Forest Pack 7 beta- try it now!

After months of intensive development, the Forest Pack 7 beta is out now. Be one of the first to try it out and read on to discover what’s new!

 

Forest Pack 7 Beta 1 adds a host of new features to make 3ds Max’s leading scattering plugin even more powerful, pushing it beyond traditional scattering workflows to do things that, until now, simply weren’t possible.

This release includes something for everyone, including a game changing new feature,  the ability to scatter lights and other non-geometric objects! 

There’s plenty more to get excited about, including tools for colour correcting all the assets in a scatter, the ability to use and control animated objects in Corona, support for exporting to real-time engines, a rewritten library browser, loads of usability improvements, a much more useful Reference mode, more stable scattering on animated surfaces and much much more. 

To see a full list of what’s new scroll down to check out the release notes and keep an eye out on our YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter  feeds over the coming weeks for regular videos explaining the new features. 

Heard enough and ready to take it for a spin? Any user on an active maintenance plan* can try the Forest Pack 7 beta. Just head to your User Panel, and download it from the Beta Versions section.

 

Try the Forest Pack 7 beta!

 

Once you’ve tried the new features, feel free to send us feedback on our forum.

 

* Users with floating licenses will need to update their license server to use Forest Pack 7. Please download and install the Itoo Software License Server v1.5 or above, available from your User Panel. If your Maintenance plan has expired, you can easily renew it from the licenses section of your User Panel

 


 

Release Notes

Disclaimer Beta versions include new features and fixes, but a beta version is NOT the final version of the product and therefore we don't guarantee there won't be errors. Please test at your own risk. 

Scattering Lights

The Items List now accepts non-geometric objects, including lights, splines and more. There are several things you need to know, depending on the render engine you use. 

  • V-Ray & Arnold. It's not possible to animate or change the distribution. Items are scattered as in frame 0. Forest Colour can only be used to randomise the tint value of mesh lights. 
  • Corona Renderer & Octane. fully supported, no limitations.
  • Other engines may be supported in the future.
  • A 'Non Geometric Object' option has been added to the Geometry rollout. When enabled, the object is handled as a non-geometric object. Forest will try to instance it keeping the original format, instead getting a mesh. (For many objects this is not necessary and Forest will detect the correct format automatically). 

Colour Correction

  • New colour correction tools allow the user to adjust Hue Shift, Saturation and Brightness for all "Forest Color" textures used by the object.
    • The effects can be disabled for specific textures by turning off Apply Color Correction in a Forest Colour map.

New Libraries (coming soon)

Several new Libraries are available as follows:

  • New Hedge Library of 89 presets. Two types are available, linear presets that distribute hedges along a spline, and Topiary presets that use a surface to create bushes of any shape. 
  • New Stumps Library of 40 photoscanned assets. Optimised presets are also included for scattering over large areas.
  • The3DGarden samples are now integrated into Forest Pack, creating a free and growing collection of high-quality plants. 

Animation 

  • Animation modes are now supported in Corona.
  • Scattering over animated UV Surfaces is improved to generate a more consistent result during the animation. 

Real time

  • Supported by Project Lavina.
  • Unity compatible, export through new Forest Tools options and import to Unity (using a new experimental plugin package available by clicking here.)

Using References

Reference mode has been improved with the following features:

  • Multiple Items per face.
  • The ability to randomise each items position on the marker.
  • The ability to filter markers by material ID.
  • The ability to select multiple references from a scene using Max’s pin stack option.

Usability

  • Added General->Settings->Use Single Rollout.
    • When enabled, a single Forest rollout is open at time. Opening one rollout collapses the others.
    • For 3DS Max 2017 and earlier, this feature works only clicking the rollout title, not using the contextual rollouts menu.
  • The Creation window has been simplified and improved:
    • Default with/height for billboards is removed.
    • Custom Edit mode is removed. To create a FP object in Custom Edit mode, create as icon and next open the "Tree Editor" rollout as usual.
    • The Geometry List can be populated from scene selection (first select objects in the scene, next create Forest object). If there are items selected both in a library and the scene, the library has priority.
  • Two new ways to add items to the geometry list based on a scene selection
    • When creating a new Forest Object:
  1. Select items from the scene. 
  2. Go to the Create panel and click to create a Forest Object. 
  3. Ensure 'Populate From Selection' is checked. 
  4. Create a Forest Object as normal.
  • Using Pin Stack:
  1. Click the "Pin Stack" icon below the Modifier panel.
  2. Select objects from the scene.
  3. Click the Geometry->Add button.
  4. Reselect the Forest object.
  5. Turn off Pin Stack.
  • Default mode for Geometry List changed to "Custom Object". Also, the Pick button is enabled automatically when a new item is added.
  • Camera rollout is reorganized and simplified.
    • The 'Camera' parameter is removed. Now Camera data is fetched automatically from the active view/render, in a much more reliable way.
    • To improve viewport performance, Camera features are disabled on viewport by default. You must turn on the "Enable on Viewport" checkbox.
    • Fixed issues with Batch render when rendering from different cameras.
    • "Use Environment Range" option is removed for LOD/Falloff.

Library Browser

The library Browser has been rewritten from the ground up to make it easier to develop new features in the future. This initial release adds the following improvements

  • New process to import objects/presets to the Library:
    • Library Items are created from scene selection.
    • Material Library and Max scene is generated automatically.
    • Assets can be collected to a maps folder.
  • Added toolbar option to open Library Browser.
  • Improved search that finds matching items across all libraries and includes boolean queries.
  • Ability to select multiple objects and ranges using combinations of the ctrl and shift keys while clicking. 

Forest Colour

Forest Color works on items instantiated by Forest Tools, to use it:

  • Forest Color->Override must be on.
  • Tint/Map works by Item only. Element mode is not supported.
  • V-Ray GPU is not supported.
  • Forest Color can even be used on non-Forest objects, with the same restrictions as items instantiated by Forest Tools.

Other Improvements

  • Support added for GBUFFER >  object  ID in V-Ray.
  • Added support for 'Instance ID' when using VRayUVWRandomizer and VRayMultiSubTex with Forest Pack.
  • Improved randomness for other Distribution modes than "Image". Previous versions would create visible patterns.
    • To keep the distribution of existing scenes, this is applied only to new FP objects.
    • If you want to "upgrade" your FP object so it works as created with FP7, select it and run from Maxscript: $.trees.resetCreatedVersion()
  • V-Ray now uses the materials assigned to each Custom Object, instead of the Automaterial.
  • When there’s no surface applied, items are now aligned with the height of their spline area. In previous versions the topmost spline area would be used. 
  • Added optimization for Interactive Rendering (Corona and V-Ray), when using Viewport->Mesh mode.
  • Now proxies and non-geometric objects are rendered using the V-Ray instancing engine (similar to VRayInstancer), instead of iToo functions.
    • For other animation modes than 'Disabled' and 'Follow Animation', the old method is still used due to limitations of the VRayInstancer mode.
  • Added TForestIntance::tintUVW to the Forest API

Fixes 

  • Nested Forest objects in Corona no longer require 'Meshes' mode.
  • Macros can now be used on all attributes of Library Items (such as object names).
  • Motion blur now works again with distributions driven by particle systems.
  • Fixed inconsistent distribution using exclusion of other Forest objects due to multithreading. 
  • Switching between Paint Areas no longer disables the paint button if it was enabled.
  • Distribution Maps path is always added to External Files->User Paths, even if the user selects 'No' to the Paths configuration dialog. 
  • Adjusted default Distribution Units to 1x1 meter.
  • Links to the documentation are now included for license error dialogs.
  • Data dependent on UV coordinates is now preserved when switching to Custom Edit mode.
  • V-Ray motion blur is now applied to non-animated Forest objects when Custom Object is used in other animated FP Objects. 
  • Added workaround to avoid Mental Ray missing DLL errors loading Library items, or loading scenes which uses Forest presets. (only for Max 2017 and above).
  • "lookat" parameter is renamed to "lookattarget" to avoid conflicts in Maxscript with the "lookat" controller.
  • Fixed crash using Animation modes with interactive render modes.
  • Added optimisation for Interactive Rendering (Corona and V-Ray), when using Viewport->Mesh mode