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v2.0 ExLevel GrowFX

ExLevel GrowFX
 

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ExLevel GrowFX

GrowFX is a plugin for Autodesk® 3ds Max®, allowing you to generate any plants and trees, as well as animate them.

ExLevel GrowFX allows you to create extremely realistic trees thanks to a special technology named “Meta mesh”. With Meta mesh, it is possible to combine a trunk and branches into a single surface with smooth transitions at the points of contact. Meta mesh can also create tree trunks of any shape.


Highlights

Creation of realistic trees

ExLevel GrowFX

GrowFX allows you to create extremely realistic trees thanks to a special technology named “Meta mesh“. With Meta mesh, it is possible to combine a trunk and branches into a single surface with smooth transitions at the points of contact. Meta mesh can also create tree trunks of any shape.

Create grass and woodland

One GrowFX object can be used to create a single plant or a group of plants. You can do it by distributing either by specified start points or from a surface of an object. In the case of a distribution from an object surface, values of some parameters can be controlled by texture maps. For example, maps can control the density of plants, the height of plants, etc.

Create climbing and trailing plants

ExLevel GrowFX

The direction modifier named “Object reaction” allows you to create a variety of climbing and trailing plants by using path reaction (reflection / magnetic) to other objects of a scene. Moreover, reactions can help you create plants growing around different obstacles or plants in closed places.

Create sheared plants

ExLevel GrowFX

The direction modifier named “Object slice” allows you to create sheared plants of any shape. In doing so, you can make use of standard shapes from helper objects of the Exlevel category, including plane, box, sphere, as well as the shape of any other geometric object of a scene.

Create Plants of Any Shape

GrowFX allows users to specify any shape for stems and branches. This can be achieved thanks to splines, using the Spline direction modifier. In doing so, you can use interpolation between different splines, creating smooth transitions from one shape to another.

Animation in GrowFX

You can animate almost all parameters and create any plant animation: growth, wind, etc. It’s also possible to use the Affects mechanism to get specific parameters to influence others so that you do not have to configure animation by hand. For example, you can set up a dependency of the length of main branches from the overall height of a tree, and a dependency of small flowers from the length of main branches. Then it’ll be enough to animate a tree height to create a fully-fledged animation of a growing plant.

Use of Custom Geometric Objects

GrowFX offers a mesh builder named “Instanced geometry”. It allows using any geometric objects and even entire object hierarchies made by the user to create leaves, flowers, fruit, and many other objects that may be required for a plant. Besides, you can use animation of these objects to show stages of their growth, distributing them over the main plant. For example, you can create a plant with blooming flowers in the lower part and buds on top. A GrowFX object can inherit all materials from the used objects. Objects can deform along with path directions which can be used to create custom leaves. By creating only one geometric shape of a leaf, you can make it sway in the wind or make leaves look unique thanks to chaotic directions.

Speed of Display in Viewport

As a rule, most plants in 3D have many polygons and vertices. It makes it hardly possible to display many plants in the viewport. In GrowFX this issue is solved. There is a special display mode named “Lines” which displays models in the viewport as simple lines. Moreover, for paths that generate many lines (for example, leaves or small branches), you can set up the amount to be displayed in the viewport by setting the lowest value of the Percentage of paths.

  • Windows Operating System
  • GrowFX 2.0.0 compatible with 3ds Max 2013 – 2021 (32/64-bits)

What’s new in GrowFX 2.0.0

  • Implemented a Node-based editor instead of several rollout dialogs that allows you to manage all GrowFX components in one window. This gives us the opportunity to increase GrowFX functionality indefinitely by introducing various new types of nodes.
  • Added new types of nodes:
  • Public Parameter node – used to create an animated parameter, as well as to display the parameter on the main GrowFX panel.
  • Math node – performs some math operations, can be used instead of the Affect node.
  • Random Generator node – allows to generate random values for any parameters.
  • Switch node – this node allows to redirect the computing process between various branches of the node graph depending on the input value.
  • Attribute Position node and Attribute Distance node – these nodes can be used to get some attributes, and then passing them to the Affect or Math node, for further influence on other parameters.
  • Value node – this node allows to set some value. It can be useful to connect this node to several parameters in order to control their values.
  • The random generation algorithm has been completely redesigned. Therefore, plants may differ after conversion from the previous version 1.9.9 (Final).
  • Many bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.9 (Service Pack 9)

  • Removed the Convert to Mesh & Convert to Spline options from the Preference parameters;
  • Many bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.9 (Service pack 8)

  • Added full compatibility with 3ds Max 2020 (64-bit);
  • Added the ability to specify your own copyright to the GrowFX model;
  • Improved algorithm for the Wind Animation modifier;
  • Added a new parameter Amplitude Multiplier for the Wind Animation modifier;
  • Add a MaxSctipt access to the Looping Period in the Wind Animation modifier;
  • Support Explicit Normals in the Instanced geometry;
  • Fixed import of Editable Poly objects in the Instanced geometry;
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.9 (Service pack 7)

  • Improved the Looping animation algorithm for the Wind Animation modifier;
  • Added the Prevent Penetration option and the Min distance for the Object reaction modifier. This feature avoids the penetration of branches into the object surface;
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.9 (Service pack 6)

  • Added full compatibility with 3ds Max 2019 (64-bit);
  • Added a new Shape modifier that allows the user to modify lines of path by control points;
  • Added Color Channel and Color Mask options in the Surface distributor;
  • Added Use Last Level option in the Path and Path position distributor, which will allow using only the last level of the parent path;
  • Added Path Pos – Min % and Path Pos – Max % parameters in the Instanced geometry, which will allow to control the appearance of the instanced objects along the parent path;
  • Added the ability to affect to the Material ID of the mesh builders;
  • Added the ability to affect to the Displace UVW Mapping parameters of some mesh builders;
  • Added the MaxSctipt functions to access the Cache Mode parameters;
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.9 (Service pack 5)

  • Added full compatibility with 3ds Max 2018 (64-bit);
  • Improved algorithm related to Chaos Count % in the Distributor in point group and Count rate % for all Distributors. Now the calculation is more accurate. Please note, that the plants shape may change slightly;
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.9 (Service pack 4)

  • Added a Playback Options in the Cache mode settings;
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.9 (Service pack 2)

  • Added full compatibility with 3ds Max 2017 (64-bit);
  • Added a new Override Steps modifier;
  • Added Disable Progress Bar option in the Preference parameters;
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.9 (Service pack 1)

  • Added a new option Aligned Local Vector for the Vector Orientation modifier;
  • Improved the Wind Animation modifier:
  • Added a new feature Looping animation;
  • Added a new parameter Strength factor in the Axial rotation group;
  • Added a new parameter Angle Strength in the Orientation for leaves group;
  • Added the Invert lines button in the Eraser modifier;
  • Many bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.9

  • Added full compatibility with 3ds Max 2016 (64-bit);
  • Added the Cache mode. Now you can bake the growth or wind animation of your model, and then use the cache files in other projects. The recording process is multithreaded, so it works more faster for a whole animation than usual tree building when rendering;
  • Added the Bake Direction feature for the Object Reaction modifier. This allows you to bind the vines (for example) to the animated reaction object;
  • Added a new parameters Chaos pos %, Angle Bend and Length % for the Path Position Distributor;
  • Added the ability to convert the Path Distributor into the Path Position Distributor;
  • Added a new option Shift Start Point for the Noise direction modifier;
  • Added a new option Scale proportionally for the Leaves mesh;
  • Added a new option By Width Graph Points for the Leaves mesh;
  • Improved the Stop stitching feature for the Meta mesh, also added a new option Stop stitching for children;
  • Many bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.8 (Service Pack 3)

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.8 (Service Pack 2)

  • Added the ability to use the old algorithm to calculate the Graph of the Density in the Path distributor.
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.
  • Also, we have updated all the files in our Plants Library.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.8

  • Added a new Trim modifier that allows the user to trim lines (stems, branches, leaves etc.) directly in the viewport;
  • Added the “Revert erased lines” button in the Eraser modifier;
  • Copy/Paste now works between all Graph Controllers;
  • Added the visibility toggle for the paths list;
  • Added some new MaxScript functions;
  • Removed parameter SubDivs from the Preference parameters, accordingly improved algorithm for the Path distributor;
  • Improved algorithm for the Zigzag direction modifier;
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.7

  • Added full compatibility with 3ds Max 2015 and 3ds Max Design 2015 (64-bit);
  • Improved viewport performance in 3ds Max 2015;
  • Added a new parameters group called Alarm limits to the Preference parameters. By setting these parameters, you can be sure that your model will not cause a memory overflow;
  • Some minor improvements and bugfixes.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.6

  • Added a new Eraser modifier that allows the user to erase unwanted lines (stems, branches, leaves etc.) directly in the viewport;
  • Added a new options for the Rescale GrowFX object;
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.5

  • Added full compatibility with 3ds Max 2014 and 3ds Max Design 2014 (64-bit);
  • Added the Displacement map for the Meta mesh builder;
  • Added a new Align Children modifier that enables the user to align child paths in case the parent path is too distorted. This modifier must be added BEFORE the modifiers that distorts the parent path, thus eliminating its effect on child paths;
  • Added a new direction modifier Copy direction;
  • Added the Decay parameters for the Wind object;
  • Added a possibility to track the distance between a GrowFX object and any other object, and create an Affect from this value affecting other parameters. See Distributor parameters;
  • Added Override steps options for the following mesh builders: Cylinder mesh, Meta mesh and Leaves mesh. It allows you to change the lineal length of mesh polygons without changing its shape. You can now create several models of the same plant with a different number of polygons. This and the previous feature also allow you to create models where the number of polygons is directly related to the distance from camera;
  • Added a new parameters Count Rate % and Seed offset for all Distributors;
  • Added the Local vector for the Vector orientation modifier;
  • Direction Modifiers and After Mesh Modifiers windows can be opened together;
  • Separate conversion the GrowFX object to the mesh and to the spline. See the Preference parameters;
  • Added ability to convert separately paths to the splines;
  • Added a MaxScript-access for opening and saving presets;
  • Introduced a completely reworked data storage method and algorithms. As the result, a lot of minor bugs have been fixed.
  • Also we’ve released a new plugin: GrowFX MultiMap for 3ds Max 9 / 2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014.

You can find more information and discuss this release on the forum HERE.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.9.0

  • Added the After Mesh Modifiers feature. This will enable you to apply direction modifiers after the calculation of all meshes. For example, the wind animation will now be calculated very quickly and, in some cases, in real time;
  • Added ability to copy components (Distributors, Direction Modifiers, Mesh Builders and After Mesh Modifiers) as instances;
  • Added a new parameter Seed offset for all direction modifiers;
  • Added a new option Disable all Meta meshes in the Preference parameters rollout. This will allow you to configure your trees much easier with Meta mesh builders, in which all Meta meshes will be presented as cylindrical mesh. Don’t forget to turn it off when you are finished configuring the tree;
  • New feature for the Meta mesh: Stop stitching by Radius. This makes it easier to optimize the calculation of the Meta mesh;
  • Added a new parameter Angle axis for the Leaves mesh;
  • Now it’s possible to change the order of color components in the Vertex Color;
  • Added ability to apply one of several presets for any Graph parameters;
  • Improved algorithm for the Hard bend modifier;
  • Display the pathname of the *.gfx file on UI;
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.8.6

  • Added full compatibility with 3ds Max 2013 and 3ds Max Design 2013 (32 and 64-bit);
  • Improved algorithm for wind animation;
  • Added color blending modes for the Vertex Color;
  • Added Highlighted paths mode;
  • Added new Align width and Along edge options in the UVW Mapping rollout for the Leaves mesh;
  • Smooth growth of ending point for Noise direction modifier;
  • Added ability to disable calculations (for opening 3ds Max crashing scenes). To do this just click Start menu > All programs > Exlevel > GrowFX for 3dsMaxXXXX XX-bit > Disable calculations;
  • Correct copying of a path name when you copy the path;
  • Multiselection of paths for deleting and highlighting;
  • The message window does not show up every time anymore;
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.8.0

What’s new in GrowFX 1.7.0

  • New direction modifier Wind animation and a new Wind helper object enable quick and easy creation of wind animation of any plant;
  • New direction modifier Hard bend, allowing you to create a hard bend of directions, mostly to create fractures in the leaves of palm plants;
  • New option Flip normals for Leaves mesh allows you to invert the normals of polygons in leaves;
  • Support for the Nitrous viewport display mode in 3ds Max 2012;
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.

What’s new in GrowFX 1.6.0

  • Added full compatibility with 3ds Max 2012 and 3ds Max Design 2012 (32 and 64-bit);
  • Added ability to save and open model presets;
  • Added a new option called Use Vertex Color in the Surface distributor. This allows the use of vertex colors as part of the distribution density. Where white color is used, the density will reach a value of Density, where black color is used, the density will be zero. Accordingly, it is possible to use the standard modifier VertexPaint to draw on the surface, specifying the place where paths appear;
  • Now it is possible to scale objects used in Instanced geometry, and they will also be displayed in the scaled form in the resulting model;
  • Some minor bugs are fixed.