Friday, May 7th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

iToo Software releases RailClone 4.3 for 3ds Max

Originally posted on 20 May 2019. Scroll down for news of RailClone 4.3.

iToo Software has previewed RailClone 4.0, the latest update to its parametric modelling plugin for 3ds Max, at Chaos Group’s Total Chaos 2019 conference.

The update, which is due in beta shortly, adds support for nested generators, a new RC Spline modifier, a Quick Mesh viewport display mode for working with large scenes, plus a lot of workflow improvements.

Nested generators create more complex geometry arrays
New features in RailClone 4.0 include the option to nest generators, making it possible to generate more complex arrays of model components.

One example shown at Total Chaos showed the feature in use to generate a chandelier, with one generator used to distribute the hanging lightbulbs in a circular array, and another to vary the lengths of the cables.

The properties of the nested generator can be accessed directly from within the parent generator, both in the node graph, and from the Modify panel.

New RC Spline modifier helps distribute model parts along splines
Another new feature is the RC Spline modifier, which enables users to distribute model components at arbitrary positions along a spline, rather than having them spaced evenly.

The Total Chaos demo showed the system in use to control the distribution of windows along a wall.

The markers along the spline can contain data, enabling users to control the properties of individual model components, and move with the spline itself. The feature works with both X and Y splines.

Better workflows for assigning materials and manipulating geometry
Workflow improvements include better handling of materials: it is no longer necessary to create a single Multi/Sub-Object Material for a RailClone system.

The change should make it easier to perform tasks like using RailClone to distribute stock assets like cars that come with multiple Multi/Sub-Object Materials.

A new Use Segment Material option in the Modify panel picks the textures for each asset automatically.

Other changes include automatic capping of holes created in geometry by Clipping Splines, support for local axis aligment in the Transform operator, and a “more intuitive” workflow for the Compose operator.

New Quick Mesh display mode for complex scenes
Viewport changes include a new Quick Mesh display mode as a halfway house between full quality and a point cloud or bounding box view when working with a lot of instanced geometry

The update also introduces support for Hi-DPI displays.

Usability improvements to the Style Editor
There have also been a number of UX improvements to RailClone’s Style Editor: inserting a node into the middle of a wire on the graph now connects it automatically, while removing it heals the connections.

There is also a new Select All Children option in the contextual menu when selecting a node.

Other changes include the option to snap nodes to an underlying grid to keep graphs tidy, and unique names for every node in the graph, making them easier to reference in complex set-ups.

Updated 24 October 2019: RailClone 4 is now shipping. As well as the features listed above, the update introduces a new Statistics window for identifying bottlenecks in scenes.

iToo has also posted detailed descriptions and videos of the new features on its website, which you can find via the link below.

Updated 6 May 2021: iToo Software has released RailClone 4.3.

The update improves performance with complex models – RailClone objects now evaluate “up to 500%” faster – and adds a Deform tab to the Transform operator, to override deform settings for multiple segments.

V-Ray users get support for the new VRayMultiSubTex and VRayUVWRandomiser maps in V-Ray 5, providing a new way to generate texture variations for models.

There is also a range of new macros, including automated tools for generating walls, floors and tiles.

In separate news, iToo Software has launched TheParametricLibrary, a new range of collections of parametric assets for use with RailClone, including readymade buildings and railings.

Pricing and availability
RailClone 4.3 is available for 3ds Max 2013+. Feature support varies between the compatible renderers. New licences start at €220 (around $265) including one year’s support.

There is also a free, feature-limited Lite edition of the plugin. All of the new features in RailClone 4.0 are available in the Lite edition, apart from nested generators.

Read a full list of new features in RailClone 4.3 on iToo Software’s blog

Read a full list of new features in RailClone 4 on iToo Software’s blog

See a full list of changes since RailClone 4.0 in the online release notes.