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What's New

Artwork by Aron Kamolz

New Features In Release 2021.2

The 2021.2 release adds the first iteration of a major graph overhaul, shader conversion for Redshift & Renderman, new nodes, clearcoat material properties, Omniverse Extensions & Omniverse Live Sync and much improved blending algorithms for transitions and axis topology computation. We are also pleased to introduce the PlantFactory integration plugin for Unreal Engine 4.
 
Newly supported host application versions for the PlantFactory integration plugins & extensions are Maya 2022, 3DS Max 2022, Cinema 4D S24 & R25, NVIDIA Omniverse (any version) and Unreal Engine 4.24 to 4.27. 
 
Supported render engines are all builds of V-Ray 5 & V-Ray Next, all builds of Arnold, Renderman 24 and all Redshift builds starting from 3.0.46.

Improved Blending Algorithms

The standard blending algorithm (non-Subdivision Surface Blending) produces better blending with fewer concave curves, less divergence in blending and an overall better shape.
 
New options have also been added: Bending Force, Ignore Displacement and Post Blending Offset.
 
Not only will these options provide more accurate and fail-proof blending. They will also allow blending to work with very steep branch growth angles. 

Better Topology With Axis Improvements

The polygon distribution and topology for trunks, branches and twigs depend on the axis that runs through each segment node. To improve the generated mesh and also prepare it for blending, new parameters were added to the axis settings:

  • Prevent back folds removes overlapping or self-intersecting polygons in "overhangs" in the axis spline.
  • Shift to short side works in conjunction with sudden changes in segment radius. It will help rounding angular transitions and keeping a natural, organic look and polygon distribution.
  • Smoothing will smooth out the final mesh. The algorithm applies a varying degree of smoothing based on radius and axis direction.
  • Smooth start for axis perturbations helps with "fading in" an axis perturbation at the beginning of a segment.

Major Performance Boost

The graph has received major performance improvements, with computational speed improvements of up to 40% compared to previous releases. More efficient caching algorithms, especially when switching between presets in complex plants, provide a faster and more streamlined workflow.
 
On HiDPI displays, clarity and crispness of the nodes and connection lines has been improved and visual latency and lags have been removed entirely.

Redesigned Nodes & Nodal Workflows

In the coming releases, we will streamline and modernize the graph & node workflow. This release marks the first step of these efforts and introduces a number of improvements.

  • New node design
  • User-definable node previews per node through simple node resizing
  • Minimap for navigating the graph
  • Automatic panning of the graph when dragging connections towards nodes outside of the current field of view
  • Automatic connection snapping to inputs / outputs
  • Visual indication when two nodes are overlapping in the graph through a red "!" icon
  • Highlighting disabled nodes through a striped pattern
  • Customizable graph display colors in program options
  • Better highlighting of node connections
  • Display of still connected, but currently disabled node parameters through a dashed line
  • Highlighting connection lines when hovering over the corresponding node parameter in the node settings
  • Contextual menu when right-clicking on connections: delete connection, go to source, go to destination
  • Optional background grid display and snapping to grid
  • Published Parameters can now be edited in the top-level interface of metanodes and on the Preset Tab
  • Published Parameters can also be reordered
  • Most Math nodes now accept any type of data as input
Clearcoat channel in PlantFactory's material editor

Clearcoat In PBR Materials

When creating a PBR material, a new Clearcoat material channel is now available with the following parameters:
 
  • Clearcoat Intensity
  • Clearcoat tint
  • Clearcoat Roughness
  • IOR (Index Of Refraction)
  • Clearcoat Normal Map
  • Flatten (blends between Clearcoat Normal & regular Normal map / Geometric normal)

When using Substance materials (*.sbsar) with Clearcoat, they are automatically connected correctly in the node graph to the new outputs. Clearcoat is useful for leaves with a coating-like appearance, strong specular behavior and for simulating wet materials. 

Artwork by Aron Kamolz

New nodes in PlantFactory 2021.2

New Dependency & Math Nodes

New nodes have been added to the Geometry Miscs. node category for creating more intricate plant growth criteria and dependencies based on growth angle, direction and other properties.
  • Primitive direction provides the current growth direction of any plant part. 
  • Parent primitive radial direction provides the current growth direction of any plant part orthogonally to the axis of the parent it is growing from.
  • Parent axis direction provides the direction of the axis of the parent on the current growth point of a child (e.g. for a leaf growing on a twig, the node will give you the exact direction of the twig axis at the growth point of the leaf).
  • Parent axis: horizontropic section angle provides the growth angle of a child that grows on a parent (for example a leaf on a twig) computed from the zenith in the scene. This allows creating rules based on how "horizontal" a plant part grows. 
A few nodes have also been renamed and split into new nodes for better UX and consistency: 
  • Parent parameter renamed to Ancestor parameter with new options "Radius", "Side radius" and "Side diameter".
  • Current Primitive split into Current primitive axis variables & Current primitive child variables.
  • The Current primitive axis variables node has a new output to detect pruned branches. 
New Math Nodes have also been added:
  • RGB Composer & Decomposer
  • Vector 2 to Vector 3 & Vector 3 to Vector 2 
  • Remainer
  • Arc Tangent of (X, Y)
  • Hyperbolic Tangent, Sine & Cosine
  • Area Hyperbolic Tangent, Sine & Cosine
  • Remainder

Redshift Material Creation

The PlantFactory integration plugin can now create materials for Redshift 3.0.46 and up. Redshift material creation is supported in Cinema 4D R23 and above and Maya 2020 and above.
 
The plugin offers a choice between materials with a regular alpha channel and materials that utilize Redshift's unique sprite node, which we highly recommend for best rendering performance.
 
This first technology preview already supports a vast majority of material properties. We will continue to add even more properties and features, e.g. automatic Redshift proxy creation, with future releases. We will also extend this feature towards more host applications and older Cinema 4D versions.
 
Note: This feature applies to PlantFactory Professional & Enterprise only.

Renderman Material Creation

Renderman 24.1 and up is now supported by the PlantFactory plugin in Maya 2020 and above. In this first technology preview, simple materials will be converted into a PxrSurface with default material channels such as Diffuse / Albedo, Alpha or Normal.

As we continue to expand our material conversion systems, more material properties and channels will be supported in upcoming releases.

Note: This feature applies to PlantFactory Professional & Enterprise only.

Unreal Engine 4 Integration Plugin

We are proud to introduce the first technology preview for the PlantFactory Unreal Engine 4 integration plugin.
 
Use the procedural power of PlantFactory plants directly inside Unreal. Generate new variations, adjust wind intensities, change presets or edit global parameters such as Maturity, Health and Season. Any parameter you published throughout plant creation will be accessible in the plugin.
 
During procedural edition, a low-resolution proxy object is generated, which can be converted into the full high-resolution model once you are satisfied with the plant settings. Native shaders are created during plant conversion.
 
More features and material parameters will be added in future releases as we continue to deepen our integration.
 
Note: This feature applies to PlantFactory Professional & Enterprise only.

Omniverse Extension & Live Sync

Take your plants into Omniverse! 

PlantFactory (and the PlantCatalog Exporter) will now sync exported USD plants with your Omniverse stage through Nucleus. Make edits and see them update in Omniverse immediately.

The new Extension plugin can send exported USD plants back to PlantFactory, recreate all parameters and presets that were saved during USD export and enable live editing in PlantFactory. Any content exported to Omniverse will thus always remain procedural and can be edited in PlantFactory again at any time.

Note: This feature applies to PlantFactory Professional & Enterprise only.

Find out more about the supported features and the installation process on our dedicated Omniverse page.

More about Omniverse integration

But Wait, There's More...

  • Up to 5x faster loading times for scenes with large compressed textures
  • Material displacement can now be previewed in the 3D view with parallax mapping
  • New random value mode "Per ancestor"
  • Segment nodes can now have a bottom cap applied to them and children can also grow from the bottom cap. Creating roots thus no longer requires workarounds for placement or blending.
  • Improved quality with FBX exports
  • Improved quality with material baking
  • Flower node improvements (better blending, normal handling and scale inheritance)
  • New conical bias for horizontropism, replacing the former simple horizontropism with more flexibility
  • Section and profile splines can now be driven optionally by other nodes
  • Leaf cluster baking now also renders the backface of the plant, hence producing a two-sided material for the exported leaf cluster component.
  • Automatic transition mode for child placement always places a child inside of its parent, no matter the circumstances.
  • New UV mapping modes for blades (Parametric U, Parametric UV, Standard)
  • Optionally preserve aspect ratio for segment node UV mapping
  • The Threshold & Smooth Threshold filter nodes have received an additional setting for deciding which value to use when the input is equal to the threshold
  • New Position Options & Normal Options Input nodes for more control over coordinate systems. 
  • New Position Mode option in UV Input Node

Full Release Notes

Click to expand the full list of release notes for PlantFactory 2021.2.

GRAPH
  • [NEW] Improved the responsiveness of the graph display, added more configurable colors for customization, fixed the display of connection lines that where too thick when zooming out, added a more visible highlight of connections (middle part and ends), made item selection more precise, added highlight on all node lines as we can act on them, added a shift of parameter labels to better show the tab/group/parameter tree structure, added a small motion threshold before moving a node.
  • [NEW] More visible selection and highlight when graph is zoomed out.
  • [NEW] Snap to handles when creating a connection.
  • [NEW] Added a right click contextual menu on graph connections (move to source node / move to destination node / delete connection). Move to source/destination selects and centers that node in the graph view.
  • [NEW] When creating or moving graph connections, or moving nodes, or selecting by area, the graph will scroll automatically if you move the mouse near the graph border while dragging the connection. The speed increases with mouse position, and scroll direction is relative the center of graph view.
  • [NEW] Disabled connections are now drawn as dashed lines instead of being invisible. They exist when a connection was created to something that is optional in a node and is currently disabled.
  • [NEW] Added a specific action in the graph menu to align all nodes, distinct from the alignment option. Option affects future manipulations; action is performed once when clicked.
  • [NEW] Added overlap indications in the graph: overlapping nodes will have a red "!" icon on top.
  • [NEW] Added "Vector 2 to Vector 3" and "Vector 3 to Vector 2" conversion nodes to facilitate UV usage in a graph.
  • [NEW] Added "Arc tangent of (X,Y)" math node (a.k.a. "atan2"), as well as Hyperbolic trigonometric functions and their inverse.
  • [NEW] Many Math nodes now accept any input type (number, vector 2, vector3, color): the operation is applied on each component separately. For nodes that take two inputs, the second input can either be a number used as parameter for each input component (eg. pow(input1.x, input2), pow(input1.y, input2) etc.), or a vector of same size as the input, where each component is used as parameter for operating on the corresponding component of the input node (eg. pow(input1.x, input2.x), pow(input1.y, input2.y), etc.). Vector nodes "Length", "Normalize" and "Dot product" now also accept Vector 2 as input, not only Vector 3.
  • [NEW] Added edition of parameter layout directly in the material editor published parameter tab.
  • [NEW] Added edition of parameter layout directly in the MetaNode parameter list.
  • [NEW] Added position mode option in UV node.
  • [NEW] Highlight connections while "highlighting tree" (when you pass the mouse over a connected parameter in the parameter tab). Previously only nodes where highlighted.
  • [NEW] Added a new "Primitive direction" node, which gives the base direction of the current primitive (Z axis of its frame).
  • [NEW] Added a new "Parent Primitive Radial Direction" node, which gives the direction orthogonal to the axis of the parent primitive at the current primitive insertion point.
  • [NEW] Added a new "Parent axis direction" node, which gives the direction of the axis of the parent primitive at the current primitive insertion point.
  • [NEW] Added a new "Parent axis : horizontropic section angle" node, which gives the angle around the axis of the parent primitive, counted from the direction around the axis that points to closest to the zenith, at the current primitive insertion point.
  • [NEW] The "Section spline" node is now a periodic function, for instance it means you can add a fraction of the primal to its input to twist it when used as a segment section.
  • [NEW] The "Profile spline" node is now a mirror periodic function of period 2 (f(x) = f(x + 2n) with n integer, and f(1 + x) = f(1 - x), for instance it means you can add a fraction of the primal to its input to twist it when used as a segment section.
  • [NEW] Added parent selection parameters to the "Parent Primitive Radial Direction", "Parent axis direction", "Parent axis : horizontropic section angle" nodes.
  • [NEW] Added edition of published parameter layout directly in the preset tab.
  • [NEW] Node previews are available in plant graph (only for control nodes).
  • [NEW] Improved node preview for Primal, Section Angle and Radial nodes.
  • [NEW] Added pruned output in current primitive node.
  • [NEW] Added "radius", "side radius" and "side diameter" parameter in ancestor node.
  • Fixed graph tooltip that was not always displayed for connections.
  • Better event handling, the thing you pick on button press is the thing that is used to perform the action (and not the one that is under the mouse after moving a bit).
  • Click and drag now keeps the mouse capture until release, so that you can move the mouse outside the graph without interrupting the current action).
  • Edit on node of label or data now happens only on second click on the node, not right away when you select it.
  • Added a small tolerance before moving a selected node.
  • Remember the previous position in the graph view when changing of edited graph (when editing a MetaNode for instance).
  • Better text drawing when graph is de-zoomed. Text is now rasterized at current display size instead of being scaled down.
  • Added a new option in main graph menu to display a grid in background of the graphs.
  • Fixed lost mouse capture when dragging the graph view, when the mouse was moved outside of the graph area.
  • Graph nodes can be freely resized. Minimization happens when node width is set below 1/2 the minimal width. When minimized, the node size is controlled by the vertical component of the resize.
  • Updated the placement of nodes that are generated by the application.
  • Fixed broken display of colormaps in graph nodes.
  • When node height is large, we can better use the space by placing the preview above the label, instead of left. That allows a better preview of material graphs, by resizing the nodes to your convenience. The maximum preview size for textures is currently limited thought.
  • Added an option to enable/disable the minimap in the graph view.
  • Added in node preview of 2D filters.
  • Parent parameter node has been renamed to "Ancestor parameter".
  • Better placement of input/output nodes inside newly created MetaNodes: the right place is next to the node that uses the input/output.
  • Removed the useless "Display nodes minimized" option, which prevented a lot of interactions in the graph. Nodes can still be minimized by selecting them, and using the right click menu, or by resizing them.
  • Better "show preview" options: each node has a Hide/Show/Auto setting. Hide/show overrides the global setting (for nodes that can have previews).
  • Fixed display of Help of Graph Nodes.
  • Vector composers, decomposers, 2D/3D converters, and axis permutations are now grouped in the "Vector Composition" subcategory inside the "Math" category of nodes.
  • Fixed a bug in the "XYZ Product (Separate Parameters)" node that led fractals downstream in the graph to evaluate too few or too many "octaves" (= fractal detail).
  • Fixed "Turbulence damping" parameter of the "Three Noises" fractal being ignored by mistake (since 2011!).
  • Fixed inconsistency when switching noise of fractal node. Internal noise scale was changed.
  • Fixed potential incorrect graph evaluation when containing MetaNode.
  • Avoided useless invalidation when opening/closing MetaNode function editor.
  • Select the appropriate output in the graph, when opening it from the different tabs of the Material Editor. .
  • Disabled contract/ungroup MetaNode icons if the corresponding action is not possible due to current selection.
  • Removed the left click menu that appeared when clicking an empty area in the graph, only kept it when you click a node handle (so that it creates a connection to that handle).
  • Fixed computation of "horizontropic azimuth" in "current primitive instance" node, which did not take into account indirect transformations (that we get when using the "alternate" children placement mode of segments).
  • Display non evaluated nodes with a yellow stripe pattern, so that they are not mistaken for faded nodes.
  • The "Current Primitive" node has been replaced by two new nodes "Axis variables" and "Child variables" to clarify what it is for. Old files will show the old node, but it cannot be created from menus anymore.
  • The value provided by the "Current primitive axis variable: azimuth horizontropic" is now guaranteed to be in "-PI,PI".
  • Enabled the node preview options of the graph (show all preview, only noise, or none).
  • Added preview of random range node in Node Observer dialog.
  • Put missing input back in vegetation graph (Position and Normal Options).
RENDERING
  • [NEW] Render thumbnails are now computed for current screen dpi instead of default resolution.
  • Reduced the frequency of PathTracer render display during rendering (mainly useful because denoising can be long, reducing the number of denoising process saves time).
  • Fixed a bug when denoiser were not applied on render with very low sample per pixel.
  • Fix artefacts when rendering glow on some materials (animated, non-volumetric).
  • Fixed the use of the Delete key to delete renders in the Render Stack which led to losing the focus (then subsequent Delete strokes would actually deleting objects in the World Browser, for example).
  • Fixed rendering when some layers of a material layers stack have their "Visibility" icon set to "invisible" or "solid color": many effects were still applied when invisible (bump, displacement or normal mapping, luminous setting, color transmitted/reflected) or when set to "solid color" (Ambient occlusion, Highlights, PBR Metalness, Normal mapping, etc.).
  • Avoid re-enabling the render stack thumbnails too soon, which could introduce inconsistencies when a message box was displayed at the end of a render.
  • Fixed the saving of Multi-Pass as multi-layer PSD, when a 16-bit precision is requested.
  • Fixed the frame number indicated in the information strip, when rendering a single frame of an animation.
  • Support for 2nd plane/material hook point in crossed planes.
  • Fixed shadows of vegetation primitives with two-sided material.
  • When activating the Path Tracer while multi-pass is enabled, made sure we deactivate channels and masks not supported by the Path Tracer render engine, to avoid generating 100% black or messy pictures.
MISC.
  • [NEW] Fixed a crash when loading color settings.
  • [NEW] Transformed the planar bias to a conic bias by the addition of an angle (90 degrees for a plane).
  • [NEW] Transformed the child horizontropism to a conic tropism by the addition of a direction, cone angle, and possible local coordinates.
  • [NEW] VUE, PlantFactory and PlantCatalog Exporter will now be able to report the usage of their features. This will help e-on software to focus on the most relevant ones. This option can be enabled/disabled in File -> Options... -> General Preferences -> Send feature usage data.
  • [NEW] Added the compressed textures to the autosaved data to avoid very long texture recompression during file recovery (after a crash). .
  • Drop support for MacOS 10.10 "Yosemite".
  • Fixed progress bar never updated when saving a material on Mac OS.
  • Fixed a potential memory leak in file decompression and improved the reading time of large scenes.
  • Fixed a case where the application offered to locate missing images several times despite the user checking "No to all".
  • Improved the compatibility with scenes containing copy-protected content which is not owned by the user: instead of refusing to load the scene, just ignore the missing functions/material layers and display the list of issues at the end of the loading.
UI/UX
  • [NEW] Added long due --help option to the command line interface.
  • [NEW] Added drag n drop of scene file in Startup panel.
  • [NEW] Improved error message when export failed.
  • [NEW] Hooking Point editor is now resizable.
  • [NEW] In material editor, switch back to previous mode if no picture selected while switching to mapped picture.
  • [NEW] Added edition of preset list.
  • [NEW] Made filter 3D editors amodal.
  • [NEW] Added an icon to directly edit the Multi-pass format options from the MultiPass dialog.
  • Faster scan of files for faster opening of the internal file selection dialogs.
  • Allow using a complete drive in browser as tab.
  • Really disconnect constants when using the "Disconnect parameter" in material editor.
  • Do not remove "unused" graph nodes when using the "Disconnect parameter" in material editor, that still can be useful later on.
  • Made the image path display in image properties non editable, because sometimes it is not a path but some description (of a generated image), that was confusing to be able to change it and have the application try to load it. .
  • In "3D filter" editor and "Section profile" editor, do not replace current filter with original filter when we cancel a "Load", that's not a cancel of the current edit.
  • Fixed a dead lock in the browser (which occurred at least when multi selecting elements).
  • Asynchronous previews in browser, no need to wait a long time to change folder while previews are computed, they finish in background.
  • Fixed invisible icons of user defined categories in browsers, can only fix new categories, previously added one need a manual correction (set the icon using the right click menu on the tabs that have no visible icon).
  • Correct ill-defined tangent effect in 3D filters: For a given set of points and tangents, we did not obtain the same curve depending on where the points were inserted before being moved. That was also producing asymmetric curves around points, even though the displayed tangent looked symmetric. .
  • Corrected filter 3D editor to use actual Bezier control points instead of tangents with a varying intensity that depended on the insertion point.
  • Better cut in the 2D and 3D filter editors, inserting points keep the exact same curve.
  • Fixed incorrect point highlight in 3D filter editor.
  • Reset point coordinates on open in the 1D filter editor.
  • Introduced a --interface_scaling followed by a factor in command line argument to run application in different HiDPI mode. Example: --interface_scaling 2.0 will double the size of every piece of interface.
  • Change the way edit controls with length react to arrows and page up. Arrow up will now add one of the displayed units.
  • Fixed native browser not having quick access on windows.
  • Minor panel redraw performance improvement (skip obsolete code handling now absent dialog background gradation).
  • Fix conflicts between configured shortcuts and edit fields: for example, if you had configured '=' for some action, you could no longer use it in an edit field without also triggering the configured action (except for alphanumerical characters). As a side-effect, on macOS this fixes the fact that Up/Down/PageUp/PageDown keys were inoperant in numerical edit fields (whereas they now properly increment/decrement the value by some fixed amount depending on each edit field).
  • On macOS, Cmd+Arrow key now has the expected behavior in edit fields, ie. move/select to the beginning/end of line. The former custom trigger of Alt+Arrow key has been kept for compatibility (edit fields do not support moving/selecting word by word, like Alt+Arrow key should in theory do).
  • Speed-up loading of the material summary (with hundreds of materials) and display a progression after a few seconds.
  • Ignored LOD computation in Object preview renderer.
  • Fixed material name and scale when loading a material to replace a layer.
  • Fixed Clamping mode not available in Filter editor.
  • Fixed message boxes not taking into account the modal dialog potentially running (Windows only).
  • Fixed the behavior of checkboxes in the render information strip options (were displayed as partially selected, and 2 clicks were needed to select an entry).
  • When adding a new material layer to an existing material, reuse the parent material's mapping mode.
  • Fixed the position of message boxes generated from the render stack, in multi-screen context.
  • Fixed wrong cropping of some panels depending on the screen size (options panel on a laptop, typically).
  • Fixed missing refresh of published parameters tab in EcoSystem, Mixed and Volumetric Material Editors.
  • Fixed inconsistencies in the Recent Files menu when some of the recent files are no longer accessible.
  • Avoided the automatic closing of the File Format Options dialog when one clicks outside of it (except when it is opened from the native file browser - in this case, it is mandatory to do so).
  • Better display of material in hooking point editor (double sided, RGBA maps).
  • Corrected hook point edition when using the back face (edit in mirror).
  • Fixed some inconsistencies in the "Profile spline" editor: display actual "input" values as used in the graph, place 0 on top with an indicator (red line).
  • Fixed unstable size when resizing the "Profile spline" dialog, pure vertical resize is disabled.
  • Show the axis start point and tangent in the preview window (it could already be edited in the 3D filter as well).
  • Fix branch cut in the preview window to not change the axis.
  • Moved some segments parameters into meshing group. Added a new group for numerical options (options that affect the way geometric computations are done).
  • Fix unexpected segment length modification when manually moving a segment. The segment length stays constant (as is the case when you edit the axis parameter from the node).
  • Fixed display of plant size ruler text on high resolution screens. .
  • Fixed potential incorrect preview when export as VUE species.
  • Disable multi-material baking export option for generic uv. It is not supported.
  • Avoided useless invalidation if mesh does not interact with plant.
  • Fixed missing discarded transitions.
  • Improved preset preview edition.
  • Renamed displacement to radial displacement for better understanding.
  • Fixed node parameter multi edition.
  • Improved preview reactivity when lots of bones.
  • Fixed icon for random parameter not visible.
  • Removed selector when opening OS browser from scene/species browser.
  • Fixed multi edition of Boolean parameter defined as frame.
  • Custom atmospheric wind settings are stored in .tpfp files.
  • Fixed missing invalidation when a mesh object is selected.
  • Fixed crash on loading a few PlantCatalog species.
  • Renamed preview option "Clip plant underground" to "Show plant underground" to reflect behavior.
INTEGRATION AND EXPORT
  • [NEW] Added the ability to bake the Reflection channel for non-PBR materials (also available in the Convert Tool in plugins).
  • [NEW] Improved TPF plant export using material baking.
  • [NEW] Animated wind is taken into account when exporting TPF plant animation.
  • [NEW] Improved FBX import/export.
  • [NEW] Added transparency support in C4D export.
  • [NEW] Added back side baking of two-sided materials when exporting without duplicated faces.
  • [NEW] Added an option in USD export to use submeshes instead of GeomSubSet (to handle multi material meshes).
  • [NEW] Added option to export one mesh per primitive.
  • Fixed export of multipass render as PSD: extra components were always saved as linear whereas other color-like channels were gamma encoded. Now all components that can have gamma are encoded with the export gamma (see gamma options).
  • Fixed broken transition normal map in Leaf cluster, billboard export and baked map export.
  • In the Export Options, the "occlusion treatment" option is now located just below the "ambient occlusion" checkbox.
  • Fixed a bug when writing a TIFF animation with alpha or depth channel bit per pixel different from the color channel BPP.
  • USD can now export to omniverse:// files and take advantage of omniverse live sync.
  • USD export now exports color Space.
  • Fixed C4D export.
  • Improved error message when impossible to write an exported image because of image encoding.
  • Fixed some issues in the handling of Unicode characters in LWO and OBJ modules.
  • Store last user choice regarding Nuke import options in environment.
  • Fixed missing material file (.mtl) when exporting only billboards in OBJ format.
  • Fixed wrong value of the displacement depth (displayed as "height" in Cinema 4D) in Cinema 4D export preset.
  • Export the displacement depth in FBX files (even though it's ignored in most of applications).
  • Added an option to bake the displacement in the exported geometry (previously, it was automatically the case when the displacement channel was not selected in texture map options).
  • Improved detection of inverted normals upon import.
  • Fixed the handling of empty file paths in MTL files, in OBJ import (they were leading to confusing error messages).
  • Fixed the handling of Unicode characters in the reading of ZBrush files (.goz).
  • Fixed a memory leak when importing a FBX or Alembic file containing instantiated objects.
  • Fixed a potential memory leak when exporting a large mesh in 3DS format.
  • Fixed the export of displacement mapping (as a baked texture) when the displacement function is connected to a texture map with mip-mapping enabled.
  • Fixed the import of displacement map in OBJ format (was interpreted as 100% transparent material...).
DENOISER
  • [NEW] Updated Intel Open Image Denoise from version 1.2.0 to 1.3.0: improved denoising quality (improved sharpness of fine details / less blurriness, fewer noisy artifacts), slightly improved performance and lowered memory consumption, bug fixes and speed improvement for recent processors.
  • [NEW] Updated Intel Open Image Denoise from version 1.3.0 to 1.4.0: improved fine detail preservation, reduced denoising memory consumption by about 35%.
  • [NEW] Updated NVIDIA Optix denoiser from version 7.0 to 7.2: improved denoising quality and lowered GPU memory consumption. NVIDIA driver 455 is needed.
  • [NEW] Added AMD Radeon Image Filter Denoiser version 1.7.0. Any hardware OpenCL, DirectX12 or Metal compatible should be able to run it (except on Apple ARM).
  • [NEW] Added a Denoiser Strength setting to modulate denoising process, which is available in PathTracer Options Dialog.
MATERIALS
  • [NEW] Added support of Normal mapping "Link intensity to object scale" option on TPF plant.
  • [NEW] Added specific tab for clearcoat settings.
  • [NEW] Added automatic connection with substance clearcoat outputs.
  • [NEW] Added Normal Map Intensity and Flatten parameters.
  • Fixed Alpha output being connected to Projected Map's "Grayscale" output even when an actual alpha channel is present in the selected picture when switching to "Mapped picture" mode in the Alpha tab of the Material Editor.
PERFORMANCE AND STABILITY
  • [NEW] Improved the speed of EcoSystem painting.
  • [NEW] Improved performance on plant with lots of primitives.
  • Cleanup previous temporary directories in a background thread to avoid delaying the application start.
  • Fixed graph related code with exponential behavior, affecting graphs with heavy combinatorics (lots of nodes with lots of interconnected data).
  • Improved speed of the thumbnail provider (for Windows explorer).
  • Improved loading time of compressed scenes containing a lot of plant EcoSystem populations (requires saving the scene in 2021.2 first). Up to 5x faster in some cases.
  • Fixed a very slow file saving (in the context of some old files).
  • Fixed a crash when the browser explores directories with some "permission denied" folders.
  • Fix random failures when trying to open the CrashSender after a crash on macOS.
  • Fixed potential crash while exit with interactive path tracer activated.
  • Fixed a potential crash in 3DS Max plugins when executing wrong MAXScript commands internally.
  • Fixed a potential crash related to displacement mapping, when the subdivision of an object is interrupted in the middle (for a material using uniform subdivision). This could happen with the scene preview, typically.
  • Fixed a potential memory corruption when rendering with the Path Tracer in the active camera view (problem occurring only with certain values of height).
  • Fixed potential crash while playing wind animation.
PLUGINS
  • [NEW] Added the possibility to include displacement map in native shaders instead of baking displacement on geometry.
  • [NEW] Implemented the conversion of materials to RenderMan shaders (PxrSurface).
  • [NEW] [RenderMan] Added handling of two-sided materials.
  • [NEW] Added support for Unreal Engine 4.24 to 4.27.
  • [NEW] PlantFactory plugins now support Cinema 4D R25.
  • [NEW] Added the ability to convert PlantFactory species for the Redshift renderer in C4D and Maya.
  • [NEW] The option to use Redshift sprite nodes is now accessible (like in the VUE Convert Tool).
  • fixed the conversion of plants with the "animated points" setting (some models had only small parts of their geometry animated).
  • Fixed bone animation in Maya.
  • Avoided the potential duplication of the PlantFactory menu in 3ds Max.
  • Fixed the installation that added a dependency to an inexistant TPF plugin for V-Ray in 3ds Max 2022.
  • Added automatic instantiation of exported assets.
  • Propagate bump depth property from original material to native material when we bake material maps.
  • Added conversion of Bump for Cinema 4D's Standard Renderer.
  • In the plugin for Cinema 4D, added the ability to convert plants to Cinema 4D objects with bones (static or animated) or animated points.
DISPLAY
  • [NEW] TPF can now preview displacement using parallax mapping.
  • Fixed display of bump (incorrect shadow direction at 90 deg of light source).
  • Fixed display of bump (very weak effect compared to an equivalent normal map).
  • Fixed wrong wind preview on leaves.
GEOMETRY
  • [NEW] Fixed a crash with using mesh objects with both triangles and quads, when the double-sided option is used, and when the plant meshing mode is set to triangle.
  • [NEW] Added a new child count mode in segment. The new "Per length unit" option allows to have child position fixed on segment when segment length changed.
  • [NEW] Added new "per ancestor" random dependency.
  • [NEW] Added "Inherit scale" parameter in Flower node.
  • [NEW] Added new UV mapping mode for blade.
  • [NEW] Added "bottom of segment" child parameter.
  • [NEW] Improved blending with top branch.
  • [NEW] Added new UV mapping mode in segment.
  • [NEW] Added bottom cap parameters.
  • [NEW] Added new branch blending parameter: post blending offset (An offset that is applied after the blending).
  • [NEW] Added new branch blending parameter: Ignore displacement (Blends on a non-displaced parent geometry).
  • [NEW] Reduced possible mesh folds and divergence with blending.
  • [NEW] Added new child positioning method: Automatic transition. Sets the child branch bottom cap inside its parent.
  • [NEW] Added new branch blending parameter: Bending force. Controls the bending of the axis in the blending zone towards its parent in order to reduce its angle with it.
  • [NEW] Added new branch orientation parameter: Min. angle with parent (applies a minimum 'final' angle between the parent and the child taking all biases, influences, tropisms, etc. into account).
  • [NEW] [Flower node] Added an option to blend the normals and the displacement into the "plug" cylinder, it is on by default.
  • [NEW] Added new parameters to prevent auto folding of the surface of segments with very noisy axis. The "Prevent folds" parameter, with value 1, prevents excessive rotation of the axis and spreads the remaining rotation further away on the axis. The "Offset to inner" parameter allows to shift the mesh sections to the inner side of the local axis curvature. It allows to reduce hard edges that can occur when the segment radius changes at the same time as the axis direction.
  • [NEW] The segment length is now constant when using "axis perturbation". That is more consistent with other segment modifiers, like the influences, that all keep the segment length constant.
  • [NEW] Added a new parameter in "Axis perturbation". The "Smooth start" parameter allows to keep the segment axis the original direction and to smoothly transition to the "perturbed" axis.
  • Tweak the normals at the base of the flower when the "plug radius" is not zero, for a better visual transition with the parent segment.
  • Support for Z scale for crossed planes billboards.
  • Fixed wind on segment with imported skin.
  • Fixed unsupported orange filter when making primitive parameter unique.
  • Fixed parametric position on segment.
  • Fixed Hydra child orientation.
  • Fixed child branch horizontropism mirroring branches on coil with some angle/rotation special cases.
  • Fixed bad behavior on blending with a branch cut in the blending zone (in the child width range).
  • Fixed bending of segments with zero radius.
LEAF CLUSTER
  • [NEW] Added Backface rendering.
  • Fixed bad hook point placement in generated component.
PYTHON
  • [NEW] Added 2 options to the ExportAsVueSpecies function: incorporation of dependencies and compression.
  • Added 2 options to the ExportAsVueSpecies function: incorporation of dependencies and compression.
DISPLACEMENT
  • Fixed Color To Vector used for displacement on vegetation .
  • Outwards-only option can now be set independently on each material layer.
  • Fixed custom direction (horizontal, vertical, or defined through graph) potentially lost upon baking or Path Tracing.
  • Fixed potential artefacts (wrong shadows) in displacement using uniform subdivision when depth is high.
  • Fixed potentially wrong shadows when the displacement amplitude is high, with dynamic subdivision only.
  • Fixed option "Affect material distribution" applied to all material layers for no reason.
  • Fixed mesh holes with material displacement between the branch and its bottom cap.
ANIMATION
  • Fixed a memory leak in MPEG1 and MPEG2 animation saving and repaired the options dialog from those formats on Windows.

Older Versions

Learn more about new features that were added to PlantFactory across past releases.
  • Vastly improved UV-unwrapping
  • Leaf cluster baking
  • New nodes: Normal input, RGB composer & decomposer
  • Rewritten *.c4d export
  • PlantFactory plugin for Cinema 4D
  • Material creation for Arnold & V-Ray in Cinema 4D (was already supported in Maya & 3DS Max before)
  • Real-world displacement intensities (following the rewritten displacement in the previous release)
  • USD export
  • Up to 25% reduced computation time for complex plants with over a million polygons
  • New 3D displacement functionality for the segment node for utilizing vector displacement
  • New “Position in distribution” mode in the “Parent parameters” node, which respects the start and end distribution values for children
  • Two-sided materials are supported for exports in *.c4d format
  • Improved compression of *.tpf species for smaller file sizes
  • Improved Ambient Occlusion preview in the 3D view
  • Incorporation of the Substance GPU engine for computing Substance materials
  • Automatic PBR-channel tagging & import
  • New scaling & rotation controls for Substance materials
  • PBR-compliant viewport with customizable skies and realistic ambient lighting
  • Material creation for Arnold & V-Ray Next in 3DS Max and Maya
  • Intel Open Image & Nvidia OptiX denoisers for PlantFactory's path tracer
  • Rewritten material displacement with uniform and dynamic subdivision strategies
  • New UV and displacement controls for urchins
  • Deformation of crossed plane leaves
  • Improved material face set export for Alembic
  • Seasonal material editor for plants which will be exported to LumenRT
  • PlantFactory integration plugins for 3DS Max & Maya
  • Support for V-Ray materials in the conversion tool
  • Baking and exporting of PBR-channels
  • Ambient occlusion baking (geometry only, material only, both)
  • Support of animated & multi-graph substances
  • New minimum subdivision settings for manual meshing
  • New meshing parameters for the flower node
  • New LOD selection method based on a reference length
  • Support for MacOS Catalina (10.15)
  • HiDPI scaling on Windows & Mac
  • Normal map export for billboards
  • Optimized plant computation and graph drawing speed
  • Orthogonal placement mode for children
  • New random position and orientation settings for whorl placement of children
  • Improved auto-graph layout
  • Faster scene file reading of compressed files
  • Added a path tracer for rendering the model
  • New export options: better texture map naming, better mip-mapping, iproved top transition blending on segments, export of a single texture per material when baking materials
  • UDIMs are sorted by material during export
  • Improved filter editor UI
  • New flower node capabilities: the flower top can be closed, normals can be inverted on front and back faces
  • Improved gamma management
  • New interface
  • Improved performance
  • Fully linear workflow
  • Support for PBR materials
  • Substance material support in *.sbsar format
  • Diamond-shaped leaves
More about PlantFactory