Technical Specification

Artist-Friendly Parametric Modelling and Layout

No programming experience? No Problem! RailClone includes everything you need to assemble sophisticated parametric models in 3ds Max. Its unique workflow and powerful style editor enables anyone to create detailed procedural objects by assembling standard meshes.

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 smart objects in minutes - not days.

Repeat and instance objects

Array Based Instancing, RailClone

Geometry

Meshes, which we call Segments, are the building blocks of a RailClone object. Modular, repeatable pieces of geometry are combined and instanced along splines. Because RailClone starts with existing meshes, it's far easier to use and understand than other parametric modellers.

Rules

Create nearly limitless types of object using easy-to-understand rule-based arrays. Unlike other procedural tools, there's no need to understand programming principles and because RailClone starts with existing meshes, it's far easier to use than other parametric modellers.

Distribute along splines

Distribute geometry along 1D arrays that deform to follow splines, or set the size using a simple length parameter. 1D arrays are highly versatile with the ability to target the start, end, corners, default, markers and evenly spaced intervals with different geometry.

Create 2D arrays

Create deformable 2D arrays and define the axes with any combination of spline or length measurements. RailClone's 2D arrays have 13 targetable parts, including the corners, sides, top, bottom, markers, 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.

Nested Arrays

In RailClone you can nest one array inside another making it possible to have procedural sub-arrays inside a style. Not only does this make it possible to create even more sophisticated layouts, it does this by dramatically simplifying the graph.

Array Based Instancing, RailClone

Spline Modifier

Precisely place geometry on paths by adding markers with the RC Spline Modifier. Each marker can contain rich information that can be used to control nearly any parameters of a graph.

Array Based Instancing, RailClone

Use Your Own Geometry

Any Mesh

Create seamless models by repeating any mesh objects. Get the most from your existing modelling skills to generate detailed parametric objects. Any asset that can be converted to a mesh can be used with RailClone, and geometry can be instanced for huge poly counts.

Any mesh, 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 object that has been deformed to static geometry, while converting objects that have only been translated, rotated or scaled to instances. It intelligently manages memory, render times and enables you to create scenes with enormous polygon counts.

Proxies, RailClone

Advanced Deformation

Tiling Modes

Tile

Use RailClone to repeat objects along paths using one of four tiling modes. In the default mode, geometry is repeated until it overlaps the end of path where it is sliced to ensure a perfect fit with the underlying path.

Tile, RailClone

Scale

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

Adaptative

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

Count

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

Render Without Limits

Easy-To-Use 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.

Modify panel, RailClone
Style editor, RailClone

Style Editor

Create parametric models in record time with the visual style editor. The intuitive interface is easy-to-learn and fast-to-use and 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 objects and save modelling time by assembling new parts from existing components. Easily reverse the order and mirror the geometry of composed objects to reuse them on both sides of symmetrical styles and save time.

Compose Operator, RailClone

Sequence Operator

Create sequences of objects 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.

Sequence Operator, RailClone

Selector Operator

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

Selector Operator, RailClone

Randomize Operator

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

Randomize Operator, RailClone

Manipulate Geometry

Materials and UVs

Use Object Materials

Use materials applied directly from the source geometry. No more manually creating complex multi-sub object materials, great when using RailClone as a layout tool or using it with stock models.

Use Object Materials, RailClone

Randomise Materials

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

Randomise Materials, RailClone

Automatic Box Mapping

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.

Automatic Box Mapping, RailClone

Edit and Randomise 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.

Edit and Randomise UV Mapping, RailClone

Conform to Surfaces

Conform Surfaces, RailClone

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.

Conform Arrays to a Surface, RailClone

Follow Surface Normals

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

Follow Surface Normals, RailClone

Wire Parameters

Clipping

Conform Surfaces, RailClone

Spline Clipping

Slice and include or exclude geometry using closed splines. RailClone's boolean tools are far more efficient than Max's, only the objects that are clipped are calculated, other objects 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.

Automatic Capping

Automatically cap clipped objects to make it easier than ever to create a seamless object. Capped faces are UVed using real world mapping coordinates so you can easily apply materials to the new geometry.

Automatic Capping, RailClone

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, object count and current position in the array.

Conditional Rules, RailClone

Limit by Materials ID

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

Limit by Materials ID, RailClone

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.

Generator Padding, RailClone

Library and Presets

Licensing

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

The versions released during your maintenance period 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 2012 and above with native instancing support for the following render engines: V-Ray, V-Ray GPU, Corona Render, Arnold (Max 2018 and above), and Mental Ray (Max 2012 - 2017). It can also be used with any other renderer 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 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 and 1 generator. The Lite edition also has a limited subset of library styles, and does not include RailClone Tools, the ability to collapse to a mesh, or user editable libraries. Despite this, it is enormously capable, especially since RailClone 4's release which unlocks the deformation modes in the Lite edition.

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.