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What's New in Forest Pack 8

Introduction to Forest Pack 8

The updated scattering plugin for 3ds Max, Forest Pack 8, has been enriched with a robust container plugin and fresh ways to link Forest objects, reinforcing its status as a versatile scattering option. This release introduces Forest Sets, linked areas, enhanced effects among other features, thereby providing users with new and streamlined workflows for scene population. A glance through the accompanying video and the detailed description below will offer a thorough understanding of the new additions.

Forest Set Feature

Forest Set emerges as a new helper plugin designated for crafting a multipurpose container for scene objects. By incorporating a Forest Set object to a Forest object, it becomes effortless to assemble a collection of geometry, surfaces, references, or areas. The ease of sharing a Forest Set among multiple Forest Objects simplifies the process of adding or removing areas, geometry, or surfaces, and updating several scatters from a single, easily editable location. Moreover, the capability to dynamically link the contents of a layer to a Forest Set facilitates updating scatters using familiar scene organisation tools.

Linked Areas and Surfaces

With the aim to broaden the possibilities for interdependent scatters, Forest Pack 8 brings in the feature of linking to areas and surfaces utilised in another Forest Pack object. This method allows for a singular parent Forest Object to control all the areas for numerous children, bypassing the necessity to assign the spline multiple times. Although parameters specific to each type of area are inherited, common parameters such as include/exclude and falloff remain local and can be tailored per Forest Object, paving the way for highly adaptable setups. The fusion of Forest Sets and linked areas simplifies the creation of expansive flexible interlinked ecosystems.

Surface UV Mode Enhancements

In the Surface UV mode, Forest Pack 8 has welcomed some much-anticipated features, making it more adaptable. Unlike previous versions, the latest version enables the use of Spline, Object, and other areas in conjunction with UV surfaces by projecting them along three axes using the new Area->Projection Axis parameter. The support for Edge mode while utilising spline areas has also been incorporated.

Autumn Leaves Preset Library

The Autumn Leaves segment unveils a new preset library of meticulously photo-scanned leaves, ideal for creating authentic autumnal renders. The leaves are logically organised by colour and are provided both as individual leaves for detailed work and patches for covering larger areas.

Forest Effects Expansion

Forest Effects has been expanded with the ability to reference splines independent of distribution areas, introducing a revolutionary way to operate. Utilising these features, it's feasible to alter specific parts of a larger scatter by encasing them inside a path that doesn't affect distribution areas. New functions and attributes have been added to support the new object, all operating in 2D using the XY local plane, making it easier to create effects based on a scattered item's proximity or orientation to a spline.

New Forest Effect Presets

A plethora of new Forest Effect presets have been made available to demonstrate the advantages of the new Effects improvements. These presets include a variety of functions such as rotating objects to align with splines, scaling items based on proximity to splines or within an area, and translating items on the Z axis based on closed spline areas, among others.

Scatter Linked Hierarchies

Forest Pack 8 now offers an alternative to groups by allowing the scattering of child objects of source geometry while retaining their hierarchy. This feature is beneficial for animating hierarchical objects, and Forest Pack can randomise playback akin to a normal mesh. To activate this feature, simply pick the top object of the hierarchy and select the Geometry > Include Children option.

Randomise Position on Paths Feature

The introduction of a feature to randomise position on paths while adhering to the spline is valuable for diversifying regular patterns, ensuring a more natural distribution of plants or other objects.

Error Identification Enhancement

Error identification has been simplified with Forest Pack's icon now changing colour based on three distinct error states, making it easier to recognise issues promptly and save time.

Additional Improvements

Additional improvements include preservation of User Properties in V-Ray, Vertex Colour support in Arnold, and more accessible Brush Settings.

Download Instructions

To download Forest Pack 8, head over to your User Panel on the website and navigate to the My Products section. If your maintenance plan has expired, you can renew it for another year without any penalty for lapsed plans.

For those yet to explore Forest Pack, it's an opportune time to try out the Lite version at no charge, even for commercial use. The Lite version can be downloaded from the product page on the website, and when you're prepared for an upgraded experience, Forest Pack Pro is available for purchase from the online store.