Thursday, March 18th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Marius Silaghi releases five new Pro plugins for 3ds Max

Originally posted on 22 January 2021. Scroll down for news of the new Path Deform Pro plugin.

Tools developer Marius Silaghi seems to have had a particularly good holiday break, having now released no fewer than four five really handy-looking new 3ds Max modelling plugins since Christmas.

Three – Push Pro, Relax Pro and Shell Pro – are more advanced versions of native 3ds Max modifiers, while Sharpen Pro is an automated tool for enhancing detail in sculpts and 3D scans.

Updated 18 March 2021: A fifth plugin, Path Deform Pro, provides an advanced alternative to Path Deform.

Shell Pro: generate geometry shells with fewer self-intersections
Shell Pro is an improved take on 3ds Max’s native Shell modifier.

Like its namesake, it converts the surface of a mesh into a solid shell – for example, when thickening that surface for 3D printing – but is intended to generate fewer self-intersections.

The plugin also provides new options for chamfering, filleting and bevelling the edge of the shell.

Push Pro: create thinner or fatter variants of your characters
Similarly, Push Pro is a more intelligent version of 3ds Max’s Push modifier, shifting the vertices of a mesh inwards or outwards: for example, to generate thinner or fatter variants of a character.

Again, it generates fewer self-intersections than its native counterpart, even at quite extreme settings, and does a much better job of preserving surface detail.

Relax Pro: smooth meshes without losing volume or too much surface detail
Preserving surface detail is also the name of the game for Relax Pro, the third of the plugins to improve upon a native 3ds Max modifier.

Like the Relax modifier itself, it smooths the surface of a mesh, but unlike the native version, it preserves the mesh’s overall volume.

As a result, it can be used to soften creases in retopologised sculpts or remove surface noise from 3D scans without risking the result looking like melted wax.

Smoothing is resolution-independent, and can be controlled by any selection type or by vertex colours.

Users of Silaghi’s older TopoRelax plugin, which does a similar job, can upgrade to Relax Pro at a discount.

Contrast Pro: sharpen low-quality 3D scans or low-resolution simulation caches
Its inverse – and the only one of the new plugins not to have a counterpart among 3ds Max’s native modifiers – is Contrast Pro, which enhances the surface detail of a mesh.

Again, one potential use is to process low-quality 3D scans, but Silaghi also suggests that it could be used to enhance fluid or cloth simulation caches.

It can be applied uniformly across a mesh, or the effect can be allowed to vary according to the size of the polygons to which it is being applied.

Path Deform Pro: deform meshes along paths without self-intersection
The latest plugin, Path Deform Pro, provides an alternative to 3ds Max’s Path Deform modifier for deforming a mesh along a path, intended to create fewer self-intersections.

It provides additional options for volume preservation, rigid deformation, rotation and scaling along a curve and “full control of the up vector using another spline”.

Pricing and availability
All five plugins are compatible with 64-bit 3ds Max 2013+. Contrast Pro and Push Pro cost €30 (around $37), Path Deform Pro, Relax Pro and Shell Pro cost €40 ($49).

Read more about the new plugins on Marius Silaghi’s website