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Levi

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About Levi

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  1. I want to throw in a second vote for either a standalone application or integration into other software packages. I've recently started moving away from 3Ds Max due to it's price and lack of value compared to software suites. I would pay you double the full retail price of GrowFX for some tight integration of the plugin into Modo. That would still be cheaper than the outrageous price I would have to pay for SpeedTree with the ability to animate growth. Why they think someone should pay five thousand USD to be able to animate the growth of the plants they make is baffling! Your plugin really fills a gap in the market and I want it to expand to other platforms. In fact, the only thing that pains me about leaving 3D Studio Max is my loss of GrowFx. If you're looking for suggestions, Modo has a strong, loyal, and enthusiastic user-base. I believe they would heartily embrace and welcome a plugin like this if it were possible to port. In any event, +1 vote for expanding GrowFX away from 3Ds Max. Keep up the great work Eduard! All of my dealings with you have been a pleasure!
  2. For a while now I've been using GrowFX to produce corals and other plants, but I'm having difficulty re-creating a particular species with GrowFX's current toolset. If anyone has any suggestions for achieving results similar to the shape below, please let me know.If I had more control over the deformation of GrowFX's base geometry (such as using a custom spline as a base from which to extrude a cylinder mesh), I might be able to do it (additional capping options would be beneficial too). Instancing pre-made geometry is the obvious solution, but then I have to deal with intersections and a lack of the procedural randomness I've come to love from GrowFX. Meta-meshes are too time consuming to calculate and would simply congeal the whole shape into a blob rather than preserve the individual stalks. And either of those methods necessitate a great deal more geometry be created than is needed or desired. In any case, I'd like to see what others can do to re-create this affect and maybe it will even inspire some new tool ideas within GrowFX.
  3. Levi

    Age Affects ->

    I've tried replicating it 4 times now and I just can't get it right. It's a lot of steps and affects... Maybe I'm just not wrapping my head around how it works? Edit: On the 5th try I think I'm starting to understand it...
  4. Levi

    Age Affects ->

    1st Video: 2nd Video: Forgive the poor quality of the videos, they are quick renders and uploads for a brief example of my problem. The first video shows a simple leaf growth animation I developed. The leaf starts small and curled, and as it grows it becomes a fully sized leaf and unfurls. The second video shows that leaf grown animation applied as a plant stem "grows". The leaf is distributed along the length of the main "stem". The problem is, as you can see, when the plant grows the leaves "pop" into existence at whatever predetermined keyframe the animation has set. Leaves being applied later in the stem's growth cycle appear fully formed, popping into existence with little to any animation at all. I have proposed this before, and was given solutions to the problem that unfortunately are not viable. One such solution was to use the "Path Position Affects -->" to control the leaf shape, but this would not allow leaves to continue to grow after the main stem has stopped growing--they would be forever stunted at the tip of the "vine/stem", when real leaves continue to grow and unfurl even when the main stalk has ceased extending. I would like to propose some kind of "Age Affects-->" modifier that takes into account the age of a particular path, so that these animations can be fully realized as the leaves come into being while the plant grows and after even still after it stops. Thank you for your consideration.
  5. I would love to have a parameter that can tell a growfx object to change something based on the distance it is to another object or the camera. For instance, a Distance to camera/object affects --> Steps in the direction modification panel, or Distance from camera/object affects --> Optimization Min Face spinner. This would be helpful for controlling how objects decrease in complexity as they move farther out of view. Useful for optimizing things that go off into the distance like trees on a mountain or grass on hills. If there is a way to do this already, I apologize, but if not, I think it would be a nice feature.
  6. I have had the same problem with the path list dragging and crashing. I was using 3ds Max 2012 on Win 7 64bit, Growfx Version 1.9.0. After troubleshooting it for a good while, I couldn't find any pattern in the crashing. Sometimes it crashes, most of the time it does not. I've tried changing display types from lines to meshes, applying modifiers, changing what path distributes on other paths... No pattern. Just occasionally it crashes. However in my casual experience with the problem, it did occur primarily when putting the path in the middle of the stack, rather than the top or bottom, as Ajroane explained. Hope this helps.
  7. Thank you for responding! Unfortunately that's not quite what I meant. I am aware of, and use the techniques you provided in my work. My problem is controlling the growth of leaves once the main stalk stops growing. For instance, in your example file the leaves towards the top won't grow any bigger unless the stem grows taller. Suppose that you wanted them to continue growing and reach full size (like those at the base) regardless? That's what I'm trying to achieve. I want each leaf to go through a growth cycle separately from the moment it pops into the world. Just as if I wanted flowers to grow from a bud to maturity, bloom, and wither. I could easily animate those things, but if my plant has multiple flowers that I want to grow at different times, I can't do it. They will all grow and die in unison, because the animation is relative to the timeline. Any new flowers that pop up will be at the same stage of their life-cycle as the others already on the vine/stalk. Basically, I need the animations to be relative to the life of the element (leaf, flower, etc), rather than the timeline. As soon as a new flower or leaf "appears", I want it to begin it's growth cycle animations.
  8. So I want to animate a plant growing. Is there a way to control the animation of a particular parameter based on how long a particular element has existed? For instance, how would I go about animating leafs unfurling as the main trunk/stem grows? If I try to animate the parameters, I can make the unfurling animation without much effort, but as the stem grows new leaves "appear" and they appear at whatever point in the animation sequence the rest of the leaves are at. This is obviously not realistic. They should unfurl individually, not as a set. The above is a demonstration of what happens. You can see that the leaves start tightly wound, and unfurl. The problem is, new leaves appear already unfurled or in the process thereof. I would prefer if each leaf, as it appears, starts from the beginning and unfurls individually. I don't know how to time that without manually placing and animating every leaf. I'm not intimately knowledgeable of 3ds max's animation tools, but I know particles can be controlled by age, so I was wondering if GrowFX elements could be...?
  9. Levi

    Radius Affects->

    Awesome! Thank you!
  10. Any chance we could get a "Radius Affects:" parameter, or a "Size/Scale Affects:" parameter for the various mesh types? I encountered a situation not long ago where the object I was trying to grow had a customized curve radius on a cylinder mesh, and the objects I tried to grow from it would grow from the center path, rather than the surface of the cylinder mesh, which was unusually thick. I was able to work around the issue, but it would be nice if I could trigger offset distances based on a path's mesh radius so it would space them out automatically. It's interesting that I haven't had this problem with other simple meshes like tree trunks, but when I created this custom curve it didn't consider the radius at all and grew all paths from the center path. Another suggestion is a "random angle" field for modifiers like "radial direction" and "vector direction". Although the same thing can be accomplished by creating multiple direction modifiers and editing their count rate %, that way is compounding, and not nearly as efficient as a nice angle variation field. In any case, thank you for your continued development! I open 3ds Max sometimes just to make plants.
  11. Levi

    Fan Coral

    Ooo, very nice! Thank you! It's a lot more difficult than one would expect. Heh...
  12. Levi

    Roses

    I'd love to see how these roses were made in growfx.
  13. I'm having a bit of trouble recreating "fan coral" using Growfx. Making the basic branching structure and controlling the scaling isn't a problem. I just can't seem to limit the growth to one axis, especially if I want to make the growth structure slightly randomized, since the Random Direction modifier can't be limited to one axis. I've had some success using the "Radial Direction" modifier, and limiting the "branch" level's Turn Axis to 180, but since I can't add chaos to the Angle Bend on the Radial Direction mod, I still get very rigid and exacting shapes. If anyone has any ideas or examples, I'd be very appreciative. This is a very simple, wireframe example of the basic shape I'm trying to achieve.
  14. Excellent. One last quick question! For how long exactly will you provide free updates to the next version(s)? Given it's rapid development, I'd hate to have to shell out another 300 by the time version 2.0.0 comes out, but like most plugins, I expect I'll have to "upgrade" at some point. If that's the case, any discount for existing owners?
  15. My other concern is the activation process. Supposing I activate Growfx on my primary computer, but in a year or so, format that computer---or for simplicity sake, suppose I buy a new computer altogether and remove Growfx from my old one. Can I still activate Growfx on my new computer, or a reformatted one? How does the licensing and activation process work? It's just that I have a habit of formatting my computers frequently and am worried about not being able to activate Growfx more than once. Thanks again, Levi
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