Max plugin features


#1

I’ve entered into the latest Evermotion challenge (Secret Garden) and was curious as to features in the Max plug-in because I am wanting to use appleseed as my rendering engine.

  1. Atmospheric shadows (or other effects if possible)
  2. Multi-subobject materials
  3. Normal maps
  4. Camera parameters: exposure, shutter, lenses, bokeh, and other values (or is there already
    a way to control exposure with appleseed in Max?)
  5. Bloom and Glare
  6. Blur and DOF
  7. Displacement (not so very important but it was a feature I was considering for use)
  8. Particles (is it already compatible with particle systems for smoke or water?)
  9. Bitmap coordinates and parameters access
  10. Visibility flags

#2

When is the challenge’s deadline?


#3

January 17, 2017


#4

This challenge could be a good opportunity to start working on volumetric features in appleseed, and simple volumetric shadows in an homogenous atmosphere shouldn’t be hard to support, but of course that’s a bit of a gamble for the contest :slight_smile:


#5

I understand. With my particular entry the ‘garden’ will be located inside a glass paneled dome. Light rays will likely be a prominent effect. I’ll try to find a way around it.


#6

Multi/sub-object materials have been asked by several people and I started working on it. I’ll try to get that done sooner than later.

Bump and normal maps are fully supported by appleseed, they simply need to be exposed in the plugin. This should be very quick to add.


#7

First test render in Max with a few preliminary materials before I send it all to quixel (or maybe substance painter), plus some placeholder geometry.

I have the dome glass turned off in this render because I could not get it to transmit enough light to keep the interior bright enough to see it well. I’ll keep playing with the values until I get something that works. The glass being ‘off’ made the render too bright but since it is only a test render it wasn’t that important to fix right now.


#8

Nice!

Was it just not bright enough, or was it too noisy? I would expect the later as the scene-inside-transparent-sphere case is difficult for unidirectional path tracers.

appleseed also implements the SPPM algorithm (an advanced form of photon mapping) which is designed to handle these situations, but this algorithm isn’t exposed in the Max plugin.

If you’re willing to share the scene (with the glass dome), I would be happy to give SPPM a try.


#9

Initially it was too dark. The render didn’t run long enough to check how noisy it might be.

If you’re willing to share the scene (with the glass dome), I would be happy to give SPPM a try.

I can do that. It will be sent in a .zip file shortly.


#10

After looking at this render and running a couple of others I don’t think it’s the glass but also the geometry of the dome causing it to be so dark. I may have to rethink this design. :frowning:


#11

In that case cheating with the sun intensity seems perfectly acceptable :slight_smile:


#12

I’ve added a few more features to my Christmas list, Santa. I fully expect each and every feature to be implemented in 4 days, 7 hours, 18 minutes, 14 seconds (from the time you read this). By my own flawed, barely competent math this is very possible.


#13

I was creating some renders today and ran into a problem with the lights materials. When I add a bitmap to the map slot the render fails to start. Is this a feature not implemented yet?


#14

When creating a Disney material I noticed that .PNG files show up as black. What are the supported file types?

A similar problem with the alpha channel. When I use a bitmap i the alpha channel (a .jpg this time) appleseed refuses to render and the material shows up black. The same problem as with adding a bitmap to a light material.


#15

It works fine in appleseed itself, but I don’t think it was tested in appleseed-max. I’ll check and report back here.


#16

I just tested this in appleseed-max and it works fine, but there’s a caveat.

appleseed contains two image I/O subsystems:

  • OpenImageIO is used for the Disney material and for OSL shaders. It supports most image formats used in VFX such as PNG, OpenEXR, JPEG, TIFF, Photoshop PSD, etc.
  • The built-in (historical) subsystem is used everywhere else, namely in the glass, SSS and light materials. It only supports PNG and OpenEXR.

What will happen fairly soon in the Max plugin is that we’ll migrate to only using OSL shaders, meaning that OIIO will be the sole image I/O subsystem to be used, and consequently most common image formats will become supported.


3ds Max Plugin Development
#17

I cannot reproduce that. Could you post a test scene that has this issue?


#18

I cannot reproduce that. Could you post a test scene that has this issue?

I’m going through my files and doing some tests to see what the problem may be. I have a feeling it is the file itself.

makit3d:
I was creating some renders today and ran into a problem with the lights materials. When I add a bitmap to the map slot the render fails to start. Is this a feature not implemented yet?

franz:
I just tested this in appleseed-max and it works fine, but there’s a caveat.

It worked for me, as well, after converting it to a .png file.

I also noticed a strange problem; If I copy a light material, and use it on another object, it causes the render to fail and I get an interesting warning from Max saying the engine failed and I have to press a button that states ‘Abort Render’. I lost the clipboard of the text but I will try to recreate it and do a screencap. If I recreate the light material with the same values and bitmap it renders out fine.

Also, tiling in a bitmap of less than 1U x 1V causes the render to fail. No warning. The render dialog box just goes ‘poof’.

I’ll play some more to see what works and doesn’t.


#19

Made a test render of the station’s base. With this one I was testing how a texture would be used as a light and how it would tile. I realize now that the other bitmap features are not accessible yet (as stated in the release notes). Can’t quite get rid of the fireflies in this but it probably will not matter later. The textures will be changing and there will be more light in the scene. Also, the view of this part of the ship will not be seen in the larger view (maybe not at all, but doubtful).

The tiling feature would be almost necessary for some of my materials. The base has an image that is 4k x 4k but I could have achieved the same with a single 256 x 256 image with tiling (I wanted a solar panel look). Unless a larger image does not effect appleseed rendering or heavily impact resources?


#20

I cannot repro this problem either, any details appreciated!