MAX News Archive

Archived Plugin News  –  December 2002

New Plugin: Modifiers

This is the first Beta version of SimCloth 3, a modifier for generating clothlike animation (softbody dynamics) or rigid body dynamics. The source code is included.

New Plugin: Import / Export

Allows Max to export scenes to the *.TRI file format used by Light Map Maker, a program for baking lighting into 3D scenes.

Site News: Contest reminder...

This is just a last reminder about the Xfrog contest. I need all entries to be in before December 25th. Click on the link at the top of the news for all of the information.

New Plugin: Import / Export

The QuadriSpace Exporter allows you to export your models as a *.QSM file. The QSM file includes all information necessary to create orbit views and walkthrough views inside QuadriSpace Presenter.

QuadriSpace Presenter is a complete presentation software that is easy-to-use like PowerPoint but powerful by allowing non-technical staff to import 3D models, 2D drawings, movies, images and text and then build a real-time, interactive presentation.

The exporter is part of the Presenter package, and works with Max 3, 4 and 5. QuadriSpace Presenter costs $995. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Particles

This is an updated beta version of the Flowtracer plugin for RealFlow and RealWave. FlowTracer fluid shader is a volumetric plugin that creates realistic fluid surfaces with a metaball based engine. FlowTracer works with a particle .bin sequences from RealFlow or RealWave, or any particle emitter from your Max.

Plugin News: Life Forms Studio now with Max connection...

Credo Interactive, Inc. have released version 4 of their Life Forms Studio character animation software. The program now ships with a Max plugin allowing streamlined integration between Life Forms and Max.

Life Forms Studio is a premier 3D software package dedicated to character animation. Life Forms makes character motion editing and creation a simple, intuitive process. Animate bipeds, quadrupeds or even sea brine - whether you're dealing with two, four or multitudes of limbs.

Life Forms Studio also includes over 750 motion files - including 150 mocap files - ready to use in Life Forms. Credo are offering a discount of $200 at the moment, taking the price of the program down to $295.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v4.2.0.40 are:
- Fixed textures issue with models using Physique. Still a problem with some models in left handed mode.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v5.1 are:
- Max 5 support
- New files formats supported
- New registration command
- Setup bug fix

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v5.51 are:
- There are so many new features that I can't list them all here. The complete list can be found here.

Plugin News: Credits for tutorials...

nPower Software is offering store credits in exchange for well done tutorials for its popular Power Booleans and Power Solids products.

For more information contact David Gill at

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Paralelo Computação have updated all of their Fly3D import and export plugins to work with the Final Release of their Fly3D game engine.

New Plugin: Utilities

The NVB Exporter allows Max users to export their scenes into the .nvb format, which is used by NVIDIA demos and the CgFX Viewer. It handles geometry, material definition, animation, camera information, skinning data from Biped and Skin, and CgFX instantiated attributes.

This plugin has been primarily tested with Max 5. Although not thoroughly tested, it will likely work with Max 4. However, the CgFX export capabilites are only available through the Viewport Manager found in Max 5.

New Plugin: MAXScript Extensions

This extension is needed when using the MAXScript OGRE Exporter. OGRE (Object-oriented Graphics Rendering Engine) is a scene-oriented, flexible 3D engine written in C++ designed to make it easier and more intuitive for developers to produce games and demos utilising 3D hardware.

Plugin News: Digimation discounts...

Digimation, Inc. are ending the year in style by offering a 50% discount on a large number of plugins. Buying any product from Digimation entitles you to the discount. You can see a full list of the discounts here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v3.7 are:
- I don't know at the moment, as the documentation still refers to an older version of the plugin.

New Plugin: Utilities

This utility replaces the standard max colour dialog with a much improved version. It supports RGB, HSV and HLS colour models.

New Plugin: Materials

This 3dsmax r4/5 texture plugin is for faking wavelength-dependent refraction without having to go to the effort of rendering your image in separate R/G/B passes and compositing.

Plugin Update: Materials

Changes for v1.1 are:
- Generate Mask - creates a black/white mask where white areas are over colours in the source texture which are affected by this plugin. Useful for fine-tuning your thresholds, or compositing in with other textures
- Smart Replace - Intelligently replaces colours while keeping their relative hues/intensities constant. Allows you to, for example, change a flower from red to blue without losing as much of the petals' details

New Plugin: Import / Export

psd-manager is an advanced PSD file exporter for Max, and the only one available on the market. Now, for the first time you can readjust nearly everything in the rendering with Photoshop.

Features include:
- Produces 100% compatible PSD files (Adobe Photoshop file format)
- Output of rendered image as layer with layer mask
- Output of rendered image as merged composite data
- Outputs all Max Render Elements as layers into one single psd file
- Extremely customizable render element layers (order, blending modes,...)
- Easy setup through built-in preset system and automatic layer sorting
- Supports new Photoshop 7 blending modes
- Creation of selections(channels)/layers for objects and groups of objects
- Creation of selections(channels)/layers for materials and groups of materials
- G-Buffer channels as layer (Material Effects, Object, Node Render ID, Normal)
- Includes Max PSD import plugin
- Free network rendering
- Can selectively prevent standard Max image/render element file output
- Low memory requirements through on the fly processing

psd-manager is available for Max 4 and 5, and costs $150.

New Plugin: Modelling / Animation

The Full Body Pack provides a pipeline from head modelling and mapping in 3DMeNowProfessional 2.0 to whole character modelling, mapping and animation (including facial animation) in Max.

The software is available for Max 3 to 5 and costs $1500.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.09.02n are:
- Irradiance maps were not saved properly to disk - Fixed.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.09.02m are:
- Fixed a bug causing reflections/refractions not to show up on a first frame or in network rendering
- Better support for DreamScape plugin
- Better support for Shag:Hair velocity channel output
- Fixed a memory leak when the user cancels the rendering
- Fixed a problem that could cause crashes when using any g-buffer channels
- Support for the VRay shading SDK - allows the creation of VRay specific shaders, materials and atmospheric effects
- The irradiance map now supports GI on matte objects
- Improved combining of direct and GI shadows on matte objects
- Added option 'Don't affect other mattes' to the matte object properties, which prevents matte objects from affecting each other's GI solution

Plugin News: New plugin in open beta test...

Mankua have started open beta testing on a new utility plugin for Max 5. The plugin, called Texture Kiln, lets you render full scene information into texture maps based on an objects appearance and the relationship between itself and other objects and elements in the scene. These texture maps are then 'baked' into the object: that is, they become part of the object via mapping, and can be used to display the textured object rapidly on Direct3D devices.

The plugin can be downloaded here, and must be registered here. There is also a beta forum for registered beta testers.

Plugin News: V-Ray Christmas Discount...

Chaos Group have announced that they are offering a 20% discount on their V-Ray renderer until the end of the year. This means a copy of V-Ray Advanced now costs $639 instead of $799.

New Plugin: Import / Export

This plugin enables you to import part, assembly, and presentation files (IPT, IAM, IPN) that were created in Autodesk Inventor software. Be aware that the plugin only works if you have Inventor 6 installed.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v2.0 are:
- Transparency - Renders objects with opacity control
- Reflectivity - Support for reflective materials
- Advanced Specularity - Gradated specular highlights
- Multiple Shadows - Overlapping shadows from any light source
- Patent-Pending SmartLayer Technology
- Textured Raster Export to SWF

SmartLayer technology works in conjunction with the Swift 3D Importer plugin for Macromedia Flash MX, enabling users to render scenes with elements separated into individual layers. You can, for example, render layers for colors, outlines, shadows, highlights, reflections and transparencies; Separate layers for stationary and moving objects, eliminating duplication of static frames and reducing file size; insert Swift 3D MAX renderings directly into Flash MX libraries

Swift 3D MAX 2.0 also supports textured renderings for raster-based output to the SWF format, with per-frame cropping guaranteeing maximum optimization

Swift 3D MAX is available for Max 3 and above, and retails for $295. Upgrades cost $149, but if you buy before December 20th 2002, the upgrade will only cost $129.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.0 are:
- Updated skin import / export to allow up to 17 skin bones for each part (instead of 6)
- Updated the names of the tilefade properties in MDL Trimesh Properties modifier to reflect the terminology used by the game developers
- Fixed ASCII MDL skin import. Bones and weights are now being added correctly
- Fixed scaling factor bug on export

Plugin Update: Objects

Changes for Forest v1.52 are:
- Fixed bug in network rendering under Viz 4
- Fixed problem with Facing camera under Viz 4
- Auto camera: Forest picks active camera automatically
- Parameters accept all types of units (feets, inches, etc), not only 'generic' type
- Fixed some internal bugs

Changes for Planes v1.52 are:
- Auto camera: 'Planes Look' picks active camera automatically
- Parameters accept all types of units (feets, inches, etc), not only 'generic' type
- Implemented workaround for using Planes Look in Viz

Changes for XShadow v1.72 are:
- New checkbox: 'Disable Exclusivity Buffer' reduces memory used for XShadow by half
- Fixed bug when using 'Disable texture cache'
- Plugin now uses light's Include/Exclude lists
- Fixed bug which disabled shadows of Forest/Planes objects after rendering
- Fixed other internal bugs

Site News: Contest reminder

Don't forget that MAX together with greenworks organic software are offering you the chance to win a prize worth over $650! To find out how, take a look at our contest page.