Why GroundWiz Planter?
GroundWiz Planter is a mass placement and instancing tool for 3ds Max/VIZ. In fact, 3ds Max comes with pretty handy tool Scatter and there are scripts on the net to handle placing instances.
However, what makes GroundWiz Planter powerful and different from other tools is all the controls it gives, handling millions of instances of 3d objects in 3ds Max/VIZ at interactive speed. GroundWiz Planter allows you to choose what plants (your own objects) to place, where to place them, what instances of objects to detach/delete/move/rotate/scale/clone, etc. In addition you can use brushing tool to place, delete or select objects. The flexibility and control GroundWiz Planter provides make it possible to create and modify a natural landscape with much ease and precision the way you desire.
The following are key features of GroundWiz Planter:
- Optimized to handles a huge number of objects at interactive speed. 3ds Max is not good at handling thousands of instances, but GroundWiz Planter allows you to handle millions of objects.
- Uses GroundWiz Terrain Map layers for mass placement to easily create forests and plant massive areas based on slope of the terrain, altitude, sun direction, etc.
- Once objects are auto (mass) planted, you can do precise placing of each one. Options include sub-selection, moving, rotating, scaling, detaching and attaching. In sub-object mode, working with Planter is in many ways similar to working with Editable Poly but instead of faces user is handling whole objects/plants.
- Planting zones based on closed splines or any editable poly/mesh convertible objects - new since version 1.500.
- Planter clustering simulates vegetation grouping effect so common in nature - new since version 1.600.
- For detailed planting, Brush mode is available that allows painting plants over the terrain. Brush can be used to add, remove and select many plants (objects) at the same time.
- Allows placed objects to avoid one another and also standard 3ds Max objects: collision avoidance. Collision with 3ds Max objects is triangle based and placement density and scale can be controlled based on the distance from those objects.
- Land object instances and 3ds Max objects to the ground after the terrain is modified - new since version 1.500.
- Automatic LOD (level of detail) handling so that far away objects don't waste polygons and rendering speed.
- Objects can be drawn as normal 3d models or as billboards to reduce number of polygons required.
- Numerous adjustable standard controls: varying size, orientation, position, etc.
- When used with mental ray, GroundWiz Native Geometry Shader is used that allows hundreds of millions of polygons to be rendered.
- GroundWiz Planter supports V-Ray proxies, mental ray Proxy objects, ArchVision RPC objects and other extended object types via Planter's Instancing shader.
- SpeedTree v4.0 and highter supported via Planter's Instancing shader. Instancing shader allows each planted tree instance to be unique by engaging SpeedTree's procedural tree creation - new since version 1.600.
GroundWiz Planter Reference Guide will give you more specific and detailed information about controls and settings of GroundWiz Planter as well as some examples.
To see how GroundWiz Planter is used to create a natural landscape, you may refer to Tutorial 5: The Making of Ski Trails in the Forest and also Tutorial 6: Forest House (using GroundWiz Map & Planter).