RailClone vs Max Creation Graphs

We’ve been asked a few questions recently about Max 2016’s new Max Creation Graphs feature. We’re actually quite excited to see Max Creation Graph added to 3DS Max. It’s great to see so much effort and energy being put into this year’s release.

As for comparing MCG and RailClone, we think they’re quite different tools. Autodesk themselves describe MCG as a “functional dataflow visual programming language”, that can be used to create new modifiers, utilities, objects and functions.  MCG is perhaps closer to Lab or Genome than it is to RailClone.

RailClone on the other hand is an artist-friendly parametric instancing plug-in with a very high level of abstraction aimed at simplifying the creation of huge amounts of geometry using arrays.

Despite cosmetic similarities in the interface and the examples shown in the videos, MCG is a programming  language intended to make new tools. To use MCG to clone objects for example, it would first be necessary to create a cloning modifier. Using MCG - while certainly much much simpler and faster than scripting -  is dependent on the user understanding some basic 3D programming principles plus a level of knowledge about what’s going on in Max under the hood.

Even if MCG is used to create a cloning tool, it is likely to be limited by the amount of geometry it can create. RailClone has an advanced instancing engine with native support for most popular renderers to create massive amounts of geometry. It has points-cloud and other display modes that keep displaying and manipulating all that geometry in the viewports fast and interactive.

RailClone’s purpose is to manipulate and instance objects efficiently, interactively, and with the ability to render millions and millions of polygons without breaking a sweat. It is tightly integrated into the most popular rendering engines, and thought it has its own logic, it is simple to learn and a knowledge of programming principles is not required to use it.

In short MCG and RailClone are different tools with different aims. There will be some crossover, as indeed there is between Forest Pack and RailClone, but as in every situation it’ll be a case of using the right tool for the job.

We hope that helps clarify a little. MCG in Max 2016 is an exciting new tool, and we believe that when people are able to take Max 2016 for a spin, the differences between it and RailClone will become clear.