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Plugin News  –  November 2017

Thursday 23 November 2017 - 17:49

 

New Plugin: MCG

An MCG animation controller that creates linear (and rotational) transformation as you rotate your screw/nut.


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v0.28.0 are:
- Fixes the image format of the metallicRoughness map for physical materials
- Adds constraints to the PBR material
- Global values are now used as default when textures are missing
- Diffuse texture is no longer required to create PBR maps
- Adds support for reading DDS and TGA image formats
- glTF output is now clear from babylon output
- When exporting to gltf, a temp folder now stores all babylon output and is deleted afterwards
- Dynamically created textures are only written if export is successful
- Fixes the babylon texture used for dynamic texture creation
- Adds a check to image format for both babylon and gltf
- Invalid image formats are now converted to PNG/JPG
- Babylon texture data stored to cache when exporting to gltf
- Updates export of environment texture to use dedicated method
- Splits babylon and gltf outputs into 2 folders
- Adds an image format sample
- Adds .max to samples source models
- Fixes physical material detection to include german and french translation
- Fixes export of PBR materials when bitmap is not loaded correctly
- Fixes gltf indices to be up to uint
- Fixes missing texture path


New Plugin: Modifiers

The NVIDIA HairWorks plugin allows you to export assets for the NVIDIA HairWorks SDK. NVIDIA HairWorks enables advanced simulation and rendering techniques for richer visual appeal and provides a deeply immersive experience. HairWorks is the culmination of over 8 years of R&D and harnessed into creating a versatile pipeline for a variety of character designs.


New Plugin: MCG

An MCG modifier that enables you to apply modifiers to particle systems by meshing them.


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.23.0 are:
- Adds support for Max 2018
- Adds support for Maya 2018
- Adds support for Custom Normals in Blender
- Adds support in Max for exporting procedural textures as PVR files
- Strips are now stitched into a single one using degenerate polygons
- Adds a Cancel button to the export window
- Fixes a plug-in crash in Maya 2017 for Mac OSX
- Fixes strip primitive output that was exporting strips of length one
- Fixes disabling bone-batching
- Fixes exporting skin meshes with more than 4 bones per vertex
- Updates documentation with new sections for Bone Batching and PVR Textures
- Updates the manual to HTML format


Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v3.0.0 include:
- New Unreal Engine 4 plugin lets you easily import your anima scenes into Unreal Engine 4
- Chairs, Squares, Escalators, Traffic Lights and Avoid Areas are now drawing tools
- anima can now open multiple scenes at the same time
- anima has now switched to a Physically Based Renderer, giving you far higher quality visuals
- Many of the included motion clips have been replaced with new higher quality motion captures
- Backgrounds can now be shared in the same project between different scenes without re-importing
- Many improvements to the backgrounds system
- Improved camera controls, allowing for a much smoother rotation
- You can now install .y asset files by double clicking on them directly
- Helpful tips are now provided on the bottom of the editing view when using most of the tools
- And much much more... a full list of changes and fixes can be found here

Anima is available for Max 2013 to 2018 and costs €249. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Bitmap I/O

Changes for v4.19.0 are:
- Adds support for Max 2018
- Updates the manual to HTML format


Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v8.6.17 are:
- Fixes jobs randomly not being flagged correctly as in-progress with warnings / errors
- Adds an option to shutdown behaviours to include a timeout before detecting a logged user

Muster is available for Max 6 to 2018 and costs $85 per node. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for Beta 1.04 are:
- Adds MAXScript global variables to control volume sampling parameters
- CUDA errors during render will now cause the render to abort rather than hang up
- Render output now always uses the full precision of a 32-bit float
- Using the node graph editor, all nodes now have UV-based tangents by default
- Alpha channel now renders correctly in side-by-side stereo renders
- Transparent material now works correctly as a submaterial
- MAXScript render options can now be set before Cycles is selected as the renderer
- Various updates to the node graph editor
- Updates third-party libraries (Boost 1.65.1, libpng 1.6.32, libtiff 4.0.8, OpenImageIO 1.7.17)


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.0 are:
- Adds support for Max 2018


New Plugin: Utilities

SmartRefs is an advanced external reference plugin for Max. It allows you to reference external files but keep the ability to modify and animate the objects from that reference, in a similar way to references in Maya, but even more advanced. SmartRefs is more flexible and robust than the classic XRef tool, even with the improvements made in Max 2016. It is designed for artists and teams of any size, allowing them to have a better pipeline where big scenes can be split into several smaller scenes working as a whole in a seamless environment. In a nutshell, SmartRefs makes Max production ready.

SmartRefs is available for Max 2014 to 2018 and costs $239. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v2.15.0 are:
- Adds an advanced, peer-to-peer based system for locally caching project files and other assets
- Adds an option to limit the number of parallel renderings on a client
- The event log tab now shows the number of unread events
- RenderPal V2 now has a new, high quality main icon!
- Path environment variables are now also registered for the current user
- Updates the Server to SQLite 3.20.0
- Removes the 'Cache scenes locally' feature, as it has been superseded
- Output filters now work in the command-line client
- The email notification security type is now applied properly
- Fixes a rare issue which caused database entries to be deleted accidentally
- The output window now displays tabs correctly
- Paths that include parentheses no longer cause issues
- The Redshift GPU list is now splittable
- 3ds Max now displays a warning if no output file name extension is specified
- The Blender output filters have been updated

RenderPal is available for Max 9 to 2018 and costs €49 per node. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v1.5 are:
- Adds support for Max 2018

XRay CAT Survival Toolkit is available for Max 2009 to 2018 and costs $49.99.


Plugin Update: Modelling / Animation

Changes for v5.2.6.12896 are:
- Adds range values allowing negative and higher than 1 values for Surface Comb in strand bend graph
- Adds right clicking on graphs to allow choice of presets
- Fixes Max 2018 crashes after combing nodes and resetting scene
- Fixes a sporadic crash when using Guides from Shape modifier
- Fixes brushes not working at very large scene scales
- Fixes a crash when using UV-based hair interpolation on a mesh which doesn't have any UV channels
- Fixes an error when trying to load Ornatrix with Cebas Thinking Particles Volume Breaker
- Fixes guides breaking if groomed after moving the roots
- Fixes edit guides panels looking scrambled and not scrolling in Max 2016 and earlier
- Qt diagrams for the Propagation modifier now save with the scene
- Fixes incorrect hair distribution when using 'Is Inside Object' in Generate Guide Data modifier

Ornatrix is available for Max 2012 to 2018 and costs $499. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Updates: Recompiles from iCube R&D Group

iCube R&D Group have updated a number of their plugins for Max 2018, as well as simplifying the licensing system:
- SplineLand v1.045
- MadCar v3.060
- CityTraffic v2.029

The plugins above are available for Max 2009 to 2018 and cost €130 (SplineLand), €200 (MadCar) and €360 (CityTraffic).


Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v2.5.42 are:
- Fixes non-Redshift render jobs failing if run via 3dsmaxcmd.exe if Redshift failed to initialized
- Fixes a C4D issue in the RenderView where the undersampling option was being reset
- Fixes issue with Houdini 16.5.268 build not working on Windows
- Fixes a bug that was incorrectly handling the REDSHIFT_LICENSEPATH
- Fixes some bugs related to IPR and automatic memory management
- Fixes a bug that resulted in slow renders when using AO shaders with progressive/IPR
- Adds new 'bias' option to the AO shader to bias AO tracing direction for 'dirt map' effects

Redshift is available for Max 2013 to 2018 and costs $500. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v0.24.0 are:
- Removes environmentTexture per PBR material
- Adds environmnentTexture at scene level
- Updates hasAlpha property of baseColorTexture
- Updates skybox blur level default value
- Updates PBR samples
- Inverts alpha value for PBR transparency map
- Inverts roughness value for PBR roughness map when the option is checked
- Updates environmentTexture format to simple name
- Exports ambient occlusion from diffuse roughness map
- Reverts manual editing of root rotation


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v0.99-7b are:
- Adds support for Max 2018


Plugin Update: Texturing

Changes for v2.3.0 are:
- The Texture Advisor Information can now be exported as .CSV file
- The Texture Advisor can now display the geometry area with scene unit's suffix
- Adds an alert message if System and Display units are different
- Adds a Check for Updates function
- Internal arithmetic now uses double float precision
- Icons now display correctly when gamma is enabled in all Max versions
- Fixes a bug in random seed
- Fixes some minor UI issues and typos
- The Texture Advisor 'Used UV Area' now always uses 6 decimal places
- The Texture Advisor 'Optimal Density' now always uses 4 decimal places
- Changes the Units Converter to display the current unit instead of 'World Units'

Advanced UV Normalizer is available for Max 2010 to 2018 and costs $35.


Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v10.0.7.0 are:
- Fixes a Repository Repair bug that could prevent a job's Machine Limit from being respected
- Improves the Power Management Machine Startup feature to reduce time between waking up machines
- AWS Portal panel redesigned, now Spot Fleet requests and instances are part of the same tree view
- Adds additional columns with more information to the AWS Portal panel
- Fixes an AWS Portal panel bug that triggered an update when no data had actually changed
- Fixes a syntax error in the TestIntegrationConnection script that ships with Deadline
- Spot instances are now tagged on creation as part of the Spot request
- A Key Pair can now be added to Spot instances so they can be accessed for debugging purposes
- Adds Monitor settings to suspend filtering in the Job and Slave panels when they are hidden
- Fixes a bug that stopped the License Forwarder from determining its own IP address
- Adds new 'GetIPAddress()' function to NetworkUtils to return the machine's IP address as a string
- Fixes a syntax error in Max SMTD when getting Pipeline Tools info
- Adds controls in SMTD to check objects for baking using scene selection and named selection sets
- Removes the SMTD option for exporting the output paths of highlighted objects
- In Max SMTD, fixes a right-click menu to correctly toggle highlighted objects for baking on / off
- In Max SMTD, fixes a list update slowdown when baking objects
- Adds support for After Effects CC 2018
- Updates Draft to version 1.6.8, which includes the ability to keep EXR metadata in draftImageInfo
- The Houdini sanity check now runs after the sticky settings and scene settings have been loaded
- Moves the location of the Disable Auto Camera Tag checkbox in the integrated Maya submitter
- Fixes an issue that could prevent the Maya submitter from finding scripts in the Repository
- Yeti search paths are now supported when submitting V-Ray export jobs to Deadline
- Adds support for Media Encoder CC 2018
- Adds support for Eddy for Nuke (Eddy cache and render nodes)
- V-Ray standalone jobs now have their rendered images synced when rendering with AWS Portal
- Fixes a bug in the NIM event plugin that prevented the Draft template from being auto-populated
- Adds a configuration option to allow the Pipeline Tools dialog to auto-connect to NIM when opened
- The type (asset or shot) is now properly stored in the NIM sticky settings
- Fixes a Shotgun event plugin bug that prevented the Draft template from being auto-populated
- Adds an option to allow the Pipeline Tools dialog to auto-connect to Shotgun when opened
- Spot event plugin now uses a better way of determining which instances were started by the plugin
- Fixes a rare condition that prevented a Deadline Slave from knowing which Spot Fleet it belongs to

Deadline is available for Max 2010 to 2018 and costs $48 per node per year. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v1.5 are:
- Adds a Pose Manager
- It now builds faster
- Adds dockable panels
- Adds a new documentation page
- Fixes some minor bugs

InstantRig is available for Max 2014 to 2018 and costs $49. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.6 are:
- Adds support for the Physical Camera
- Adds support for After Effects CS5
- Some minor improvements

AE Transfer is available for Max 2012 to 2018 and costs $5.


Plugin Update: Connections

Changes for Build 305636 are:
- Adds official support for MacOS HighSierra
- Fixes MacOS main window refreshes
- Fixes Mac launcher issues with quarterly suffixes that stopped updates or relaunch from working
- Fixes rare crashes when displacing geometry yields some unexpected results
- Fixes a potential crash when rendering in OpenGL quality from a python script
- Fixes potential rendering issues with imported meshes composed of both triangles and quads
- Reduces the memory footprint of Heightfield Terrain until modified by the user
- OpenGL PostRenderOptions now set the option 'copy settings to scene' to off by default
- Fixes a potential crash in PNG and BMP with wrongly named images
- Fixes the gel editor context menu's position
- Editing a gel from an arealight now opens the Light Editor
- Improves the display of shaded billboards (making it possible to use the rotation brushes)
- Fixes a potential crash when populating a material with both small and large rock specimens
- Fixes thousands of small instances sometimes being extracted (small displaced rocks)
- Fixes requesting a new activation each time a new user logs onto the computer
- The new scene format (.FSVUE) is now associated to the native browser preview DLL

Vue xStream is available for Max 2010 to 2018 and costs $1695. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v2.2.0 include:
- Improves Python support
- Custom MXS nodes now support files as well as snippets
- Adds a new 'Token Node'
- Integrates Camera with Shot Node
- Submissions can now be canceled using <ESC>
- Adds a 'Save Selected' option
- Adds MAXScript access to .vx file submissions
- Adds a Global Token for the project folder
- Adds 'Unhide All Categories' to the Pass node
- Adds an autoback feature
- Adds a progress bar during submissions
- Improves Node Graph short cuts and mouse operations
- Various bug fixes and improvements

Vexus is available for Max 2015 to 2018 and costs $200. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for Build 2016305636 are:
- Adds official support for macOS HighSierra
- Fixes a potential crash in PNG and BMP with wrongly named images
- Fixes requesting a new activation each time a new user logs onto the computer

Plant Factory Studio is available for Max 2010 to 2018 and costs $995. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for SP1 include:
- Improves rendering when many lights are used
- Sampling speedups
- Improves the CPU kernel
- Improvements to the GPU kernel
- New enhanced Embree 2.17 library
- Improves aborting renderings with Embree
- Fixes and enhancements to the rayswitch texture
- Fixes a problem with single sided faces on objects with negative scaling
- Adds a VFB fix for exposure settings with animations
- Fixes the scene converter for Max 2018
- Fixes issues with the latest i9 Intel processors
- Fixes ray cutoff causing energy loss
- Fixes a crash with proxies and the Embree kernel
- Fixes the daylight system so that night is really dark
- Fixes some issues with stereoscopic rendering
- Fixes the spherical/fisheye camera not working in Active Shade
- Fixes crashes with Active Shade and fR scatter
- Fixes proxies not working in Active Shade
- Fixes the fisheye camera

finalRender is available for Max 2016 to 2018 and costs €24.50 per month. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Objects

Changes for v1.3.0 are:
- Adds support for Max 2018


New Plugin: MCG

This is basically a collection of body parts generated with MakeHuman. The MCG lets you generate a complete body, or pick which parts you need.


New Plugin: MCG

A simple MCG controller that allows you to enter angle numbers without having to convert them to radians first or using a script controller.


Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v2.1.0 are:
- Select Edges by Convexity now can select both Concave and Convex Edges
- A new optional Angle Range can be provided to Select Edges by Convexity
- You can now send Smoothing Groups to a new Edit Poly Modifier
- Adds a 'Check for Updates' function
- Improves the code to work with referenced nodes
- Adds icons to Select Edge by Convexity buttons
- Fixes the 'blinking' dialog when opening PolySmoother
- Fixes a bug in random seed
- The undo stack is now cleaned up when PolySmoother is disabled
- The UI has been redesigned

PolySmoother is available for Max 2014 to 2018 and costs $35.


New Plugin: MCG

This MCG object creates splines that look like spirograph patterns in 3D.


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.