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Forest Reference
Forest / Reference / Release notes

Release notes

Registered users of Forest Pack Pro can download upgrades from User Panel. A Lite version is freely available to download in our website.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 4.2.2

FP4.2 features


New features and changes:

  • "Meadow", a new library that includes over 30 wild grass and flower presets.
  • Support for V-Ray 3.0 final.
  • Support for Corona Alpha 6, including Forest Color.
  • Translation X/Y range can now be defined using min/max values.
  • Translation can be controlled using maps.
  • Added Transform->Probability map (for translation, rotation and scale). When enabled, the map is used as a probability value for the random range (black: no random, white: full random range)
  • New Animation mode: "Frame from Map", uses a map to define the absolute frame within a Start/End range.
  • Diversity Map can use its own texture, independent of the Distribution Map.
  • New scattering algorithm for UV Surfaces, which allow to deform the surface without changing the density of the distribution. To preserve compatibility with old scenes, existing Forest objects use the old algorithm.
  • Inverted falloff curves can be used at same time with including and excluding areas.
  • In Custom Edit mode, items are placed in the highest surface when there are several of them stacked.
  • "Tree Editor->Add Items" mode is set by default to "Random".
  • "Material Optimizer" can be applied to the material library.
  • Forest Tools uses a more descriptive name for the generated items.
  • 2D Library items are compatible with VRay 3.

Fixes:

  • Fixed random crash cloning Forest objects.
  • Fixed crash in V-Ray when using billboards and camera motion blur.
  • Fixed: Presets are loaded as XRefs, instead merged in the scene.
  • Fixed several issues in the Library Browser.
  • Custom Edit items are properly positioned when rescaling scene units.
  • Fixed look of "Areas->Pick Models" dialog when resized.
  • Fixed rare crash in Forest Color when modified from Maxscript.
  • "VRay not compatible" message is shown only one time and doesn't crash Max.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 4.1.6

  • Added support for V-Ray 3.0.
  • Improved Thea Render materials.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 4.1.5

  • Fixed error picking objects (areas, custom objects), that would produce unexpected behaviours.
  • Fixed rare error editing paint areas.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 4.1.4

  • Added support for VRay 3.05.03 beta.
  • Fixed rendering error in Octane, when there is not a Custom Object assigned in Geometry List.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 4.1.3

  • Fixed error on scene save after rendering, when using Mental Ray and nested Forests.
  • Fixed potential crash using exclusion area from a Forest object that uses Custom Edit mode.
  • Fixed right menu on Library Browser when there are not items selected.
  • Fixed potential crash using presets of billboards.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 4.1.2

  • Density/Scale falloff and Boundary Checking for Surface areas (without creating an auxiliary spline).
  • Added Surface->Randomize Stacked. Allow to randomize items that are aligned on the same XY position, along stacked surfaces.
  • Added right-menu selector for Custom Objects, Surfaces and Areas.
  • Added Display->Update All. Rebuilds all Forest objects.
  • Added RGB Level for diffuse maps to Material Optimizer.
  • Added support for VRay 3.0 beta.
  • Added support for VRay 1.5 in Max 2013.
  • Added Max 2014 to the installer.
  • Increased limits of Transform->Translation
  • Forest Tools assigns Object ID from the Forest object to the instances.

Library

  • Added Preset materials for Octane and Thea Render.
  • Some library models (daisy and white clover) were to big. They have been scaled to a more natural size.
  • Added support for Laubwerk Plants catalog add-on (to be released soon).
  • Right click on Creation Panel->Library button clears current selection.
  • Presets now can use library materials. Each material of the preset is replaced by a material from the library with same name.
  • XRef import is disabled by default for Preset models. This behaviour can be overriden editing manually the XML definition file (property xref=1).
  • XRef materials always are merged in the scene, regardless of the Library Browser settings.
  • The templates layer now keeps a single copy for each plant model. Scenes created with previous versions (from 4.0), are automatically optimized when saved with Forest 4.1.
  • Fixed: error loading preset if exists in the scene a Forest object with same name as used in preset.
  • Added support for labels and thumbnails at library level.

Fixes

  • Fixed major viewport slowdown when using animated VRay proxies.
  • Note: By efficiency reasons, now Forest doesn't update automatically if you modify a Custom Object and this is animated. Use Display->Update to reload them.
  • Point-cloud colors are gamma corrected.
  • Point-cloud mode is suggested for Laubwerk objects.
  • Fixed bug with nested Forests when inner object is on Custom Edit mode.
  • Geometry->ID Color are properly updated after cloning.
  • "Add Multiple" selectors (Custom Object/Area/Surface) now accept geometric objects created from splines.
  • Fixed updating issue when two o more areas share a same spline or object.
  • Fixed crashing bug using Tree Editor when object is empty ('F' icon).
  • Fixed items rotation when using Forest in XRef scenes with "Bind" option.
  • All Maxscript functions that have size as parameter, now accept zero to use the default item size (Custom Objects only).
  • Uninstaller doesn't remove installed catalog add-ons.
  • Fixed crash when assigning Custom Objects directly from the templates layer.
  • Fixed crash using Octane material converter.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 4.0.3

  • Rotating items on Custom Edit now uses the Max center mode (Pivot Point, Selection or Transform Coordinate Center).
  • When switching from Generate to Custom Edit, it is possible to exclude items hidden by Camera clipping.
  • Library Standard materials are simplified. Now grass presets can be used directly on Maxwell, or easily converted to other engines.
  • Camera->Auto Assign to Active View->Only Before rendering parameter is removed.
  • Added Camera->Auto Assign to Active View->Apply to Look-At.
  • Fixed: Deleting thousands of items in Custom Edit mode was too slow.
  • Fixed: VRay exception in Forest Color when rendering animations.
  • Fixed: Rare error loading grouped items from the Library.
  • Fixed: Crashing bug when changing Geometry->Template.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 4.0.2

  • Fixed bug that would, in some cases, create continuous updating loops in Max.
  • The Presets texture path is added to the Max configuration. Now Forest adds atomatically all paths listed in the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\TexturePaths
  • 3D Models are properly loaded from the library in "Merge" mode, not as XRef.
  • Added compatibility for Maxwell plugin 2.7.24. Note: This is now the lower version supported.
  • Maxwell render visibility flags are used.
  • ForestLite / ForestPro macros are available in Customize->Customize User Interface (for toolbars and others)
  • Fixed materials of Wild Grass Presets
  • Fixed crash when the distribution map cannot be loaded.
  • Material->Fast Opacity is put back for compatibility with previous scenes (removed in 4.0.1)

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 4.0.1

Video

FP4 features video



Render

  • Added native support for more render engines: VRayRT, Maxwell Render, Arion, Octane and Thea Render.
    • Forest Color and other tint modes are not supported on the new engines.
    • Be sure your render software is upgraded to the latest version.
    • Support for these engines is experimental, please report any problem that you find.

Library Browser

  • Added 3D models of grass, flowers and stones.
  • Added Ready-to-use Presets. Some of them include two versions: detail (for small areas), and large (using clumps, optimized for large areas).
    • Note: all models of the library include materials for Scanline,Mental Ray and VRay, not for other engines.
  • Added support for models organized in separate meshes or groups. Forest attachs all elements in a single mesh when importing.
  • Commonly used options have been moved to the main window: Material handling, Merge/XRef, etc.
  • Added render engine selector for libraries that support multiple materials.
  • Classic 2D Library is not installed by default. It is available from the installer as "Legacy Library".

Geometry List

  • Support for groups in Custom Objects.
    • This mode is useful to scatter groups of plants, preserving their composition. For example, sets of flowers or grass.
    • It works nicely used together Distribution->Diversity->Clusters.
    • Elements of a group are handled as individual items once scattered, both for the boundary checking and surface placement. This also has a great impact on the number of items generated, be care when scattering groups with many objects.
    • Don't use groups for objects that must be handled an unique object (for example a tree). In this case, use a single mesh as before.
    • Groups must be assigned using the name selector. Max doesn't support "pick" groups from the scene.
  • Added compatibility with Laubwerk Plants.
  • Added multi-select support. Now it is possible to edit or delete multiple items at once.
  • Added lock aspect ratio button to Geometry->Width/Height.
  • Geometry->Material is not longer a required parameter. If not defined, the material of the Custom Object is used.
  • Forest automaterials are generated using random names, to avoid duplicates.
  • Optimize Material works on the custom object material if Geometry List->Material is not defined.

Display

  • Points-cloud now uses a simulated shading mode, to improve 3D look. Use the slider to define the shading factor.
  • Added global and local density parameters for Points-cloud.
  • Nested Forest objects (as clumps of grass) don't require to set anymore Render->Meshes mode (VRay and Mental Ray only)

Camera

  • Custom Look-at targets, independent from the Camera.

Surfaces

  • Added Density/Scale falloff curves by Slope.

Tree Editor

  • Added three creation modes: selection, random and sequence. These modes also works with the Creation Tools.
  • Added separate model selector for "Add Items".
  • Added Properties->SubItem. Defines the subitem index when the item belongs to a Group.
  • Transform->Store Values and Re-Seed are moved to Tree Editor->Properties. Re-Seed now works only over the selected items.

Other fixes and changes

  • Class name is renamed from "Forest_Pro_3" to "Forest_Pro". Be care to modify your Forest scripts, if you have them.
  • Material->Fast Opacity was obsolete and has been removed.
  • Transform Rotation X/Y default value is set to -5/+5.
  • Increased default values for Distribution Map->Max.Density and Display->Render->Max.Items (20 Mill. and 1 Mill. respectively).
  • Fixed: VRay proxies using non-ascii characters fail to load in Max 2013.
  • Fixed: Areas->Select Models works with Diversity->Match Color ID and Clusters.
  • Fixed: Updating issue when a Custom Object is converted to Editable Mesh.
  • Fixed: In some cases, render engine is not correctly identified when using F9 to render.
  • Fixed: Animation samples are not properly updated, when using random or maps.
  • Fixed minor issues of Optimize Material when using multi-subs.
  • Fixed: Forest auto-material would create empty materials in the multi-sub.
  • Fixed undo text in some procedures with areas.
  • Texture maps are not longer used to get color for Points-cloud, only material Diffuse color.
  • Fixed: Geometry List->Color ID is gamma corrected.
  • Fixed: Distribution Map was not visible to Asset Tracker in Max 2009 and older.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 3.9.6

  • Fixed: Animation samples are not properly updated, when using random or maps.
  • Fixed: VRay proxies using non-ascii characters fail in Max 2013.
  • Fixed: Editing a Forest scene without an active license would, in exceptional cases, corrupt the Forest objects.
  • Fixed bug in trees.create Maxscript function.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 3.9.5

  • Improved scattering performance for very large distributions (i.e. 1 Mill.items from 14 secs. to 2 secs).
  • Failed loading of Library items does not cause anymore a plugin crash. Also, additional information about the problem is displayed in the Maxscript listener (F11).
  • Fixed potential instability issue in the Library Browser.
  • Fixed: Wrong size of the items returned by Maxscript functions.
  • Fixed: Surfaces were not working with certain combination of number of faces and aspect ratio of the mesh.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 3.9.4

  • Fixed random bug with Distributed Rendering using exclude areas by Forest object.
  • Distribution Map is properly reallocated by the Asset Tracker.
  • The VRay/MentalRay materials for HQ Free plants was swapped.
  • Forest Color was not identifying correctly the elements with some geometries.
Note: the Forest Color fix would change the look of elements rendered with previous releases, when using Tint or Texture by Element.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 3.9.3

  • Surface->Direction can be used with UV Transform->Align.
  • Surface->UV Transform->Align is enabled by default.
  • Improved the distributions of dots in the Points-cloud view mode.
  • Fixed updating issue with animated cameras.
  • Fixed potential exception error when adding items from Maxscript.
  • Fixed instability issues of the library browser in Max 2013.
  • Optimize Material now works properly with Forest Pack Lite.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 3.9.2

Video

Forest Area video


Areas

  • "Bound Checking" now is local for each area.
  • Added "Falloff->Invert Curve". Flips the values of the falloff curves.
  • Added "Object->Scale". Scales the geometry of the referenced object in the Object Areas.
  • New type of Area: Forest. Lets you to use a Forest object as Exclude area. There are two modes to compute the excluding region:
    • Sphere. Uses a virtual bounding-sphere that surrounds each item. The size of the sphere may be scaled using the "Scale" parameter of the area, or modifying the "Collision Radius" parameter in the Geometry List of the excluding Forest.
    • Mesh: Uses the full geometry of each item. This mode may be slower, specially using heavy geometries, but more precise.

Tree Editor

  • The items on Custom Edit mode are rescaled when the Geometry List is modified.
  • The parameters "Tree Editor->Width/Height" are not longer needed and has been removed. If you need to set the size for specific items, select and scale them using the Max tools.
  • "Tree Editor->Creation Tools->Reference by Areas" was obsolete with the UV Surfaces and has been removed.
  • "Tree Editor->Properties->Geometry ID" selector is replaced by a combo list.

Other

  • Max 2013 support.
  • Animation maps.  
  • Added Probability Curves for Rotation/Scale. Lets you to define the probability of each value in the range (X = Min/Max range, Y: 0-100% probability).
  • Improved creation window: now it is possible to select the models from the library before creating.
  • The version used to create/edit the Forest object is accesible by Maxscript with the "savedversion" property. This value is updated when saving.
  • "Geometry->Get Size From library" is changed to a global value and enabled by default.
  • "Forest Color->Range" is renamed to "Random Strength". Default value is set to 100%.
  • "Camera->Limit to Visibility" is disabled by default. In case that large areas are used, Forest displays a suggestion recommending enable this option.
  • "Camera->Back Offset" is set by default to 10m.
  • The Forest icon ("F" sign) is drawn where there are not visible items in the distribution.
  • The installer now supports unattended installation. Use /? in the setup program to see the parameters.

Fixes:

  • Fixed crashing bug in Mental Ray when using nested Forests, and the inner object is not in Display->Render Mode->Meshes.
  • Some parameters of the Surface Area were not being applied.
  • The Surface Area would be disabled ocasionally in UV mode.
  • Clustering on UV Surfaces now works in any plane, not only XY.
  • The Forest object is rescaled properly when changing units.
  • The Library Browser scales correctly the 2D models for all units.
    • Note: now each library stores internally the units used when it was created. To update this value correctly in your own libraries, modify any item and save it. Be sure the Max Unit Setup is set to the same value that you used originally.
  • Selecting a model from the Library Browse, doesn't modify anymore the current Probability value.
  • The viewport is properly updated when selecting items on Custom Edit mode (Max 2013)
  • Fixed potential crashing bug with Snap operations.
  • Switching from Generate to Custom Edit mode preserves the Bound Checking behaviour.
  • Fixed minor issue with mapping channels greater than 1.
  • Zero size items (because transform and falloff operations) would trigger a geometry warning in VRay. Fixed.
  • The Distribution Map is visible in the Asset Tracker.
Known issues: The plugin doesn't work properly with MentalRay distributed rendering in Max 2013. This problem is already reported to Autodesk and we are waiting a fix. This issue does NOT affect to local rendering or Backburner.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 3.8.1

  • Fixed potential crashing bug when using multiple animation samples in VRay.
  • Exclude splines were not updated properly when using 4 surfaces or more.
  • Fixed crashing of collisions detection process with UV Surfaces.
  • Fixed jittering when using Random Translation with UV Surfaces.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 3.8

Material optimizer

Material Optimizer


Areas

Areas

Note: The installer overwrites the default libraries. If you have modified them, please make a copy before upgrading (C:\Program Files (x86)\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro: lib, maps and matlib folders).

Material Optimizer

This new tool helps you to convert and optimize the materials used by Forest, selecting automatically the best settings for each renderer:

  • Convert Standard Materials to VRay (VRayMtl) / Mental Ray ( Arch & Design).
  • Apply Forest Color to the diffuse maps.
  • Apply Forest Material (billboards only).
  • Disable filtering for Opacity Maps (recommended for leaves using transparencies).

The tool can be applied to the current object, running it from the Material rollout, or to a selection of objects, invoking it from Forest Tools.

Areas

  • Multiple areas by object, from three predefined types:
    • Spline: it works as in previous versions, including or excluding items from the area surrounded by the spline.
    • Object: used as excluding areas, remove the items from the region occupied by the object. This type of area is optimized to work with high-poly objects in real time
    • Paint: add or remove items painting directly over the terrain. The Paint areas are editable and can be converted to splines and back.
  • Override Distribution Map, lets you to adjust the Map, Scale and Threshold values for each area.
  • Select the models, from the Geometry List, which are used in each area.
  • Adjustable affect of the falloff curves (Density and Scale).

New features and changes

  • Scattering performance has been greatly improved for large areas and complex splines.
  • Scale falloff by distance to the camera.
  • Falloff values from the camera's environment range.
  • Added parameter "Areas->Scale Falloff->Affect Height only".
  • Decreasing falloff curves are now allowed.
  • The Forest object is not linked automatically to the Area spline, as before.
  • The template layer is cleaned from unused objects before saving.
  • Added support for points-cloud in VRay proxies.
  • The number of maximum items on viewport is much more precise.
  • The Maxscript functions to get items' properties now work in Generate mode.
  • Added Maxscript function: getFullTransform(n). Return the matrix of an item in local coordinates.
  • The HQ free plants texture path is included in the maps configuration.
  • The texture paths are automatically added to the render nodes the first time the plugin is used.

Fixes

  • Vertex color was not rendering on VRay.
  • ObjectID is properly used with Render Elements in Mental Ray.
  • Mental Ray was triggering a "locating instance fmr_..." error on certain configuration of hidden layers.
  • Fixed crash when automaterial is replaced by a non multi-sub material.
  • Fixed rare crashing bug which would happen just before or after rendering.
  • Forest is properly updated after rendering when using manual update.
  • Improved Distribution Map file search on network paths.
  • Fixed instability issue with Maxwell proxies.
  • Fixed potential memory leak in VRay render.
  • Fixed minor issues on billboard importing.
  • Scale Min/Max values were swapped in the Transform rollout.
  • Camera clipping now is disabled when editing in Custom Edit mode.
  • UV Surfaces were generating gaps in the distribution.
  • The Tint, Scale and Rotate maps now work properly with UV Surfaces

Forest Pack Pro 3.6.2

This maintenance patch includes the following fixes:

  • Forest Color->Tint by Element was failing when rendering multiple frames in Mental Ray.
  • Scale map, rotate map and Tint map now work properly with 3D Textures, including VRayDistanceTex.
  • Fixed issues with the Detach/Attach procedures.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 3.6

Color Tint

Color Tint by Element


UV scattering

UV Surfaces


Multiple Surface List

Forest Color

This new plugin is used to add color variation to the Forest items, in a similar way to Forest Material but with significative differencies:

  • Since it is a 2D texture map, not a material, can be used as diffuse map, specular, opacity, etc.
  • Includes up to 10 randomly color/texture maps. Adjustable parameters: color / map / presence (%) / on-off toggle.
  • Adds 5 blending modes for Color Tint: Normal, Color, Additive, Average and Multiply.
  • Color Tint and Maps can be applied by Item or by Element:
    • The items are the scattered objects (i.e., the trees), and the elements are the mesh parts of each item (as the leaves of a tree).
    • This powerful feature allows us for example, to randomize several leaf textures in a tree, or tint individually each blade of a clump of grass.
    • For Color Tint is possible to adjust the weight of tint applied by item or element (0% to 100%).

Surfaces

  • Full 3D scattering using UV surface coordinates. The scattering mode can be selected in the surface rollout: XY (2D projection) or UV (3D).
  • "Surface->Align to Normal" has been replaced by "Direction", a numeric value which defines the direction of the items relative to the surface's orientation.

Library Browser

  • The Library Browser now supports 3D objects.
  • The free models of HQ Plants are included with the Forest Pack Lite/Pro package.
  • Full integration with HQ Plants libraries, including thumbnails and automatic material selection.
    Note: you must install HQ Catalogs which is a available as a separate download.

Transform

  • Scale transform now uses separate ranges for XYZ, instead Width/Height values as before.
  • Scale->Lock aspect ratio adds three new modes: None, XY, XYZ.
  • Rotation and Scale maps now accepts color images. The X,Y and Z scale ranges are multiplied by the Red, Green and Blue component of each pixel (RGB->XYZ).

Other changes

  • Points-cloud performance has been greatly improved.
  • Added compatibility with Max 2012 & Max 2012 Design.
  • Max 7 & Max 8 are not longer supported. Forest now requires Max 9 or greater.
  • Color Tint is enabled in Forest Lite including the new Forest Color plugin, except Tint/Map by Element.
  • A new counter, 'Hidden items' is added to Forest Stats (Custom Edit mode only).
  • Display->Hide Custom is off by default, except when Mental Ray is the active renderer.
  • The Surface List can be edited from Maxscript.

Bugs fixed

  • Improved VRay proxy file search on network rendering.
  • Distribution Maps using Color Correction are updated properly.
  • Random Tint with Gradient was not using the right colours in Mental Ray.
  • The materials of the Geometry List are not duplicated anymore when a Forest object is cloned.
  • Fixed crashing bug when using Points-cloud view mode and "Geometry->Consolidate materials" is off.
  • Swichting to Custom Edit was not keeping the existing distribution, when using Scale Area Fallof.
  • Now is possible to use non-uniform scales when scaling items on Custom Edit mode.
  • Camera clipping was not working properly on Custom Edit mode when using Surfaces.
  • "Surface->Place items" was placing the items in wrong positions.
  • The Maxscript functions 'SetRotation', 'GetRotation' now work properly.
  • The "Material->Color Tint->Use on Custom Object" parameter is removed (now is applied always).
  • Solved geometry issue with distributions created from open splines.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 3.4.1

  • Fixed a bug that was rotating the items randomly at render time.
  • Reduced memory footprint for high-poly meshes and xrefs in VRay.
  • Fixed potential memory corruption in VRay 2.0 when using high-poly objects.
  • Other minor issues fixed.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 3.4

Note 1:
Forest Pro 3.4 requires to re-activate the license. If you use a Stand-alone license, the reactivation is done automatically in the installation process. For Network licenses, be sure to upgrade the License Server software to version 1.10 or greater. From this version, if the computer have not changed, you can reactivate the licenses an unlimited number of times, without wasting activations.
Note 2:
Because the changes introduced in this release, the scenes created with previous versions may look slightly different, specifically distributions of items, randomness and collisions.

New features and changes:

Display

Points Cloud Display

Points Cloud Video

  • New display mode, Points Cloud:
    • This ultra-fast mode enables you to see a 3D preview of the plants.
    • Adjustable density of points.
    • Color by ID or from Material (Diffuse color).
    • See Random Tint in real-time.
  • "Display Simplification" Level for viewport is replaced by a "Max. Items" parameter.
  • The density of items on screen is adjusted on the fly based on Max. Items parameter.
  • Improved scattering speed when using Camera clipping.
  • New proxy models: Thin Box and Plant. Adjustable opacity and wireframe mode.
Scale and Rotation maps

Scale Maps Video

Surfaces

  • Multiple surfaces support.
  • In absence of area splines, the surfaces are used as scattering areas.
  • Density and scale falloff curves by altitude. The curve is applied in the range defined by the Top and Bottom parameters (X=0 is Bottom, X=1 is Top).
  • Altitude for limits and falloff is computed in Forest local coordinates, instead Surface coords. This mode is more suitable for multiple surfaces use.
  • Overlapping of items at different heights is allowed in Generate mode (using multiple surfaces only).
  • All "Get UVW form Surface" parameters have been removed. To disable UVW mapping from surface, set map channel to 0.
  • All items that don't intersect with a surface are discarded.
Multiple Surface List

New features available

Other

  • VRay 2.0 support.
  • Rotate and Scale maps.
  • Random translation on Z axis.
  • Boundary checking with Area splines can work in two modes: 'Point', checking only the item's position, or 'Size', using the item's width and its collision radius.
  • Nesting level is considered when evaluating the area splines. Nested include splines are used as exclusion zones and viceversa.
  • Presets can be exported and imported to external files. Presets list allows to use longer descriptions.
  • A special version of Forest 2.4 has been included for compatibility with old scenes (Only Forest Pro). You can select it as optional module in the setup program.
  • Exclude and Following splines has been enabled in Forest Lite.

Fixes

  • Transform rotation works properly using a fixed angle in mix/max range.
  • The current distribution is preserved when changing to Custom Edit mode.
  • The "Prevent Self-Shadow" feature was not working well in Mental Ray. This could potentially create flickering shadow issues as well.
  • The Surface->Auto feature now works properly with animated surfaces.
  • Fixed crashing bug when loading scenes with XRef objects.
  • Empty meshes were triggering an error when used with Collisions.
  • Collision info in Forest Stats window shows correct results.

Licensing

  • The software is now less intrusive if there is no active license, allowing you to work with the scene, but not edit or render Forest objects.
  • License errors don't longer clear the items in Custom Edit mode.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 3.3.1

  • Added compatibility for 3DS Max 2011
  • Fixed crashing bug when creating object in Generate mode without assigning a spline

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 3.3

  • This release includes all new features and fixed from previous betas.
  • Updated Forest Lite to 3.3.
Note 1
Because the changes introduced in this release, the scenes created with previous versions may look different (specially distributions of items, randomness and collisions)
Note 2
The installer overwrites the default libraries. If you have modified them, make a copy before upgrading (C:\Program Files (x86)\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro: lib, maps and matlib folders). However, we suggest don't modify the default libraries and create a new Category/Library for your plants.
Note 3
Be sure to read Optimizing Rendering notes before using Forest with high poly meshes. It includes important technical information.

Forest Pack 3.2.12b

Fixes

  • The "Geometry->Custom Object" button now works properly (it was bugged in 3.2.11b)

Forest Pack 3.2.11b

Improvements

  • 'Separation' parameter has been renamed to 'Radius'.
  • Added local 'Radius' parameter to Geometry List items. This value is multiplied by the global radius parameter to compute the collision distance between items.

Fixes

  • Fixed random scattering issues in 32 bit computers.
  • 32 bit and 64 bit nodes now generate similar distributions.
    (note: it's not guaranteed that distributions are indentical because the differences between CPU architectures).
  • Creation Tools by reference was not working well with scaled objects.
  • Mental Ray was triggering an error "locating instance fmr_..." if current layer was hidden.
  • Forest Material was crashing in Mental Ray if base material was undefined.

Forest Pack 3.2.10b

Improvements

  • Improved performance creating items at render time.
  • Surface->Auto-update can be enabled in Custom Edit mode.

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed memory issue handling more than 5 millions of items.
  • Fixed when facing to camera was enabled, items were beign aligned to the surface even with this feature disabled.
  • Fixed gamma correction when creating thumbnails on Library Browser importer.
  • Fixed viewport color issues in wireframe mode when object is selected.

Forest Pack 3.2.9b

Improvements

  • Improved scattering speed for large number of small area splines.
  • Scenes saved with 3.2.9b can be loaded with Forest 3.2.4.

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed issues of Collision detection with Camera clipping.
  • Fixed crash when merging Forest objects from an external scene while a Forest object was being editing.
  • Fixed assertion error when rendering a cloned Forest object in Mental Ray.
  • Complex area splines were triggering a wrong "Maximum Density" error.
  • Item's scale and rotation would to change when being edited in Custom Edit mode.
  • Distribution bitmap is not affected anymore by gamma settings.
  • Consolidate Materials was creating null materials when using non-sequential IDs.
  • Fixed redrawing issues on viewport when using camera motion.

Forest Pack 3.2.8b

New features and improvements

  • New parameter in Geoetry List: Color ID. Used for the new Distribution->Diversity options and as item color in the viewport.
  • Distribution->Diversity. Defines the mode in which the items listed in Geometry rollout are scattered:
    • Random (default mode).
    • Cluster. Groups similar items together, creating clusterings. Some parameters are used:
      • Size: Cluster's size.
      • Roughness: set the shape of the cluster (0% = smooth, 100% = rough).
      • Blurry Edge: modifies cluster edge from sharp (0%) to blurred (100%).
      • Noise: adds random items to the distribution (0% to 100%).
    • Match color ID on Map. Allow to use colored Distribution maps, matching each pixel with the color ID defined in the Geometry List. As in previous versions, black pixels are taken as gaps (no tree), you can use the Threshold parameter to adjust the black level.
  • Scale Falloff from area splines.
  • Scattering process now is fully multithread, using all CPU cores. Performance gain can reach 100% in complex scenes.
  • Collision detection system has been rewritten completely. The new algorithm is much more accurate.
  • New collision parameters:
    • Height: defines the elevation of the virtual sphere used to detect collisions.
    • Preview on Viewport: disabled by default to speed up viewport redrawing.
  • Distribution Map can get UVW coordinates from Surface.
  • Added parameters to set mapping channel for Distribution and Tint maps.
  • Geometry->Probability now uses decimal values.
  • New Display parameter to disable auto rebuilding of the Forest object (Update manually).
  • Number of CPU Threads is set automatically from available processors (General->CPU Auto).

Other changes

  • Fixed randomly Self-illum problem when using billboards in Mental Ray. Trees were rendering more darker than expected.
  • Undo Buffer is not cleared anymore after rendering.
  • Fixed popping trees issue when using spline density falloff.
  • Fixed Random Translation on Y axis was computed as a percentage of tree's height instead of width.
  • Fixed XRef objects from VRay or MR proxies were being taken as meshes, not as proxies.
  • Camera->Expand default value increased to 25%.
  • Random Translation default set to 20%.
  • Distribution->Draw Gizmo parameter removed (always enabled by default).

Forest Pack 3.2.7b

New Features

  • Distribution Map
    • Added support for all types of maps, not only bitmaps. These include animated and procedural textures.
    • New parameters: pixels X/Y. Use them to adjust the density in the distribution pattern.
  • Tint Color
    • Added support for animated maps
    • New parameter for Tint Map: "Get UVW from Surface":
      When checked, UVW coordinates are taken from Surface. If not, from Distribution Map.
    • Fixed rendering artifacts when using Tint Map in VRay

Forest Pack 3.2.6b

New Features

  • Tint Color Maps. Includes two modes: random pixels or applied as texture over Surface.
  • All parameters can be defined in Forest plugin (global) or in Forest Material (local by material).
  • Creation Tools:
    • It's not needed to reselect objects to create a new distribution.
    • Area mode now uses density values (items per area), instead absolute number of items.
    • Estimated number of items before creating.

Other changes and fixes

  • Fixed error message "parameter geomtex has invalid type 15" when loading presets.
  • Fixed crash when rendering invalid Forest objects (F icon) and using Forest Material (VRay only).
  • Fixed bug when randomizing samples from Geometry List in Creation Tools.
  • Fixed Tint Override in Forest material was using only of the two gradient colors (Mental Ray only).
  • Fixed exclude spline was not working if it was not Z aligned with include spline.
  • Gamma is properly applied in Library Browser.
  • "Surface->Follow Animation" parameter renamed to "Surface->Auto Update".
  • "Surface->Follow Animation->Only on Rendering" parameter removed. Surface always is updated before rendering.

Forest Pack 3.2.5b

New features and improvements

  • Items can be rotated along any axis, not only Z.
  • Added random rotation for X,Y axis. Negative ranges are supported.
  • Add Multiple selector (Geometry rollout) and accepts XRef objects.
  • XRef Materials support.
  • New random scattering algorithm: creates more uniform distributions, and works with large Geometry Lists (>100 samples).
  • Added button (R) to randomize probabilities of Geometry List
  • Random translation can be used with Custom Edit mode.
  • Simplification Level (Display rollout) now works with Custom Edit mode.
  • New Creation Tools modes using reference objects:
    • Pivot - Replaces old "In Objects Positions" mode. Now can get rotation and scale values.
    • All Faces - Creates an item at center of each face. Item is aligned to point at farthest vertex from center.
    • Area - Distribute randomly n items on surface of the reference meshes.
  • All Creation Tools works in 3D. Scattering over complex surfaces is now possible.

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed distributions issues using more than 100 items in the Geometry List.
  • Fixed "Hide Custom Objects" parameter (Display rollout) was hiding objects randomly.
  • Fixed issues with Align to Surface option
  • Fixed reactivation issues in multiprocessor systems

NOTE: This version may change the distribution of existing scenes. If you want to use old system, set oldRandomDist=1 in forestpack.ini

Licensing

  • Solved reactivation issues in multiprocessor systems

Forest Pack 3.2.4

  • Fixed crashing bug in Mental Ray when using Custom Edit and Limit to Visibility
  • Optimized rendering time and memory footprint for mrProxy objects
  • Added option in Creation Tools to follow path

Forest Pack 3.2.3

  • Added option to save memory at render, hidding Custom Objects (Display rollout)

Forest Pack 3.2.2b

  • Some objects were not visible on viewport after rendering with Mental Ray
  • Fixed flicking trees issue when using Spline fallof and Limit to visibility
  • Fixed crashing bug when using Creation Tools with Splines
  • Fixed issues in Last Render error dialog
  • Fixed bug with automatic Camera assignment
  • Fixed message "error inverting matrix" in Mental Ray log

Forest Pack 3.2.1b

  • Max 2010 support
  • Geometry List:
    • New options: Add multiple (from a list of custom objects), Copy, Paste
    • Replaced text buttons by icons
    • "Use Mesh Dimension" is enabled by default
    • Assigning an item from Library Browser/Custom Object updates "Name" text automatically (to disable this behaviour, set assignGeomName=0 in plugcfg/forestpack.ini)
  • Fixed potential crashing bug when there was not any item selected
  • Fixed network rendering issues of 3.2b
  • Default "Max trees" value (Display rollout) increased to 500.000
  • Added tooltips and updated icons
  • Installer doesn't ask for stand-alone licence if already exists

Forest Pack 3.2b

New features

  • Improved rendering of 3D trees. Forest detects and uses Mental Ray and VRay native render engines, allowing to create scenes with virtually unlimited number of objects and polygons.
  • Added "Render Mode" parameter to Display rollout: "Automatic" enables the new rendering features, "Meshes" creates a single mesh for all trees (old mode)
  • Improved handling of high poly meshes (working with the plugin, not only at rendering)
  • Viewport redrawing is much more faster, specially in Custom Edit mode
  • New Viewport display modes: Pyramid and Box
  • Added normals alignment options to Surface rollout
  • New parameters in Forest Material to override the Random Tint global values, defined in the Forest object
  • New parameter in Forest Material to disable the use of "Forest Shader" in Mental Ray. This is the shader used by default for billboard trees, and adds some improvements as: fast opacity, self-illumination and irradiance adjustable color.
  • Forest detects automatically the following conditions, suggesting the best parameters configuration:
    • Using high poly meshes
    • Mental Ray rendering
  • Forest objects that had some condition error in the last render, are listed on a warning dialog
  • Drag & Drog support for Material parameters
  • Forest Stats shows estimated trees for render when "Simplification Level" is enabled for viewport

Mental Ray

  • Fixed dark edges artifacts when Self-shadowing option is enabled
  • Forest Material is now compatible with bucket rendering

VRay

  • Note: VRay improvements only work with Max 9 or greater and VRay 1.5 SP2/SP3
  • Trees was not receiving Global Illumination in Forest Material. Fixed
  • Global Illumination is not applied to shadow planes (Forest Material)
  • Self-Shadowing detection (Forest Material only)
  • It's not longer needed to disable "Hide Planes in Viewport" to get shadows

Other Fixes

  • Library Browser doesn't duplicate materials that already exist in the scene
  • Fixed visual artifacts for billboard trees when Camera and Light were parallel (hence Texture/Shadow planes were coplanar)
  • Creation Tools / Along a Path with Spacing option was not working as intended
  • Z-Offset was not working with surfaces
  • Fixed problem with "Link to Surface" if a surface is not defined
  • Enabled by default showMapInViewport=1 in forestpack.ini for Max 2009 (patch for textures viewport issue)
  • Collisions detection was not working in Custom Edit mode
  • Fixed issue with Custom Edit mode and limits of maximum trees/faces
  • Fixed crashing bug when a Custom Object used by Forest was deleted from scene
  • XShadow was ignoring center displacement values
  • Fixed shadow issue with center displacement and random mirroring
  • Forest errors while network rendering are logged to Backburner
  • Applied UVW mapping to default mesh ("F" icon)

Forest Pack 3.1

  • Self-Ilum Factor parameter default value changed to 50%.

Forest Pack 3.05b

  • Fixed misaligned shadows on asymmetric trees ("Center" different of 50%).
  • Fixed crash when loading "default" preset.
  • Added option to disable warning messages when Forest checks texture paths.
  • Fixed crash when using empty custom objects and display option was set to "Planes".
  • Library Browser crashed occasionally when a Forest object was in the "Undo" buffer.
  • Some buttons of Custom Edit panel were not enabled when a single item was selected.

Forest Tools:

  • Improved speed in the creation of instances.
  • Added button to delete instances created previously.
  • New option to create instances in a separate layer.

Library Editor:

  • Added visual guides for "Center" and "Z-Offset" parameters.
  • Thumbnail scales dinamically when modifying size values.
  • Added Lock aspect ratio checkbox.
  • Material was not updated properly after selecting a library item (dark trees on scanline render).
  • Fixed bug when selecting materials on the import dialog.
  • All libraries have been reviewed, fixing sizes, center, z-offset values and some textures.

Licensing:

  • Improved support for networks without name resolution (DNS or Hosts file).
  • Fixed internal bug with network licenses.

Forest Pack 3.04b

  • New parameter to Material->Mental Ray: "Irradiance Color", use it to adjust the effect of Global Illumination (Final Gathering) over Forest objects.
  • Fixed a bug with "Four Planes" geometry template, that was creating an invalid mesh under certain conditions.

Forest Pack 3.03b

  • New full editor for the Library Browser. It allows to edit standard libraries, add new items and import materials to create new libraries automatically.
  • Improved support of paging keys and scroll bars for the Library Browser.
  • Mental Ray shader fixed to work with IES Sun lights.
  • Fixed bug when loading scenes that use "Following Spline".
  • Forest Tools instancing was not taking random transformations. Fixed.
  • New options for Self-shadowing detection: full object (trees don't cast shadows to other trees on the same Forest object) or only each tree to itself

Custom Edit mode:

  • Added button to reset trees to its default size.
  • "Use Mesh Dimensions" parameter now is used for custom objects.
  • Random mirror was not working. Fixed.
  • New button to select trees by ID.

Licensing:

  • Network protocol improved to avoid issues with some firewall devices.
  • License Manager now works with bigger fonts.
  • Fixed error with workstation names longer than 15 characters.
  • "Change License Mode" utility now remembers that last mode configured.

Installer:

  • Microsoft Runtime libraries are installed when needed.
  • Network render nodes installation supported.

Forest Pack 3.02b

  • In Max 2009, network rendering nodes were requesting a license. Fixed.
  • All parameters are compatible with Imperial Units.
  • Batch Rendering issues fixed.
  • Added support for Vertex Color in Custom Objects.
  • New parameter: "Animate only at render time". Enable it if you use high-poly animated custom objects, as Onyx trees.

Forest Pack 3.01b

  • Button "Places Trees" on surface options was always disabled for Custom Edit mode. Fixed.
  • New option for Custom Edit mode: "Linked Surface", places automatically the trees over the surface.
  • Creating trees in Custom Edit mode now generates random geometry IDs, and get the size from the Geometry List.
  • Creation Tools is fixed to use random geometry IDs as well.
  • "Randomize Geometry" button moved to Custom Edit rollout. Added new parameter to reset trees size.

New parameters in material rollout for use with Mental Ray:

  • Prevent Self-Shadow / Fast opacity: These parameters has been moved from "Forest Material" to "Forest" plugin, to make easy to adjust the Mental Ray behavior without modifying each material used by Forest.
  • Trace depth: Maximum raytrace depth used in Forest Material rendering (default 3).
  • Opacity Level: defines the minimum level of opacity of the mask textures used by Forest Material. As instance, a value of 80% considers all pixels darker than RGB=204,204,204 (255*80% = 204) as opaque) (these last two parameters are used to speed up rendering with Mental Ray, but in some situations using lower values would create image artifacts. To disable them use Trace Depth=99, Opacity Level=100%).
  • Self-illum factor: Used to adjust the self-illumination of all materials used by the Forest object (works only with Forest Material).
  • Fixed compatibility with "mr Photographic Exposure" control.
  • Mental Ray render speed has been greatly increased. As instance, a sample scene with 5000 trees that needed 3m27s in Forest 3.0 now renders in only 22s.

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