Installation and customisation

This guide describes the directory structure of Forest Pack and how to customize it. We will use a default Forest Pro installation, in Forest Lite some files may be different.

Directory Structure

We define <forestdir> as the folder where you installed Forest Pack (C:\Program Files\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro by default) , <maxdir> is your main 3DS directory, and <librarydir> as the location of librarys (C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\ by default). 

<forestdir> Contains the following files in the root directory:

File Description
Forest Pack Pro.  Shortcut to the Forest Pack web page
forest_reference.html Shortcut to the online reference manual
install.log Installation log file
licenseMode.exe License mode setup wizard
licpanel.exe License manager
uninst.exe Uninstaller for Forest Pack

The setup program  also creates the folder structure shown below in <forestdir> :

Folder Path
Distribution Maps <forestdir>\distmaps
Image Formats <forestdir>\imageformats
Billboard Geometry <forestdir>\geometry

The setup program  creates libraries using the folder structure shown below in <librarydir> :

Folder Path
Forest Effects Files (.eff) <librarydir>\effects
Library <librarydir>\lib
Library Maps <librarydir>\maps
Material Libraries <librarydir>\matlib

The plugins and shaders for VRay and Mental Ray are copied to the 3ds Max directories as follows (Note only one of Lite or Pro plugins should be installed for each Max version):

Folder Path
3DS plugin Lite


3DS plugin Pro <maxdir>\plugins\ForestPackPro.dlo
3DS Legacy plugin (optional install) <maxdir>\plugins\ForestPackPro2.dlo


Toolbar Icons

Max 2010- 2012:


Max 2013 - 2017:



User Interface Files


VRay shaders Several <maxdir>\ForestVRay###.dll, usually one for each V-Ray major release.

Note: some files may not exist depending of the Max and VRay versions

MR shader library Max 2010 and before: <maxdir>\mentalray\shaders_autoload\shaders\FShader3.dll
Max 2011 and 2012: <maxdir>\mentalimages\shaders_autoload\mentalray\shaders\FShader3.dll
Max 2013 and newer: <maxdir>\NVIDIA\shaders_autoload\mentalray\shaders\FShader3.dll
MR shader descriptor Max 2010 and before: <maxdir>\mentalray\shaders_autoload\include\FShader3.mi
Max 2011 and 2012: <maxdir>\mentalimages\shaders_autoload\mentalray\include\FShader3.mi
Max 2013 and newer: <maxdir>\NVIDIA\shaders_autoload\mentalray\include\FShader3.mi

The following entries are created in the Windows Registry:


If the plug-in doesn't find the keys in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, it searches the same values on HKEY_CURRENT_USER.

MainDir = C:\Program Files (x86)\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro <forestdir> is defined here
UseLicServer = 0 0 to use Stand-alone license, 1 for Network license
LicservHost = <host or ip> License server hostname, undefined for automatic search
LicservPort = 16720 Protocol port number, by default 16720
TexturePaths (key) Texture paths
LibraryDir (key) Library paths

In Forest Pack 6.1 and above you can disable the iToo Toolbars (both Forest and RailClone) by adding the following registry key:

DisableToolbars = 1 (DWORD) 1 to disable the toolbars, 0 to enable them

All commercial Itoo Software products use also additional keys for the licensing management:

LicenseDir = C:\ProgramData\Itoo Software\Licenses Forest Pro license is stored here
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Itoo Software\Licenses\Products
Forest Pack = 9 One entry for each Itoo Software product
 In a Windows 64 bit version, these registry keys are duplicated in  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node

Unattended Installation

From Forest Pack 3.9.2 and above, the setup program supports unattended installations using the following parameters:

  • /? - See available parameters
  • /S - enable silent installation
  • /MAXVER=[max9-32, max9-64, max2008-32, max2008-64, max2009-32, max2009-64, max2010-32, max2010-64, max2011-32, max2011-64, max2012-32, max2012-64, max2013-32, max2013-64, max2014-64, max2015-64]
  • /MAXDIR=<3dmax installation path>
  • /LICMODE=[rendernode, network, stand-alone]
  • /LICHOST=[License server host]
  • /LICPORT=<License server TCP port>
  • /SHAREDFOLDER=<network path for shared files>

Example of a silent installation for Max 2013

ForestPackPro.exe /S /MAXVER=max2013-64

Network Rendering

You can install Forest on your renderfarm computers using the setup program, or copying the files manually. In Forest Pro select "Render slave node", in Forest Lite use default installing option.

For a manual installation, these are the required files:

Type Files
Plugin and shaders As described in the plugin and shaders table
Distribution Maps from "C:\Program Files (x86)\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\distmaps\images", copy them to any shared texture folder
Tree textures all textures from "C:\Program Files (x86)\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\maps" and your custom textures, when used

If you use Presets or other elements of the Library, they must be visible by the render nodes. Use the Asset Tracker to locate the texture maps and XRefs used by the scene.

From version 4.0.2, Forest configures automatically in the render nodes the paths listed in the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\TexturePaths. These are the paths included by default by the installer:

c:\program files (x86)\itoo software\forest pack pro\\distmaps\images
c:\program files (x86)\itoo software\forest pack pro\maps\HShadows
c:\program files (x86)\itoo software\forest pack pro\maps\Standard
c:\program files (x86)\itoo software\forest pack pro\maps\Classic
c:\program files (x86)\itoo software\forest pack pro\maps\presets
c:\program files (x86)\itoo software\forest pack pro\lib\free models\hqplants free\maps

All these files can be installed on network paths if you configure Max to use them (as shared plugins, Mental Ray shaders and textures). For details, see: Autodesk 3ds Max Help -> Customizing the User Interface - > Configure Paths.

Is it possible to modify the sub-objects of a Forest object from MaxScript?

Yes, but only if the Forest object is in "Custom Edit" mode. there is an interface named "trees" for using it provided by MaxScript. You can see all the functions included witd "showinterfaces($forest01)". these are the some of them:#

Add a tree in position p (local coordinates), using width, height and geometry ID values

<Forestobject>.trees.create p:<point3> width:<float> height:<float> geomid: <integer>

$forest01.trees.create p:[50,50,0] width:10 heigth:10 geomid:1

Delete the tree at position n in the array


<Forestobject>.trees.delete n:<integer>

$forest01.trees.delete n:0


Modify the properties of the the tree at position n (width, height, geometry ID, random seed)

<Forestobject>.trees.edit n:<integer> width:<float> height:<float> geomid:<integer> seed:<integer>

$forest01.trees.edit n:0 width:10 height:10 geomid:1 seed:123456

Returns the number of trees of the object



Move the n-th tree to the position p

<Forestobject>.trees.move n:<integer> p:<point3>

$forest01.trees.move n:0 p:[50,50,0]

Set the rotation of the n-th tree (angle in degrees)

<Forestobject>.trees.rotate n:<integer> angle:<float>

$forest01.trees.rotate n:0 angle:45

Configuring the plugin using environment variables

From Forest Pack 6 onwards it is now possible to configure the main attributes of the plugin using environment variables instead of registry keys. To do this each registry key used in the configuration can be replaced by a variable, replacing non alphanumeric characters with underscores (_). For example: for "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\MainDir", you would define the variable "ITOO_SOFTWARE_FOREST_PACK_PRO_MAINDIR"

The minimum variables to run Forest Pack are the following:

For Network licenses:

  • ITOO_SOFTWARE_FOREST_PACK_PRO_MAINDIR=C:\Program Files\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro
  • ITOO_SOFTWARE_LICENSES_LICENSEDIR=C:\ProgramData\Itoo Software\Licenses

For Stand-alone licenses:

  • ITOO_SOFTWARE_FOREST_PACK_PRO_MAINDIR=C:\Program Files\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro
  • ITOO_SOFTWARE_LICENSES_LICENSEDIR=C:\ProgramData\Itoo Software\Licenses

  • If you define variables in a .BAT file, be sure to not include any space either side 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 still require configuration registry keys at the moment.
  • If both registry keys and environment variables are defined, the variables have precedence over keys (priority order is Variables->HKLM->HKCU).