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Plugin News  –  February 2021

Wednesday 24 February 2021 - 19:20

 

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v3.6.1 are:
- New 'Drop File' puzzle lets users drag a local file and drop it onto the browser tab
- The demo Custom Image has been updated to use this feature
- The limit for files that are compressed with LZMA is raised from 256 Mb to 1024 Mb
- Enabling the External server interface in App Manager settings no longer freezes the App Manager
- Setting the External application directory now works immediately without an App Manager restart
- The Puzzles editor now loads faster
- Fixes a critical issue with AR/VR related to the recently released Chrome 88 for Android
- Not copying the OpenType.js library to the application folder no longer crashes the application
- The Preloader's JavaScript callback is now called with 0% value
- Improves the rendering of environments in Chrome under macOS
- Sheen values > 1 are now allowed for Blender's Principled BSDF node
- The 4-channel controllers (Bezier RGBA Color, Bezier Point4, Color RGBA) now work again in Max

Verge3D is available for Max 2018 to 2021 and costs $290. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v0.8.2705-beta are:
- Fixes an issue with non-existant bitmaps
- Fixes an issue with corrupted bitmaps
- Fixes an issue with not supported file formats
- Fixes an issue with unreachable network files
- Fixes an issue with objects having no mesh
- Fixes an issue with abnormal meshes imported from other software
- Fixes an issue with objects having missing vertices
- Fixes an issue with meshes having no faces or less than 3 connected vertices


Plugin Update: Modelling / Animation

Changes for v7.1.7.27045 are:
- New 'Modify Roots' option in Edit Guides allows editing guide shape in root mode
- Adds an option to use control guide strand groups instead of input hair in Adopt External Guides
- Fixes a crash when using Mesh from Strands proxy meshes as Hair from Mesh Strips
- Fixes Use Groups as Parts not updating until the Hair from Guides is recomputed
- Mesh from Strands Proxy objects now update regardless of viewport interaction
- Roots created with Create brush now inherit the closest strand's group
- Fixes a problem deleting strands when Edit Guides references non-existing deleted strands
- The Closest Neighbor method now always generates guides in Input Root Interpolation
- Fixes hairs disappearing when setting Guide Count to No Interpolate in Hair from Guides
- The Merge operator now takes into account world space transforms of merged strands
- The Surface Comb with Triangulation algorithm now uses slope and orientation maps
- V6 scenes now load correctly in V7 with multiple stacked Edit Guides operators

Ornatrix is available for Max 2014 to 2021 and costs $599. A demo version is available here.


New Plugin: Modelling

PolySnow Plus is a C++ based and multi-threaded plugin that creates realistic snow with a click. It includes 5 custom objects and 6 modifiers specifically designed for snow creation workflow. A variety of parameters let you get the desired results in every situation.

PolySnow Plus is available for Max 2016 to 2021 and costs $79.


Plugin Update: Particles

Changes for v0.16108 beta are:
- Adds an option to disable tapering on closed splines in the tySplineMesher modifier
- Adds editor buttons for enabling/disabling/refreshing a simulation
- Adds the ability to switch editor rollups to the left side of the editor grid
- Moves the script editor API to a secondary window
- Adds a GetObject(name) function to the Script operator for run-time access to any scene object
- Adds a unified 'tfMesh' class to the script operator for retrieving particle / object mesh data
- Adds an 'every nth' option to the Display Data operator
- Fixes an issue where tySelect wasn't calculating mesh selections properly
- Fixes a VDB Copy Out operator bug which could result in a crash
- Fixes a regression where deconverted cloths would not inherit particle mapping overrides
- Fixes an issue where Collision operator bounce vectors were not being calculated correctly
- Improves the way the CCCS handles cloth tearing
- Fixes an issue where exporting particles to objects didn't respect particle pivot modifications
- Fixes an issue where deleted particles were not always destroying their binds
- The Spline Paths operator now calculates particle velocities more accurately
- The Particle Bind Solver partitioning now allocates double the partitions
- Fixes an improper IKey->IBezFloatKey cast that crashed Max during calls to Set/GetKey
- Updates to the latest build of OpenVDB
- Fixes an issue with VDB intersection mode not working correctly
- The tyPreview camera list scene camera names are now sorted alphabetically


Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v1.229 are:
- Adds support for the 3dsMax File Number Base value
- Adds a V-Ray raw image file checkbox
- rsUserPreSubmitFn now returns a true/false value, useful for implementing sanity check code

renderStacks is available for Max 2015 to 2021 and costs $59.99 per year. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v3.6 are:
- 3D text objects created with the TextPlus object are now supported by Verge3D
- The text objects are dynamic, so they can be updated with new textual content via Puzzles
- You can also bake text objects using the Bake Text option
- Rectangle photometric lights are now supported
- The 'Dark Standard' template now comes with its own scene
- Optimizes the internals of Physical materials to load and render faster
- Adds a new User Manual section describing various aspects of handling animation in Verge3D
- The syntax for defining new puzzles has been simplified making it more declarative
- The E-commerce plugin has been updated for new syntax so that you have a usage example
- Adds a sample plugin to serve as an example on how to create typical puzzle blocks
- Plugin development was made more fault tolerant
- Human readable errors are now posted to the browser console to help you debug your plugins
- The right-click menu on puzzles now produces the option Print Puzzle XML Tree
- The new Plug.provide() method is for re-using functions, resulting in more efficient code
- Optimizes the code generated by plugin puzzles
- Adds a new puzzle for creating objects out of thin air
- By default, a white glTF-compliant PBR material is applied to meshes
- Adds a new 'Create Text Object' puzzle making it possible to add Text objects at runtime
- The slot 'on error do' was added to the puzzles 'Load Scene' and 'Append Scene'
- The 'Load Scene' and 'Append Scene' puzzles now load scenes faster
- The 'allow HTML' option was added to the 'Enter AR Mode' puzzle
- A MIDI compatible sound synthesizer was wrapped in a puzzle for this release
- You can now also use MIDI files as quality soundtracks that load much faster than MP3
- The Verge3D core has been synchronized with Three.js r124
- The engine .js file has been made more compact thanks to removing some legacy code
- Adds an extensive guide on creating desktop Verge3D applications using Electron
- Numerous improvements in other doc pages (Puzzles, Verge3D plugins, etc.)
- Verge3D now supports WebGL 2.0 on iOS
- Fixes the bug with materials assigned to flat shaded and smooth shaded objects at the same time
- Shared materials assigned to objects with different UV or vertex colors sets now work properly
- Fixes a serious issue with the undo operation (Ctrl-Z) which caused puzzles to disappear
- The multi-line/exec script puzzle now looks fine in Safari browser
- The overall responsiveness of the multi-line/exec script puzzle has been improved
- Fixes the screen-space reflection/refraction puzzle from producing colors with incorrect gamma
- Shadows from morphed objects now cast correctly
- Fixes the crash issue with scene loading using the load scene or append scene puzzles
- Fixes the issue with camera offsets when using supersampling anti-aliasing
- The detect collision puzzle can now be in-lined in other puzzles slots
- Fixes the bug with special symbols used in Verge3D plugins
- Plugin puzzles can now be placed in the Init category
- Fixes various issues with plugin naming
- Fixes a bug with saving puzzles that contain non-Latin characters
- Fixes a memory overflow issue which prevented saving the Puzzles when there were many of them
- Fixes the issue with WooCommerce integration in Verge3D WordPress plugin

Verge3D is available for Max 2018 to 2021 and costs $290. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v2.0 are:
- Better overall performance
- Your assets are now optimized for simulation automatically and non-destructively
- Adds new icons
- Adds a 'Reset Default Settings' button
- The current UI settings are now stored in the helper
- You can now access the UI with the brush active to modify parameters for your next brush stroke
- Adds a Colliders list
- Adds new shortcuts for mass properties editing in the Assets and Colliders list
- Adds a new 'Select from Scene' button to highlight the selected scene assets in the list
- You can now modify the optimisation with the Vertex Count spinner
- Brushes now have Undo functionality
- The editable mesh limitation has been removed
- You can now paint over multiple Collider/Ground meshes
- The data is now stored on a PhysXPainter Helper
- New shortcuts mean you only need one paintbrush
- Painting is now faster, even over a lot of meshes
- Distance value is now based on the assets volume and is more adaptable to different scene units
- Adds Gravity, Attract and Explode forces
- Adds an option to display the simulation state as wirecolor, or keep materials
- Position and Rotation Axes now have homothetic locks
- Adds a new Drop Brush
- Adds Turn to Instance or Copy functionality for assets
- Display Low lets you display the original mesh or the low res version used for simulation
- Big speed improvements on the attach functions
- New Physics tab controls ground collisions and custom Gravity values

PhysX Painter is available for Max 2013 to 2021 and costs €50.


Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v3.0.37 are:
- Fixes a potential Max crash when rendering previews in the Material Editor
- Addresses a C4D issue leading to a crash when OptixRT is used in conjuction with empty curves
- Adds Blender support for VDB sequence files using the native Blender modes
- Adds Blender support for the new 'UVProjection' node
- Updates the Blender Material node with Sheen parameters
- Updates the Blender SDK ColorCorrection python bindings
- Enables applying Blender compositor effects after render when 'use_compositing' is enabled
- Adds Hydra support for custom cameras in the camera map shader node
- Fixes an issue where the Feedback Display did not scale correctly
- Fixes a bounds check bug that was triggering bogus asserts on pre-RTX GPUs
- Fixes pre-converted 'rstexbin' texture UDIM/UVTILE files from not being found for proxies
- Fixes a rare noisy-looking sampling issue due to a CUDA compiler bug
- Fixes an excessive brightness issue with GI 'sheen' reflection energy compensation

Redshift is available for Max 2013 to 2021 and costs $500. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v0.601 alpha are:
- Fixes non-working displacement map for bitmaps for the first frame of the final render
- Fixes non-working scratches, pattern, flakes shader for emission and transparent materials
- Fixes the preview of materials with random shaders
- Fixes missing post-processing settings in render settings for the Max plugin


Plugin Update: Modelling / Animation

Changes for v7.1.6.26898 are:
- Fixes the Hair from Guides modifier parting plane tool not always working
- Fixes the Hair from Guides Use Groups as Parts from not working
- Auto Parting is no longer activated by default
- Adopt External Guides now evaluates when control strands don't have strand ID's

Ornatrix is available for Max 2014 to 2021 and costs $599. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v3.13.53 are:
- Renames 'Favorites' to 'Categories'
- Adds new abilities to filter items using categories
- Adds the ability to specify the output filename on rendering previews for models
- Adds the ability to sort and exclude files from the Gallery
- Adds the ability to export .VRMESH and .CGEO files to other formats through the menu
- Speeds up merging complex scenes
- Speeds up opening Material Libraries
- Adds support for Q-Proxies
- Fixes an issue with updating render settings for the Batch Render&Relink tool
- Fixes an issue with the render settings dialog in 3ds Max 2016 and below
- Fixes an issue with isolated nodes when rendering previews
- Fixes an issue with using whitespace when renaming items
- Fixes a bug with creating materials from bitmaps in 3ds Max 2014
- Fixes an issue with creating PBR materials from textures for Corona
- Fixes an issue with creating PBR materials when V-Ray GPU is active
- Fixes an interface issue with using a high screen resolution
- Fixes an issue with relinking 3ds Max files with the Batch Render&Relink tool in Fast Mode
- Fixes an issue with relinking textures on merging 3ds Max files
- Fixes an issue with collecting and relinking material libraries on the Explorer tab
- Fixes an issue with saving the size of Categories panels
- Fixes some minor issues and optimisation improvements

Project Manager is available for Max 2014 to 2021 and costs $60. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Texturing

Changes for v3.2f are:
- Adds new 'Planar mapping by element' which keeps existing UV shells and seams
- Improves the 'Orient elements to longest side' algorithm
- The whole stack is now collapsed if no modifiers are selected
- Improves the Planar mapping 'Weighted normals' option
- Bitmap to UV now uses a new method without using Unwrap, it is a lot faster with no memory leak
- Fixes a memory leak when using 'Collapse points by distance'
- Fixes a memory leak in 'Interactive scale' caused by an Unwrap bug

UV Tools is available for Max 2013 to 2021 and costs $20.


New Plugin: Texturing

DecalPlacer is a commercial MAXScript that simplifies and speeds up the placing of decals on objects.

DecalPlacer is available for Max 2017 to 2021 and costs $20.


Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v10.1.13.1 are:
- Performance improvements to the Remote Connection Server and its commmunication with Workers
- The Repository installer now installs MongoDB 3.6.21
- Adds the ability to disable TLS on Deadline Database by re-running the Repository installer
- Arnold, Max, Maya, Renderman usage-based licensing now usable on AWS outside of AWS Portal
- The Deadline Linux installers are now code-signed with GPG
- Fixes an issue where auto-upgrades on Linux would not update libssl or libcrypto
- Adds C4D R23 AMI with Arnold to AWS Portal
- Updates to V-Ray version 5 for the Maya and 3ds Max AWS Portal AMIs
- Deprecates RepositoryUtils.AddOrUpdatePluginConfigSetting
- Deprecates RepositoryUtils.DeletePluginConfigSetting
- Adds support for V-Ray 5 with 3ds Max
- Allows specifying frames per task for V-Ray Standalone export workflow in 3ds Max
- Fixes 3ds Max SMTD V-Ray Standalone Workflow bug when exporting in file per frame mode
- Fixes a bug in IFL path mapping and asset transfer in 3ds Max
- Adds support for After Effects 17.5
- Adds support for Houdini 18.5
- Changes the integrated submitter to use Houdini packages
- Fixes a MayaBatch GPU Affinity error with an unset 'VRAY_GPU_PLATFORMS' environment variable
- Adds support for Nuke 12.2
- Adds (CUDA) and (RTX) options to the 'V-Ray RT' engine options (Standalone, Monitor, SMTD)
- Updates FTrack support to version 2.0.0
- Updates the NIM python client to use the latest 4.0.x version
- Fixes a Spot bug where idle on-demand instances were mistakenly terminated

Deadline is available for Max 2010 to 2021 and costs $48 per node per year. A demo version is available here.


Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v4.3.0.78 are:
- New Light Mixer imager lets you interactively edit the contribution of light group AOVs
- The imager_lens_effect now implements a bloom effect
- The Arnold Noice denoiser is now also available as a post-processing effect
- The OptiX denoiser is now available as a post-processing effect
- Arnold now uses an updated version of OCIO and is able to load and run OpenColorIO v2 configs
- The number of supported light AOVs is now 256, up from 15
- The cell_noise shader is now about 2.5x faster on CPU and 4.3x faster on GPU
- The base and base_color parameters on standard_surface now default to 1.0, and (0.8, 0.8, 0.8)
- Faster and higher-quality sampling improves progressive and adaptive rendering performance
- Adds constant color detection to maketx
- OpenEXR file inputs to maketx/AiMakeTx will now by default generate an OpenEXR based .tx file
- maketx/AiMakeTx now by default allow creating TIFF based .tx files with half floats
- Generating half TIFF .tx files should now be several times faster on certain Linux machines
- Metadata from OSL shaders is now visible on Arnold nodes and can be read via the AiMetadata APIs
- With more than 100 lights, per-light sampling log messages are output with debug log verbosity
- ADPClientService should now upload data more quickly and consume fewer CPU resources
- Autodesk Desktop Licensing has been updated to version 11.0.0.4854
- When crashes occur while Arnold is running, a stacktrace is now printed out
- Most of the Arnold API now has associated profiling blocks
- kick now displays imagers in interactive mode
- Arnold should now be able to properly use both the big and small M1 cores
- Arnold now uses OpenVDB 7.1
- Imagers can now be applied, removed, re-ordered, edited, directly in the Arnold RenderView
- Imagers now expose the layer_selection string
- Removes the optix denoiser flags from rendering options and AOVs as it is now an imager
- New Compatibility Mode replaces the Legacy Map support flag
- 'Auto Convert TX' should imply 'Use Existing TX' OFF
- The Arnold RenderView snapshot pane no longer needs resize handles
- Support for shadow groups has been added to the GPU renderer
- Improves initial startup time when rendering a scene for the first time with the GPU renderer
- When there is a GPU crash, the amount of GPU memory used is now reported
- And much more... a full list of changes and bug-fixes can be found here


Plugin Update: Texturing

Changes for v2.7.0 are:
- Miscellaneous bug fixes
- Updates the licensing server and libraries
- All wood materials have been remade
- Adds a new wood materials category - Raw

XS Material Presets Pro is available for Max 2013 to 2021 and costs €180.


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.