Artist-friendly parametric modeling and layout for 3ds Max
Tired of using fixed, hard to modify, assets that require time-consuming manual labor to edit? Wish it was easier to create smart parametric objects that are easy to update, can be used and reused again and again, but requires minimal time investment? Enter RailClone – the artist-friendly parametric modeling and spline-cloning plugin for 3ds Max that’s fast, efficient, and easy to learn.
RailClone is unlike any other tool on the market. Objects are created simply by assembling and repeating existing geometry using an easy-to-define set of rules. If you can model in Max, you can create procedural objects with RailClone
Choose from hundreds of built-in presets, adapt existing objects by adding your own geometry, or even create your own from scratch using RailClone’s easy-to-understand visual editor.
Thanks to Railclone, now anyone can create and use sophisticated parametric assets.
What’s new in Railclone 5?
RailClone was already the most powerful parametric modeling tool for 3ds Max, but with the latest update we’ve stepped it up a gear! With a wide range of innovative new features, RailClone 5 is now more optimized, more versatile, and more essential than ever before.
Bake RailClone objects to a proxy cache without destroying instancing or losing access to advanced features. Caches can be stored in the scene or exported to a separate file to minimize file bloat and make them easy to reuse.
Distribute Lights and VDBs
Distribute non-geometric objects including lights and VDB volumes. Combine them with geometry for hybrid styles and even use RailClone Colour with a light tint to create random variations.
Support for Groups
Precompose objects into standard Max groups and use them as segments that can be any combination of geometric objects, non-geometric objects like lights and VDBs, or both.
Intuitive banking control
Control the banking angle of geometry at any point along a spline by adding easy-to-manipulate gizmos via the RC Spline modifier. By simply rotating a marker, the geometry twists turns, and smoothly deforms to match.
New Evenly Modes
Distribute geometry at regularly spaced intervals along a spline with more control than ever before. Force an odd number of intervals, an even number, or simply use the original mode where the number is determined by best fit.
Drop Down Lists
Make it easier for users to select geometry, change materials, turn on and off elements, or control pretty much any attribute of a graph that takes a numeric input using easy-to-understand text-based drop-down lists.
Compatible with Arnold 7
Use the latest version of Autodesk’s built-in rendering engine, as well as the latest releases of V-Ray, Corona, and Redshift.
Control generators using Marker data
Use markers to control many Generator parameters when using Extend X/Y Size to area mode. Where multiple markers are found on a spline, the value is taken from the first marker found.
Improvements to clipping
Translate or rotate nested generators or composing objects outside the boundary of a clipping area and still retain all the segments. Great for creating 100s of randomized hinged or sliding doors and windows.
How Does It Work?
Learning Railclone Is As Easy As 1-2-3
1 – Base Objects
RailClone doesn’t construct an object from scratch, it works by assembling and repeating existing pieces of geometry along paths. To do this it needs two things – a spline for the path and of course, some modular geometry.
2 – Rule Generators
Imagine you’re explaining to a manufacturer how to build this bus shelter, you might say: “Put a glass panel at the start and the end, add mullions at 2m intervals, then fill in between with the roof and glazing.” If you understand this, you understand RailClone.
3 – Modifiers
Just like Max, use RailClone’s own modifiers, called operators, to manipulate geometry. You can group items, create patterns, and randomize transforms. In addition work with UVs and materials IDs, create conditional relationships, and much more.
Get Started With Railclone
Check Out Our Resources To Help You Get The Most From Your New Favourite Plugin
With RailClone there are no limits on your creativity. Unlike other scripts and plugins that are designed for a single type of model, RailClone can create almost anything.
Easy to use
RailClone uses an easy-to-understand visual Style Editor to create sophisticated structures. Unlike other tools, absolutely zero programming knowledge is necessary.
RailClone is fully multi-threaded and highly optimized for speed. This, coupled with the efficient viewport display modes, and powerful instancing means that you can create and render huge objects, made from thousands of highly detailed parts.
RailClone assembles, transforms, slices, and deforms geometry to create a seamless object. Just set a few rules, and the object is constructed for you automatically, even on curved paths!
Let RailClone do the thinking for you with advanced algorithms to deform geometry to follow sloping paths and surfaces. Inclined and uneven walls, stairs, handrails and balustrades, and stepped fences are no longer a chore to create in 3ds Max.
Ready to go
RailClone Pro comes with nearly 400 predefined styles, including fences, railings, barriers, traffic, walls, and much more. The library browser is fully customizable, allowing you to add new categories and models and share them with your colleagues.
Plugins for 3ds Max 2013 – 2023 (official support from 2017+)
Native support for most popular rendering engines
A comprehensive library of ready-made presets
Over 420 parametric assets
Premium 1:1 fast-response email and forum support
Access to new free libraries and macros released during the maintenance period
RailClone comes in 2 versions
To explain, the fully-featured RailClone Pro comes with advanced modes to deform geometry on the Z-axis. In addition, you get an unlimited number of segments and generators, RailClone tools, and the ability to convert the geometry to an editable mesh. The Pro version also includes the full library of other 420 styles presets and the ability to edit libraries and add your own objects.
Use it commercially.
Includes a one-year extendable Maintenance Plan with prioritized technical support, early access to beta versions, and regular updates.
Unlimited segments per object.
Unlimited generators per object.
Use advanced algorithms to deform geometry and follow paths on the X/Y and Z axes.
In addition, RailClone Lite is free to use, even commercially. It provides many of the features found in RailClone Pro. Significantly there is a 3 segment limit, only 1 generator, and flat splines. The Lite edition has a limited subset of library styles and does not include RailClone Tools, the ability to collapse to a mesh, or user-editable libraries.
Used it commercially.
Free to use and never expires.
Does not include a Maintenance Plan, with no access to prioritized technical support, forum file downloads, new content, and betas.
Three segments per object.
One generator per object.
Use advanced algorithms to deform geometry and follow paths on the X/Y and Z axes.
Collapse to editable mesh.
A limited subset of presets.
Libraries cannot be customized.
Does not include RailClone Tools, and cannot be converted to instances.
You can download RailClone LITE from the link on the right side of this page.
System requirements updated 5/20/2022
Supported versions of 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design
Our plugins support the following 3ds Max 64 bit versions.
3ds Max 2017-2023
Unofficially supported. Due to Autodesk licensing policy Forest Pack is only able to officially support 3ds Max 2017 to 2022. The installer also includes versions of Forest Pack for 3ds Max 2013 to 2016 which should install and work as expected, but we are unable to test them.
3ds Max 2013-2016
3ds Max Design 2013-2015
RailClone supports native instancing in the renderers and versions listed below
Arnold 7.1 (MaxToA 5.2) and above is supportedPlease make sure the MaxToA plugin is up to date. You can download the most recent version from the Arnold Renderer website.
Mental Ray is supported in version 2012 – 2017 only.
V-Ray and V-Ray RT supported versions are 2.5 or greater for V-Ray 2, and 3.7 or greater for V-Ray 3, V-Ray Next and V-Ray GPU update 1.1 or above
Thea Render 1.3 and onwards.
Corona Renderer 1 and onwards.
Redshift 2.6.24 or above
Mental Ray support in Max 2017 and 2018
From 3ds Max 2017 Mental Ray was an optional installation. RailClone for Max 2017 still has many dependencies on the Mental Ray libraries and is required by our plug-ins to operate correctly. Please make sure that Mental Ray is installed for 3DS Max 2017, even if you don’t intend to use it to avoid errors.
From 3ds Max 2018 Mental Ray is no longer included, as a consequence, RailClone’s native instancing features are not supported for Mental Ray in Max 2018.
For unsupported renderers, it is still possible to use RailClone using RailClone Tools to convert the objects to standard Max instances.
Each purchase of RailClone Pro gives you access to a single perpetual license for creating and editing RailClone Objects, the full library contents, and free unlimited render nodes. For the duration of your maintenance plan, you are also entitled to premium technical support and upgrades.
The versions released during your maintenance period are yours to keep forever. If you like to stay up to date with the most recent versions of RailClone 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.
For network licenses, you will need to install the license manager on a networked PC. The license manager has the following OS requirements:
Windows 10 (32-bit and 64-bit)
Windows 8/8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit)
Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
Microsoft Windows Server:
Windows Server 2019 (64-bit)
Windows Server 2016 (64-bit)
Windows Server 2012 R2 (64-bit)
New features and improvements
Added support for 3DS Max 2023.
Added support for Arnold 7.1 (MaxToA 5.2 and greater).
Added Display->Proxy Cache mode. This new feature allows you to bake a RailClone object into the scene or an external file.
For the first run, you must add it using the Lister ‘Settings’ button.
The viewport display is limited to Boxes or Quick Mesh depending on the mode that was active when the proxy was created. Note that this does not affect the render.
‘Use Segment Material’ and non-geometric objects are supported in Embedded mode only.
Results may vary depending on the render engine that was active when the cache was baked. If you change the renderer, we suggest regenerating the Proxy.
Proxy Cache can be managed from Maxscript using $.setProxyMode <mode> <externalFile>
For Disabled, use $.setProxyMode 0 “”. It returns an empty string.
For Embedded, use $.setProxyMode 1 “”. It returns a proxy’s size.
For External, use $.setProxyMode 2 “proxyFileName.rcproxy”. It creates and saves the proxy (overriding the file if it exists), and returns a description error when failed.
To use a Proxy Cache as a segment in another RC object you must disable Display > Use Instancing Engine before enabling the cache.
Proxy Cache mode is available in RailClone Lister.
For the first run, you must add it using the Lister ‘Settings’ button.
Baked objects load and render much faster because RailClone doesn’t need to perform so many calculations to rebuild them. This is especially useful for complex styles.
A baked object cannot be modified or edited. When you want to change it, just set Proxy mode back to ‘Disable’, make any changes, and then bake it again.
The size of Proxy Cache depends on the object’s complexity, including the number of segments and their geometry. You can see the current proxy size in the Display rollout.
Added Proxy Cache mode to RailClone Lister.
Several limitations apply:
Added experimental support for non-geometric objects (including lights).
Includes native support for instancing lights in V-Ray 2.1 and above
There is currently no native support for other renderers. As a workaround, objects are inserted in the scene before rendering and removed once completed.
The size of some non-geometric objects may not be reliably read by RailClone or it may change depending on the active viewport. If it affects your style, we recommend using the Segment’s Fixed Size feature.
Non-geometric segments are previewed in the viewport with a Material ID defined in the Display->”Non-geom Mat.ID” parameter
Added support for 3DS Max groups in Segments.
To assign a group, use Selector by Name (H on the keyboard). It’s not possible to pick a group directly from the scene.
Groups cannot be ’embedded’ within a RC object. When a Group is deleted from the scene, it’s removed from RailClone as well.
Added a new type of Numeric Parameter called Selector.
This enables a parameter to be selected from a list of predefined items, which are shown in Max rollout using a combo list.
Each item has an associated float value, which is returned as the parameter’s output. It can be cast as an integer as well.
Added modifier modes to Generator->Evenly->Adaptive: Even, Odd and Any
Added Banking control to RCSpline:
It lets you adjust the banking angle along the spline. Basically, it works as Generator->X Rotation, but at multiple spline positions.
Banking points can be adjusted interactively in the viewport, or by modifying their parameters in the rollout (Percent / Angle).
When using multiple RC SPline modifiers, the Banking modifier can be selected per generator using the Rules->Banking->Modifier settings. Setting the value to 0 disables banking.
The Banking Angle can be forced for a specific segment, using a Transform operator’s new Deform->”Override Banking” parameter.
Banking Smoothness can be adjusted with the new Generator->Banking->Smoothness value. (0 = linear, 1 = smooth).
The angle can be any value (including greater than 360), but there is a limitation of -180/180 using the gizmo. You can overcome it by dragging the gizmo multiple times.
Added expression attribute ‘XSplineXRotation’: rotation angle along the spline for current segment (-PI to PI radians). Includes Generator->X Rotation and banking.
Added XSplineXDirection, XSplineYDirection, XSplineZDirection attributes to expressions. Return direction vectors along the spline for the current segment. Includes Generator->”X Rotation” and Banking.
“Always Show Markers/Banking” option in RCSpline.keeps gizmos visible when the spline is selected
Fixed: Parameter’s description is truncated to 100 characters when a node is edited. The limit is increased to 2000 characters.
Fixed: login credentials are invalidated after initiating a session with Update Manager of Forest Pack (which uses a different version).
What’s new in version 3.2?
RailClone 3.2 introduces compatibility with V-Ray Next, Arnold and 3ds Max 2019, significant enhancements to default scaling modes, a new supermarket library and several improvements to existing features.
RailClone 3.2 is a compatibility update to support the most recent version of 3ds Max, V-Ray, and Arnold – Autodesk’s powerful new renderer, included in 3ds Max from version 2018 and above.
In addition, we’ve taken the opportunity to include in some additional updates to make RailClone even more powerful and add extra options requested by artists to create amazing parametric models.
Thanks to the latest release, you can now use beveled corners with adaptive and count mode, sync random values between generators, use the sub-spline count in expressions, apply modifiers to nested RailClone objects, populate supermarkets with a new library and more
As usual, a Lite version of this release is freely available to download and use commercially.
Compatible with (nearly) everything! V-Ray, Arnold, Corona
RailClone 3.2 adds support for V-Ray Next, so you can take advantage of Chaos Group’s latest and greatest renderer. Enjoy speed improvements of up to 25%, use the new GPU architecture with its promise of doubling the speed of your GPU rendering, take advantage of the new adaptive dome light and much much more.
For the first time, RailClone is now also compatible with Arnold, Autodesk’s replacement for Mental Ray that was first included with Max 2018. Not only does Arnold support instancing with RailClone and most of the main features, it also supports RailClone Colour, a new map type introduced in version 3 that enables you to randomize and tint bitmaps per-segment, or even colors on a surface.
We’re delighted to announce that the recently released Corona 2.0 also supports RailClone 3.2 so you can take advantage of its fabulous new bokeh controls, scatter CoronaVolumeGrid objects, and take advantage of its many performance improvements.
And don’t forget, in addition to these great renderers, RailClone also supports Datasmith, Mental Ray, and Thea plus nearly any renderer on the planet via RailClone tools. Check out the requirements page for full compatibility information.
Harmonised input names
Creating models with RailClone is simple when you understand the underlying principles. Internally, the A2S (two dimensional) array generator is calculated by stacking multiple L1S (one dimensional) arrays on top of one another – to form rows.
To help artists to understand the connection between the two generators, the A2S generator’s inputs have been renamed. From this release onwards, the A2S generator’s Left inputs are renamed to Start, and Right inputs have been renamed End.
This release sees the addition of a new library containing food products that can be used to quickly populate shop and supermarket shelves. RailClone now includes a growing library of nearly 400 styles in 30 categories, with more planned for release soon!
In addition, we have included several new Macros that you can use to create your own similar styles in a quick and easy fashion. Just add the geometry and you’re good to go!
To accompany RailClone 3.2’s Arnold support, we have created Arnold materials for every preset. If you are using Arnold, this will be detected automatically and the correct materials will be used. Alternatively, you can force Arnold materials to load by selecting them from the drop-down list.
Use Bevelled Corners with Adaptive and Scale mode
RailClone can distribute default segments along paths using one of four modes. In the default Tiling mode, geometry is simply repeated and the final segment is sliced to ensure a perfect fit with the underlying path.
Sometimes though, you don’t want to slice geometry. The remaining modes allow you to use only whole segments. For example, using Scale mode you can stretch geometry between the start and end of a spline or between intermediary segments. Ideal where you need to recreate a sweeping effect
For repeated geometry, Adaptive mode intelligently adds additional segments and scales them all equally to fill the available space. No geometry is sliced for optimal instancing and you’ll never see half a segment or encounter an unwanted open edge.
Finally, you can take control and specify the exact number of segments to be cloned along a path section using Count mode.
The last two modes are incredibly useful, but always had a limitation: it wasn’t possible to use them in conjunction with beveled corners.
Thanks to RailClone 3.2, we’re happy to announce that this restriction has been removed and beveled corners can now be used with all 4 default modes!
The random number node gives you a lot of choices on when to create a new value. Pick from per spline, per section, per Y row, per segment and more.
But what if you want randomized values to be the same between generators? Until now that wasn’t possible, but in RailClone 3.2 we’ve added the ability to synchronize randomized values between generators. This makes it much easier to split a style between multiple generators to create more sophisticated styles.
Several other improvements are included in RailClone 3.2. The UVW XForm operator now has an option to rotate the texture around its center – perfect for randomizing maps with radial symmetry.
Update manager has seen several stability improvements and now includes the ability to install libraries from a network location. This can save multi-user offices from having to download the same content multiple times.
Nested RailClone objects can now have modifiers applied to them provided they are not reseeded per segment, and a SubSplineCounter variable has been added to expressions so that you can create conditional styles based on the order of sub splines.
To help with XRefing scenes, when using Free Object mode the full spline’s transformation is now ignored. In previous versions, only the position was being ignored.
To download and use the latest features, log-in to your User Panel and click on the button from the left-hand menu. If your maintenance plan has expired you can renew from the option also found in the left-hand menu.
What’s new in version 3.0.7?
Added Macros. This feature allows you to create new nodes by creating sub-graphs. Macros to output numeric values, geometry, and generators are all possible.
A new Macro library panel is available in the Style Editor containing system and user-generated macros
Create or edit a macro by selecting a Macro node, right-clicking and selecting Macro > Edit
Input nodes allow you to determine the base objects used by a macro. These will become the macros inputs.
Output nodes allow you to determine the type of output generated by a macro. Choose from segment or numeric.
One or more Generators can be added to a macro.
Several examples are included, and you can save, share and import your own macros as well as adding them to a user library for easy reuse.
Added Update Manager, a new application to download and keep the software updated.
Libraries, Maps, and Macros have been removed from the setup program. Now are downloaded from the Update Manager.
It requires to log in with the username and password included with your license.
In the current version, the plugin is not updated from the application. This feature will be included in next updates.
Update Manager is launched periodically from 3DS Max, notifying the use of updates if there are any. You also can run it manually from General>Update or from the Start Menu.
Library, Materials, and Maps are moved to C:Users<user>AppDataLocalItoo SoftwareRailClone
A new algorithm to align Linear Generator with planar and closed splines. It computes initial banking angle (X Rotation in Generator) so segment’s Z axis is perpendicular to the plane formed by the first and last spline’s segment. This method works much better when creating frames, windows, etc.
Added Auto Align option to Array Generator->Extend X/Y Size mode. This option creates array aligned automatically with each sub-spline. This mode is very suitable for roof and panels.
Two modes are available. For both modes, the Z axis is always perpendicular to the plane formed by the spline.
X –> XY: X-axis is parallel to the RailClone XY plane (considering local axis of the object).
to Spline: X-axis is aligned with first Spline’s segment (you can use “Make first” vertex and “Reverse” spline to modify alignment).
Added Generator A2S->Clipping Area-> Hierarchy Checking Mode. This option determines the way that RailClone processes stacked splines for Extend X/Y Size mode.
Complete uses the original RC2 behavior, stacked splines are alternatively included/exclude geometry
None treats each spline as unique, overlapping or stacking splines has no effect
‘ By Material ID uses the material ID assigned to the splines to determine which belong to the same array.
Added RailClone Color: A new map type that is similar to Forest Color, providing random textures and tint to each segment.
Compatible with V-Ray, Mental Ray, and non-instanced geometry.
The number of maps is increased to 20 (instead of 10 for ForestColor).
In future Forest updates, ForestColor and RailClone Color will be interchangeable.
Added “Color Seed” to Transform node. If not zero, the value is used as a random seed for RailClone color
Added Style Linking: This feature lets you link an RC object to another, so Style changes done on Master are dynamically reproduced on the slave.
The update is done when Style Editor is closed, importing a Library Style or manually clicking the ‘Update’ button.
Optionally material is also copied from the Master object.
Parameter values are copied from the master as well, except those have been modified by the user. This mechanism works in the same way than Library/Copy Style operations, and the behavior can be modified from “General” settings.
Added ‘Retain Value Mode’ to Numeric parameters. It overrides behavior for Retain value feature (used on Library, Copy Style, and Style Linking procedures):
Auto: parameter value is retained if has been modified by the user.
Local: retain always value of local parameter.
Global: parameter is always overwritten, copying the value from the master RC object.
New libraries: Roofing tiles, Hips and Ridges, and Cladding.
Added support for V-Ray 3.6.
Added support for Max 2018.
Note: Mental Ray is not supported for this version.
New Max.time variable to returns the current time (in ticks).
Note: When Max.time is used in any expression, the RC object is updated at each frame. This may degrade performance.
List boxes in Parameters and Base Objects rollouts are resizeable.
Internal changes for compatibility with third-party renderers.
Note nodes have been rewritten. They are now resizeable, have user definable colors and can move child nodes.
Limit by ID can be used in Array generators when “Clipping->Extend X/Y Size to Area” is enabled.
In this way, the ID limit is applied to the clipping spline, not to the base X/Y splines.
The ID of first spline’s section is used for checking.
Added mode to Compose: In Sequence or Grouped :
In Sequence uses the default behaviour, following Segments in order.
Grouped uses the first Segment as Main, which defines size and placement in the Generator sequence. Other segments are placed stacked in same position, according to their alignment settings. Note: some advanced operations as Bevel Corner, are not compatible with Stack mode and can generate incorrect results.
Instancing is disabled for certain Library styles, when current renderer doesn’t support it.
Continuous mapping feature (Segment->Mapping) is completely rewritten. Now it should generate correct mapping under all conditions.
Due to the changes introduced, mapping may look different from RC2.
Segment mapping from non-converted RC1 objects doesn’t work anymore. You must convert these objects to RC3 format.
Origin of UV coordinates (U=0,V=0) is aligned with the base spline.
Added UVW Offset to Generators.
Added Y Spline mode to A2S Generator: defines what coordinates are used for the Y Spline: Y/Z or X/Y.
X/Y was the mode for RC2 objects. RC3 objects uses Y/Z mode by default, which is more logical.
Style->Operate On is changed to Quad by default.
More Generator parameters are available for exporting (specifically combo values).
Transform->Fixed Size is computed before applying other transformations (as Rotate or Scale).
Updated expressions engine to V3. Changes:
return <expression> ;
* ‘=’ changed to ‘==’
Added option to extract all Segments to the scene.
New dialog for Export Parameters/Attributes . It allows to change multiple parameters from multiple selected nodes (of same type).
Seed parameter now is animatable.
Added Pivot Offset to Transform node.
Added next properties to Arithmetic->Expression :
XSplineNextMatID : Material ID of next X Spline’s segment. With Corners, returns ID of segment AFTER the corner.
YSplineNextMatID : Material ID of next Y Spline’s segment.
SegmentXRole : Role of current segment in a Linear Generator. Can be used also within a row of an Array (0 = Undefined, 1 = Default, 2 = Start, 3 = Corner, 4 = Evenly, 5 = End)
SegmentYRole : Role of current segment in an Array Generator (0 = Undefined, 1 = Default, 2 = Bottom, 3 = Corner (unused), 4 = Evenly, 5 = Top)
XVertexIndex : (index of X spline’s vertex)
XEvenlyNumber : Number of Evenly positions on X path.
YEvenlyNumber : Number of Evenly positions on Y path.
Modified the way that arrays are generated when using multiple splines. Previously rows were created using all splines (Row 1 of Spline 1, Row 1 of Spline 2, etc). Now one array is generated completely for each spline (Row 1 of Spline1, Row 2 of Spline 1, etc) allowing their row sizes to operate independently.
Other changes and Fixes
3DS Max 2010/2011 are not longer supported.
Changed: Generator A2S->Limits and Padding don’t work when using Clipping
Changed: Linear Generator->Evenly->Sync Offset is does not function when using Count mode and has been disabled.
Area->Extend X/Y Size. Settings have been disabled in this mode.
Fixed: Material operator generates different sequences when used on several generators.
Fixed: Y counter is not computed correctly when using clipping areas.
Fixed random crash with points-cloud mode in Max 2015.
Note: RC4 requires 3DS Max 2013 and VRay 3.7 or later. Earlier versions are no longer supported. Please also note that due to significant changes to the core, random values in RC4 are different from RC3, you may get different results from scenes rendered using RC3.
Added Style->”Use Segment Material“.
When enabled, RailClone uses the materials applied to the source geometry, instead of its own material.
Currently this feature is available only for V-Ray and Arnold Renderer or if you convert to standard geometry using RailClone Tools. Other render engines can add support using our updated API.
For embedded Segments (those not linked to a scene’s object), a copy of the latest material used by the object is stored internally.
To modify the material of an “embedded” Segment, it’s necessary to export it to a scene object from the Style Editor, and pick the material from it.
Materials are applied only at render time . The viewport still uses the material assigned directly to the RC object.
Added a new spline modifier: RC Spline. It allows you to add markers directly to the spline that include several properties to position and control segments.
You can choose the type of vertex for checking (Any, Corner, Bezier, Smooth, or Bezier-Corner).
Distance and Percentage accept negative values.
When using Percentage with a specific vertex type, the distance is measured until the next or previous vertex of the same type.
For each field, you can define the label and data type (Integer, Float or Scene Units).
It lets you to define multiple Data Set by style.
Once defined, Sets can be selected from the RC Spline->”Data Set” combo box.
Sets listed in the “Data Set” combo are collected for all RC objects which have the spline assigned as a Base Object.
Selected Set is applied to all Markers in the RC Spline modifier. If you need different Sets in a spline, apply a new RC Spline modifier.
Markers: defines custom positions in the path, without needing to add more vertices. They do not affect the shape of the path.
The position can be specified by a percentage or an absolute distance.
Markers can be defined relative to the spline’s start, end or using a specific vertex number.
Each marker includes two custom data fields: an integer ID, and 9 multipurpose data fields
It’s possible to add multiples “RC Spline” modifiers to a spline.
In Generators, marker segments are used with a new slot (“Marker”). From the “Rules” tab, markers can be filtered by ID, or by specifying a modifier index.
Markers can be adjusted manually (select, move, delete, etc), at sub-object level.
Multiple markers can be created by clicking on the spline using the Create multiple markers button.
You can use the same data from the selected marker by enabling “Copy Data for new markers” .
Values can be used from Expressions using “XMarkerData”, “YMarkerData” attributes, as a zero based array (i.e. XMarkerData to XMarkerData).
User Data fields are customized from the RailClone Style->”Base Objects”->”Customize RC Spline”.
Added Nested Generators. This allows you to use the output of a generator as a segment in another generator or even in multiple other generators.
Expressions can use attributes from nested generators, in the following way: GeneratorName.Attribute
The Generator’s name must be normalized to be used in the expression (non-ascii characters, cannot start with digits, etc).
You can select all attributes available for a specific operator in the “Attribute” panel, with generator names already normalized.
If a Generator is renamed, the user is responsible for updating the expression. Same for using unique names in Generators.
In case of duplicated Generator names, RC uses the nearest node to the Arithmetic operator.
The pivot of the nested generator is always at world origin – if the RailClone object is not at world origin the pivot may be offset some distance from the resultant object. You only need to worry about this if you are changing the Alignment mode of the nested generator to Pivot using an intermediary Transform operator.
Added Generator->Cap Holes.
With Clipping splines it’s not possible to modify the UVW mapping of the capped faces.
For this reason, these faces are always mapped using Box Mapping and Real World Map Size.
To get the same mapping in all faces, we suggest to use this type of mapping for your Segments (i.e. enabling Segment->Deform->Mapping->Real World).
Added a new Display Mode called “Quick Mesh“. This mode is similar to Mesh, but more efficient as it draws instanced segments in the viewport.
To work, the active render engine must also support native instancing with RailClone.
Several features are not visible on viewport such as the Material operator, UVW Segment Mapping modes, UVW XForm operator etc.
If the scene does not meet any requirements, it works exactly the same as Mesh mode.
Performance is better the more segments can be instanced. You can check the number of instanced segments using General->Stats.
Added a cache for the evaluation of Nodes.
Each Node in the Style is evaluated only when it is needed, reusing the result if a node doesn’t change.
This may improve the performance of complex styles, especially if nested generators are used.
Compose->Group was redone from scratch. Now composed items are handled in a similar way to Max groups.
The size of a Composed Group is the bounding box of all segments enclosed in it.
To keep the position within the group, the alignment of all segments is forced to “Pivot” mode.
You can modify the behaviour of a group by adding a Transform node after the Compose operator.
Due to this change, segments Composed using Group mode in RailClone 3 may not convert well to RailClone 4. To fix this, add a transform operator after the Compose node and set the alignment for all axes to Pivot.
Style Editor changes
Wires are coloured according to their type: Green: base objects, Orange: geometry, Yellow: numeric. Coloring can be disabled from Preferences.
Improved wire connection with macros.
Nodes can be inserted on a wire by dragging the icon over it.
Automatic rewiring when a node is deleted.
Added “Insert on Wire” to the contextual menu, to insert a node on a link. (This option is visible only when there is a single wire selected.)
Added grid view and snap. Use Options->”Grid Setup” to configure.
Added “Select Children” to the node’s contextual menu.
Added Edit->”Select Unused”. Select unconnected nodes and their children, which are not used in the Style.
New nodes added to the Style receive unique names.
Optimized nodes graph evaluation. ( Modifications on non-connected nodes don’t trigger a rebuild of the RC object. The same is true for changes to Note nodes.
Added prefix number to the slots of Selector node.
The macros tree is now collapsed by default.
Spline/Surface nodes receive the name of the object when assigned.
Properties panel now is resizeable, and width limit is removed for all panels
New General->Statistics window with detailed data, information about each Generator and separate information for Viewport and Render.
Support for all new RailClone 4 features is added to the Rendering API.
Improved stability for V-Ray IPR.
The Selector operator has new modes that make it easier to use spline attributes to choose geometry, they include: X Spline Next Material ID, Y Spline Material ID, Y Spline Next Material ID, X Spline Marker ID and Y Spline Marker ID.
Huge improvement in instancing efficiency when using shared segments or linked styles.
In RC3, each RailClone object kept its own copy of segments, but in RC4 the cache is global for all RC objects.
This lets to the render engine to create a unique copy of each Segment, for all RC objects.
The Material operator can now be used with instancing support in all render engines and with instantiating using RailClone Tools.
Style->”Operate on Tri/Quad” is removed. Now geometry is always computed as quads.
The order of Transform nodes is now taken into consideration when applying translation together with other transformations, this should result in more intuitive behaviour when multiple Transforms are chained together.
For example, Translate + Rotate will produce a different result from Rotate + Translate.
In previous versions, all translations were accumulated and applied after rotation and scale.
To keep compatibility with previous scenes, this change is applied only to new RC objects.
If you want to “upgrade” your RC object so it works as created with RC4, select it and run from Maxscript: $.railclone.resetCreatedVersion()
The Transform operator now applies scaling before rotation, to avoid skewing.
A new parameter allows the user to offset generators on the X Axis.
RailClone Tools->”Separated Meshes” is on by default.
Improved performance in Styles using Segments with exported parameters. Now Segments are updated only when parameters change.
Added new mode to Random node: generate on “Generator”.
Generator->Y Size can now be randomized by attaching it to a Random node.
Expressions have several improvements.
“XSplineMatID” can now be used in expressions to control the Y Size of a nested generator
Added “XSectionNextLength” and “YSectionNextLength” to Expressions. It returns the length of the next spline’s section
Added Generator->Rules->Default->”Scale Padding“. When enabled, padding is scaled on Scale/Count/Adaptive modes. If not, padding is constant.
Macros library folder now can be defined using an environment variable (It has the same effect as [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Itoo Software\RailClone Pro\MacroDir], but accepts a unique path entry.
Improved detection of circular references. Circular references between nodes are not allowed. This situation displays an error in the Style rollup.
The behaviour of “Free Object” mode with A2S Generators and “Extend to XY Size” enabled has been improved. Now the clipping area is aligned to the origin of the RC object, and doesn’t change when area moves.
For Floating Licenses, a license is now released on Max Reset.
Transform node generates an empty segment when input is not connected and Fixed size is on. This is especially useful to generate empty segments within macros.
Improved efficiency of RailClone Tools→Instantiation. Segments shared between different RC objects can now be instanced to a unique object.
In the style editor, the Properties panel now is resizeable, and width limit is removed for all panels.
Support for V-Ray 3.7.
Fixed alignment issue using “Free Mode”, and Linear and Array generators in the same style.
Fixed: Float parameters now accept more than two decimals.
Fixed error in the contextual menu after uninstallation.
Fixed bug when Evenly positions are coincident with a spline’s vertex.
Fixed: if Expression Editor is closed with ‘Cancel’, RC object is not updated with previous expression.
Fixed: Z Offset is not applied to Point-Cloud when using Vertical/Stepped modes
Fixed: Random node on “X spline Start” mode generates different RND for different segments on arrays.
Fixed: cleared Segments reappear after modifying its parameters.
Fixed: Style Description is empty if Style Editor was not yet loaded.
Fixed: A2S Generator ignores the parameters of the Spline Object (as Steps/Optimize).
Fixed precision issues when segments are placed exactly on spline vertices.
Fixed issue with Bevel Corner on closed splines.
Fixed gaps in A2S array using Scale mode and Bevel Corner.
Fixed: missing links when copying macros between different RC objects.
Fixed: Display->Adaptive mode may fail if RailClone Listener is open.
Fixed: Shortcuts and Toolbars using RailClone actions are not initialized at startup.
Fixed: Missing links in copy/paste operations using nodes with exported attributes in the Style Editor.
Fixed crash loading nodes using certain Unicode characters.
Fixed crash updating Master Style
Fixed performance issue when Segment->Nest is enabled, but are not nested objects.
“Display->Use DirectX” is removed. Now this feature is always enabled.
Fixed bevel issues with Arrays using negative Y Sizes
Fixed: Random Node->”Sync between generators” does not work if Seed is exported.
Fixed: Spinboxes may get stuck on slow rebuilds.
Fixed linking and dropping issues with numeric parameters in macros
Fixed rewiring between outputs of numeric operators and parameters in macros.
Fixed initialization of Sequence nodes when used by multiple Generators.
Fixed bug with missing links on copy-paste operations within macros.
Fixed crash deleting all polygons from an assigned Surface.
To avoid instabilities, Library Browser cannot be open while Interactive Rendering is running.
Improved error handling on Copy/Paste operations.
Fixed: Expressions->”ArrayCounter” is not incremented for arrays generated from Clipping splines.
Fixed several issues with Macro On/Off parameter.
Fixed: RC Spline->Transform Gizmo is moved just hovering the cursor over a Marker, instead selecting it.
Fixed: General->Seed parameter is not animatable.
Fixed crashing bug with render nodes.
Fixed crash setting Segment->Mapping->Map Channels over 99 (maximum value accepted by Max).
Added support for V-Ray 3.7.
Fixed: A2S Generator ignores the parameters of the Spline Object (such as Steps/Optimize…)
Added support for 3DS Max 2020.
Fixed: Shortcuts and Toolbars using RailClone actions are not initialized at startup.
New Features and Improvements
Added support for V-Ray Next
Added Support for 3ds Max 2019
Added Support for Arnold 5.1 and above
Includes RailClone Colour support
Updated library with Arnold materials
Added Supermarket products to the free library. Include 10 new presets, each with multiple product variations.
Bevels now can be used with Count mode
Bevels now can be used with Adaptive mode.
“Bevel Mode” and “Bevel Offset” have no effect. In all cases is used the same type of bevel with offset 0.
Added “Sync between Generators” to “Random” node. It lets to generate same random values for all Generators.
Added UVW XForm->”Rotate about Center”.
It has no effect with Segment’s mapping.
To make it work identically to the UVW XForm Max modifier, now Scale is applied after Rotation (previously Scale was applied before Rotation).
Added improvements to Update Manager.
Update manager can be configured to check if a library has already been downloaded to a network locations. This can save multi-user offices from having to download the same content multiple times.
iToo Toolbars (both Forest and RailClone) can be disabled adding the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Itoo Software\DisableToolbars = 1 (DWORD)
Modifiers in RailClone objects are used on nested objects.
Only if Segment->Nest is not enabled in the outer object. This mode is not compatible with modifiers.
Added “SubSplineCounter” to expressions.
Index of sub-spline when using compound X splines. Valid both for array and linear generators. Starts in 0.
Several array inputs have been renamed, to more understable names according its operation.
Left Side -> Start, Right Side -> End, Top Side -> Top, Bottom Side -> Bottom, Inner Corner -> X Corner, LT Corner -> Start Top, RT Corner -> End Top, LB Corner -> Start Bottom, RB Corner -> End Bottom
For “Style->Free Object” the full spline’s transformation is ignored (Position/Rotate/Scale), not only Position as before.
This fixes a problem with XRef scenes binded to a rotated object.
Existing scenes may be affected if were using the Rotation or Scale of the spline. This can be fixed re-aligning the RC object with the spline (ie. using Alt+A) for rotation, and applying a Reset XForm to the spline, for scale.
Added warning when using Point-cloud mode with nested RC objects.
Fixed: Bevel Extend and Symmetric options are swapped.
Fixed: When Evenly->Mode parameter is exported, modifies value of Clipping->Mode.
To fix it on existing styles it’s necessary to recreate the Generator.
Fixed: Evenly mode generates extra segments on closed splines.
Fixed: unable to export parameters with same name.
Fixed: Update Manager doesn’t close properly when launched on silently mode.
Fixed: Display->”Use Instance Engine” has no effect in Arnold (always is on).
Fixed rare crash in Expression Editor with some operations (i.e. using Undo when focus is on viewport).
Fixed issue when Evenly distance is lower than the Evenly Segment size.
Fixed: Sequence and Material->Sequence operators start with 2 same segments.
Fixed: animated Clipping splines are not updated correctly.
Fixed: Style Editor is not closed automatically when RC object is deselected, if an expression is being edited.
Fixed bugs with No-Bend segments and Y Splines in Arrays.
Fixed issues with auto alignment to X->XY.
Fixed crash using Numeric nodes copied from a macro in the main style.
Numeric nodes of main and macro styles are not interchangeable. Now RC blocks this possibility in copy-paste operations.
Fixed: Input macro nodes of different types can be rewired.
Fixed: Macro outputs cannot be rewired with a node of same type.
Main configuration of the plugin can be defined using environment variables:
Each registry key used in the configuration may be replaced by a variable, replacing non alphanumeric characters by ‘_’.
For example: for “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Itoo Software\RailClone Pro\MainDir”, you must define the variable “ITOO_SOFTWARE_RAILCLONE_PRO_MAINDIR”
The minimum variables to run RailClone Pro are the following:
For Network licenses: ITOO_SOFTWARE_RAILCLONE_PRO_MAINDIR=C:\Program Files (x86)\Itoo Software\RailClone Pro ITOO_SOFTWARE_LICENSES_LICENSEDIR=C:\ProgramData\Itoo Software\Licenses ITOO_SOFTWARE_RAILCLONE_PRO_USELICSERVER=1 ITOO_SOFTWARE_RAILCLONE_PRO_LICSERVHOST=192.168.1.20 ITOO_SOFTWARE_RAILCLONE_PRO_LICSERVPORT=16720
For Stand-alone licenses: ITOO_SOFTWARE_RAILCLONE_PRO_MAINDIR=C:\Program Files (x86)\Itoo Software\RailClone Pro ITOO_SOFTWARE_LICENSES_LICENSEDIR=C:\ProgramData\Itoo Software\Licenses ITOO_SOFTWARE_RAILCLONE_PRO_USELICSERVER=0
If you define the variables in a .BAT file, be sure to not include any space at both sides of the ‘=’ symbol, or it will not work (this is a known Windows issue).
Environment variables are used only by the Max plugin. Other tools as the License Manager requires configuration registry keys stll.
If both registry keys and environment variables are defined, the variables have precedence over keys (priority order is Variables->HKLM->HKCU).
Fixed problems with Adaptive mode.
Fixed precision error when segment ends just at the spline’s limit.
Fixed crash in Style Editor dragging a Macro category (not a macro) from the Macros tree.
Fixed Style->Geometry->Vertex Weld, which was broken in latest release.
Fixed: in Point-cloud mode, Z-Offset is applied twice for segments with Bend off.
Fixed bug computing Corner on first vertex of closed splines.
Fixed resizing Note nodes when Style Editor is zoomed.
Fixed “Simple Y Offset mode” with collinear vertices.
Fixed bug when using “Extend X/Z Size to Area” and “X–>XY” mode with splines coplanar to XY.
iToo software's Forest Pack isn't just for foliage. This tutorials shows how Forest pack can be used to randomly populate large building floors with people and furniture of all kinds. And how Railclone can be used to create floor plates.
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