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v8.x iToo Software Forest Pack

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iToo Software Forest Pack
 

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The Ultimate Scattering toolkit for 3ds Max

Unlock your 3D design potential with Forest Pack – the ultimate scattering plugin for 3ds Max®. Don’t settle for dull, empty scenes. Bring your creations to life by effortlessly creating sprawling landscapes filled with an array of detailed, realistic objects. With Forest Pack, the sky’s the limit. From serene forests and bustling crowds to towering skyscrapers and rocky terrain, scatter any model with ease. If you have the vision, Forest Pack has the power to make it a reality.

Countless studios rely on Forest Pack’s production-tested algorithms and native shaders to render scenes with virtually unlimited numbers of objects and polygons, all without putting a strain on computer resources.

Simulate natural distribution patterns and get the most out of your assets using advanced mapping and randomization tools, or fine-tune your scatters with granular control over every aspect of the plugin.

CREATE WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS USING FOREST PACK AND TAKE YOUR RENDERS TO THE NEXT LEVEL.

What’s Included with iToo Software Forest Pack Pro License

  • Plugins compatible with 3ds Max 2019-2024
  • Native support for most popular render engines
  • A comprehensive library of 3D models and presets
  • Premium 1:1 fast-response email and forum support
  • Integration with many leading 3rd party libraries

 

What’s new in iToo Software Forest Pack 8?

 

Forest Sets plugin

Create a container of objects to use for areas, scatter items, surfaces, or references using a new helper plugin. It can even update automatically using the contents of a layer.

Linked areas

Reference areas are found in another Forest Pack object to link together multiple scatters. Combine Forest Sets and linked areas to create huge flexible interlinked ecosystems.

Use areas in the surface UV model

Use Spline, Object, and other areas can now be combined with UV surfaces by projecting them along one of 3 axes using a new Axis parameter.

Forest Effects improvements

Create advanced scattering rules using the Forest Effects system which is now more powerful than ever with support for spline objects and material IDs.

New Forest Effect presets

Take advantage of the new Forest Effects features without writing a single expression using a new collection of built-in presets.

Filter Forest Effects

Filter Forest Effects so that they only apply to a subset of the geometry list to limit the results to individual types of plants manipulated using the powerful effects system.

Autumn Leaves library

Render amazing autumnal images with a new library of high-quality photo-scanned leaves. The presets are logically organized by color and supplied as individual leaves and patches.

Randomise position in the path model

Shuffle the position of objects while still following the spline when using path distribution mode – great for a more believable distribution of hanging plants or other objects.

Scatter linked hierarchies

Scatter-linked objects, maintaining their hierarchy. Hierarchical objects can be animated, and Forest Pack can even randomize and control playback just like a normal mesh!

Easier error identification

Save precious time by identifying issues at a glance. Forest Pack’s icon now changes color depending on three different error states.

User properties retained in V-Ray

V-Ray CPU users can take advantage of user properties. These are now retained from the source objects making it possible to use advanced texturing workflows.

Vertex colors supported in Arnold

Arnold users can now take advantage if vertex color in their materials and be confident that Forest Pack will retain the final look.



Key Features in iToo Software Forest Pack

Scattering Perfected

Fast

Forest Pack is fully multi-threaded and highly optimized for speed and efficiency. A typical scene can effortlessly use over 100.000 objects each with 1 million polys and render in just a few minutes.

Interactive

Points-Cloud display mode faithfully previews scattered objects in the viewports as they will appear in the render. Amazingly fast, this mode allows you to move and edit items in real time while maintaining an accurate preview of your scenes.

Parametric Areas

From the moment you pick a scatter area Forest Pack is fully parametric. With no destructive editing, you make design decisions at any time, and see the results in the viewport instantly.

Natural

Recreate the limitless variation found in nature with the ability to randomize distribution, objects, transforms, animation, bitmaps, and tints. Mimic natural growth patterns using the innovative Clusters feature.

Precise

Maps Control when you need it. Drive parameters using maps and expressions or use Tree Editor mode to scatter along splines, on markers, or even edit and place individual objects.

Ready To Use

Use Forest Pack’s built-in Library Browser to select and assign plants with a single click. Over 100 models are included in Forest Pack Pro, or you can create your own presets and share them effortlessly with colleagues.

Free Library Of Over 430 Assets

Hundreds of ready-to-use high-quality models and presets including trees, shrubs, grass, green walls, mulch, gravel, flowers, rocks, leaves, hedges, stumps, and much more!

 

Plants Library

Render Without Limits

Billions of Polygons
Create scenes with virtually unlimited geometry. Renders with hundreds of thousands of objects each with millions of polygons are now possible thanks to Forest Pack’s advanced geometry shaders, compatible with most popular render engines.

Points-Cloud Display
WYSIWYG scattering is possible with Forest Pack’s point’s-cloud display mode. Preview huge polygon counts while maintaining viewport responsiveness and avoid time spent rendering previews.

Convert to Instances
Convert Forest Pack objects to Max instances with the click of button. Ideal for sharing with users or computers without the plugin, using renderers that aren’t already natively supported, or exporting to real-time engines. For large pipelines we provide the ability to export data in an XML file.

Supported Geometry

Meshes and Proxies
Add almost any geometry and Forest Pack intelligently converts it to native render instances on the fly, so there’s no need to spend time creating proxies. If you prefer proxy objects, they’re fully supported too.
Meshes and Proxies

Groups
Scatter groups of objects and preserve their composition. Useful for clumps of flowers and grass, the contents of a group are handled as individual objects so although their position relative to one-another is retained, they can still be individually randomised.

Parametric Objects
If you’re able to output an object as a mesh, you can use it in Forest Pack. This includes parametric objects like GrowFX plants, Laubwerk Trees, RailClone styles, and even nested Forest Pack objects!

Probability
Control the exact composition of a scatter using probability values. Percentages are automatically normalised so there’s no need for tricky maths.

Supported Areas

Include and Exclude Areas
Use Include areas to add scattered objects. Use Exclude areas to remove objects from an existing scatter.  There’s no limit of the number of areas that can be combined, so you can design complex relationships and dependencies to create the perfect distribution.

Splines
Closed splines are the fastest way to define large irregularly shaped areas. Alternatively use open splines with an adjustable width to create paths, hedges, and many more linear designs. Splines are fully parametric and changes update instantly in the viewports. You have complete control, each area can be overridden to include its own distribution map, density and scatter items.

Paint Areas
For more intuitive scattering, use Forest Pack’s advanced brush tools to paint areas on any surface using a mouse or tablet. Painted areas remain fully parametric with separate controls for distribution map, objects, and density. If you want to edit with standard spline tools, you can easily convert between paint and spline areas with the click of a button.

Surfaces
Scatter objects on uneven surfaces using XY mode for landscapes and terrains, or if you need to scatter geometry on all sides of an object – use the UV coordinates instead. Control the scale and density of scatters using slope angle and altitude, and randomise objects on stacked surface to quickly populate building interiors!

Forest Objects
Forest Pack objects can be used to influence each another. Using falloff curves you can control the density and scale of a scatter around the perimeter of another Forest’s objects. For example, automatically adding fallen leaves under trees or excluding grass from under hedges are just a couple of examples in a multitude of applications.

Any Geometry
Need to remove scattered objects from around objects? No problem, just add the geometry as an exclude area and they are removed instantly. Alternatively, invert the curves to populate objects only around the perimeter. Even huge objects are supported, the algorithm is highly optimised for high-poly geometry.

Distribution Patterns

Built-in patterns
Forest Pack uses black and white maps to create distribution patterns. A white pixel creates a tree, and a black pixel a gap. Over 20 default map types are included, but you can easily create your own for any type of design.

Maps
If the built-in patterns don’t include the design you need, you can use procedural maps or images to create any distribution you want.

Clusters
Simulate the growth patterns found in nature with Forest Pack’s unique Cluster mode. Group plants of the same type together with many controls for shape, noise, and edge blur.

Match Colour on Bitmap
Create your own cluster patterns by matching plants to colour found in a bitmap. This is ideal for matching planting plans provided by Landscape Architects.

Boundary Control

Edge Mode
Perfect Edges every time are easy with Forest Pack’s innovative Edge Mode. This feature can automatically remove elements from the scattered geometry to ensure that boundaries are crisp and clean.

Falloff Curves
Control the size and density of objects around the perimeter of a scatter area using Falloff Curves. Used in combination with include and exclude areas, it’s easy to add or subtract items around the base of other objects, including other Forest Objects!

Altitude
Control scale and density using Altitude based falloff. For example due to lack of oxygen, trees often get smaller and more sparse at higher altitudes.

Slope Angle
Control scale and density using Slope based falloff. Prevent trees growing on surfaces that are too steep to create naturalistic growth patterns on terrain

Forest Colour

Randomize Maps
Forest Maps allows you to randomize the maps applied to scattered objects. You can choose to shuffle the maps by object or by element for maximum control and life-like variation.

Randomize From Map
Create a palette and tint colours using a texture swatch! Forest Colour can extract random values from a bitmap to allow you to easily match colours from photographs.

Add tints
Add even more variety by tinting maps. Colours are selected at random from a user definable gradient and applied using one of five transfer modes and a randomizable strength parameter.

Optimize Materials
Quickly apply Forest Colour maps and apply automatic material optimisation with a single button. In some circumstances scenes can render up to seven times faster after optimisation. e circumstances scenes can render up to seven times faster after optimisation.

Use Texture on Surface
Sample the texture from a map applied to the surface area and use this to tint the overlying objects. For example, you could use aerial photography of fields to create natural colour variations in a grass scatter.

Optimization

Frustum Culling
Minimise strain on your computer’s resources by limiting the scatter to the camera’s field of view! Create a fly-by with millions of trees, without wasting resources on trees that are outside the frame!

Forest LOD
Switch the geometry and materials of scattered items based on their distance from the camera or their size in the render view to help speed up renders and manage RAM!

Distance Based Falloff
Use falloff curves to change the density and scale of a scatter based on distance from the camera! If you have multiple cameras in the scene, you can use their environment range to set a different value for each one.

Transform Controls

Probability Graphs
By using a probability graph you can precisely control the chances of a value being selected from a given range. This is ideal if you want to randomise the transformation of objects within a few narrower bracketed values instead of across the entire range. For example, if you are scattering buildings on a town grid, you could create a probability curve to ensure they only rotate at 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees.

Position, Rotation and Scale
Make the re-use of assets nearly impossible to detect by randomising their position, rotation and scale. Set a simple minimum and maximum value and Forest Pack takes care of the rest.

Maps
Use grayscale maps to control the position, rotation and scale of scattered objects. Alternatively use colour maps and set the XYZ parameters using RGB values for maximum control.

Probability Maps
Probability maps allow you to control the probability of a value being selected using a grayscale map. Scatter objects in black areas of the map will not be randomised, objects in white areas will receive a value selected from the full range.

Editor Mode

Add and Edit Individual Objects
Use Custom Edit mode to add, place or edit items manually. Fine tune an existing scatter for the perfect render, or start from scratch by placing individual objects.

Follow Splines
Distribute evenly spaced items along splines. Objects can be set to orientate themselves to the path, retain their original rotation, or use randomised transform settings.

Use Markers
Position and orientate objects using markers, other objects and meshes for reference! Make sure your planting perfectly matches the architect’s plans by using their imported reference markers to precisely place objects.

Animation

Follow Geometry
Forest Pack enables you to scatter animated objects while maintaining significant memory efficiency. Any animated geometry can be used including proxies. In the default mode, the animations are all synced, but there are 3 powerful options that enable you to randomise and control playback.

Randomize
Randomise the time offset of animated geometry to ensure that scattered objects are not played back identically! This is far more natural when using plants and trees with a wind animation or any other situation where you don’t want the animation of objects to play in perfect sync.

Control Using Maps
Control the play back of animated objects using maps. You have two options, either set the offset of the animation and let it play, or specify the current frame using a gray-scale map.

Library and Presets

Library Browser
Add a new scatter to your scene in an instant using Forest Pack’s Library Browser. You can store and load billboards, individual 3d objects or entire scatter presets in the library, all accessible with a couple of clicks!

Built-in Presets
The Forest Pack library contains many predefined styles, ready to use. Forest Pack Pro includes over 150 models and presets, with materials for VRay, Mental Ray, Scanline, Octane, Corona and Thea Render.

Integration with 3rd parties
In addition to the libraries supplied with Forest Pack, we provide catalogues for many third party suppliers including Xfrog, Evermotion and HQ Plants. With the expansions installed, the plants are immediately visible in the library and ready to use

Create and Share
Create your own libraries and easily share them with colleagues or other users. The Forest Library is fully customisable with advanced features including the ability to automatically load materials to match the current renderer and run custom Maxscripts on load or import.

Licensing

Each purchase of Forest Pack Pro gives you access to a single license for creating and editing Forest Objects, the full library contents, and free unlimited render nodes. For the duration of your maintenance subscription you are also entitled to premium technical support and upgrades.

The versions released during your maintenance subscription are yours to keep forever. If you like to stay up to date with the most recent versions of Forest Pack we recommend you should stay on the maintenance plan, however there are no penalties for allowing it to lapse. If you want to skip some versions, it’s no problem and you can jump back on at any time and download the most recent software paying only for another year of maintenance.

Forest Pack System requirements

  • Plugins compatible with 3ds Max 2019 – 2024
  • Unofficially supported (Due to Autodesk’s licensing policy, Forest Pack is only able to officially support 3ds Max 2019 to 2024. The installer also includes versions of Forest Pack for 3ds Max 2013 to 2018 which should install and work as expected, but we are unable to test them.):

Supported Platforms

Microsoft® Windows®

  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • Windows 11 64-bit

Supported Renderers

Forest Pack supports native instancing in the renderers and versions listed below

  • Arnold 7.2 and greater. Please make sure the MaxToA plugin is up to date. You can download the most recent version from the Arnold Renderer website.
  • V-Ray and V-Ray RT 2, 3, 4, 5, Next, and 6 are supported, For V-ray 4, please ensure you are using V-Ray 4.3.
  • Corona Renderer 1 and onwards
  • Octane 1.x and onwards
  • Redshift  2.x and onwards
  • FStorm
  • Final Render

Billboard Library compatibility

  • The 2D Billboard library is only supported by Scanline, Mental Ray, and V-Ray.

Built-in Library support

Not all libraries have materials available for all the renderers. To see which renderers have partial library support, please check the compatibility matrix here. To see which renderers are supported by each library item, please see the online library browser.

License Manager

For network licenses, you will need to install the license manager on a networked PC. The license manager has the following OS requirements:

Microsoft® Windows:

  • Windows 10 (64-bit)
  • Windows 8/8.1 (64-bit)

Microsoft Windows Server:

  • Windows Server 2016 (64-bit) and above

 

Forest Pack Pro/Lite 8.2.2

ForestSet Improvements

  • Implemented support for ForestSet in ‘Forest’ type Areas.
  • Enhanced efficiency of Object areas using ForestSet.
    • Instead of creating one large area using the geometry of all objects in the set, areas are now individually generated internally, one for each object.

Library Browser Improvements

  • Included support for ForestLOD and ForestSet.
    • Note: This feature necessitates saving the library scene with Forest 8.2.2 or a later version.
  • Added a new option in Library Browser -> Preferences -> ‘Use unique names on imported objects’.
    • Default setting: Library objects are imported into the ‘forest_templates’ layer with a unique identifier, ‘_forest_library_XXXX’.
    • When enabled, this option allows users to disable the prefix and import objects using their original names.
    • Caution: Disabling this option may overwrite existing objects in the layer with the same name.

V-Ray Support

  • Introduced support for V-Ray 5 in 3DS Max 2024.
  • Reinstated support for V-Ray 3.6, previously removed in FP 8.2.0.

Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where the Forest object would be permanently disabled if Distributed Rendering in V-Ray was used with ‘Use local host’ unchecked.
  • Resolved artifacts encountered when using high Resolution values (above 4096) in Object Areas.
  • Added a previously missing message in the Library Browser when loading Forest Pro items in Forest Lite.

Forest Pack 8.2.1

  • Changed the way that Forest handles texture paths:
    • In previous versions, all the libraries defined in the Library Browser were scanned by searching for a maps folder. Next, these folders are added to 3DS Max in Customize>Configure Project Paths>’xternal Files.
    • Now, only the built in library (Forest Library) is scanned. You can extend it to all libraries by unchecking Library Browser->Preferences->Only Built In Library.
    • Forest repeats the scanning process when the plugin is loaded. In addition, a button is added to Library Browser>Preferences to launch the process manually.
  • Fixed: Forest Material renders completely black in V-Ray (broken in FP 8.2.0).
  • Fixed: Forest quad menu is not available unless initialization script (forestpack.ms) is executed manually.
  • Fixed: Color Management profile is reset to “unmanaged” in Max 2024, when using Forest.
  • Fixed memory leak in Max 2023 and before when using Display->Mesh mode.
  • Fixed: Distribution by Particle Flow generates duplicated items.

Forest Pack Lite/ Pro 8.2.0

Full Release Notes

  • Added support for 3DS Max 2024.
  • Added support for Arnold 7.2 in 3DS Max 2022 and above.
  • Removed support for Mental Ray.
  • Removed support for V-Ray 4.0 (if you use it, please upgrade to V-Ray 4.3).
  • Force removal of old DLLs from the 3DS Max root folder.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 8.0.8

Full Release Notes

Forest Pack gets its second update of 2023 with improvements to ForestSets and the addition of edge trimming to Forest Effects.

Only last month we started the year with a new update to Forest Pack, and we’re pleased to announce that we’re not stopping there. In our second release in as many months, we’ve added several small improvements that were recently requested by our loyal users.

First up we have a change to ForestSets the multi-purpose container plugin introduced in Forest Pack 8 that can be used as a collection of geometry, surfaces, references, or areas. In this release, we’ve expanded ForestSets so they can be used for Object areas. This means it’s now possible to add any number of scene items to a ForestSet, then add it to Forest Pack as a single Object Exclude area, and have them remove items from a scatter. For the ultimate automated workflow, you can even populate the ForestSet dynamically based on the contents of a layer.

Another improvement to ForestSets is the addition of a “Disable Set Content” option that allows you to quickly turn off the linked assets without having to remove them from the Forest Pack object. When this mode is enabled, it simply behaves as an empty object.

If you’ve ever wished that you could do some final adjustments using Item Editor mode and use edge trimming, then this release is for you. A new function brings Edge Trimming mode to Forest Effects, meaning you can use it with any distribution mode, including Path distribution and Custom Edit mode.

Using this new function you can write an effect to apply Edge checking (similar to Edge mode from the Areas rollout) to the current items using a single specified spline. Due to technical limitations, it’s not quite as optimised as standard edge trimming so use caution as it may be slow with large distributions, but for that final touch-up, it can really make a difference!

To see a full list of all the changes and fixes,  visit the Full Release Notes  in our documentation.

To update, you’ll find the latest version in the products section of your user panel. If your maintenance has expired, don’t worry it can be renewed for another year with no penalty for lapsed plans.


Forest Pack Lite/Pro 8.0.7

Full Release Notes

  • Added toolbar icon for ForestSet.
  • Improved performance for animated Corona Proxies (Corona v10 and above).
  • Fixed: using Interactive Renderers, object is always rebuilt with view changes, ignoring the parameter Camera->’Enabled on Viewport/IR’
  • Improved updating of Forest objects with Interactive Renderers, not rebuilding them in some cases where it was not necessary.
  • Fixed hangup using slow procedural geometries (such as GrowFX) shared between several Forest objects.
  • Fixed potential crash using Collisions checking with unresolved XRefs.
  • Fixed: ‘Surface Area’ is not updated in Area rollup when adding or removing Surfaces.
  • Fixed: Forest Lister->Rebuild doesn’t update for splines included in a ForestSet.
  • Fixed behaviour of Undo/Redo of Paint Areas when painting is not activated.
  • Library items are added to the Geometry List in alphabetic order.
  • Added checking to prevent empty values in some text controls (as Name in Geometry List).

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 8.0.4

Full Release Notes

New Features

  • New helper plugin: ForestSet.
    • It works as a container for a set of objects, which can be assigned in Forest as Geometry, Surface or Spline.
    • For Geometry, a random item of the set is assigned as source geometry. For Surfaces and Splines, all items of the set are used as input.
    • It can also be used as input for Distribute by Reference/Path/Particle Flow.
    • Can get items from the list, or directly from layers. To add multiple layers, separate names by commas.
    • ForestSet accepts any scene object as input, but only compatible types are used in each case. For example, a Spline cannot be used as a surface.
    • Groups, ForestLOD and Forest objects are not supported as items.
    • It supports nesting (ForestSet within other ForestSet).
    • ForestSet can set Wireframe Colour to Icon, to distinguish it for different uses.
  • Added Geometry->”Include Children” option.
    • When enabled, includes children objects of the source geometry, keeping their hierarchy.
    • Children hierarchy is handled internally as a group, but without a group object.
    • Because of technical limitations, child  items cannot be imported from the Library.
    • Geometry->”Keep Group” can be used with hierarchies (“Include Children” option).”Keep Group” is set to enabled by default.
    • Animation of the children is supported when using Forest Packs animation features
  • Linked Areas
    • It lets you pick an area of another Forest object, inheriting their parameters.
    • For example, you could assign a Spline in a “master” Forest object, and use it as an area in other Forest objects, without reassigning the spline multiple times.
    • Parameters specific to each type of Area are inherited (as Spline/Object, Thickness, etc.), while common parameters (as Falloff) are local and can be modified.
    • Not all combinations may work. I.e. a linked “Object Area” can be used only as Exclude, not as an Include area.
    • To preserve UI space, the ‘Add Multiple’ button was removed, and replaced with the ‘Add Linked Area’ button. Now to add multiple areas, just click SHIFT + Add Area button.
  • Linked Surfaces
    • Added a “Get from Forest” option. It lets you use all the Surfaces from another Forest object.
  • Added support of Areas for UV Surface mode.
    Some limitations apply:

    • All areas are projected in a direction (X/Y/Z), according to the Area->Projection Axis parameter.
    • Area->”Distribution Map” parameters are not supported in UV mode.
    • Edge Mode requires a Spline or Paint area. It cannot be used directly over the surface.
    • Changing the Projection Axis in a non-empty Paint area may generate unexpected results. Always select Projection Axis before starting to paint.

Improvements

  • Added Distribution by Path->Rand.Pos. to randomize position along the path.
  • To make it easier to identify the status of a Forest object, the  ‘F’ icon is drawn in different colours, depending on the error condition:
    • Error (no area, max.density, etc): Red.
    • No items, or hidden by Camera clipping: Yellow.
    • Other (new FP object, disabled): Orange.
    • This feature can be disabled setting useColoredIcon=0 in forestPack.ini (at C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Autodesk\3dsmax\<max version>\ENU\en-US\plugcfg
  • Added warning when loading a scene created with a later Forest version.
  • Added a new button to rebuild selected objects to Forest Lister.
  • Added ‘Brush Size’ to Areas->Paint.
    • It’s same value of ‘Max Size’ in Painter settings dialog.
  • Improvements to Forest Effects:
    • Added a selector to filter effects by geometry model, similar to Areas.
    • Added a new type of parameter: Spline.
    • Added new functions for spline checking. All of them work in 2D, using XY local plane (Z projection):
      • insideSpline(spline, pos): returns 1 if the specified position is inside the Spline, 0 if not.
      • distanceSpline(spline, pos): returns nearest distance in 2D from position to the spline.
      • nearestPosSpline(spline, pos): returns nearest point from position to the spline.
      • nearestTangSpline(spline, pos): returns the tangent of a nearest point from position to the spline.
    • Added new fpItem attributes:
    • surfMatID: material ID on Surface.
    • splineMatID:: material ID on Spline. Distribution by Path only.
  • When rendering with V-Ray CPU User Properties of source nodes are inherited on instanced items.
  • Added support for Vertex Color when rendering with Arnold

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 7.4.3

  • Added support for V-Ray 6 (stable version).
  • Fixed rare crash using Point-cloud mode with GrowFX objects.
  • Fixed crash using geometry objects with name starting by ‘*’.
  • “Distribution By Mesh”->”Match Geometry by Name” now randomizes the geometry for each face, if there are multiple matching names.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 7.4.2

  • Added support for V-Ray 6 beta (experimental).
  • Fixed crash with recent releases of Laubwerk Plants.
  • Distribution->Reference->’Match Geometry by Name’ now works with ‘Mesh Faces’ mode, besides ‘Pivot’.
  • Fixed: LOD doesn’t work with Reference Distribution modes.
  • Fixed: Forest Lite’s Surface buttons are disabled.

Forest Pack Lite/Pro 7.4

Users with floating licenses will need to update their license server to use Forest Pack 7. Please download and install the Itoo Software License Server v1.5 or above, available now from your User Panel.

New features and improvements

  • Added support for 3DS Max 2023.
  • Added support for Arnold 7.1 (MaxToA 5.2 and greater).
    • Previous Arnold versions are no longer supported. You can upgrade to the latest release from here:  (Arnold for 3DS Max)
  • For 3DS Max 2022 and above, Forest Pack is now installed at C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\ApplicationPlugins, using the latest package format for plugins.
    • The target folder for 3DS Max 2022 and above can be customized in the installer.
    • Support for silent installation to render nodes has been added. (/S in the command line).
    • The Installer detects if 3DS Max is running and can close it
  • Added support to Corona Physical in Optimize Materials.
  • New field for Forest Lister: Stats. It shows the Forest build time.
    • By default this field is hidden. You must add it from the Lister configuration.
  • Added support for regular expressions to Distribution->”Reference Objects”->”Match by Geometry Name”.
    • Geometry->Name is used as a regular expression, and reference object name as an input.
    • The match must be complete, not only for a part of the expression. For example, ‘teapot001’ matches with ‘teapot.*’, but not with ‘teapot’.
  • The Distribution Map Channel is always set to 1 for new FP objects (previously it would inherit the value of other FP objects in the scene).

Fixes

  • Removed double-click behavior for Forest Lister->Name field (which should allow rename), because it was not working well. Now it just selects the object.
  • Fixed rare crash getting internal statistics.
  • Fixed: Forest Color no longer working on non Forest objects.
  • Fixed Edge Mode on Exclude splines when Distribution Map is rotated.
  • Fixed: Forest Tools->”Enable before Start” doesn’t work as intended.

What’s new in Forest Pack 7.3?

New Features and Improvements

  • Added Distribution->Reference->”Match Geometry by Name”.
    • Assigns a specific item, matching the name of the referenced object with the names of the Geometry list.
    • For example, object “box001” will be matched with Geometry “Box”. Uppercase and Lowercase are equivalent (case insensitive rule).
    • If there are multiple matches, a random Geometry from the matching items is assigned.
    • If none matches, the first Geometry in the list is assigned. To check matches easily, we suggest setting the first items in the geometry list as a ‘Disabled’ item with a recognizable name (i.e. ‘none’).
  • Support for 3DS Max groups is rewritten from scratch. Now groups can be used in a more standard way, by checking the new Geometry->”Keep Group Hierarchy” parameter:
    • When disabled, items are scattered together (as before) each with its own transformation. I.e. Random Rotation rotates the item using its pivot, not the group pivot. Same when the item is placed over a surface. Also, items are excluded individually for camera clipping, exclude areas, etc.
    • Instead, when “Keep Group Hierarchy” is enabled,  a group is handled as a single unique entity (similar to the Max group behaviour).
    • By default “Keep Group Hierarchy” is disabled for existing scenes, but enabled when a new group is added to Geometry.
    • Now the group’s Pivot is taken into account to place the item. If your existing scenes using groups are misaligned, please align the group pivot properly (usually moving Z to its base).
  • Added support for VRayVolumeGrid objects.
  • Added support for native light instancing in V-Ray.
    • Requires V-Ray 5.2 or greater
    • Lights can now be randomised using FP Colour or V-Ray multi-subtex maps
  • Billboard templates are removed from the “forest_templates” layer. Now they are stored internally.
    • Billboards are now limited to simple planes (one to four faces). Other models are removed. If templates already exist in the layer (i.e created by previous Forest versions), they are removed when the scene is saved.
  • Added compatibility with Arnold 7.
    • Previous Arnold versions are no longer supported. You can upgrade to the latest release from here
    • When Forest is not compatible with the current Arnold version, a warning message will be displayed.
  • Restored the Camera parameter. It lets you assign manually a Camera for Limit to Visibility and Distance Falloff.
    • When empty, the Camera is taken automatically from render view, as before.
  • Distribution by Path uses path direction for Random Translation, instead of translating the item on XY plane.
  • Display Proxy mode is set to “Pyramid” by default, instead of “Plane”.
  • When adding complex models, Forest suggests setting Display mode to ‘Proxy’, instead of Point-cloud as before. This is more efficient in recent Max releases.
  • The default size for Distribution X/Y is increased from 10m to 100m., which is more suitable for a trees distribution.
  • Added support for non-geometric objects to Library Browser. Fixed issues with scaled Custom Objects.

Fixes

  • Fixed load of Library Presets using repeated objects in Geometry List.
  • Fixed column width of list boxes (Geometry, Areas, etc) on HiDPI screens (requires Windows 10 or above).
  • Fixed: VRayCryptomatte renders Forest objects in black colour.
  • Fixed: colours generated by Forest Color are not consistent when scattering lights.
  • Fixed error loading Library presets with Disabled/Template items.
  • Fixed: Forest Lite doesn’t support splines at different heights.
  • Fixed Maxscript security error when closing Optimize Material dialog.
  • Fixed: Areas->Force Open Spline doesn’t work with Exclude areas.
  • Fixed: Camera->Limit to Visibility and Distance Falloff doesn’t work with Arnold renderer.
  • Fixed: Render nodes using “3dsmaxbatch.exe” (as Royal Render) cannot run without a license.
  • Fixed rare crash cleaning the Forest template layer, when the scene is saved.
  • Fixed: Library->”Import from 3DS Max files” would assign the wrong Max file, when importing from multiple scenes.

Forest Pack 7

Scattering Lights

The Items List now accepts non-geometric objects, including lights, splines and more. There are several things you need to know, depending on the render engine you use.

  • V-Ray & Arnold. It’s not possible to animate or change the distribution. Items are scattered as in frame 0.
  • Corona Renderer & Octane. fully supported, no limitations.
  • Other engines may be supported in the future.
  • A ‘Non Geometric Object’ option has been added to the Geometry rollout. When enabled, the object is handled as a non-geometric object. Forest will try to instance it keeping the original format, instead getting a mesh. (For many objects this is not necessary and Forest will detect the correct format automatically).

Colour Correction

  • New colour correction tools allow the user to adjust Hue Shift, Saturation and Brightness for all “Forest Color” textures used by the object.
    • The effects can be disabled for specific textures by turning off Apply Color Correction in a Forest Colour map.

New Libraries

Several new Libraries are available as follows:

  • New Hedge Library of 89 presets. Two types are available, linear presets that distribute hedges along a spline, and Topiary presets that use a surface to create bushes of any shape.
  • New Stumps Library of 40 photoscanned assets. Optimised presets are also included for scattering over large areas.
  • The3DGarden samples are now integrated into Forest Pack, creating a free and growing collection of high-quality plants.

Animation 

  • Animation modes are now supported in Corona.
  • Scattering over animated UV Surfaces is improved to generate a more consistent result during the animation.

Real time

  • Supported by Unreal Datasmith.
  • Supported by Project Lavina.
  • Unity compatible, export through new Forest Tools options and import to Unity (using a new experimental plugin package available by clicking here.)

Using References

Reference mode has been improved with the following features:

  • Multiple Items per face.
  • The ability to randomise each items position on the marker.
  • The ability to filter markers by material ID.
  • The ability to select multiple references from a scene using Max’s pin stack option.

Usability

  • Added General->Settings->Use Single Rollout.
    • When enabled, a single Forest rollout is open at time. Opening one rollout collapses the others.
    • For 3DS Max 2017 and earlier, this feature works only clicking the rollout title, not using the contextual rollouts menu.
  • The Creation window has been simplified and improved:
    • Default with/height for billboards is removed.
    • Custom Edit mode is removed. To create a FP object in Custom Edit mode, create as icon and next open the “Tree Editor” rollout as usual.
    • The Geometry List can be populated from scene selection (first select objects in the scene, next create Forest object). If there are items selected both in a library and the scene, the library has priority.
  • Two new ways to add items to the geometry list based on a scene selection.
    • When creating a new Forest Object:
      1. Select items from the scene.
      2. Go to the Create panel and click to create a Forest Object.
      3. Ensure ‘Populate From Selection’ is checked.
      4. Create a Forest Object as normal.
    • Using Pin Stack:
      1. Click the “Pin Stack” icon below the Modifier panel.
      2. Select objects from the scene.
      3. Click the Geometry->Add button.
      4. Reselect the Forest object.
      5. Turn off Pin Stack.
  • Default mode for Geometry List changed to “Custom Object”. Also, the Pick button is enabled automatically when a new item is added.
  • Camera rollout is reorganized and simplified.
    • The ‘Camera’ parameter is removed. Now Camera data is fetched automatically from the active view/render, in a much more reliable way.
    • To improve viewport performance, Camera features are disabled on viewport by default. You must turn on the “Enable on Viewport” checkbox.
    • Fixed issues with Batch render when rendering from different cameras.
    • “Use Environment Range” option is removed for LOD/Falloff.

Library Browser

The library Browser has been rewritten from the ground up to make it easier to develop new features in the future. This initial release adds the following improvements.

  • New process to import objects/presets to the Library:
    • Library Items are created from scene selection.
    • Material Library and Max scene is generated automatically.
    • Assets can be collected to a maps folder.
  • Added toolbar option to open Library Browser.
  • Improved search that finds matching items across all libraries and includes.
  • New options added Library Browser→Settings:
    • ‘Add maps to 3DS Max texture paths’. When enabled, Forest scans recursively all Library paths, searching ‘maps’ folders, and adding them to 3DS Max User’s paths.  (this is the same option ‘collectTexturePaths’ defined in forestpack.ini).
    • ‘Exclude Network paths’. If enabled, network paths are excluded the scan maps process.
    • Both options are enabled by default.

Forest Colour

Forest Color works on items instantiated by Forest Tools., to use it.

  •  Forest Color->Override must be on.
  • Tint/Map works by Item only. Element mode is not supported.
  • V-Ray GPU is not supported.
  • Forest Color can even be used on non-Forest objects, with the same restrictions as items instantiated by Forest Tools.
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