Welcome to Gugila's GroundWiz plug-in for 3ds Max and Autodesk VIZ. Many artists that have ever tried to create good looking terrain textures know how hard it is to create them using standard tools. You may use a big photo from real life to map some far away mountain range. Or you could use a detailed but highly repetitive image of some ground material, like rock or grass to make it pleasing to the eye from close-up. But in the distance it loses its appeal. There are numerous tricks to combine the two methods and try to find some compromise, but it may be too complicated or time consuming to get a satisfying result. GroundWiz Terrain Map will help you create natural looking terrain textures with ease. In addition, using GroundWiz Planter along with GroundWiz Terrain Map, you will be able to merge vegetation, rocks and other nature elements and quickly create realistic interactive scenes of nature/landscape. Also GroundWiz Variation Map will help you quickly add color variations to the nature scenes so that even the same plants look diverse in colors.

GroundWiz Terrain Map is a procedural 3d terrain map that can be used as a diffuse, bump, displacement, specular, or for that matter any other map type. It uses fractal algorithms to generate terrain textures and mimic real-life terrain. When you are creating terrain maps, transitions between different materials are hard to control with tools that pre-existing applications offer. Typical blending methods of mixing two or more materials don't give realistic results. That is where GroundWiz comes into action. Numerous controls give users the ability to control the look of terrain materials while seamlessly integrating into 3ds Max and VIZ workflow.

GroundWiz Planter is a mass placement and instancing tool fully integrated with GroundWiz Terrain Map to create interactive scenes of nature/landscape. Until now, it has been very difficult or almost impossible to create a big scene of nature/landscape, using millions of trees, rocks, bushes, shrubs, grass and so on in 3ds Max/VIZ. Needless to say, it is hard to manage a huge number of objects while also making sure that each one of them maintains high quality. GroundWiz Planter is optimized to handle many objects at the same time by aggressively using LOD(Level of Detail) objects, instancing and view-dependent drawing routines. In addition, it will give you all the controls to plant as many objects precisely on a specific area where you desire the way you want. Planter works well with V-Ray, Brazil, Default Scanline, FinalRender Stage-1. Furthermore, Planter comes with a special mental ray geometry shader that allows hundreds of millions of triangles to be rendered when using mental ray.

GroundWiz Variation Map allows users to quickly add variations to materials when creating large scenes with many objects - for example creating forests. Usually it's used to create color variations in which case it should be used as a diffuse map. But not limited to diffuse map, also it can be used as opacity map, bump, specular color, glossiness, etc.

What GroundWiz Terrain Map, GroundWiz Planter, and GroundWiz Variation Map do is to facilitate your full use of 3ds Max/VIZ in creating natural 3d environments. It is completely integrated with 3ds Max/VIZ. It doesn't try to build a whole world or terrain for you, or give a set of predefined objects that would allow only little change or user input. Instead, it will give you control, power and flexibility to create and modify nature/landscape, using your own customized terrains and objects like trees, rocks, grass, houses or whatever objects you wish to use. GroundWiz Terrain Map will help you create a realistic looking terrain texture on the terrain you create or the one imported into 3ds Max/VIZ from real life via GroundWiz importer. On that terrain, GroundWiz Planter will help you create a nature scene while GroundWiz Variation Map will help you quickly add color variations to the nature scenes.

We created GroundWiz with a purpose of bringing a good set of tools for creating nature scenes. If you want to create good looking terrains with ease and also nature/landscape with precision and flexibility, we hope that GroundWiz will be of much help to you and would meet your expectations.

This document file consists of 7 main sections:
  • Here in Introduction, you can find what GroundWiz Terrain Map and GroundWiz Planter are all about.
  • GroundWiz Terrain Map section will explain how GroundWiz Terrain Map works and how it differs from other tools. Also it will.give you more specific and detailed information about controls and settings as well as some examples.
  • The section for GroundWiz Planter will explain how to use this mass placement and instancing tool and give specific details on controls and settings.
  • The section for GroundWiz Variation Map will explain how to use this Variation Map and give specific details on controls and settings.
  • In GroundWiz mental ray Shaders section, we will talk about issues specific to using GroundWiz with mental ray renderer.
  • In the section of GroundWiz Terrain Importing, you will get information on how to import terrains into 3ds Max via GroundWiz importer.
  • The final section, Tutorials, will show you how to use GroundWiz Terrain Map along with GroundWiz Planter, and also GroundWiz Variation Map step by step from simple cases to more advanced techniques.