Faustics 1.0.0

For Autodesk 3ds Max

Help Document

Oormi Creations

http://oormi.in







Contents



Introduction

Faustics is a MaxScript for creating procedural water Caustics effect in 3ds Max, easily and quickly.
Faustics produces beautiful Caustics effects and these are extremely fast to render.

No plugins of any kind are needed. The scenes created using Faustics can be rendered without the script. It provides three kinds of Caustics effects for water - Turbulence, Waves and Rain, out of the box. You can blend these effects quickly or add your own animated map also. A simple UI and quick previews let you create complex and beautiful refractive or reflective water Caustics in minutes !

Faustics caters to a beginner as well as advanced users of 3ds Max. A beginner needs to click just one button to start off and an advanced user can customize many aspects of the effect, such as light properties, size, speed, chaos, animation properties and many more things, to get an infinite variety of Caustics. It can be used to create special effects too. It needs no water surface model of any kind, the Caustics are stand alone.

The script does not use Photons or any other complex methods that produce physically correct Caustics, but are often very difficult to set up and result in very long render times. It uses procedural maps, so that you get full artistic control and extremely fast renders. The demo scene created using this script renders in less than one second on a Quad Core machine.

You can have more than one Caustic source and you can also include only those scene objects in it that need to receive the Caustics. You can customize each source individually. Faustics works with 3ds Max's Default Scanline Renderer as well as Mental Ray Renderer. It also has a function to export the Caustics animated map for use in a game engines such as Unity3D.


Feature List

Current version 1.0.0 has these features:

  • Create water Caustics in a Single Click.
  • Extremely fast renders.
  • Still and Animated Previews.
  • Multiple Sources of Caustics, where each can have its own settings.
  • Three kinds of built-in effects - Turbulence, Waves and Rain.
  • Enables blending of these three effects.
  • Supports custom animated image sequences or video file as Caustic Maps.
  • Source properties, like color, intensity, type etc can be customized.
  • Turbulence, wave and rain properties can be customized.
  • Each source can independently have its own set of properties and effects.
  • Supports include/exclude of objects that can receive Caustics from each source independently.
  • Exports the animated Caustics map for use in game engines.

A demo version with a limited feature set is available for trial purpose.



System Requirements

Supported versions for 3ds Max are Autodesk 3ds Max 11 to 3ds Max 2015.

Officially supported renderers are Default Scanline Renderer and Mental Ray.

For satisfactory speeds the minimum recommended hardware is a CPU with dual cores and 2 GB of RAM with MS Windows XP.

MS Windows 7, 64bit with Quad cores, a high end GPU and 8 GB of RAM is the preferred config.



Running the Script

The filename for the script is Faustics-100.mse

Simply drag the script file into 3ds Max. Or click on 3ds max menu: MaxScript->Run Script and select this script. No installation is needed.

Alternatively, run the macroscript Faustics-Macro.mcr which will allow you to add it as a menu item or keyboard shortcut (via Customize User Interface Menu of Max)
The folder Faustics-100 must be copied to your default scripts directory (e.g C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2011\scripts) so that the menu item or keyboard shortcut works properly.


Quick Start

  1. Press the Create Demo Scene button and hit Render.
  2. You are Done !!

Its that easy.

To see the script in full action:

  1. Click the Still or Animated Preview button to get a quick render of the active viewport.
  2. Select a Faustics source from the dropdown list.
  3. Slide the effect sliders to get a different blend or click on the " ... " buttons to configure any properties.
  4. Update the preview or render the view as a still or animation.

You can add another source by clicking the button Create Faustics Source. Select the new source to edit it.

Now its time to play with various parameters to really know the power of Faustics.




Still Preview

Click on the Still Preview button to see a still render of the active viewport in a new window. Click on the rendered image to update it anytime, such as after you have changed a parameter and want to see its effect.

Click on the settings button ( " ... " ) besides the Still Preview button to change the settings for still previews.

View: Select the viewport to be previewed. Its either the active viewport or a camera view. If there are camera(s) in the scene, they will appear in the list. If you create a new camera while the Still Preview Settings Dialog is open, click the <Refresh View> item to refresh the list and select it. Click the preview image to update it.

Size: Changes the size of the preview. There can be 4 sizes. Smaller sizes result in faster preview speeds.

Quality: Changes the quality of the preview. The lowest quality results in fastest previews. The quality has 4 settings which progressively enable shadows, atmospherics, antialiasing and other refinements to produce better previews, although they take longer to render.

The preview uses Default Scanline Renderer to render the preview, so some renderer specific materials or objects will not appear correctly in the preview. The still preview is almost instantaneous. Its recommended to hide as many objects as possible from the scene to get a fast preview.


Animated Preview

Click on the Animated Preview button to see an animated render of the active viewport in a new window.

" > ": Play button plays the animation

" || ": Stop button stops the animation

Update: Updates and plays the animation

 

Click on the settings button ( " ... " ) besides the Animated Preview button to change the settings for Animated previews.

From/to frames: The range of frames to render. Click the Update button on the Animated Preview window to update the animation.

Size: Changes the size of the preview. There can be 4 sizes. Smaller sizes result in faster preview speeds.

Quality: Changes the quality of the preview. The lowest quality results in fastest previews. The quality has 4 settings which progressively enable shadows, atmospherics, antialiasing and other refinements to produce better previews, although they take longer to render.

Loop count: Sets the number of times the animation loops in the preview.

Advanced Settings: You can change the way the animated movie is played in case it is needed. Normally you don't need to change it.

The preview uses Default Scanline Renderer to render the preview quickly, so some renderer specific materials or objects will not appear correctly in the preview. Its recommended to hide as many objects as possible from the scene to get a fast preview.

 

 

 



Faustics Source

A Faustics source is implemented using normal 3ds max target light sources. You can create a source by clicking the Create Faustics Source button.

You can move or rotate it and position its target any way you like. Each source can be configured independently with a unique set of effects. Once you create a source, place it in a desired position in the scene and select the source from the Select a Faustics Source dropdown list. You can select and delete the source like any other 3ds max object in the viewport or you can clone it. Click the <Refresh List> item to refresh the list and select it, in case the new source is not in the list.

Click on the settings button ( " ... " ) besides the dropdown list to change the source properties.

Enable: Enable/disables the caustics

On: Turns the source on or off

Type: The type of light to use

Intensity: Intensity or brightness of the source

Color: Color of the source

Hotspot: Size of the hotspot beam

Falloff: Size of the falloff beam

Shape: Shape of the light beam

Decay: Decay type.

Shadows: Set Shadows type or enable/disable them.

 

The parameters marked * can be animated using the autokey function in 3ds max.

Intensity = 0.25 Intensity = 0.70 Intensity = 1.50
Color = White Color = Green Color = Orange



Turbulence

Slide the Turbulence Slider to increase or decrease the amount of turbulence effect in water caustics.

Click on the settings button ( " ... " ) besides the slider to change the turbulence parameters.

Size: The size of the Turbulent waves.

Chaos: This controls how quickly the waves change shape to make the pattern more or less chaotic.

Flow: Simulates a current of water. This parameter controls its speed.

Direction: The direction in which the water flows (in degrees).

Froth: Increases or decreases the fractal noise to make the water look more or less frothy, with bubbles etc.

 

The parameters marked * can be animated using the autokey function in 3ds max.

If you change the Time Configuration of the animation (increase/decrease the number of frames etc), you will need to re-set the Chaos and Flow parameters.

 

Size = 5.0 Size = 10.0 Size = 25.0
Froth = 1.0 Froth = 2.0 Froth = 5.0
Chaos = 2.5 Chaos = 5.0 Chaos = 20.0
Flow = 0.5 Flow = 1.5 Flow = 2.5



Waves

Slide the Waves Slider to increase or decrease the amount of waves effect in water caustics.

Click on the settings button ( " ... " ) besides the slider to change the wave parameters.

Size: The size of the waves.

Number: Number of waves.

Speed: Speed of waves.

Contrast: Contrast between the light and dark areas in wave caustics.

Curve: Increases or decreases the radius of the waves.

 

The parameters marked * can be animated using the autokey function in 3ds max.

If you change the Time Configuration of the animation (increase/decrease the number of frames etc), you will need to re-set the Speed parameter.

 

Size = 3.0 Size = 10.0 Size = 20.0
Speed = 3.0 Speed = 10.0 Speed = 20.0
Number = 5 Number = 10 Number = 30



Rain or Custom Image

Slide the Rain Slider to increase or decrease the amount of rain drops effect in water caustics.

Click on the settings button ( " ... " ) besides the slider to change the rain parameters or assign a custom image.

Size: The size of the rain drops. Or the tiling of a custom image.

Speed: Speed of rain drops falling. Or Rate of playback of a custom animated image.

Invert: Inverts the colors. Useful for casting shadows.

Image/sequence/video: Assign a custom image or sequence of images or a video file as a caustics map. The sequence of images must be written down in an .ifl file.

 

The parameters marked * can be animated using the autokey function in 3ds max.

Size = 0.5 Size = 1.5 Invert = enabled



Faustics Receivers

In case only some of the objects in a scene need to be illuminated by Caustics, these can be added to the source. This excludes all other objects from receiving the caustics effects.

The inclusion of a receiver object is not universal, so an object excluded from one source can still receive the caustics from another source. This gives a total control over how the objects are illuminated with caustics under water.

By default everything will receive the caustics if its in the field of a Faustics source. To remove everything except certain objects in the Faustics source, click on the " + " button and select one or more objects from the list. Click " - " to remove an object from the inclusion list.


Exporting the Faustics Map

Faustics maps are procedural, so they will not work as is in game engines. You can export the rendered version of the animated maps as an image sequence or a video file by clicking the Export Faustics Map button. Select a source before clicking this button.

Size: The size of the rendered map.

Frame: Range of frames to be exported.

Save As: Choose a filename and format (JPG, PNG or AVI)

Export: Exports the map for selected source in either image sequences or avi video.

If you change the Time Configuration of the animation (increase/decrease the number of frames etc), you will need to re-set some parameters. Please see above for details.


Troubleshooting and Known Issues

It is recommended to set the time of animation before you change the settings for effects. If you change the time after configuring these settings, you will find that they work only till the old time. You can re-set the values to fix this (probably the same values). The affected settings are - Chaos and Flow (for Turbulence effect) and Speed (for Wave effect). You will get a warning message for the first time you set the time configuration.

In 3ds Max 2015 version, exporting the map is very slow. This is a Max issue in this version and the only workaround, currently is to use Max 2014 or below to use this feature.

Whenever you select another Faustics source, the setting windows close. You must open them again, where they will show the values corresponding to the source selected.

 


Contact and Support

 

For free support, bug reports, requests or queries please contact on oormicreations@gmail.com

One upgrade of this script is free for registered users. Click on the Register button on the Register rollout to register.
Full support for registered users will be provided via Email.

Customization requests are most welcome. So if you need extra features in this script for your project please contact with full requirements.

This SCRIPT, Faustics 1.0.0, is being provided by OORMI CREATIONS "as is" .OORMI CREATIONS makes no claims or warranties of any kind concerning the safety, suitability, compatibility, performance and durability of this SCRIPT. There are inherent risks in the use of any software, and you are solely responsible for determining whether this SCRIPT is compatible with your equipment and other software installed on your equipment. You are also solely responsible for the protection of your equipment and backup of your data, and OORMI CREATIONS will not be liable for any damages you may suffer in connection with use of this SCRIPT.


Oormi Creations

Faustics 1.0.0

©Oormi Creations 2014, All rights reserved.

http://oormi.in