0.3.12 are:
- Adds support for Max 2015
- Adds support for IndigoSDK 3.8.19
- Fixes a crash when rendering an empty MultiScatter object


Plugin News: Xmas offer from Artur Leão

Artur Leão is running an Xmas discount on most of his plugins, meaning that up until December 25th 2014 you can get Channel Shifter, Voxel Creator, mScrub and FumeFX Submitter for just €1 each (they normally cost €5 each).
All you need to do is use the code XMAS2014 when checking out.


Plugin News: Xmas offer on GrowFX

Exlevel are running a Christmas and New Year offer on their plugin GrowFX. Until January 15th 2015, you can get a license for $227.50 instead of $325 (that's a 30% discount).
Full details can be found here.

GrowFX is available for Max 9 to 2015 and currently costs $227.50. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v1.07 are:
- Improved compatibility with Max 2015
- Fixes a display bug in Max 2015 when there is no Frame 0
- Improved spine and curves
- Adds interactive auto-hide for IK/FK
- Adds undo on FK/FK options
- Fixes a display bug with stretch on FKChain
- Changes some forms for more visibility
- Adds messages and options to lock/unlock the shapes

Additional changes to the Cartoon rig:
- Adds scale parameters to StretchBend
- Adds an option to limit StretchBend
- Fixes a bug in StretchBend

LH | Auto-Rig is available for Max 2011 to 2015 and costs €59 (€99 for the Cartoon version).


Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v1.0.12 are:
- The Laubwerk Browser is now faster
- Fixes incorrect UV's in 3 plant models
- Adds support for the Corona Renderer in Max
- Adds support for more Undo operations in Max
- The Laubwerk Browser is now multithreaded and caches thumbnails
- Adds support for Python 2.6 (Windows)
- Adds Houdini Player beta (Windows) to the Plants Kit installer
- Adds Czech localization for the Plugin Player and all Plants Kits in Cinema 4D
- Adds preliminary support for the Corona Renderer in Cinema 4D
- Improved file handling with Team Renderer in Cinema 4D
- Improved handling of plant objects in animations in Cinema 4D
- Fixes a bug in the Cinema 4D Mac installer that delivered 1.0.10 binaries with 1.0.11
- Fixes a bug that could cause Cinema 4D to freeze when adding plants using layer selection

Laubwerk Plants Kit 1, 2, 3 and 4 are available for Max 2010 to 2015 and cost €149 each. A demo version is available here.


New Plugin: Modelling

Laubwerk Plants are your easy way to use high quality, botanically approved plants with multiple variations, ages and seasons in your 3D application. Visual plant library browsing, a wide range of Level of Detail Options and much more comes through the bundled Laubwerk Player, a piece of software that brings the plant dataset to life.

Plants Kit 5 includes the following temperate coniferous trees: Colorado White Fir, Korean Fir, Japanese Larch, Norway Spruce, Colorado Blue Spruce 'Glauca', Shore Pine, Eastern White Pine, Scots Pine, Common Yew and Western Red Cedar 'Atrovirens'.

The Laubwerk Player provides quick visual access to the plant library on your computer, automatic generation of default materials, dynamic control for level of detail. You get multiple viewport drawing options (like a simple hull shape or a skeleton) for quick and feedback and low memory footprint while editing the scene and generates the fully detailed model dynamically at render time.

Laubwerk Plants Kit 5 is available for Max 2010 to 2015 and costs €149. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.0.1106 are:
- Bug-fixes

Simplygon Cloud Pro is available for Max 2012 to 2015 and costs $100 per month or $1000 per year. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for Alpha v7.2 are:
- Extends the period of use, it will work until 28.2.2015
- 100% compatibility with Alpha 7.1
- Combining Alpha7.1 with Alpha7.2 in DR/backburner/renderfams is not a problem
- Uses the new logo


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.9.31.0 are:
- Animation studio icons and resource file now always get into the Animation Studio distribution
- Fixes a potential crash in orient node in the editor
- GrannyDumpSettings now prints an error if called on something other than a .ges file
- Fixes backward morph target asserts triggered by meshes with too many morph targets
- Disables aggressive error when an animation doesn't drive every morph target in a mesh
- Adds 64-bit iOS (arm64) support
- Allows clearing animation node scalar and morph tracks by setting them back to empty
- Fixes a memory leak when clearing an animation node event name
- Fixes a performance drop when drawing sliders with a large range using integer clamping

Granny Exporter is available for Max 2009 to 2015, and is part of the Granny Toolkit which costs $17,500.


Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v1.5.7 are:
- Fixes 3dCutout affecting the Max recent file list
- Fixes a UI loading error

3dCutout is available for Max 2011 to 2015 and costs €200. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Modelling / Texturing

Changes for v4.3.2 beta are:
- Adds Areas->Z Offset
- Area->Boundary Checking->Edge mode is now only computed at render time
- Fixes a bug with Areas->Size mode introduced with v4.3.1
- Areas->Edge mode is not affected by Geometry->Collision Radius, but Size mode is
- Areas->Surface Mat.ID now accepts comma or space delimited values
- Fixes animation and point-cloud issues from objects with zero size at frame 0
- Adds Undo support for several operations in the Geometry rollout

Forest Pack Pro is available for Max 9 to 2015 and costs €190. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Modelling / Animation

Changes for v3.1.0.7 are:
- Curls magnitude now depends on strand length to longest strand ratio
- The surface comb modifier now caches per-vertex sink directions in local space of each mesh face
- Fixes a crash when rendering with V-Ray
- Fixes an error when rendering Ox Hair map with V-Ray
- Fixes a crash in the demo version when saving and 'Hair from Strips' object is used
- Fixes a crash with the last two builds when rendering with Maxwell Render
- Fixes an Ornatrix toolbar error when using 'Guides on Spline' button with a shape object
- Fixes an Ornatrix toolbar error when using 'Guides from Guide mesh' button on a non-mesh object

Ornatrix is available for Max 2009 to 2015 and costs $499. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v3.0.1 are:
- No exporter updates, but the 3D Engine is now completely free


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.3.0.0 are:
- Fixes a bug related to global language

WebGL Exporter is available for Max 2014, currently I have no idea of pricing. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v2.03.35 are:
- Adds the ability to render the preview as .png with alpha channel
- Fixes an issue with picking the target object for painting after merging
- Adds the ability to set a custom path to database files
- Adds the ability to send a license update request from Windows

Project Manager is available for Max 2010 to 2015 and costs $75. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Atmospherics / Animation

Changes for v2015 are:
- Adds a new photometric sunlight model
- Adds support for Max 2015
- Adds support for Maya 2015
- Adds support for Softimage 2015
- Adds support for Cinema 4D up to R16
- Adds support for LightWave up to version 11.6
- Adds support for V-Ray 3.x for Max

Ozone is available for Max 2009 to 2015 and costs $370. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Updates: 2015 recompiles from Adam Wierzchowski


Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v4.5 are:
- Fixes bugs in the regenerate members functionality of Parametric array node
- Improved controller library performance when collecting controllers from the scene
- Surface controller can now work under variable override controller
- 'Filter array' can now filter Reference array nodes
- Property setter options are now available when the controller is off
- Fixes bugs in the update selected members function
- The Para link controller can now access the attribute holders
- Fixes a problem assigning the linear controller to an explode node
- Improved Compound object functionality
- Fixes a bug in the Snapshot and loop parameter
- Fixes a problem with reference arrays in arrays with more than one dimension

This upgrade only works on Parameric Array v4.4. If you don't have v4.4 installed do not install this upgrade.

Parametric Array is available for Max 2011 to 2015 and normally costs $150. Until January 31st 2015 you can get a license for $105. A demo version is available here.


New Plugin: Objects

This helper plugin is designed to provide added flexibility to plugins that make use of object proximity for determining influence upon another object. Examples of plugins that benefit from this are pMorph and SplineTools, also from Boomer Labs.

Plugin developers are encouraged to contact Boomer Labs if they wish to add Influence Helper support to their plugins as well.


New Plugin: Modelling

SplineTools delivers a collection of 6 spline related tools and enhancements for use in Max.

Freehand Spline
This new Spline Type allows the user to draw splines in the viewport 'freehand' with knots automatically added.

NormalizeSpline2
An enhancement to the standard Normalize Spline, it provides a number of advanced options including the ability to specify knot count as well as optionally retain nearby knots within a certain tolerance. This tool also adjusts soft selection values.

PathDeform2
An extensive update to PathDeform. Most notably, it operates in Object-Space such that the modified object conforms the selected spline path. Options include the ability to animate the twist along the path of the spline as well having the deformed object adopt the Material ID of the underlying spline.

ReSpline
A high quality knot reduction tool that will optimally reduce the number of knots and adjust their handles in such a way as to reproduce the original spline as closely as possible.

Spline Influence
Allows soft selection of spline knots based on proximity to other objects in the scene, which is useful for applying subsequent modifiers selectively across the spline.

Spline Relax
Smooths out spline knots and/or their associated handles.

SplineTools is available for Max 2010 to 2015 (64-bit only) and normally costs $95. For a limited time (until the end of the year) you can get a license for $80. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.8.0 alpha are:
- Adds FLSL / Shader3D multiple outputs for MRT and AGAL2 (experimental)
- Improved FLSLMaterial compilation
- Improved F3DLoader, minor refactoring and improvements
- Adds an Animated Scroll Map filter to the IDE
- Adds an Animated Sprite Sheet filter to the IDE
- Adds a Normal Map Ex filter to the IDE
- Adds a Triplanar Map filter to the IDE
- Adds 'File Menu / Build Scene As' which builds the current scene into an F3D
- Adds Project Panel: 'Build As...' on right click menu for 3D objects
- Null texture resources is now a shared texture
- Project Panel: Builds now only includes the needed references, not the entire package
- Fixes wrong scale when adding children Pivot3D instances to MeshBatch3D class
- Fixes a bug when importing mirrored surfaces
- The FLSL Panel build button now works properly
- Fixes wrong compiler errors in the FLSL Panel when building the shaders
- The current file name is now set properly when swiching files
- Fixes invalid texture data causing a crash when building an F3D
- Removed export for web, android and ios filters from the Project Panel
- Removed the mount package option from the Project Panel

Flare3D is available for Max 2009 to 2015 and costs $496. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v1.3 are:
- Fixes some errors when vertices are positioned across the spline

miauu's Spline Deformer is available for Max 2009 to 2015 and costs €7.


Site News: Available for contract work...

This is my monthly news entry to let people know that I am always available for 3D work (I don't just run this site, and I don't earn any money from it).

My main areas of work are commercials, industrial and technical animation, as well as programming and scripting. All of the relevant information can be found on my other site Animation Design, along with some videos of my work to give you an idea of what I can do. So if I can help out at all, just let me know.


Site News: Calling all freeware plugin developers

If you are a plugin developer with source code for plugins that you don't develop anymore, it would be great if you could get in touch with me. I would be glad to recompile as many old plugins as possible to stop them from disappearing for ever. Just mail me to let me know what sort of stuff you've got.

On a side note, this is how the Messiah:studio plugins got recompiled for Max 9 to 2012, as well as all of the Sisyphus plugins, so it's worth sending stuff my way :o)

Dave


Site News: News Archives

The news from previous months can be accessed by clicking on the 'Plugin news archive' link in the menu.