GroundWizTM plug-in


GroundWiz PlanterTM: mass placement and instancing tool

GroundWiz Planter is a mass placement and instancing tool fully integrated with GroundWiz Terrain Map to create interactive scenes of nature/landscape. GroundWiz Planter makes it possible to create a big scene of nature/landscape, using millions of trees, rocks, bushes, shrubs, grass and so on in 3ds Max. Additionally, it manages 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 and 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.

Instancing Object Shader:

Since ver 1.600, this is a replacement shader for 'Custom Object Shader'. This shader was added to allow 3rd party plugin objects to be used as plants in GroundWiz Planter. 'Instancing Object Shader' can be used when rendering V-Ray proxies, SpeedTree objects, mental ray proxies or 'ArchVision RPC' objects.

This allows V-Ray users to use V-Ray Proxies for planted objects. This way it is possible to plant tens of thousands of highly detailed trees and render billions of triangles. As an example, a scene containing 50,000 trees and each tree having 50,000 triangles was rendered (a view with 2.5 billion triangles all together!).

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.

Key Features

  • 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 higher 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.

In nature, different types of plants tend to grow in groups. For example, on meadows same type of flowers will grow closer together, and in forest same type of trees are more likely to be growing in the same area. Clustering was introduced to Planter to help simulate grouping effect so common in nature.
To learn more about Clustering, click here.

Without clustering, 4 different plants are randomly mixed and placed together.

With clustering, each of 4 different plants is placed in clusters.

Planting Zones
Planting zones allow other geometry objects (closed splines, editable polys/meshes, patches, etc.) to define regions where planting will be allowed or disallowed. It is convenient when you need to plant objects in a specific shape. For instance, when planning to design a garden in a certain shape, it is useful to use this 'Planting Zones' feature. While 'GroundWiz Layer Limits' is used to randomly place objects on a bigger area, 'Planting Zones' can be used for a smaller and planned area.

GroundWiz Layers for Placement
GroundWiz layers can help define where to plant objects. Basically plants are placed where certain named layers appear.

'G'(GroundWiz limit map) is where plants are placed. Using various parameters, it's possible to place plants precisely along the
border line or more randomly and naturally.

Brushing Tool
With a brush tool, plants are placed or deleted wherever the brush goes on the terrain. Also, plants can be selected with a brush tool to modify(detach/delete/move/rotate/scale/clone).

Collision Avoidance
GroundWiz Planter allows planted objects to avoid colliding with one another or max objects. Furthermore, it's possible to make plants scarcer, smaller or bigger approaching 3ds Max objects.

Object Draw Type

Rotate to View

Align to View

LOD objects can be drawn in 3 different ways: 'Draw 3D', 'Rotate to View' and 'Align to View'. Except for the standard 3d drawing style, Planter also allows you to have your objects always face the camera or have them rotated towards the camera.
Each LOD object can be drawn differently, so it is possible to use billboards only when plants are far away.

GroundWiz Native Geometry Shader
GroundWiz Planter was created to handle millions of planted objects. GroundWiz Native Geometry Shader uses an advanced feature of mental ray engine that allows objects to be built when needed and later discarded to free some memory - so called placeholder objects. This way hundreds of millions of triangles can be rendered in a single view. For more information, refer to GroundWiz Manual.

To learn more about GroundWiz Planter, click here.


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