Technical Specification

The Ultimate Scattering tool for 3ds Max

Forest Pack includes all the features you need to create perfect scatters, every time. The fully integrated solution uses a familiar UI and workflow to create almost unlimited geometry with complete control over every detail. That’s not all, use Forest Maps to randomise maps and add tints, quickly populate a scene using our included library presets or create your own, and use Forest Tools to convert scatters to max instances or XML data for use in large pipelines. With its power, unrivalled features list, ease-of-use, and premium support. Forest Pack will change the way you render.

Render Without Limits

Render Without Limits

Billions of Polygons

Create scenes with virtually unlimited geometry. Renders with hundreds of thousands of objects each with millions of polygons are now possible thanks to Forest Pack’s advanced geometry shaders, compatible with most popular render engines.

Points-Cloud Display

WYSIWYG scattering is possible with Forest Pack’s point’s-cloud display mode. Preview huge polygon counts while maintaining viewport responsiveness and avoid time spent rendering previews.

Convert to Instances

Convert Forest Pack objects to Max instances with the click of button. Ideal for sharing with users or computers without the plugin, using renderers that aren’t already natively supported, or exporting to real-time engines. For large pipelines we provide the ability to export data in an XML file.

Supported Geometry

Meshes and Proxies

Add almost any geometry and Forest Pack intelligently converts it to native render instances on the fly, so there’s no need to spend time creating proxies. If you prefer proxy objects, they’re fully supported too.

Meshes and Proxies

Groups

Scatter groups of objects and preserve their composition. Useful for clumps of flowers and grass, the contents of a group are handled as individual objects so although their position relative to one-another is retained, they can still be individually randomised.

Parametric Objects

If you’re able to output an object as a mesh, you can use it in Forest Pack. This includes parametric objects like GrowFX plants, Laubwerk Trees, RailClone styles, and even nested Forest Pack objects!

Probability

Control the exact composition of a scatter using probability values. Percentages are automatically normalised so there’s no need for tricky maths.

Probability, Forest Pack

Supported Areas

Distribution Patterns

Built-in patterns

Forest Pack uses black and white maps to create distribution patterns. A white pixel creates a tree, and a black pixel a gap. Over 20 default map types are included, but you can easily create your own for any type of design.

Built In Patterns, Forest Pack

Maps

If the built-in patterns don’t include the design you need, you can use procedural maps or images to create any distribution you want.

Maps, Forest Pack

Clusters

Simulate the growth patterns found in nature with Forest Pack’s unique Cluster mode. Group plants of the same type together with many controls for shape, noise, and edge blur.

Clusters, Forest Pack

Cluster render:

Clusters Render, Forest Pack

Match Colour on Bitmap

Create your own cluster patterns by matching plants to colour found in a bitmap. This is ideal for matching planting plans provided by Landscape Architects.

colour Bitmap interface, Forest Pack
colour Bitmap, Forest Pack

Boundary Control

Forest Colour

Randomize Maps

Forest Maps allows you to randomize the maps applied to scattered objects. You can choose to shuffle the maps by object or by element for maximum control and life-like variation.

Randomize Maps, Forest Pack

Randomize From Map

Create a palette and tint colours using a texture swatch! Forest Colour can extract random values from a bitmap to allow you to easily match colours from photographs.

Randomize From Map, Forest Pack

Add tints

Add even more variety by tinting maps. Colours are selected at random from a user definable gradient and applied using one of five transfer modes and a randomizable strength parameter.

Add Tints, Forest Pack

Optimize Materials

Quickly apply Forest Colour maps and apply automatic material optimisation with a single button. In some circumstances scenes can render up to seven times faster after optimisation. e circumstances scenes can render up to seven times faster after optimisation.

Optimize Materials, Forest Pack

Use Texture on Surface

Sample the texture from a map applied to the surface area and use this to tint the overlying objects. For example, you could use aerial photography of fields to create natural colour variations in a grass scatter.

Use Texture on Surface, Forest Pack

Optimization

Frustum Culling

Minimise strain on your computer’s resources by limiting the scatter to the camera's field of view! Create a fly-by with millions of trees, without wasting resources on trees that are outside the frame!

Frustum Culling, Forest Pack

Forest LOD

Switch the geometry and materials of scattered items based on their distance from the camera or their size in the render view to help speed up renders and manage RAM!

Forest LOD, Forest Pack

Distance Based Falloff

Use falloff curves to change the density and scale of a scatter based on distance from the camera! If you have multiple cameras in the scene, you can use their environment range to set a different value for each one.

Distance Based Falloff, Forest Pack

Transform Controls

Editor Mode

Editor Mode, Forest Pack

Add and Edit Individual Objects

Use Custom Edit mode to add, place or edit items manually. Fine tune an existing scatter for the perfect render, or start from scratch by placing individual objects.

Follow Splines

Distribute evenly spaced items along splines. Objects can be set to orientate themselves to the path, retain their original rotation, or use randomised transform settings.

Use Markers

Position and orientate objects using markers, other objects and meshes for reference! Make sure your planting perfectly matches the architect’s plans by using their imported reference markers to precisely place objects.

Animation

Follow Geometry, Forest Pack

Follow Geometry

Forest Pack enables you to scatter animated objects while maintaining significant memory efficiency. Any animated geometry can be used including proxies. In the default mode, the animations are all synced, but there are 3 powerful options that enable you to randomise and control playback.

Randomize, Forest Pack

Randomize

Randomise the time offset of animated geometry to ensure that scattered objects are not played back identically! This is far more natural when using plants and trees with a wind animation or any other situation where you don’t want the animation of objects to play in perfect sync.

Control Using Maps, Forest Pack

Control Using Maps

Control the play back of animated objects using maps. You have two options, either set the offset of the animation and let it play, or specify the current frame using a gray-scale map.

Library and Presets

Licensing

Each purchase of Forest Pack Pro gives you access to a single license for creating and editing Forest 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 maintenance subscription are yours to keep forever. If you like to stay up to date with the most recent versions of Forest Pack 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

Forest Pack pro is compatible with 3ds Max 2010 to 2017 32 and 64 bits.

Forest Pack provides the most extensive native support of renderers in the industry, allowing out-of-the-box rendering of huge polycounts with no need to convert geometry to proxies. We support the following popular renderers:

Feature support varies for some renderers, for a full list please see this article

Forest Pack comes in 2 versions

Forest Pack PRO

Forest Pack Pro has advanced features for surfaces, tree placement and importing/exporting tools. Also it includes a full library of billboard trees and shrubs, 3d Trees and Shrubs, ground cover presets and the the ability to edit libraries and add your own objects and textures.

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

Forest Pack LITE

Forest Pack Lite is free to use, even commercially. It provides many of the features found in Forest Pack Pro but with the ability to scatter a maximum of 3 source objects using up to 4 flat areas. The Lite edition has a limited subset of presets, and does not include Creation Tools, Forest Tools, or user editable libraries.

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