DOCUMENTATION

Here is the page with new features of C2M 1.2
Please visit the Videos tab to see additional examples of how the plugin works.
You can download the full pdf here.

Here are the new Clouds2Max 1.1  features explained

Using the new License Manger for C2M 1.1

The new Licensing method is described in the video below.
Please note that if you have more than one licence, you can use the same user login
to manage more than one license. Meaning you can log in to the account from different
machines to manage the same account.

Using Clouds2Max-NR

If you have purchased the NetRender version of Clouds2Max (C2M-NR) the usage is intentionally simple.
Once you have installed C2M-NR (use the same installation program as Clouds2Max) and licensed the Render node via Remote Desktop (or other remote access method), you can submit
jobs via Back Burner (we have not tested C2M-NR with Deadline or any alternative network render managing software) as you would normally.

Be sure to use the correct key-code intended for C2M-NR when licensing and activating.
A unique code is required for each render node.

You will need to locate the .C2M data file either on a networked drive or copy the files to each render node.
File load times on the render nodes will be slower over a network  connection as opposed to if they are copied locally to the individual nodes.
If you going to copy the files to each render node, you will need to use the same file path setup.
For example, if your workstation has the .c2m scan file located in C:\Scanfiles the render nodes will need to have the same directory and file name (i.e. C:\Scanfiles\scan123.c2m).
To render 100 million points on an average render node, you will nee at least 7GB of free RAM (this is without any lighting or shadow effects and using Mental Ray as the renderer).

Common errors will be the node cannot locate the .c2m file.. Ensure you can navigate to the .c2m file on the render node.

Getting Started with Clouds2Max

Clouds2Max is located in the Create->Geometry tab of the Command Panel.  This usually shows up at the bottom of the drop down menu items (Figure 1).  Once Selected, you will see the initial Clouds2Max menu which allows you to begin selecting and loading a point cloud.

 Once the PointCloud button is pressed, the menu will change once more to allow the user to load a point cloud.  We have allowed for various file types such as xyz, pts, ascii, ptcb, c2m and e57. Please note that it is important to click in the viewport at the location you wish to load the point cloud in order for it to appear.   After loading any point cloud into Clouds2Max, you have the option to save it as a c2m file.  This file type is similar to ptcb and is optimized to perform better in the viewport.

Important Notes on the Clouds 2Max Point Cloud Object

Scaling

By default scaling is disabled.  You can enable scaling under the Hierarchy -> Links tab.  Simply uncheck the x,y and z axis to allow for scaling .

Shadows

Shadow casting is also disabled (object properties dialog).  Enabling shadow casting, increases memory requirements when rendering by a factor of 4 to 6.

Transformations

The point cloud object can scale/move/rotate including animation just like any other 3dsmax object. By

instancing an object, you can create copy without increasing memory usage. (Except when rendering).

 Materials

Newly created objects are assigned a default material that renders the point cloud colors as

Self-illumination exactly like they were captured. You can use all kinds of materials that do not require UV coordinates.

Lighting

If you want to use lighting, for example by using the point cloud’s colors and diffuse channel

instead of the self-illumination channel, then you need to generate normals beforehand.

This is done automatically the first time you save to a .C2M file from the Clouds2Max menu.

 

Clouds 2 Max Parameters 

Maximum Point Size

Sets the point size cap. When loading a point cloud, Clouds2Max analyses the scene and calculates individual point sizes based on the local density. Thus points vary in size. This can lead to a small number of rather unpleasant statistical outliners. Meaning a few points that are in a very low density area, which will appear as very large “quads”.

To compensate for his, Clouds2Max offers to clamp the maximum size of points. By default point sizes are clamped according to the one-sigma rule. That means all points that are larger then the average point size plus one standard deviation are clamped.  By increasing the Maximum Point size value, you can lower this cap to allow larger deviations and vice versa.  You can clamp points sooner, thus reducing the point size variance.

Special case: If set to zero, all points are always exactly one pixel in size.

Details [Point/Pixel]

Used to setup the automatic Level of Detail system. The system tries to map this given number of points to one pixel.  So it controls how points are clipped away as they more far away to the camera. Points that are closer to the camera are larger than one pixel and are not clipped away by this value at all.

Generally, a value of 1 is the most appropriate value in most cases. Reducing the value could be used to

clip away background details. Increasing the value above 1 can be used to improve rendering quality, like closing small holes in the distance or supersampling.

Point Scale

Scales the radius of each and every point with the specified value.

Global Details

This is similar to the level of detail and affects all points independently of the distance to the camera.

  

Clouds2Max Tools

 Snap To Points

This feature allows the user to snap to any point in the point loaded point cloud. It is integrated into the 3ds Max Snap feature, so it can be used everywhere, just like the Snap-To-Grid feature. The snap feature can be activated or deactivated in the Tools->Grid and Snaps -> Grid and Snaps Settings Dialog. You will find it there under “Clouds2Max“.

NOTE: For best performance of snapping, please convert your file to a .C2M fileThis will generate the accelerating tree structure, required to quickly snap to points.

Limit Box – Helper Object

Helpers -> Clouds2Max -> Limit Box

Hides all point (clusters) that are completely inside the limitbox.

Limit boxes can be scaled or animated just like any other Max object.  Scaling of the limitbox must be done on the local axis.   You can have multiple overlapping limitboxes.  Any number of limitboxes is supported, but currently a limit of 20 overlapping limitboxes exists for the viewport.