AREA Blogs Feed is an Autodesk online community for 2D and 3D artists -- with free tutorials and downloads, movie and image galleries, professional industry artist interviews and job posting boards. AREA members also have access to Product-specific discussion forums, and blogs by Autodesk Media & Entertainment Software Product Developers.Tue, 31 Mar 2015 03:17:20 UTCMaya Monday - using nCloth and nHair to hang objects on a ropedobert<p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p>Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:53:10 UTC Populate Flow from ShapesRodrigo Assaf<p>Hi! This post is about a little script I developed about a tool that generates a Populate flow on a shape. My script looks for shape vertices in order to create a Populate flow that fits in. In cases where shapes have bezier curves I created a function called Divide where it adds more vertices on a shape producing better flows.</p> <p>You can download the script on:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>Ps.: The script has some limitations like handling with attached shapes, multiple ways shapes and 3D vertices on the shape (which is ignored by populate flow).<br /><br />Please feel free to copy, share, modify or improve it!</p> <p>Thanks!&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="" width="500" height="311" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="">Populate GenFlow Script</a> from <a href="">Rodrigo Assaf</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.</p>Sat, 28 Mar 2015 04:35:36 UTC to the Render Team BlogRendering Alliance<p>Welcome to the first blog entry for the 3ds Max rendering team!</p> <p>First, I'll briefly introduce the author of this post, me, Jenni O'Connor. I joined Autodesk in March of 2014, and I work with the Rendering and Design Data teams working on 3ds Max. A big part of my job is to represent you, the user, in getting the features you need into 3ds Max.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">I have a background in computer hardware and software development, and have worked with numerous computer languages, operating systemns, and architectures over the years. </span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">I've been using Autodesk software since 1985, 3D Studio since 1992, and since 1998 I taught 3ds Max and CAD at the local college until I moved to San Francisco in 2014. I'm the author of "</span><a href="" title="Mastering mental ray" target="_blank" style="line-height: 1.5em;">Mastering mental ray</a><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">" (Sybex), and I'm a big fan of just about anything cutting-edge in computers, rendering and 3D. Follow me here and on <a href="" title="3dsmax_designer" target="_blank">Twitter</a>.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>With this blog space you will see a variety of people from our rendering team posting on pretty much anything related to 3ds Max rendering, so this will no-doubt be an interesting place to watch. We'll start off introducing the team with our A<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">rchitect and the fearless leader of the rendering development team, Neil Hazzard, and then the developers, our QA, and our Scrum Master in alphabetical order.&nbsp;</span></p> <h1><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Architect</span></h1> <h2><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Neil Hazzard</span></h2> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/Neil.jpg" alt="Neil Hazzard" width="288" align="left" style="float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px;" /></span></p> <p>Before joining Autodesk in 2000, Neil worked for a small R&amp;D company where he first got hooked by the 3D bug. &nbsp;First by writing software to generate &ldquo;Stereograms&rdquo; then onto working in a team developing a real-time full body motion capture system. &nbsp;One thing in common for all of this was a piece of software called 3d Studio Dos and then 3ds Max. &nbsp;</p> <p>When the opportunity arose to join the Autodesk team he jumped at the chance and worked in the ADN/Sparks group helping out the developers around the world. &nbsp;This lead to much travel but also the opportunity to give presentations at both GDC and Siggraph. &nbsp;As the years rolled on he moved into more core development of 3ds Max especially around the area of real-time and hardware shaders culminating with working with the new ACRD team in Shanghai&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">and the evolution of Quicksilver and Nitrous. &nbsp;</span></p> <p>Now with the new challenges of ever increasing capabilities of rendering for both offline and real-time he is faced with the task of running the rendering team to make sure that 3ds Max is ready for the next stage of the rendering revolution.&nbsp;</p> <p>Neil comes from a small (old) village of Warsash on the south coast of England where he lives with his wife and 2 sons. &nbsp;With all the beauty of the area he spends much of his spare time taking photos of it and its wildlife, the rest is taken up with building remote controlled cars and quadcopters and naturally being daddy taxi. &nbsp;However recently Neil decided on the hairbrained idea of cycling the length of the UK in September 2016 over a nine day period, so many of his hobbies have taken a back seat infavour of two wheels.</p> <p>Follow Neil on <a href="" title="Neil on Twitter" target="_blank">Twitter</a></p> <h1>Developers</h1> <h2><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Zap Andersson</span></h2> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/Zap.jpg" alt="Zap Andersson" width="200" align="right" style="float: right; margin-left: 20px; margin-right: 20px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;" /></span></p> <p>H&aring;kan "Zap" Andersson loves rendering, with a speciality in materials and shading. Prior to working at Autodesk he was a shader developer at mental images, and is the "father" of many popular mental ray shaders (fast SSS shaders, &nbsp;Arch&amp;Design, the Production shaders, etc.). However, Zap majored in Electronic Engineering (one of his mottos is &ldquo;Nothing I do professionally I have any training for whatsoever&rdquo;), and hand-wired his own graphics card as his finals project, for which he wrote his first renderer&hellip; in 32 kilobytes of RAM&hellip; in a dialect of BASIC that lacked recursion. He lives way too far out on the Swedish countryside, and when not making pretty pixels, spends every spare minute building - and flying - strange multirotor contraptions.</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/coptershop.jpg" alt="Zap's Bench" width="500" height="259" style="margin-left: 100px; margin-right: 100px; margin-top: 25px; margin-bottom: 25px;" /></p> <p>Follow Zap on <a href="" title="Zap on Twitter" target="_blank">Twitter</a></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <h2>Ulrich Haberl</h2> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/Ulrich.jpg" alt="Ulrich" width="200" align="left" style="float: left; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 20px; margin-right: 20px;" /></p> <p>Ulrich always tried to bridge the gap between design and development, between a strong focus on visuals and clean paradigm-driven coding.&nbsp;</p> <p>In respect to that, the thesis of his first diploma in computer-science covert an optimized version of Catmull-Clarck's subdivision surfaces (as an actual plugin for 3dsMax, btw.), his second diploma in graphics design was an actual book - a collection of huge panoramic photographs of various barbecue parties at different times and locations, and his last master thesis again around theoretical background, paradigms and practical approaches on modular C++.</p> <p>Before joining Autodesk he worked as a freelancer, doing coding (using C++, Java, Objective-C) and project management for web applications, Linux routers, client applications and mobile apps - and a lot of 3D- and web-design.&nbsp;</p> <p>Together with a friend he founded the Thinking Apes GmbH, where the two monkeys spent some years on creating the legendary Nodejoe(tm), that at some point got a part of 3dsMax as Slate Material Editor.</p> <p>He loves coding, is a pedantic mover of pixel offsets in UIs, does meaningless but funny experiments with various 3D engines and -programs in his spare time and - as a kind of a visual person - does the most of his development by redoing object design and UI concept sketches over and over again.</p> <div></div> <h2>David Lanier</h2> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/DavidLanier.jpg" alt="David Lanier" width="288" align="right" style="float: right; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 20px; margin-right: 20px;" /></p> <p>After earning his master's degree in applied mathematics, David started to work in the video games industry in 1998 as a R&amp;D tools developer. He<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;was developing plug-ins and scripts for 3ds Max and Maya for artists to improve their workflow. He has</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;worked at Kalisto Entertainment and Ubisoft developing 3ds max, Maya, Motion Builder and Perforce tools.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Most famous games he has worked on are: Tom Clancy&rsquo;s Splinter Cell 2 and 3.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">David created :</span></p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The tools developers forum "</span><a href="" title="Developer Community" target="_blank" style="line-height: 1.5em;">Plugin Developer Community</a>"<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;to make the tools developers community grow</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">A section about </span><a href=";gid=2623836&amp;trk=anet_ug_hm" title="3ds Max Developers" target="_blank" style="line-height: 1.5em;">3ds Max developers</a></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">A company named </span><em style="line-height: 1.5em;">David Lanier 3D</em><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"> in 2004, to provide services in CG development. They provided custom 3ds Max plug-ins and scripts and mental ray shaders development, training and technical support. Our products were including a physical ocean, volume and extended toon shaders for mental ray for 3ds Max, Maya and Softimage.</span></li> </ul> <p>In 2011, David closed his company to join Autodesk is now working as a principal engineer in the 3ds Max Rendering team.</p> <p>David lives in France, and is married with 2 children. He was a Taekwondo instructor (martial art) and now practices badminton.</p> <h2></h2> <h2><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Daniel Levesque</span></h2> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/Daniel01.jpg" alt="Daniel" width="288" align="left" style="float: left; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 20px; margin-right: 20px;" /></p> <p>Daniel started working at Discreet in 2001 &ndash; &nbsp;in the 3ds Studio Viz team, where his toying with the radiosity engine gave him a taste for the rendering world. He soon moved to the 3ds Max team where he was involved in the mental ray integration and rendering features in general; and in 2006 joined the team that developed the mental ray integration in Revit and Protein.</p> <p>He joined mental images and moved to Germany in 2009 to work on iray, the physically-based path tracer that runs on your everyday GPU. Following a short one-year excursion at Imagination technology&rsquo;s hardware ray-tracing division, he&rsquo;s been happily absorbed back into the Autodesk collective where he&rsquo;ll lend a hand at solving 3ds Max rendering problems once more.</p> <p>Daniel works from the Autodesk office in Berlin. He&rsquo;s apparently the only M&amp;E employee in Germany. His personal interests include motorcycling and camping/hiking, but these being not entirely compatible with the landscape around Berlin, he adapted to spending his time drinking beer, eating currywurst, and traveling around Europe.</p> <div></div> <div></div> <h1><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Quality Assurance</span></h1> <h2><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Cedric Lavoie</span></h2> <p><img style="float: right; border: 0; margin-left: 20px; margin-right: 20px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;" src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/Cedric.jpg" alt="Cedric" width="288" />A graduate with honors from the NAD Center in 3d animation for video games in 2008, Cedric struggled for some time to figure out his place in the industry.&nbsp;</p> <p>As he came out of school, he was offered an opportunity at Autodesk to work on Image Modeler and Stitcher, as a QA analyst and product support and then for 3dsmax as a legacy tester. Once the contracts were completed, he went back to the NAD Center as a consultant, assigned on R&amp;D on Motionbuilder and D&rsquo;Assault&rsquo;s Virtools.&nbsp;</p> <p>Not so long after, Cedric was back at Autodesk working on the Suites install and licensing team for a brief period of time until he jumped into the hardware certification department where he became the project lead for 3 years.</p> <p>In need of some changes and new challenges, Cedric joined the 3dsmax team as a QA and is now part of the rendering team.</p> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Fun facts:</span></h4> <p></p> <p>Cedric is an avid video game player. He often writes complete and extensive reviews on games, but doesn&rsquo;t dare to publish them publically. Cedric is also a seasoned paintball player who plays every week-end during the summer. Don&rsquo;t mind the bruises!</p> <div></div> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <h2><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Pierre Quirion</span></h2> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/PierreQ_420.jpg" alt="Pierre" width="288" align="right" style="float: left; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 20px; margin-right: 20px;" /></p> <p>Pierre joined the industry as a video game programmer for a small studio 15 years ago using an homebrew game engine running on the oh-so famous DirectX 2. In his spare time, he studied and learned 3D with colleagues to improve his computer graphics skills, because doing 3D in Photoshop back then wasn't that efficient.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">With his new virtual skills, he joined Autodesk as a support specialist in 2005 where he enjoyed the no-more-available morning bagels while improving his knowledge of 3ds max, combustion, CleanerXL and their various issues.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">After years of training, he then joined the QA group where he could have an impact on the development of 3ds max. After almost 5 years there, he implemented a few new ways to improve the automation process, where his bot scripts travel in the future and brings back possible defects.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">During this time, Pierre built a 2D beat-them-up side-scroller game using Microsoft XNA and later switched to Unity3D, because: Microsoft... and the missing D.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Pierre lives in a small town near Montr&eacute;al with his wife and 2 lovely daughters. Learning all about the Disney&rsquo;s princesses and the harsh worlds they live in. Waking up in the morning with one of their musical singing song stuck in his head.</span></p> <h4><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Fun Fact:</span></h4> <p>Pierre uses his Architectural 3D skills as sales pitch tools for renovation project approval from his wife.</p> <p>He also spends a ridiculous amount of time cooking and learning about it.</p> <p></p> <h1>Our Scrum Master</h1> <p></p> <h2>Tram Le-Ngoc</h2> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/therenderingalliance/tram3.jpg" width="350" style="float: right; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 20px; margin-right: 20px;" /></p> <p>Tram has recently joined the rendering team in the position of "Scrum Master". A Scrum Master is a real thing (her kids think she is some sort of "Kung Fu" master) - it is a critical position within an Agile development team that helps us manage our numerous tasks, balance our priorities, and keep us pointed in the right direction. Her Scrum Master&rsquo;s style has been described by some as charming yet fierce, by others as evil with a smile, but always efficient!</p> <p>Tram has a background in SCM, in Build and Release Engineering, as well as Project Management, servicing various Autodesk M&amp;E products such as 3ds Max, Softimage, Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, Creative Finishing and the Entertainment Creation Suites. Prior to joining Autodesk in 2006, Tram worked as a programmer in the Flight Simulation industry coding assembly and Fortran, but she doesn&rsquo;t seem to like discussing this past life much!</p> <p>Tram currently lives in Montreal with her husband and four children, spending much of her spare time (what spare time?!) being a hockey mom in the winter, soccer mom in the summer, and super mom all year long! Nonetheless, she does seriously wonder sometimes whether the teenagers are in her Scrum teams instead&hellip;</p>Fri, 13 Mar 2015 14:07:06 UTC Maya Voxel Skin to 3DS MaxRodrigo Assaf<p>Hey Everyone,<br />My first post of this year is dedicated to a workflow using Maya &amp; 3DS Max concerning skin. I did a tutorial showing how easy and fast is to Skin your 3DS Max character into Maya using Geodesic Voxel Skin Method. The main advantage of using Geodesic Voxel Skin is the fast and accurate result it gets. It is an awesome tool that 3DS Max users using the Suites could do. Another good advantage of Geodesic Voxel Skin is how it manages high quality meshes and your complex elements inside like a character having too many accessories and props. Geodesic Voxel Skin technology can skin all!</p> <p>Hope you like it!</p> <p></p> <p><iframe src="" width="500" height="311" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="">Send Skin Voxels Info to 3DS Max</a> from <a href="">Rodrigo Assaf</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.</p>Thu, 12 Mar 2015 01:57:25 UTC Monday - Transform and Selection options / hidden hotkeysdobert<p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p>Tue, 03 Mar 2015 17:37:15 UTC;s Quest - Getting in the Mood for GDCCory Mogk<p>I found this a while back and thought it might be a nice trip down memory lane (circa Maya v3) for some of you, particularly as GDC approaches - enjoy! Make sure to check out our <a href="/gdc2015">GDC 2015 page</a> to see what kind of fun we'll be getting into this year.</p> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p>Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:19:50 UTC scrollable text in rolloutMaxStation<p>I was working on a little script that shows information about selected objects, my intiial tests were done on a simple scene so i just used a Messagebox to show the results. That works fine as long as the number of lines of text fits on the screen.</p> <p>V1 of the script:</p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;">m=""</p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;">for i in selection do&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">"\n"</span></p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">messagebox m</span></p> <p class="code"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">But what if the user selects lots of objects? In that case the message box goes off the screen, you can still hit return to close it but you won't be able to see all the info. I need a scrollbar!</span></p> <p>With .Net you can do that, here is V2 of the script:</p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: 'Courier New', Courier, monospace; line-height: 1em;">m=""</span></p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;">for i in selection do&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">"\\r\\n"</span></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;" class="code">rollout r "Info" width:300 height:300</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;" class="code">(</p> <p style="padding-left: 60px;" class="code">dotNetControl textboxctrl "System.Windows.Forms.TextBox" pos:[0,0] width:300 height:300</p> <p style="padding-left: 60px;" class="code"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">on r open do</span></p> <p style="padding-left: 60px;" class="code">(</p> <p style="padding-left: 90px;" class="code">textboxctrl.WordWrap = false;</p> <p style="padding-left: 90px;" class="code">textboxctrl.Multiline = true;</p> <p style="padding-left: 90px;" class="code">textboxctrl.ScrollBars = textboxctrl.ScrollBars.vertical;</p> <p style="padding-left: 90px;" class="code">textboxctrl.Text=n;</p> <p style="padding-left: 60px;" class="code">)</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;" class="code">)</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;" class="code">createDialog r;</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;" class="code"></p> <p>The thing to keep in mind is that you need to use <span class="code">\\r\\n</span> in the textBox instead of&nbsp;<span class="code">\\n</span> to ensure all the text doesn't end up on a single line.&nbsp;If you'd like to scroll horizontally also replace<span class="code"> textboxctrl.ScrollBars.vertical;&nbsp;</span>with <span class="code">textboxctrl.ScrollBars.both;</span>.</p>Fri, 20 Feb 2015 11:57:38 UTC Monday - nParticle collision set updobert<p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p>Mon, 16 Feb 2015 15:10:52 UTC Animations in ActionUltimate_Smoker*<p>Hi Everyone,</p> <p></p> <p>I hope that you are all well.</p> <p></p> <p>I have posted another video to the Smoke Learning Channel.</p> <p></p> <p>In this video, we take a look at how you can create animation in separate parts and combine them together to create complex animations without writing expressions.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p>This includes instancing and mimicking in the Action schematic.</p> <p></p> <p>You can check it out on the <a href="" target="_blank">Smoke Learning Channel.</a></p> <p></p> <p>All the videos are also available for download <a href="" target="_blank">via iTunes for later viewing.</a></p> <p></p> <p>I have other videos in the works including requests and feedback.</p> <p></p> <p>More to come soon but please keep the comments, feedback and suggestions coming!</p> <p></p> <p>Have a great week!</p> <p></p> <p>Regards</p> <p>Grant</p>Thu, 12 Feb 2015 12:25:39 UTC Artist in Residence Program at Pier 9Cory Mogk<p>Pier 9 is Autodesk's makerspace in San Francisco. One of the things that happens at Pier 9 is that we host an <a href="">Artist in Residence Program</a>. This video provides a nice overview of the space and the program.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="">2015 Pier 9 Artist in Residence Exhibition</a> from <a href="">Pier 9</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.</p> <p>Here are a couple of interesting projects from the Artists.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="">Blooms: Strobe-Animated Sculptures</a> from <a href="">Pier 9</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="">Artist Profile: U-Ram Choe</a> from <a href="">Pier 9</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.</p> <p>If you are interested in being an Artist in Residence, you may <a href="">apply</a> - the next deadline is February 22, 2015. Not sure if you want to apply, check out some of the <a href="">artists</a> and <a href="">projects</a> that are part of the program.</p>Thu, 12 Feb 2015 03:40:49 UTC Monday -- Million Storiesdobert<p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="/showcase/#!/"></a></p>Mon, 09 Feb 2015 20:55:39 UTC Monday - Attaching objects to a deforming meshdobert<p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p>Tue, 03 Feb 2015 02:46:42 UTC Max Template Workflows for New &amp; Part-Time Usersvisualz<p class="Headertext" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 19.0pt; margin-left: 4.5pt;"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; letter-spacing: 0pt;">My 60-minute lecture from Autodesk University 2014.<br /><br /></span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; letter-spacing: 0pt; line-height: 1.5em;">This session explores several 3ds Max software workflows throughout the production pipeline that accommodate fast turnaround for <strong>new, part-time, and casual users</strong>, as well as for seasoned veterans who want to create beautiful static images or animations </span><strong><i style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; letter-spacing: 0pt; line-height: 1.5em;">without</i></strong><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; letter-spacing: 0pt; line-height: 1.5em;"><strong> an in-depth &ldquo;guru&rdquo; knowledge </strong>of 3ds Max software.&nbsp;<br /><br /></span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; letter-spacing: 0pt; line-height: 1.5em;">Diving into a new 3D package can be intimidating. This session aims to remove this barrier of entry and enable people of various skill levels to create beautiful deliverables in the shortest amount of time.</span></p> <p class="Headertext" style="margin: 0in 0in 19pt 4.5pt; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; letter-spacing: 0pt; line-height: 1.5em;"><iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></span></p> <p class="Headertext" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 19.0pt; margin-left: 4.5pt;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/garyd/summary.PNG" width="704" height="397" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p>Thu, 29 Jan 2015 23:42:03 UTC Topological Art in Maya with XGenCory Mogk<p>Have you ever wondered how <a href="">Lee Griggs</a> makes these awesome images?</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/cory/xgenGriggs.jpg" width="977" height="728" /></p> <p>You can browse through these on <a href="/showcase/portfolios/660">Lee's Area portfolio</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">If you want to take it further, there's a new video on the Maya Learning Channnel that you can try to learn more.&nbsp;</span>This movie shows you how to use XGen to create a series of primitive cubes, then adjust their heights and color via ptex map to create interesting works of art.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p>Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:24:13 UTC Monday - Working with lots of objects - part2dobert<p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p>Mon, 26 Jan 2015 02:52:07 UTC many cores does 3ds Max support? Part 2: RenderersMaxStation<p>The previous post (H<a href="/blogs/maxstation/n268-how-many-cores-does-3ds-max-support">ow many cores does 3ds Max support</a>) was about how many cores 3ds Max would recognise, this one looks specifically at the scanline and the mental ray renderers.</p> <p></p> <p>The scanline renderer is limited to 32 cores. If there are more than 32 cores in the machine you have to have at least Service Pack 1 for 3ds Max 2015 installed otherwise it will crash (from the SP1 readme file:&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em; font-size: 14px;">MAXX-16801&nbsp;The Scanline renderer caused a program error when rendering with more than 32 processors).</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Like 3ds Max the mental ray renderer will only use a single processor group, so at most 64 cores can be used, but depending on the number of cores in the machine it could be significantly lower (in the example from the previous post the 72 cores will be split in two 36 processor groups).</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">How to maximize render performance? The two approaches from the previous post still apply, you have to ensure that the number of cores is lower or equal to 32 (for the scanline renderer) or 64 (for the mental ray renderer). The options are either disabling hyper-threading (which for compute intensive operations tends to give a 10-20% performance increase) or to run multiple virtual machines (which can have a 3-15% overhead). Both are much better than leaving half the cpu cores of the machine unused.</span></p>Thu, 22 Jan 2015 14:40:32 UTC many cores does 3ds Max support?MaxStation<p>Until now in order to have lots of cpu cores in a machine you'd have to buy a server in order to get more than two processor sockets and run a Windows Server on it so that all the processors are recognized. Officially that is not supported because we only test 3ds Max on Windows Workstation versions.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">The latest announced Intel cpu has 18 cores (</span><a href="" style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Intel&reg; Xeon&reg; Processor E5-2699 v3&nbsp;(45M Cache, 2.30 GHz)</a><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">), add two of those in a workstation, switch on hyperhtreading and you'll have 72 cores.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p>With that many cores you'll run into a problem: 3ds Max doesn't use all of them. With two of those latest Intel cpus it will only use 36 cores...</p> <p>The reason for that is Windows Processor Groups (see&nbsp;<a href="">this MSDN article on Processor Groups</a>&nbsp;for the details). As there are more than 64 processor cores in the system they get split into two processor groups, 36 per group.&nbsp;</p> <p>And as 3ds Max isn't Windows Processor Group aware it will run in a single group only, therefore using only 36 cores.</p> <p></p> <p>T<span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">o maximize utilisation of the cores in the machine there are two approaches:</span></p> <ul> <li>run multiple virtual machines each with a certain number of cores assigned (that could be assymetric: one virtual machine with 64 cores assigned and the other with the rest)</li> <li>disable hyperthreading so that there are 64 or fewer cores.</li> </ul> <p></p> <p>Both of these have a certain performance impact (running virtual machines can cost from 3 to 15% performance and enabling hyperthreading with cpu intensive tasks tends to give between 10 and 20% performance improvement). But even the worst case scenario will better than only using half the processor cores.</p>Wed, 21 Jan 2015 14:14:27 UTC Could Project Draco Do For Storyboarding and Animatics?Cory Mogk<p>We asked <a href="/blogs/hsm/will-the-story-collaborator-please-stand-up--wait-story-what">Matthew Chan</a> from the Hyperspace Madness team to try out Project Draco as a storyboarding tool. Here's a bit of what he came up with. We think it looks pretty cool and it helps to tell the story with fewer images which means less data to manage. What do you think? You can read more about Project Draco on the <a href="">Autodesk Research blog</a>.</p> <p><img src="" /></p>Mon, 19 Jan 2015 22:16:36 UTC Monday - working with lots of objects - part1dobert<p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p>Tue, 13 Jan 2015 02:24:30 UTC how Backburner handles missing bitmaps, xrefs and pluginsMaxStation<p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">With the latest Backburner 2015 version (see<a href="/blogs/maxstation/n265-updated-backburner-2015-available">&nbsp;</a></span><a href="/blogs/maxstation/n265-updated-backburner-2015-available">Updated B</a><a href="/blogs/maxstation/n265-updated-backburner-2015-available" style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">ackburner 2015 available</a><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">) when Backburner encounters missing plugins, maps or xrefs, it reports them as warnings and continues the rendering job. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">If you prefer the old behaviour that these cause an error and therefor don't render the job you can crea</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">te a Windows environment variable called 3DSMAX_BACKBURNER_TREAT_MISSING_DLLS_MAPS_XREFS_AS_ERRORS and set its Value to 1.&nbsp;</span></p> <p></p> <p>To c<span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">reate this environment variable in Windows 7:</span></p> <ol> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Open the Start Menu and right click on Computer. Select Properties.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Select Advanced system settings.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">In the Advanced tab, select System Environment Variables.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Select New.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Enter the system environmental variable.&nbsp;</span></li> <ul> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">In the variable name field name enter: 3DSMAX_BACKBURNER_TREAT_MISSING_DLLS_MAPS_XREFS_AS_ERRORS&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">and in the variable value field enter: 1</span></li> </ul> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Select Ok.</span></li> </ol> <div></div> <div><strong>This needs to be set on all server machines!</strong></div> <div></div> <div>To check for this variable from Maxscript (note that this only shows what it is set to on the machine you're running it on):</div> <div>e=dotNetClass "System.Environment"<br />v=Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable "3DSMAX_BACKBURNER_TREAT_MISSING_DLLS_MAPS_XREFS_AS_ERRORS"<br /><br />If it is set the variable v will be 1 otherwise it will return undefined.</div>Thu, 08 Jan 2015 14:15:52 UTC