Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Kinematic Lab releases PhysX Painter 2.0 for 3ds Max

Kinematic Lab – aka 3ds Max plugin developer Clovis Gay – has released PhyX Painter 2.0, the latest version of his plugin for populating scenes with objects by painting them in and letting them settle under gravity.

The update adds new Attract and Explode forces, and a Drop Brush, for letting objects fall from a height.

In addition, performance has been improved significantly, with Clovis Gay commenting that it is now possible to paint “thousands” of assets into a scene without visible slowdown.

Populate scenes by painting in objects and letting them settle naturally under gravity
First released in 2016, PhysX Painter lets users populate scenes by painting in objects using a customisable brush. Once added, the objects settle naturally, colliding with each other and surrounding surfaces.

The system supports any standard 3ds Max asset, and enables users to paint with low-poly proxy objects then switch them out for high-poly final models once the simulation process is complete.

Attract or Explode objects from a central point, or drop them from a height
Physics-enabled object placement tools have become something of a trend recently, appearing everywhere from Houdini’s layout and look dev toolset to Adobe tech demos and even in the KeyShot renderer.

The product page for PhysX Painter rather pointedly describes it as “the original tool”, and version 2.0 builds on the plugin’s OG status, adding a number of significant new features.

To simplify workflow, the key functionality is now available via a single brush, which can be used to place or delete objects in a scene, or re-run their physics simulation.

As well as gravity, the plugin now supports Attract and Explode forces, which clump the objects being painted into the scene around a central point, or fling them away from it.

A new Drop Brush drops objects from a height rather than painting them directly onto the Collider surface.

Paint thousands of objects into a scene without slow-down
Performance has also been improved: in the video above, Clovis Gay comments that it is now possible to “paint on thousands of assets” without appreciable slow-down.

In addition, the assets being scattered can now be optimised automatically – and non-destructively – with users able to enter target polygon counts and PhysX Painter generating low-res versions.

Once scattered, assets can be displayed in the viewport as boxes, low-res proxies or high-res meshes.

There are also a number of workflow improvements and new asset management features: you can see them in the video above, or find a full list via the link below.

Pricing and availability
PhysX Painter 2.0 is available for 3ds Max 2013+. A node-locked licence costs €50 (around $60).

Read a full list of features in PhysX Painter on Kinematic Lab’s website