What's New in GroundWiz 1.920?
Version 1.920 (June 18, 2014)
GroundWiz is now compatible with 3ds Max 2015 & 3ds Max Design 2015.
- This version supports the following 3ds Max versions: 3ds Max 2015, 3ds Max 2014, 3ds Max 2013, 3ds Max 2012, 3ds Max 2011, 3ds Max 2010, 3ds Max 2009, and 3ds Max 2008.
- Rendering optimizations and multiple bug fixes.
Version 1.900 (September 11, 2013)
GroundWiz now compatible with 3ds Max 2014 & 3ds Max Design 2014.
- GroundWiz currently supports the following 3ds Max versions: 3ds Max 2014, 3ds Max 2013, 3ds Max 2012, 3ds Max 2011, 3ds Max 2010, 3ds Max 2009, and 3ds Max 2008.
- Bug fixes related to compatibility with some other 3rd party plug-ins
Version 1.850 (July 30, 2012)
GroundWiz now compatible with 3ds Max 2013 & 3ds Max Design 2013.
- GroundWiz currently supports the following 3ds Max versions: 3ds Max 2013, 3ds Max 2012, 3ds Max 2011, 3ds Max 2010, 3ds Max 2009, and 3ds Max 2008.
- Bug fixes
Version 1.800 (June 1, 2011)
GroundWiz now compatible with 3ds Max 2012 & 3ds Max Design 2012. GroundWiz currently supports the following 3ds Max versions: 3ds Max 2012, 3ds Max 2011, 3ds Max 2010, 3ds Max 2009, and 3ds Max 2008.
- 3ds Max 2012 comes with a new viewport renderer called Nitrous. Nitrous greatly enhances the quality of visuals and redraw speed in real-time viewport. GroundWiz 1.800 fully supports Nitrous viewport display and comes with a few settings to let user adjust GroundWiz Planter display in viewports.
- Bug fixes and improved stability especially when working with mental ray renderer. Mental ray shader has been improved to handle larger scenes better.
Version 1.700 (June 2, 2010)
GroundWiz now compatible with 3ds Max 2011 & 3ds Max Design 2011. GroundWiz currently supports the following 3ds Max versions: 3ds Max 2011, 3ds Max 2010, 3ds Max 2009, 3ds Max 2008, 3ds Max 9, 3ds Max 8 and VIZ 2008, VIZ 2007.
- New mental ray shader - version 3: the latest version is faster especially with large scenes (millions of rendered objects).
- UI bug fixes & misc optimizations
Version 1.600 (June 1, 2009)
GroundWiz now compatible with 3ds Max 2010 & 3ds Max Design 2010.
- Bug fixes:
- New feature: GroundWiz Planter Clustering
In nature, different types of plants tend to grow in groups. Clustering was introduced to Planter to help simulate vegetation grouping effect so common in nature. See GroundWiz manual for detailed explanation.
- Mental ray shader version 2: new mental ray shader v2 that replaces the old native mental ray shader should be much faster and support bigger scenes. The new shader also supports mental ray assemblies (available in mental ray v3.6 - 3ds max 2008 and higher), which bring sub-scene on-demand instancing for even bigger scenes.
- SpeedTree v4.0 and higher supported via Planter's Instancing shader. Instancing shader allows each planted tree instance to be unique by engaging SpeedTree's procedural tree creation.
- Custom shader was replaced by 'Instancing Object Shader' that should improve handling a large number of objects. Standard shader was renamed to 'Merging Shader' which basically explains the main feature of this shader.
- Terrain map rendering with Brazil r/s v2.0 fixed; previous versions of GroundWiz produced blurred terrain maps and Camera Space Shading mode had to be selected to get any result at all.
- Variation map could slow down rendering when Object properties had many parameters/fields.
Version 1.500 (June 25, 2008)
- GroundWiz now compatible with 3ds Max 2009 & 3ds Max Design 2009.
- New feature:
GroundWiz Variation Map:
- GroundWiz Planter now supports ArchVision RPC objects.
Variation map allows users to quickly add variations to materials when creating large scenes with many objects. Usually it's used to create random diffuse color variations. It can be used with any 3ds Max object and is also fully integrated with GroundWiz Planter to add color variation to planted objects in no time.
- 3ds Max 2009 mr Proxy objects fully supported when rendering with mental ray.
- Based on users' feedback, numerous improvements were made on Planter's editing tools to make working with hundreds of thousands of planted instances easier:
- Bug fixes:
- Planting zones: when planting, it is now possible to define inclusion zones where planting is allowed and exclusion zones where planting is disallowed based on closed splines or any editable poly/mesh objects.
- Hide and unhide object instances. When rendering, hidden instances can stay hidden or be rendered.
- Land object instances and 3ds Max objects. It is useful when terrain was modified and some plants and 3ds Max objects need to be pushed up or pulled down to fit modified terrain height.
- Attach and Detach plant instances to and from another Planter. It works in a similar way to Editable Poly Attach/Detach. 'Attach' also allows attaching any 3ds Max object - a new Plant will be created if it doesn't exist yet.
- Sub selection mode supports 3ds Max subobject named selections.
- 'Mesh display' in Viewport now support 2 new display types : line gizmo and cross gizmo for less cluttered viewport display.
- Planter now supports 3ds Max light Exclude/Include lists.
- Many of Planter features can be accessed via max (keyboard) shortcuts.
- Fixed a problem with V-Ray distributed rendering where render nodes would freeze under certain conditions when rendering GroundWiz Planter objects.
- When Planter's custom shader mode was used and rendering began, hidden objects would still be initialized and therefore would add to rendering time.
- Renderer's option 'Render Hidden Geometry' was not working correctly with Planter.
- When doing network rendering, GroundWiz Full Version and GroundWiz Render Node Version will not require authorization unless GroundWiz plugin is used in the scene.
Version 1.290 (Nov. 15, 2007)
3ds Max 2008 fully supported:
- Known issue with 3ds Max 2008: In 3ds Max 2008, GroundWiz terrain map texture may sometimes disappear when shown in the viewport.
- 3ds Max 2008 has problems showing texture in the viewport in the following case: object is of 'edit mesh' type, material uses 'Planar from Object XYZ' mapping and Direct3D drivers are used. Since GroundWiz terrain map uses 'Planar from Object XYZ' mapping, the problem mentioned above may appear.
- There are a couple of solutions to the disappearing texture problem:
- use 'Editable Poly' instead of 'Editable Mesh' for terrain objects (simplest solution, editable poly is in general more usable object type).
- use GroundWiz terrain map's 'UVW Mapping' option found on the Preview panel. This allows fastest terrain viewport redraw.
- use OpenGL drivers or under 'Configure Direct3D' disable 'Use Cached D3DXMeshes'. This will, however, slow down viewport redraw since currently Direct3D display drivers (with cached meshes) offer optimal redraw.
Version 1.280 (Aug. 22, 2007)
Maintenance release - the following issues were resolved:
- Fixed a problem when brushing (planting) objects on terrain, 3dsmax 9 could crash in certain cases. This happened only with 3ds Max 9 and only if terrain was 'Editable Mesh' object.
- When doing network rendering, sometimes GroundWiz Planter objects would not get rendered or would be rendered only up to some limited distance.
- If GroundWiz Planter was used with plugin DreamScape(Sitni Sati) - specifically DreamScape Sun object, a crash could happen when rendering started. This fix might also improve GroundWiz Planter compatibility with other 3rd party plugins.
- When GroundWiz Terrain Map was used and shown in the viewport, texture would disappear from the viewport after rendering was finished. Texture would reappear when user selected the object. This happened only on certain graphics cards.
Version 1.270 (May 31, 2007)
Vista 32 bit and 64 bit are fully supported. GroundWiz now compatible with VIZ 2008.
- Plant list dialog size was increased to help users that use many plants. It is possible to get back smaller window or even get a bigger one by setting parameter 'plantDialogSizeToUse' in '\plugcfg\GroundWiz.ini' file. Open the file in Notepad for short description.
- When adding plants, it is possible to add many plants at the same time via 'Select By Name' dialog box.
- Fixed a problem with Collision Cylinder / Reset option that would not calculate Radius/Height/Offset properly if plant had modifiers applied.
GroundWiz Terrain Map:
- When creating 'Viewport Texture' texture size limit 4096 was removed. However, big size might make 3dsmax / VIZ run out of memory so it should be used wisely.
- Fixed a problem with some rendering farms where only appoximately 30 computers would be able to connect.
- Added a new example scene 'Tropical Island' that shows GW Planter & GW Terrain map in action. To download it, visit groundwiz.gugila.com/downloads.html.
- GroundWiz Lite version can now convert Planter to Editable Mesh / Editable Poly without restrictions. Previous versions had a limit of maximum 100 closest plants that could be converted to mesh/poly. In the current version this limit was removed.
Version 1.252 (Dec. 14, 2006)
This is a maintenance release. The following issues were resolved:
- 3ds Max 9 (64 bit) version had stability problems with big scenes when more than 4 GB of memory were used, which could result in random crashes.
- When using GroundWiz Terrain Map, in some cases memory corruption could happen that made bump map & limit map render incorrectly.
Version 1.251 (Nov. 13, 2006)
GroundWiz v1.250 installation program (Lite & Full version) had a bug that in some cases showed the following message when installing :
Another version of this product is already installed.
Installation of this version cannot continue. To
configure or remove the existing version of this product,
use Add/Remove Programs on the control Panel".
This happened if user already had (older) version of 'Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable' installed.
In that case GroundWiz would not get properly installed and 3ds Max / VIZ would report an error and fail to load GroundWiz plugin.
Version 1.250 (Nov. 7, 2006)
GroundWiz now fully supports 3ds Max 9 (32 and 64 bit versions). 3ds Max 5 is not supported any more, GroundWiz is currently compatible with 3ds Max 6, 7, 8, 9 / VIZ 2005, 2006, 2007.
- Collision controls were improved. Collision cylinder now supports offset for better object(plant) fit. It is also possible to reset collision cylinder to default values and to preview it in the viewport.
- Bug removed that prevented users from enabling/disabling plants in certain cases.
GroundWiz Terrain Map:
- Map preview now fully supports display gamma settings.
- Bug fix: panel titles would get mixed up when user changed default panel order.
Users that plan to use GroundWiz with 32bit and 64bit versions of 3ds Max 9 can expect GroundWiz results to match in both versions. If they don't, consider it to be a bug that we will promptly remove (when reported).
Version 1.203 (Sept. 14, 2006)
- Due to popular demand, V-Ray Proxy objects are now supported. A new 'Custom Object Shader' was added: it allows objects that are not convertible to the standard mesh to be rendered. This way it's possible to render many 3rd party plugin objects (V-Ray, SpeedTree and others).
- MAXScript API extension. To be able to extend functionality, GroundWiz Planter was fully exposed to scripting. It is now possible not only to export plant data from Planter to game engines but also add, modify and completely control Planter via MAXScript. Documentation was also updated with relevant information on how to access GroundWiz Planter's internal data.
- Viewport Proxy mode display was improved. Planted instances can now be displayed either as pyramids, boxes or cylinders.
GroundWiz Procedural Terrain Map
- Noise algorithm was optimized, rendering times improved by 10% in average.
- Bug fix: When doing Preview grab, if some bitmaps were missing, application might have crashed on some occasions.
- Some small cosmetic and UI related problems fixed.
Version 1.200 (May 24, 2006)
Since version 1.100, GroundWiz essentially consists of 2 plugin tools: GroundWiz Planter & GroundWiz Procedural Terrain Map. Version 1.100 was not released to the general public due to numerous bugs that caused stability and compatibility problems with different versions of 3ds Max and VIZ.
The following are improvements since version 1.002.
As mentioned above, GroundWiz now has a new tool that should be helpful when planting millions of objects to create full nature scenes with vegetation. It includes geometry shader for mental ray that will allow you to render hundreds of millions of triangles. GroundWiz Planter has many features to explore: please refer to the GroundWiz Planter chapter.
GroundWiz Procedural Terrain Map
Numerous new features should make working with GroundWiz Terrain Map easier and more useful:
- mental ray support.
- Displacement map support (each layer can have thickness).
- Extra layer channels - previous versions allowed each layer to have color and bump specified. Now each layer can also have displacement, specular, glossiness, reflection...
- GroundWiz map can be shown in viewport by using Viewport Texture option. This allows easier placement of max objects over the textured terrain.
- A new map was added. GroundWiz Output map allows you to specify what GroundWiz layer data should be output to material (color, opacity, bump, displacement, specular...).
- Layer edge can have detail controlled, in which way it is possible to create smooth or lumpy edges: see Border Detail for more.
- Layer can have thickness setup through Bump Thickness and Displacement Thickness controls.
- Each layer can have Noise Size setup separately to be able to better control layer positioning.
- Preview / Global settings panel was split up into 2 panels since many new controls were added.
- Preview update is faster and has new controls to additionally speed up redraw.
- Small improvements: better undo handling, better control of the layer tree dialog window, bug fixes.
Documentation and Files
- New tutorials were added:
- Tutorial 4: Importing Yosemite Park into 3ds Max
- Tutorial 5: The Making of Ski Trails in the Forest
- Tutorial 6: Forest House (using GroundWiz Map & Planter)
- New Files:
- New Tutorial and feature overview files added. Refer to GroundWiz Intro.
- GroundWiz Material Sample file
Version 1.002 (Nov. 22, 2005)
- Fixed bug that occurred when working with inches and other non-metric units and sometimes made texture look very blurry.
- Preview window improvements/fixes; it now works with non default renderers.
- Bug fixed that made terrains imported from raw binary data flipped on the Y axis.
Version 1.001 (Oct. 26, 2005): first public release