This application is a straight forward method to allow the importation of Point Clouds into the max environment. It is very important to us that there are no misunderstandings as it relates to this plugin and its usage.
1. We do not support Nitrous viewport rendering in 3ds Max.
2. We do not support 32 bit versions of 3ds Max.
3. The point limit is mostly hardware dependent and not software dependent.
4. There are not a lot of “Bells and Whistles”, but the functionality is excellent.
Points are loaded onto your video card RAM and into System RAM.
1GB of video RAM will support 60 Million points (in C2M’s current configuration).
1GB of System RAM will support 30 Million points so Video RAM is more efficient.
The more video RAM you have, the greater the number of points you can load quickly.
SLI can theoretically benefit C2M, but we have no hard data to support this claim.
The minimum system requirements will work fine for importing even large pointclouds to the 3ds max environment and creating models.
Remember even though C2M will work in a 32 Bit system, a 64 bit operating system is much more efficient. If it is your desire to render the pointcloud from inside 3ds Max, it is advised to have a minimum of 16 GB of RAM, as the rendering process is very RAM intensive. Rendering a single frame can be over 3 minutes (without enabling shadows). Enabling shadows will increase render times to approximately 15 to 18 minutes per frame, and may introduce flickering if a final gather map is not used.
Best method for rendering with shadows:
If it is important to render with shadows, the best method is to render your camera paths, without shadows, lights and other objects first.
One of the best (and fastest method) is to render screen captures (see tutorials)..
Create a rudimentary “shadow catching” geometry on your surfaces where you will need shadows.
Place a Matte Shadow material on the shadow catching geometry (scanline works, bt MR is much faster) and turn on your lights.
Enable render elements and set it to render shadows and an alpha channel.
Hide your pointcloud and render your frames.
After rendering shadows and alphas, disable the render elements and render just your color pass.
Combine all 4 rendered views in a composition package like Composite or After Effects.
The image below was created using this method.