Mandatory update for Lasershow Converter MAX

Discussion in 'Lasershow Converter Series (MAX, FLASH, 4D)' started by Pangolin, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. Pangolin

    Pangolin Staff Member

    Hi All,

    With the help of some of our clients, we discovered a problem with Lasershow Converter MAX when it is used with 3ds max version 6 and later, and used outside the United States.

    It is hard to describe the cause of the problem, but the symptoms are that things will not render correctly unless your regional settings are such that you use a period "." as the decimal point in numbers. Since it is typical that folks in Europe use a comma "," as the decimal separator, it is possible that the internal code of Lasershow Converter MAX would misunderstand the number, and this would cause low quality rendering. Please contact pangolin to receive the latest release of Lasershow Converter MAX -- version 4.08.

    In the mean time, if you want to continue to use the version of Lasershow Converter MAX that you have now, you will get better results if you change your Regional settings to "English (United States)".

    Best regards,

    William Benner

    PS: If you use splines a lot of the time, please contact Pangolin to receive a BETA version that renders splines in a different way. The new technique is much faster and simultaneously results in higher quality.
  2. Selivandr

    Selivandr Member

    Hi, William!
    I tried new 4.10 release. And it turned out that if spline thickness is 0, than 3Dmax does not respond. May be it happens only on my machine but it does...
    I made world map with spline. New plugin renders my plain map about 20 times faster than old one. But if I try to wrap this map onto a sphere than renderer works slowly too. And I noticed that if i have my all continents attached as only one spline it works much slowly than if I have every continent as single spline. Is it the right way things have to be?
  3. Pangolin

    Pangolin Staff Member

    Hi Selivandr,

    I can't answer any of these questions. The 4.10 release is considered BETA software. I think you, and one other person is using it, and therefore it has zero milage. So it would not surprise me if there was a problem or two...

    Note that in all cases, I can not solve these problems given words in a forum alone... I need a couple of things.

    First, I need direct emails, not forum comments. I hardly ever look at this forum, so for fastest service you must send an email.

    Second, I need MAX files that illustrate the problem. I can not make up the examples you are talking about, so I need your files in order to find and fix the problems.

    Please contact me directly by email, and send any relevant MAX files.

    Best regards,

    William Benner
  4. Pangolin

    Pangolin Staff Member

    Hi All,

    Selivandr has sent me some very helpful files. He was correct. There was a problem with zero-thickness splines. Some versions of MAX do not even allow for zero-thickness splines, so this problem was not discovered before being reported by Selivandr. (I hate it when Discreet/Autodesk keeps changing the internal rules of MAX...)

    With respect to his comments about the spline rendering taking much longer after being wrapped onto a sphere, after looking at the examples provided by Selivandr, I discovered that he had not set the "Interpolation / Steps" in MAX consistently. He used a much higher number in the case of the "wrapped" splines, and this is what increased the render time. Also, Selivandr included a NURBS sphere with relatively high polygon count. The splines had to be hidden-line-tested against this sphere, which also increased render time. Reducing the number of polygons in the sphere did not degrade visual results, but did drastically reduce the render time.

    This is a prime example of how files sent by a client are very helpful in determining a problem, both for us and for our clients. As a result of Selivandr supplying the files, we were able to improve our plug-in, and also update information in the help file to help inform other clients of ways to increase quality and render speed.

    The latest version of Lasershow Converter MAX is now 4.12, and it includes the fast spline rendering as well as other improvements in quality and speed. Also, I haven