Technical Specification

Artist-Friendly Parametric Modelling

No programming experience? No Problem!
RailClone includes everything you need to create sophisticated parametric models in 3ds Max. Its unique workflow and powerful style editor enables anyone to create detailed procedural objects by combining standard meshes into 1d and 2d arrays. With its easy-to-use nodal interface, array-based logic, advanced deformation modes, and incredible instancing features, let RailClone do the thinking for you and create your own parametric objects in minutes - not days.

Array Based Instancing

Segments

Segments are the building blocks of a RailClone object. Modular, repeatable pieces of geometry are combined and instanced using Generators. Because RailClone starts with existing meshes, it’s far easier to use and understand than other parametric modellers.

Generators

Assemble segments using easy-to-understand rule based arrays called Generators to create a huge range of parametric objects. Unlike other procedural tools, there’s no need to understand programming principles to use RailClone’s unique approach to modelling.

Linear Arrays

Use the L1S Generator to create deformable 1D arrays that follow splines, or use a length parameter. Linear arrays are highly versatile with the ability to target the start, end, corners, default and evenly spaced intervals with different segments.

2D Arrays

Use A2S generators to create deformable 2D arrays and define the axes with any combination of spline or length measurements. With RailClone’s most sophisticated construction rules, A2S arrays have 12 targetable parts, including the corners, sides, top, bottom,and evenly spaced intervals on the X and Y axis. This array type lends itself to horizontal and vertical styles such as facades, roofs, ceilings, cladding systems and much more.

Use Your Own Geometry

Any Mesh

RailClone creates geometry from any 3d object so you can get the most from your existing modelling skills to generate detailed parametric objects. Any object that can be converted to a mesh can be used as a Segment in RailClone

Proxies

Use proxy objects or let RailClone automatically convert geometry to native renderer instances on the fly. RailClone’s smart instancing technology converts any segment that has been deformed to static geometry, while converting segments that have only been translated, rotated or scaled to instances intelligently managing memory, render times and enabling you to create scenes with enormous polygon counts.

Advanced Deformation

Tiling Modes

Tile

Use RailClone to array segments along paths using one of four tiling modes. In the default mode, geometry is repeated and the final segment is sliced to ensure a perfect fit with the underlying path.

Scale

Stretch geometry between the start and end of a spline or between intermediary segments using scale mode. This algorithm is perfect for those situations where the object has a consistent cross section.

Adaptative

Ensure only whole segments are used with Adaptive mode. This algorithm intelligently adds additional segments and scales them all equally to fill the available space. No geometry is sliced for optimal instancing and you’ll never see half a segment or encounter an unwanted open edge.

Count

Take control and specify the exact number of segments to be cloned along a path section using Count mode and the segments are accurately scaled to fill the available space.

Render Without Limits

Easy-ToUse Interface

Modify Panel

If you’re a regular 3ds Max user, the interface is immediately familiar. RailClone’s settings are accessed through the Modify panel where you can load presets, apply them to splines, add surfaces and adjust parameters. If you plan to use the included library styles or work with those made by colleagues then everything is accessible from this interface. If you want to build your own styles, you can click a button to launch the style editor with it’s simple node-based workflow.

Style Editor

Create parametric models in record time with the node-based style editor. The intuitive interface is easy-to-learn and fast-to-use so you won’t have to spend days learning new software. Once a style is created you can make parameters available in the modify panel so that others can use your assets without having to open the editor or unpick how your style works.

Combine, Select, and Sequence Geometry

Compose Operator

Combine multiple segments and save modelling time by assembling new parts from existing components. Easily reverse the order and mirror the geometry of composed segments to reuse them on both sides of symmetrical.

Sequence Operator

Create sequences of segments and use simple parameters to control the number of times they are repeated. Sequences can be incremented on the X or Y axis and multiple sequence operators can be connected together to create almost any pattern.

Selector Operator

Manually pick from a list of segments using the Selector operator or export the the index value and choose geometry dynamically using expressions.

Randomize Operator

Add naturalistic variation in your styles by randomising segments. Use probability values to control the likelihood of a segment being selected to give you complete control over the final effect.

Overlap and Transform Geometry

Materials and UVs

Randomise Materials

Add variety by randomising Material IDs or create striking patterns by applying them in a sequence.

Automatic Box Mapping

Use Custom Edit mode to add, place or edit items manually. Fine tune an Automatically UV map geometry along straight or curved splines to create the appearance of a single seamless object. Choose your UV channel, use real world sizes and rotate mapping, all without leaving RailClone.

Edit and Randomize UV Mapping

No need to edit the source geometry; adjust the tiling, rotation and offset of existing UVW channels directly from RailClone. With the ability to randomise UV offset, rotation, tiling, plus material IDs, you’ll never spot texture repetition again.

Conform to Surfaces

Conform Arrays to a Surface

No need to use other tools to conform splines to terrain, let RailClone do it for you! Splines are updated automatically and in real time so you can see the results of design changes instantly.

Follow Surface Normals

Use the surface’s normals to deform segments or ignore them and use RailClone’s three standard deformation modes, it’s up to you!

Follow Surface Normals

Wire Parameters

Clipping

Spline Clipping

Slice and include or exclude geometry using closed splines. RailClone’s boolean tools are far more efficient than Max’s, only the segments that are clipped are calculated, other segments remain instanced to minimise build-time and improve memory management.

Automatically extract sizes

Use RailClone as a powerful floor, roof or ceiling generator that can fill an area from single closed spline. Rotate RailClone and use it to create cladding, siding, shingles and many other vertical styles.

Conditional Relationships

Conditional Rules

Create styles that can adapt to different circumstances automatically with powerful conditional rules based on spline length, vertex type, spline type, vertex angle, segment count and current position in the array.

Limit by Materials ID

Use material IDs applied to spline segments to limit the placement of RailClone objects. Use multiple generators and different material IDs to drive many different styles using a single spline.

Generator Padding

Combine and overlay multiple generators on the same spline section with the option to add an offset to the top, bottom, left and right of the array.

Library and Presets

Licensing

Each purchase of RailClone Pro gives you access to a single license for creating and editing RailClone Objects, the full library contents, and free unlimited render nodes. For the duration of your maintenance subscription you are also entitled to premium technical support and upgrades.

The versions released during your subscription are yours to keep forever. If you like to stay up to date with the most recent versions of RailClone we recommend you should stay on the maintenance plan, however there are no penalties for allowing it to lapse. If you want to skip some versions, it's no problem and you can jump back on at any time and download the most recent software paying only for another year of maintenance.

Compatibility

RailClone Pro is compatible with 3ds Max 2010 to 2017 with native support for the following render engines. It can also be used with other renderers via RailClone Tools or with the instancing engine disabled. Feature support varies for some renderers, for a full list please see this article

RailClone comes in 2 versions

RailClone PRO

RailClone Pro is fully featured, with advanced modes to deform geometry on the Z axis, an unlimited number of segments and generators, RailClone tools and the ability to convert the geometry to an editable mesh. The pro version also includes the full library of other 350 style presets and the ability to edit libraries and add your own objects.

In addition, a Pro license of Forest Pack permits you to prioritised technical support, early access to beta versions, and regular updates.

RailClone LITE

RailClone Lite is free to use, even commercially. It provides many of the features found in RailClone Pro but is limited to 3 segments, 1 generator, and flat splines. The Lite edition has a limited subset of library styles, and does not include RailClone Tools, the ability to collapse to a mesh, or user editable libraries.

If you want to know the differences between our Pro and Lite version, please read this documentation