Sunday, December 21st, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

cebas updates thinkingParticles 6

Originally posted on 15 October. Scroll down for details of the new Subscription Drop 1 update.

Cebas has released thinkingParticles 6, the latest update to its increasingly versatile 3ds Max physics plugin, adding fluid and soft-body dynamics systems, along with a range of interesting new control operators.

The new solvers build on thinkingParticles’ existing particle tools and the Bullet physics introduced in the previous release of the software, creating a procedural framework for creating a range of multiphysics effects.

The ‘first integrated multiphysics’ for Max
In some ways, the biggest new features in thinkingParticles 6 are the least surprising, since cebas has been teasing the new SPH-based fluid solver and soft-body dynamics since 2012.

However, the demo videos accompanying the release are the first time we’ve seen them in detail: the fluids solver supports buoyancy, volume-based displacement, and fluids of different densities, for example.

Fluids also interact with cloth, and with the existing rigid bodies and ropes. Cebas describes tP6 as “the first integrated multiphysics for 3ds Max” and promises that users can “turn any particle into anything“.

thinkingParticles 6’s new ImplicitShape node generates iso-surfaces from point clouds. In conjunction with the TrailBorn operator, it creates complex, organically branching structures procedurally.

There are also a lot of interesting new tools for controlling simulations, and for using them as the basis for creating other types of effects.

As you might expect of a tool that now includes liquid simulation, there’s a meshing system: the new ImplicitShape node converts point clouds into iso-surface representations of density.

However, there are is also a new TrailBorn operator for generating branching structures based on particle motion over time; and a new set of nodes for generating splines from particles.

Collectively, cebas describes the new tools as a procedural shape-creation system.

New tools for managing complex simulations
Other new features in thinkingParticles 6 include a new utility for creating joints between objects automatically.

There is also a new Analyzer Tool for troubleshooting the performance of complex sims, and the option to ‘snapshot’ a surface at a given frame in a simulation and convert it to a single particle to speed up calculations.

Pricing and availability
thinkingParticles 6 is available now for 3ds Max 2013 and above. Like its host software, cebas has adopted a rental-only pricing model, with a subscription costing €540 per year (around $680).

Updated 21 December: Cebas has released Subscription Drop 1, a free update for registered tP6 users.

The update extends the new procedural spline modelling toolset with a range of new helper nodes and inputs, including the option to assign a thickness curve to the splines generated (shown above).

The volumeBreak node has also been extended to permit “more realistic and natural looking fragmentation” effects. Watch videos of all the new features in thinkingParticles 6 Subscription Drop 1 on cebas’s website.

Read a full list of new features in thnkingParticles 6 on cebas’s website
(Includes demo videos of the new features)