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Thinkbox Software releases Stoke MX 2.0 for 3ds Max

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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Initially positioned as a particle advection tool, Thinkbox Software’s Stoke MX 2.0 now offers users a range of way to control sims, including field editing – as in this screenshot from S2 Games’ Tobbe Olsson.

Thinkbox Software has released Stoke MX 2.0, a “completely reimagined” version of its 3ds Max simulation plugin that incorporates two of the developer’s other products, and greatly extends the tool’s versatility.

New tools for directing simulations
Initially described as a “particle reflow” toolset, Stoke MX enables users to generate detailed simulations more quickly by, among other things, allowing the particles of a low-density sim to drive a higher-density one.

On top of this, Thinkbox had already announced that it intended to incorporate the field-editing capabilities of Ember, its “volumetric field manipulation” system.

To that, it has now added Genome, its procedural geometry modifier, previously a separate $595 product. That gives users a lot of different ways to control FX, including particles, fields, meshes and level sets.

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Unscramble that: as Thinkbox’s animated flowchart illustrates, Stoke MX 2.0 gives users a lot more ways to control simulations than its predecessor. It also incorporates Genome, previously a standalone tool.

Throw in the fact that Stoke MX integrates with native 3ds Max dynamics systems like MassFX and mCloth; its Particle Flow system; and third-party particle tools like thinkingParticles, and you have a very diverse toolset.

As S2 Games’ Tobbe” Olsson comments, ““Stoke 2.0 gives 3ds Max users a level of control not seen before and will undoubtedly change how artists execute FX, dynamics and geometry modifications.””

Pricing and availability
Stoke MX 2.0 is available now for 3ds Max 2013 and above. A workstation licence costs $595 and a network simulation licence costs $100. Bundle deals are also available.

PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)
Thinkbox Software today launched Stoke MX 2.0, a completely reimagined version of its plug-in for Autodesk® 3ds Max®. Stoke MX 2.0 introduces new methods of working with 3D data – including particles, fields, meshes and level sets – to produce and synthesize complex simulations quickly and with a high level of control.

The addition of Genome, a procedural geometry modifier previously available as a separate product offering, to Stoke MX 2.0 provides 3ds Max users with a unique, powerful and streamlined tool. Flexible I/O ensures Stoke MX 2.0 users can easily handle data from both third party applications and legacy particle systems, while a dedicated atmospheric effect enables users to render fields in various 3ds Max renderers including Default Scanline and V-Ray.

Key features of Stoke MX 2.0 include:

  • Procedural field generation using mathematical functions, 3ds Max texture maps, geometry and particles, and volumetric data from various sources.
  • History-independent and history-dependent field simulation capabilities based on node-based logic for solving advanced problems.
  • Read and write functionality for industry standard volumetric data files including Dreamworks’ OpenVDB (.VDB), Sony Pictures Imageworks’ Field3D (.F3D) and Sitni Sati’’s FumeFX (.FXD).
  • Integration with 3ds Max sub-systems like MassFX rigid body simulations, mCloth simulations, Hair&Fur hair dynamics, FumeFX simulations, native and third party particle systems including Particle Flow and Cebas Thinking Particles, through a dedicated Stoke Field Force object.
  • Direct Field data sampling from within the Genome procedural modifier, as well as new Genome operators for vertex and face iterations.
  • A Stoke Field Follow operator enabling the advection and control of Particle Flow particles, including the ability to define events logic via custom selection fields.
  • Integration with the 3ds Max materials system via a Stoke Field Texture map.
  • Dedicated field-to-particles conversion object for integration with Thinkbox’’s Krakatoa MX and Frost MX plug-ins.
  • An atmospheric effect for rendering Stoke fields in any renderer that supports the 3ds Max environment effects sub-system.

Stoke MX 2.0 provides workstation licenses for interactive operation, and network simulation licenses for processing simulations on a render farm using Thinkbox Software’’s Deadline network manager.

Bundles of workstation and network licenses are available at a reduced cost. Existing Stoke MX 1.0 customers on active support as well as all current Genome license owners will receive an update to Stoke MX 2.0 at no additional cost.

Read more about Stoke MX 2.0 on Thinkbox Software’s website

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