Grass!

Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:51 pm

The new 2.7 version of Maxwell is out (free update) -- and one of the major new features is Grass... which is in the new version of the SketchUp plugin as well. I made a grass material to help users get right into using the grass functions right away: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/41250852/j_greengrass_base.zip

grasstester_base.jpg


I also have posted a more advanced free tool for angle mapping here: http://www.maxwellrender.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=38823

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby Stinkie » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:48 pm

That's rather cool. And this is too: http://www.maxwellrender.com/education/learning_edition
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Re: Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:55 pm

Yep, at $195 that is a really nice solution for the user who wants more power than the $95 "stand-alone" SketchUp plugin, but doesn't need huge renders or network rendering. The really nice thing about that is it includes all of the Maxwell plugins free (including the SketchUp plugin) -- so you could use Maxwell with several different packages (as I do).

I also found the Maxwell integration into Artlantis to be a rather interesting tidbit: http://www.artlantis.com/index.php?page=products/studio/news

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby chedda » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:56 pm

Yeah looks sweet Jason, thanks for the test file. I was kind of shocked when Artlantis included Maxwell i had heard rumors but it seemed non sensical in a way. Artlantis is not a modeler it is just a renderer, so to include a rival is a bit like we can't beat them so let's join them. Also they are widely different softwares in time needed and hardware required. Many are drawn to Artlantis because of it's UI and being super fast quite the opposite with Maxwell. Artlantis is cheap compared, but after the 30 day trial people will need to buy a license for Maxwell and in time i expect they will make the transition. Looking forward to exploring this new version many thanks to the developers who always deliver the goods regarding the sketch up plugin !
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Re: Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:07 pm

I have a different take on the Artlantis thing -- alot of people seem to be drawn to the idea of having unbiased rendering as an option in an otherwise biased render engine. So this fulfills that desire in a way that Maxwell (alone) never will. It's a competitive thing... offering your users options is never bad, especially if you have no intention of ever doing that development yourself.

Maxwell can do their thing, and Artlantis can do theirs, and neither has to worry about the other infringing on their established territory... in that way it's a good partnership. I expect to see more companies partner up as they realize that being everything to everybody is a losing game.

It also appears that they have simplified Maxwell material creation parameters considerably -- which will help established Artlantis users embrace the tool... Although I'm not sure if the new Maxwell grass is an option for them.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby chedda » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:13 pm

Jason, quick question my grass is always very dark, where in the sketch up plugin do i apply the mxm material ? Is it applied to the object you are generating grass on ?
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Re: Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:16 pm

You apply the grass in the modifier menu under Primitive>Material (see image for example).
grass_matsetup.jpg


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Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby chedda » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:12 pm

Thanks for the answer Jason how do i get it into the material window ?
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Re: Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:01 pm

Once you select a group to assign the grass modifier to you should be able to select it from a dropdown list -- click where it says "none" and a dropdown list should appear of all the materials you have already loaded into the scene.

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Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby chedda » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:35 am

Okay Jason i have it now, without the yellow folder dialog it threw me for a minute. I have to say i am very impressed, this type of power inside sketch up is a show stopper. I am doing a stress test on a 50x50m square, Maxwell is eating 3GB of ram, although the benchmark is crushingly low. For Archviz believable grass has been a hurdle with many workarounds. I have to say this beats, displacement,billboards, post-production and the fur plugin for sketch up for realism. With the right texture i think i will try a frosty winter scene at some point.
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Re: Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:21 pm

Yes, I agree -- I've been hopeful for tools like these ever since Maxwell started supporting hair/fur.

Make sure to read the docs here: http://support.nextlimit.com/display/maxwelldocs/Grass#

Particularly the "Level of Detail" parameters -- they can really help with keeping resource usage manageable when working inside SketchUp (although my preference is to work with Grass inside Maxwell Studio, so I can use all of my RAM).

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby ninopiamonte » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:43 am

I have a question,
I have Maxwell Render 2.6, fully licensed, but is it possible to upgrade/update to 2.7 without buying
and still licensed?
Btw, I have also download a 2.7 patch, but it tells that "Maxwell 2.0 could not be found in your system, The patch cannot be installed. Please reinstall Maxwell Render 2.0 to solve this problem."

Thanks,
NP
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Re: Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:59 am

When you say you have Maxwell 2.6 are you talking about the full "Maxwell Render Suite" or the "Stand Alone Plugin"?

Both can be updated to 2.7 for free (assuming you have the previous version) but each has different installers and you would need to download the proper installer to successfully update.

If you want to, you can just download the full 2.7 installer (as opposed to the update installer) to have a clean install -- your license will work since it is valid for all 2.x releases of whichever type of Maxwell you purchased ("Stand Alone Plugin" or full "Render Suite").

If you persists in having issues it is best to ask the devs directly on the Maxwell forum.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby chedda » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:23 pm

Here is my test, i'm quite pleased with the outcome.
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Re: Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:43 pm

That looks really nice!

I've done some tests that I've been pleased with as well. Here's one that incorporates a leaf litter MXM for the ground (textures originally free from http://www.photosculpt.net/) -- in this case I used 2 grass modifiers stacked(with different seed values), one for green grass and one for "dried" yellow grass, using a density map for both:
grasstest2.jpg

The yellow grass is down low to the ground, with altered geometry settings to help integrate the grass better into the "leaf litter" base. The green grass is just the MXM I linked in the first post.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby chedda » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:42 pm

Okay Jason that's super bad (meaning good) i'm kinda gobsmacked.
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Re: Grass!

Postby Mainline411 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:14 pm

Do I need Maxwell to run this if not how do I install and use it?
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Re: Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:13 pm

Yes, it is part of the Maxwell plugin, the grass is generated inside Maxwell at render-time based on the parameters you specify.

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Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby Mainline411 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:20 pm

jason_maranto wrote:Yes, it is part of the Maxwell plugin, the grass is generated inside Maxwell at render-time based on the parameters you specify.

Best,
Jason.

So Maxwell is payware?
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Re: Grass!

Postby Burkhard » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:35 pm

You can have a standalone version for free and for a small fee ( better Renderprocess and higher output )
Grass is restricted to 1 object + 1 grass type with the free version

http://www.maxwellrender.com/index.php/ ... r_sketchup

...and the Maxwell Suite.
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Re: Grass!

Postby utiler » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:16 am

jason_maranto wrote:Yep, at $195 that is a really nice solution for the user who wants more power than the $95 "stand-alone" SketchUp plugin, but doesn't need huge renders or network rendering. The really nice thing about that is it includes all of the Maxwell plugins free (including the SketchUp plugin) -- so you could use Maxwell with several different packages (as I do).

I also found the Maxwell integration into Artlantis to be a rather interesting tidbit: http://www.artlantis.com/index.php?page=products/studio/news

Best,
Jason.


I wasn't aware that I could have paid $195.00 for a 'never to expire' licence rather I believe the $95.00 option was only available when it was released.... I bit annoying that I have to now paid again. :shock:
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Re: Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Pay again? I'm not sure what you mean -- the license doesn't expire... none of them do.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby utiler » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:33 am

I was reffering to this Jason but then realised that is was for education purposes.... my bad. :oops:
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Re: Grass!

Postby pieterv » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:00 pm

Hello Jason,

What's up? ;)

Can the grass in Maxwell 2.7 also be applied on more organic terrain in sketchup? I have tried but these "cracks" appear... Can you help me with this please? Thanks!


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Re: Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:18 pm

It can be used on such surfaces -- however there was a bug in the 2.7 release that revealed density control problems with subdivided surfaces. This was alleviated in the 2.7.10 release:

http://support.nextlimit.com/display/ma ... ease+notes

http://www.maxwellrender.com/forum/view ... 07&t=39134

Also, when working in Maxwell Studio it is best to stack several grass modifiers on one piece of geometry (to mix the randomization in several ways) -- which IMO gives a more naturalistic look. However this is a bit difficult to do in the current SketchUp plugin so I don't recommend you try it there.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby pieterv » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:22 pm

I'm sorry, I didn't write it right: I am actualy using 2.7.1 here
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Re: Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:09 pm

It could have something to do with the irregular shape and distribution of the subdivision. I just made a 10x10m patch (subd every 0.5m) using the sandbox tools and here is the initial result:
subd_grasstest.jpg

As you can see there is still some slight artifacting from the subdivisions, but not as bad as yours.

To alleviate this I added a copy of the same geometry set .01m below the current surface with the same grass settings except the Density>Seed value set differently -- this is the only current way to "stack" grass modifiers like I would in Maxwell Studio, but as you can see it does the trick pretty well (aside from slower renders):
subd_grasstest_alt.jpg

I would definitely prefer to do these types of things in Maxwell Studio (for now) so as to avoid duplicate geometry (and all the render costs it incurs)... I typically stack 2-5 grass modifiers for any scene I'm doing with grass.

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby pbacot » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:50 pm

That looks great Jason. Can one add more variation in texture to create more randomness without the extra rendering load.
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Re: Grass!

Postby jason_maranto » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:18 pm

If you are talking about in the "sculpted" geometry, unfortunately not -- this is limited by the grass settings and random seed value.

If you are talking in Maxwell Studio then absolutely -- this is part of the reason for stacking modifiers. This way I can have several variations in materials (dry/dead grass, green grass, newshoots, etc.) and variations in the way the geometry is generated -- for instance: dead/dry grass is going to be much thinner and generally lower to the ground than green grass.

In this way some clumping variation can be added for mixed grass types (very common in more wild areas) -- the sky is the limit. Just remember that for each stacked modifier you want to reduce the density amount accordingly so as to not end up with too many blades.

Example: I have 1 modifier and conclude that a density of 4000 is sufficient -- if I add another modifier I should reduce both to a density of 2000 (or any balance that restores 4000 at the total number).

Best,
Jason.
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Re: Grass!

Postby pieterv » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:03 pm

Hey Jason,

I was not able to reproduce what you did with the sandbox tool. Also, when I apply the grass tool/ texture on a flat surface, very visible straight lines appear. Am I doing something wrong here?


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