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Plugin News  –  October 2016

Saturday 22 October 2016 - 15:27


Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for Alpha 3 are:
- Adds support for render elements
- Adds support for separate diffuse/reflection bump maps
- Adds sampling options

Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v1.02 are:
- Walkers can now be created walking towards an object using the new subrollout 'Face to Object'
- Walkers can now be rotated in local coordsys (relative to their origin)
- Editing a path now affects character positions in real time
- The number of simulation frames can now be changed in the rollout
- Fixes a bug for idle characters facing an object or rotating following a path
- Performance enhancements

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v3.03.4-4.21 are:
- Fixes a crash when exporting huge Octane Proxy files
- Improves the Octane Proxy Export dialog

OctaneRender is available for Max 2013 to 2017 and costs $619. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for Alpha 3.06 are:
- Multiple importance sampling is now enabled for a scene's environment map
- Updates internal Cycles code to parity with Blender 2.78
- Emission shader strength map is now multiplied by the strength scalar value
- NVIDIA Pascal cards are now supported for CUDA renders (GTX 10-series)
- Adds support for Max 2017's Physical Sun and Sky environment
- Depth-of-field is now supported through Max's Physical Camera
- Adds new 'Multiscatter GGX' distribution for glossy, glass, and anisotropic shaders
- Adds new node graph editor nodes: Input -> Tangent, Input -> Texture Coordinate
- Adds a new shader graph Slate material that can use up to 16 texmaps
- Environment maps no longer render with incorrect gamma
- The hair shader now has UV-based tangents set by default
- Fixes broken buttons in the Cycles Shader parameter rollout

New Plugin: Animation

The Realtimer plugin allows you to capture your object manipulations as an animation with the ability to change smoothness and speed. You can record it slower for more accuracy or you can make it faster to be a timelapse.

Realtimer Pro is available for Max 2010 to 2017 and costs $29.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v1.6 are:
- When starting Polyline Pro the SNAP to 3D is now turned ON automatically

Polyline Pro is available for Max 2010 to 2017 and costs €20.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.5 are:
- New Interactive LightMix lets you adjust intensity and color of lights during / after rendering
- Modifies the GGX BRDF in the CoronaMtl to offer the full glossiness range
- New VFB image processing: bloom, glare, filmic tone mapping, LUTs, saturation, vignette
- New Corona Distance Map generates a color gradient based on the distance to another object
- Pre-processing of displacement has been improved giving a speedup of 8 times faster or more
- New Corona Scatter Lister script that lists all CScatter objects and lets you adjust them
- New CoronaVrWarp helper object lets you create warps for the Corona VR app directly inside Max
- The CoronaCameraMod can now render to cubemap format
- CoronaMtls can now be displayed directly in the viewport
- Making refraction glossy no longer darkens the material
- Adds an option to denoise individual render elements
- A new checkbox for each render element allows you to enable Denoising for that element
- Adds a temporal consistency option to Corona Scatter
- CoronaOutput map has new controls: brightness, saturation, contrast
- Non-color mapped render elements are now saved linearly in EXR format
- Adds partial support for Max ART Renderer's Physical Material
- Lowers the memory footprint when using more than 255 lights
- Unchecking the Cast Shadows property now has a more consistent effect
- Improves parsing of scenes with a lot of Scatter instances by about 50%
- New contrast algorithm that works very similarly to Photoshop
- Contrast can now have negative values that lower the original image contrast
- Color Tint is now accessible from the VFB
- Corona Proxy Exporter has been updated to version 0.96
- Corona Converter Script has been updated to version 1.29
- Depth of Field is now disabled for free views, for smoother workflow in interactive rendering
- Scatter in density mode is now always limited by the total count
- CoronaMix map now has a checkbox to select whether it works in linear or sRGB space
- Adds many new modes to CoronaMix map
- Displaying any submap inside LayeredMtl/RaySwitchMtl in the viewport now works
- Adds an option to the CoronaRaySwitchMtl to change which material is displayed in the viewport
- Resetting Max now resets Corona's render regions
- VFB History item names are now editable
- Optimizes material editor refreshing when material preview parameters are changed
- Adds an option to use both normals to CoronaAO map
- Adds an opacity clip checkbox for CoronaMtl
- Adds a material include/exclude option for the CoronaRoundEdges map
- Disables autosave during rendering on DR slaves or when rendering from the command-line
- UI speedup when loading scenes and having material editor / VFB / render settings open
- Adds a dome (half-spherical) mapping mode to CoronaBitmap
- Improves the resume from VFB History tab
- Corona render elements are now created with unique names
- Adds an option to gather denoising data without actually performing denoising
- Support for Max 2011 has been removed
- Removes support for correct rendering of Alpha v7 materials
- Adds a new 'Camera' tab in the Render Setup UI
- Adds a new system-wide settings dialog
- Adds new '+' Button functionality
- New Color Selector with temperature selection, screen color-picking, linear RGB / sRGB input
- New improved Corona installer
- Adds localized tooltips for render settings and Corona objects, materials and maps
- CoronaBitmap open file dialog now works even when rendering in Slate is turned off
- CoronaBitmap open file dialog now works when assigning a new bitmap to the Max Environment slot
- Adds an option to save current render settings as defaults
- 'Render only elements' button now replaced with 'Render only masks (disable shading)' checkbox
- Adds an option to display CoronaLightMtl as wireframe
- The Scatter point cloud display default has been set to 1%
- Improves the appearance of the CoronaMultiMap in the material editor when showing the map alone
- All logs are now periodically clamped to stay under 1 MB
- Existing tooltips have been updated for grammar and clarity
- CameraMod, Proxy, Light UI have been split into separate rollouts
- Adds a warning when render stops because a bitmap was modified on HDD
- Adds a small menu to the docked interactive VFB with stop, restart, copy functionality
- Corona VFB render elements combo box now handles the home and end keys
- The stats tab now displays the number of passes gathered from DR separately
- Adds a warning when using DR + duplicate camera names
- Adds a warning to output texmap that it cannot unmap non-monotonic operators
- UHD cache, autosave, file open dialogs now remember the last selected file when opened again
- Improves drawing of Corona Scatter spinners for Density and Frequency
- Node list boxes now allow selecting more than one item at a time
- Using multiple materials with Refraction enabled in Blend or CoronaLayeredMtl now works
- The Velocity render element is now compatible with Fusion and other post-production software
- The Velocity render element output has been updated
- Fixes slow scene parsing and excessive memory usage in some scenes with many objects
- Fixes black highlights on glossy objects behind default glass materials
- Max no longer crashes when a bitmap is changed on HDD
- Fixes slow rendering/poor CPU utilization when using adaptivity and a small render region
- Fixes render elements saving black when using DR
- Layered mtl with Corona bitmap as mask no longer causes the 'browse images' window to pop up
- Fixes some rare crashes / unexpected behavior in the VFB render history
- Fixes viewport display of CoronaMtl with opacity map in alpha mode
- Fixes standard mtl rendering of opacity map in alpha mode
- Changing color mapping in VFB no longer restarts interactive rendering
- Cloning Corona scatter no longer produces objects with the same name
- Fixes slow scene playback when a heavy Corona Scatter was present
- Scatter rotation is now stable when the distribution object rotates
- Fixes an animated morpher modifier freezing scene parsing
- Fixes interactive rendering locking up when resetting Corona settings
- Render only elements and render selected now work together
- Atmospheric fog now renders in IR
- Fixes loading of Corona EXRs into Photoshop
- Saving/resuming render from a non-ASCII path EXR now works correctly
- Fixes excessive noise when using a large number of disc and spherical lights
- CoronaScatter no longer updates automatically when using manual updates
- Fixes a crash when using Max native lights along with a global volume material
- Fixes Corona VFB drawing when using the light Max UI
- A/B comparison is now reset when IR starts
- Fixes the MultiMapTex UI being slow in Max 2017 SP2
- Spherical or Cylindrical camera plus crop no longer leads to incorrect texmap filtering
- Fixes a crash when opening a scene which included a CoronaSky
- Fixes loading of legacy proxy formats in Max 2017
- Fixes grazing angle reflection artifacts
- CoronaFp.stopRender() now stops rendering instead of just restarting interactive rendering
- Fixes crop/blowup vs. screen-mapped bitmaps on geometry
- Fixes a crash when using custom mtl editor preview with deleted scene
- Fixes the material editor not refreshing after an interactive render with material editor off
- Fixes a crash in texture baking with extremely thin polygons
- Fixes spinners mouse drag wrapping around when using 2 monitors with different resolutions
- Improves denoising for raw and texmap passes
- Fixes the file selection dialogs not being modal
- Fixes CoronaSun include/exclude lists in interactive
- Fixes the VFB autosave open button from freezing when autosave is disabled
- Fixes the '+' button freezing in Mtl override when override is disabled

Corona Renderer is available for Max 2012 to 2017 and costs €24.99 per month or €548 as a one-time payment. A demo version is available here.

Site News: I'm back and catching up on updates

I'm back at work now, so I'll be catching up on everything that happened while I was gone. Some of it will be old news to most of you, but the site will soon be up-to-date.


Site News: It'll be quiet here for the next week...

I'm going to be out of the office for the next week, so things will be quiet here. I'll be catching up on all the updates when I get back.


Plugin Update: Modelling / Texturing

Changes for v5.1.4 beta are:
- Fixes a bug which would create duplicate names with imported library objects
- Fixes a bug updating the first frame rendered by a node on Backburner jobs (Mental Ray only)

Forest Pack Pro is available for Max 2010 to 2017 and costs €200. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Atmospherics

Changes for v4.2.2 are:
- Fixes AFC controllers not use PFlow Box#3 channels properly
- Fixes AFC looking into the controller's value even if AFC is disabled

Afterburn is available for Max 2013 to 2017 and costs $545.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v2.5.0 are:
- The user interface has been redesigned
- Increases the size of thumbnails up to 512px
- Adds support for different screen dpi settings
- Displays more information about files
- Now keeps original names for objects after merging
- Adds a new function to the API: 'PMpostrFileMerge'
- Fixes an issue with auto detecting Corona as default renderer for materials and scenes
- Fixes a bug when Max freezes when interactively rendering materials
- Fixes a lot of bugs and issues with the interface

Project Manager is available for Max 2010 to 2017 and costs $75. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.24 are:
- Fixes a bug with removing only imported empty layers

Copy Paste DWG is available for Max 2009 to 2017 and costs $4. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v0.6.376.0 are:
- For a limited time, MAXtoA can be used together with the Max cloud rendering pilot
- MAXtoA now support both transform and deformation motion blur options
- You can now view any AOVs that you have defined in the ActiveShade window
- Adds a new Preview (AA) setting for a fast low-quality prepass rendering
- Adds a new MAXtoA shader category with numerous shaders needed for creating complex materials
- MAXtoA now supports the Max Blend material
- The Physical environment mode now includes an Enable checkbox to add the automatic Skydome
- In advanced mode you now have more control over the automatic Skydome

Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for v1.0.6 are:
- Performance optimizations (up to 50%)

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.1.9.6 are:
- Improves UI performance while performing background operations (import/export/download/upload)
- Downloading a few presets at the same time no longer fails
- Fixes a bug where typing in text fields sometimes performed keyboard shortcuts instead of typing
- Saving Automaterial Corona preset no longer shows as an Automap preset
- Beta expiration extended to end of October

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.1.0 are:
- VexusEditor now has 2-way communication support for capture of a number of Max features
- MXS file, MXS snippet, Python snippet nodes can now pass/create node selections in VexusEditor
- Adds support for Corona Renderer to the VexusEditor
- VexusHelper can now capture Render Elements along with the Renderer
- VexusMtl now auto-populates the Material Slot name on initial selection
- VexusMtl has been increased to 16 slots
- Adds a function to track the last executed file and node
- Adds a Launch Vexus option
- 'Scene Selection' node now uses the existing scene node selection as part of the node graph
- Adds MAXScript generation of Tokens Improves execution speed, reduces redraws/updates
- Adds an indication if message delivery fails
- Adds a check to see if Max is busy and a render slave check
- Non existent file paths are now created if they don't exist
- Fixes Pre-Pass Overrides all
- Fixes Self Illumination settings not being updated (VexusMaterial)
- Fixes Modifier Toggle not updating if Modify Panel was open
- Fixes VexusHelper to reset on new
- Fixes Drag and Drop beyond 10 slots (VexusHelper)

Vexus is available for Max 2015 to 2017 and costs $250. A demo version is available here.

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)


Site News: News Archives

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