GrowFX Manual: Distributors

Distributors

Distributors rollout

Distributors list group

Allows to manage the list of distributors.

Create distributor

Creates a new distributor.

Delete distributor

Deletes selected distributor.

Copy distributor

Makes a copy of the selected distributor into the copy buffer.

Paste distributor

Pastes the distributor from the copy buffer.

Paste as instance

Pastes an instance from the copy buffer.

Make unique

Makes the distributor unique.

Also, you can move distributor items up and down by using the drag and drop feature.
To the left of each distributor, you can see the bulb icons that allows to enable or disable distributor.

Name

This field allows to specify the distributor name.

Count Rate %

Specifies how many paths in percent to calculate using the selected distributor.

Seed offset

Specifies a randomization value for selected distributor.

Clicking button opens the following menu for choosing the type of distributor:


Types of the distributors

Distributor

The Distributor generates a new directions from the GrowFX icon and can be used for generating a single plants.

Pick Object

Click this, and then select an object in the viewport to be used as target object to calculate the distance from this object to the GrowFX icon.

[None]

Displays the name of the picked object.

Parameter: Distance button

Opens the Affects parameters, where you can add one or more influences to other parameters. This parameter passes the distance between GrowFX icon and target object to the Affect pipeline.


The distributor like all distributors have the following optional rollout:

Distributor in point rollout

The set of these parameters controls the starting paths from the specified position or point.

Count

Sets the number of starting paths.

Chaos Count %

Specifies the percentage of quantity randomness. Example: Count = 200, Chaos Count % = 50, in different points the quantity of starting paths will vary from 100 to 200.

Type Distributor

Specifies the type of even distribution. It has two values: Circular and Angular.

Angle divergence

Sets the angle divergence of even distribution.

Chaos angle

Specifies the chaos deviation of angle divergence.

Parameter: angle div button

Opens the Affects parameters, where you can add one or more influences to other parameters. This parameter passes the angle divergence for every starting path to the Affect pipeline. The original value range from 0.0 to (Angle divergence + Chaos angle) value.

Angle bend

Sets the angle of vector bend.

Chaos angle

Specifies the chaos deviation of angle bend.

Parameter: angle bend button

Opens the Affects parameters, where you can add one or more influences to other parameters. This parameter passes the angle bend for every starting path to the Affect pipeline. The original value range from (Angle bend - Chaos angle) value to Angle bend value.

Offset

Specifies a crosscut offset of the start position.

Chaos offset

Chaos of crosscut offset.

Parameter: offset button

Opens the Affects parameters, where you can add one or more influences to other parameters. This parameter passes the offset for every starting path to the Affect pipeline. The original value range from Offset value to (Offset + Chaos offset) value.

Start vector group

All these starting vectors are directed relative to the main starting vector, which is directed relative to the main starting object. Consequently, the following parameters can modify the main starting vector.

Angle axis

Specifies the angle of axial rotation of the main vector.

Chaos angle

Specifies the angle of axial rotation.

Angle bend

Specifies the angle bend of the main vector.

Random angle group

Min angle

Specifies the minimum angle bend of the starting vector going in random direction.

Max angle

Specifies the maximum angle bend of the starting vector going in random direction.


How the distribution mechanism works at the Distributor in point point:

1. It detects the initial vector (1), depending on the distributor.
2. Then the starting vector (2) is created in the following way:
2.1. Vector (1) turns around its axis at the angle (a).
2.2. The resulting vector bends at the angle (b).
2.3. Then the vector bends at the angle (c) to the random direction.
3. Relative to the vector (2), the required count (d) of vectors is created.
4. The vectors are evenly distributed in a circle at the angle (e).
5. Then the vectors bend, each in its direction at the angle (f).
6. And go apart at the distance (g).

When Vector direction is used, the Local vector is the vector (1).

When distribution occurs from the point (Point distributor), the initial vector is equal to Z-vector of the point node.

When distribution occurs from other paths (Path distributor and Path position distributor), the initial vector always directed along the path.

When distribution occurs from the surface of the other object (Surface distributor), the initial vector directed by the normals direction of the surface.


Circular type of equal distributor:

Angular type of equal distributor:

Point distributor

Pick

Adds an object to the starting points list. Click this button, then in the viewport move the cursor over an object to add to the collection, and any object (node) can be used as a starting point.

Create Points

Turns on Create Points mode. Manually place starting points by clicking in any viewport. In this mode the Exlevel Point Helper will be created.


Points (Nodes)

The list of starting points.

Remove

Removes the point from the list.

Select

Allows to choose points in the scene.


Distance to object group

Pick Object

Click this, and then select an object in the viewport to be used as target object to calculate the distance from this object to the starting points.

[None]

Displays the name of the picked object.

Parameter: Distance button

Opens the Affects parameters, where you can add one or more influences to other parameters. This parameter passes the distance between starting points and target object to the Affect pipeline.

Path distributor

Starting path group

Allows making a list of starting paths that new paths grow from.

Add path

Adds the path to the list. The system automatically determines availability of starting paths to prevent the user from the wrong choice.

Remove path

Removes path from the list.

Levels

This parameter sets the number of nesting levels of the starting paths. For example, if you set the value to 3, a three-level twig structure will appear.

Parameter: levels button

Opens the Affects parameters, where you can add one or more influences to other parameters. This parameter passes its own level for every starting path to the Affect pipeline. The original value range from 1 to Levels value. For example, you can add an affect to the branch radius of the Mesh builder. And the branches on the first level will have a bigger radius, than the branches on the last level.

Parameter: Path position button

Opens the Affects parameters, where you can add one or more influences to other parameters. This parameter passes its own position on the parent path for every starting path to the Affect pipeline. The original value range from 0 to 100%. For example, it can help to create long branches at the beginning of the trunk and short branches at the end of the trunk.

Density

Specifies the number of the appeared paths at the distance Unit Calc in the Preference Parameters rollout. The button opens the Density Graph dialog.


Chaos dens.%

Example: Density = 10, Chaos dens.% = 50, so the density varies from 5 to 10.

Turn axis

The main starting vector for the start of paths is directed along the parental path. This parameter shows at what angle the vector will turn for the next vector.

Range parameters group

Allows the user to set the start and end positions for distribution of branches on the trunk or on the parental branches.

Start %

Start position in percent where branches start to distribute on the parent path.

Start absolute

Distance to the point where branches start to distribute on the path in the current 3ds Max® units.

Start instantly

When on, branches start to distribute instantly at the starting position.

End %

End position in percent where branches stop to distribute on the parent path.

End absolute

Distance to the end point of distribution of branches on the path in the current 3ds Max® units.



Use Last Level

When on, only the last level of the parent path will be used. See the Levels parameter in Path distributor and Path position distributor.

How Range parameters works:

Path position distributor

Starting path,
Levels,
Parameter: levels button,
Parameter: Path position button,
Use Last Level

The same usage as in the Path distributor.

Positions group

Allows to add and delete positions.

Add position

Adds position to the list.

Remove

Removes position from the list.

Position %

Start position on the path in percent.

Absolute Pos

Distance to the start position in the current 3ds Max® units.

Chaos pos %

Adds random variation to the position. For each position, you can specify different values.

Angle Axis

Specifies the axial deflection angle of the starting vector. For each position, you can specify different values.

Angle Bend

Specifies the angle bend of the starting vector. For each position, you can specify different values.

Length %

Specifies the percentage of the path length. For each position, you can specify different values.

Surface distributor

Pick Object

Click this, and then select an object in the viewport to be used for starting paths.

[None]

Displays the name of the picked object.

Path Formation group

Allows to specify the distribution principle on the object surface.

Evenly on Surface

The start occurs evenly among faces. Within the same face, the choice of the start position occurs randomly.

Random on Surface

The choice of the starting point occurs randomly on all the surface of the object.

Along Visible Edges

The distribution occurs randomly from the visible edges of the object.

At All Vertices

The distribution occurs from the vertices of the object.

Use Selected SubObjects

When on, the distribution will occur from the selected sub-objects only.

The type of path formation you specify determines the type of sub-object geometry used, as follows:

  • Evenly on Surface - Faces
  • Random on Surface - Faces
  • Along Visible Edges - Edges
  • At All Vertices - Vertices

Parameter: Surface button

Opens the Affects parameters, where you can add one or more influences to other parameters.
In this case, as influencing parameter will be used the texture assigned in the Factor map in the Affects parameters. White areas of the texture will give the Factor value of 1.0, the dark - will give a value of 0.0.

Density

Specifies the number of starting paths on the area, which is equal to Unit Calc * Unit Calc in the Preference Parameters rollout.

Use Vertex Color

Allows to use the vertex colors as part of the distribution density. Where white color is used, the density will reach a value of Density, where black color is used, the density will be zero. Accordingly, it is possible to use the standard VertexPaint modifier to draw on the surface, specifying the place where paths appear.

Color Channel

Specifies the channel number.

Color Mask R/G/B

Allows to use Red/Green/Blue sub-channels of the Vertex Color.

None
This button allows to use texture as density. Note that the density will be equal to Density parameter in areas with white texture.
Density Map ID

Specifies the channel to be used in the density map.

Distance to object group

Pick Object

Click this, and then select an object in the viewport to be used as target object to calculate the distance from this object to the starting points.

[None]

Displays the name of the picked object.

Parameter: Distance button

Opens the Affects parameters, where you can add one or more influences to other parameters. This parameter passes the distance between starting points and target object to the Affect pipeline.

Evenly on Surface is on:

Random on Surface is on:

Along Visible Edges is on:

At All Vertices is on:

Use Selected SubObjects (example):

Texture Density (example):

Use Vertex Color (example):

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