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Author Topic: RailClone 4 Beta is out now !  (Read 4948 times)


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RailClone 4 Beta is out now !
« on: July 03, 2019, 09:26:46 AM »
Note 1: Beta versions include new features and fixes, but a beta version is NOT the final version of the product and therefore we don't guarantee there won't be errors that may disrupt the computer's operation and/or result in data loss. Always use it at your own risk.

Note 2: RailClone 4 requires an updated license. The License Manager will update the license automatically while the installation process. If not, please check your license using the License Manager and complete the activation procedure as usual.
For Network licenses, it requires also an updated version of the License Server (1.4 or above). You can download it from the User Panel->Beta versions, together with the plugin.

Note 3: Please note that due to significant changes to the core, random values in RC4 are different from RC3, you may get different results from scenes rendered using RC3.
This Migrating to 4.x guide also will help you to understand the changes between RC3 and RC4, and adapt your styles if needed.

We’re pleased to announce that an open beta of RailClone 4 is out now, available to all users with an active maintenance plan. Here are ten good reasons to give the new version a try:

  • Use Segment Materials

    Use materials applied directly from the source geometry. No more manually creating complex multi-sub object materials, great when using RailClone as a layout tool or using it with stock models. 

  • Nested Generators

    Dramatically simplify graphs by nesting one generator as a segment inside another, while opening up exciting new possibilities for what’s possible with RailClone!

  • Viewport Instancing

    RailClone already has unparalleled instancing power at render time, but it’s now possible to enable viewport instancing to preview hundreds of millions of polygons directly in the 3ds Max viewport.

  • Spline Modifier

    Precisely place geometry on paths using the new Spline Modifier. Each marker can contain rich information that can be used to control many parameters of a graph.

  • Automatic Capping

    Automatically cap clipped objects to make it easier than ever to create a seamless object. Capped faces are UVed using real world mapping coordinates so you can easily apply materials to the new geometry.

  • New Group Mode

    Ever wished the compose operator behaves more like 3ds Max’s Groups? Well now it does. The Compose operator’s output is now calculated as a single object with a bounding box that encompasses its entire size.

  • Faster and more optimised

    RailClone 4 introduces huge improvements in instancing efficiency when using shared segments or linked styles by including a global cache for all RC objects in the scene.

  • HiDPI support

    The style editor has been extensively re-written and upgraded to QT5 to support high resolution monitors.

  • More Logical Transform nodes

    In previous version of RailClone the order of transform nodes had no effect, in RailClone 4 we’ve made this much more intuitive so that the order of Transform nodes is now taken into consideration when applying a rotation, translation, or scale operation.

  • Improved usability

    As well as HiDPI support, the style editor has also gained many usability improvements including the ability to insert a node on a wire, automatic rewiring on deletion, grid view and snap, the ability to select and delete unused nodes and much more.

  • OK, ten reasons isn't enough...'s a few more. Many smaller improvements make working with RailClone even easier, including: two scale padding options, a new statistics window, changes to the selector operator, X axis offset, a new random by generator mode, expressions improvements and even more!

Blimey! If you want to give it a try, it’s available right now from your User Panel->Beta versions. Please report any bugs, or simply let us know what you think on the beta forum.

To find see everything that's included, read on for the full release notes.

Release Notes

Note: RC4 requires 3DS Max 2013 and VRay 3.7 or later. Earlier versions are no longer supported.

New Features
  • Added Style->"Use Segment Material".
    - When enabled, RailClone uses the materials applied to the source geometry, instead of its own material.
    - Currently this feature is available only for V-Ray and Arnold Renderer or if you convert to standard geometry using RailClone Tools. Other render engines can add support using our updated API.
    - For embedded Segments (those not linked to a scene's object), a copy of the latest material used by the object is stored internally.
    - To modify the material of an "embedded" Segment, it's necessary to export it to a scene object from the Style Editor, and pick the material from it.
    - Materials are applied only at render time . The viewport still uses the material assigned directly to the RC object.
  • Added a new spline modifier: RC Spline. It allows you to add markers directly to the spline that include several properties to position and control segments.
    - Markers: defines custom positions in the path, without needed to add more vertices. They do not affect the shape of the path.
    - The position can be specified by a percentage or an absolute distance.
    - Markers can be defined relative to the spline's start, end or using a specific vertex number.
    - You can choose the type of vertex for checking (Any, Corner, Bezier or Bezier-Corner).
    - Distance and Percentage accept negative values.
    - When using Percentage with a specific vertex type, the distance is measured until the next or previous vertex of the same type.
    - Each marker includes two custom data fields: an integer ID, and three float values (X/Y/Z).
    - It's possible to add multiples "RC Spline" modifiers to a spline.
    - In Generators, marker segments are used with a new slot ("Marker"). From the "Rules" tab, markers can be filtered by ID, or by specifying a modifier index.
    - Markers can be adjusted manually (select, move, delete, etc), at  sub-object level.
    - Multiple markers can be created by clicking on the spline using the Create multiple markers button.
    - You can use the same data from the selected marker by enabling "Copy Data for new markers" .
    - User ID and float values can be used on Expressions with the attributes "XMarkerID" (integer) and "XMarkerData" (vector). The same is true for Y Splines.
  • Added Nested Generators. This allows you to use the output of a generator as a segment in another generator or even in multiple other generators.
    - Expressions can use attributes from nested generators, in the following way: GeneratorName.Attribute
    - The Generator’s name must be normalized to be used in the expression (non-ascii characters, cannot start with digits, etc).
    - You can select all attributes available for a specific operator in the "Attribute" panel, with generator names already normalized.
    - If a Generator is renamed, user is responsible to update the expression. Same for using unique names in Generators.
    - In case of duplicated Generator names, RC uses the nearest node to the Arithmetic operator.
    - The pivot of the nested generator is always at world origin - if the RailClone object is not at world origin the pivot may be offset some distance from the resultant object. You only need to worry about this if you are changing the Alignment mode of the nested generator to Pivot using an intermediary Transform operator.
  • Added Generator->Cap Holes.
    - With Clipping splines it's not possible to modify the UVW mapping of the capped faces.
    - For this reason, these faces are mapped always using a Box Mapping with "Real World Map Size".
    - To get the same mapping in all faces, we suggest to use this type of mapping for your Segments (i.e. enabling Segment->Deform->Mapping->Real World).
  • Added a new Display Mode called "Quick Mesh". This mode is similar to Mesh, but more efficient as it draws instanced segments in the viewport.
    - To work, the active render engine must also support native instancing with RailClone.
    - Several features are not visible on viewport such as the Material operator, UVW Segment Mapping modes, UVW XForm operator etc.
    - If the scene does not meet any requirements, it works exactly the same as Mesh mode.
    - Performance is better the more segments can be instanced. You can check the number of instanced segments using General->Stats.
  • Added a cache for evaluation of Nodes.
    - Each Node in the Style is evaluated only when needed, reusing the result if a node doesn't change.
    - This may improve the performance of complex styles, specially if nested generators are used.
  • Compose->Group was redone from scratch. Now composed items are handled in a similar way to Max groups.
    - The size of a Composed Group is the bounding box of all segments enclosed in it.
    - To keep the position within the group, the alignment of all segments is forced to "Pivot" mode.
    - You can modify the behaviour of a group by adding a Transform node after the Compose operator.
    - Due to this change, segments Composed using Group mode in RailClone 3 may not convert well to RailClone 4. To fix this, add a transform operator after the Compose node and set the alignment for all axes to Pivot.
  • Style Editor changes
    - Nodes can be inserted on a wire dragging by the icon over it.
    - Automatic rewiring when a node is deleted.
    - Added "Insert on Wire" to the contextual menu, to insert a node on a link. (This option is visible only when there is a single wire selected.)
    - Added grid view and snap. Use Options->"Grid Setup" to configure.
    - Added "Select Children" to the node's contextual menu.
    - Added Edit->"Select Unused". Select unconnected nodes and their children, which are not used in the Style.
    - New nodes added to the Style receive unique names.
    - Optimized nodes graph evaluation. ( Modifications on non-connected nodes don't trigger a rebuild of the RC object. The same is true for changes to Note nodes.
    - Added prefix number to the slots of Selector node.
    - The macros tree is now collapsed by default.
  • New General->Statistics window with detailed data, information about each Generator and separate information for Viewport and Render.
  • Support for all new RailClone 4 features is added to the Rendering API.
  • Improved stability for V-Ray IPR.
  • The Selector operator has new modes that make it easier to use spline attributes to choose geometry, they include: X Spline Next Material ID, Y Spline Material ID, Y Spline Next Material ID, X Spline Marker ID and Y Spline Marker ID.
  • Huge improvement in instancing efficiency when using shared segments or linked styles.
    - In RC3, each RailClone object kept its own copy of segments, but in RC4 the cache is global for all RC objects.
    - This lets to the render engine to create a unique copy of each Segment, for all RC objects.
  • Added support for 4K displays in the Style Editor.
  • Style->"Operate on Tri/Quad" is removed. Now geometry is computed always as quads.
  • Transformations now works as if the Segment's Pivot is translated and rotated with the Segment.
    - Note: to keep compatibility with existing scenes, the new Transform bevaviour is applied only to new RC objects.
    - If you want to "upgrade" your RC object so it works as created with RC4, select it and run from Maxscript: $.railclone.resetCreatedVersion()
  • The Transform operator now applies scaling before rotation, to avoid skewing.
  • A new parameter allows the user to offset generators on the X Axis.
  • RailClone Tools->"Separated Meshes" is on by default.
  • Improved performance in Styles using Segments with exported parameters. Now Segments are updated only when parameters change.
  • Added new mode to Random node: generate on "Generator".
  • Generator->Y Size can now be randomized attaching it to a Random node.
  • Expressions have several improvements.
  • "XSplineMatID" can now be used in expressions to control the Y Size of a nested generator
  • Added "XSectionNextLength" and "YSectionNextLength" to Expressions. It returns the length of the next spline's section
  • Added Generator->Rules->Default->"Scale Padding". When enabled, padding is scaled on Scale/Count/Adaptive modes. If not, padding is constant.
  • Macros library folder now can be defined using an environment variable (It has the same effect as [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Itoo Software\RailClone Pro\MacroDir], but accepts a unique path entry.
  • Improved detection of circular references. Circular references between nodes are not allowed. This situation displays an error in the Style rollup.
  • The behaviour of "Free Object" mode with A2S Generators and "Extend to XY Size" enabled has been improved. Now the clipping area is aligned to the origin of the RC object, and doesn't change when area moves.
  • For Floating Licenses, a license is now released on Max Reset.
  • Support for V-Ray 3.7.
  • Fixed: alignment issue using "Free Mode", and Linear and Array generators in a same style.
  • Fixed: Float parameters now accept more than two decimals.
  • Fixed error in contextual menu after uninstallation.
  • Fixed bug when Evenly positions are coincident with a spline's vertex.
  • Fixed: if Expression Editor is closed with 'Cancel', RC object is not updated with previous expression.
  • Fixed: Z Offset is not applied to Point-Cloud when using Vertical/Stepped modes
  • Fixed: Random node on "X spline Start" mode generates different RND for different segments on arrays.
  • Fixed: cleared Segments reappear after modifying its parameters.
  • Fixed: Style Description is empty if Style Editor was not yet loaded.
  • Fixed: A2S Generator ignores the parameters of the Spline Object (as Steps/Optimize).
  • Fixed precision issues when segments are placed exactly on spline vertices.
  • Fixed issue with Bevel Corner on closed splines.
  • Fixed gaps in A2S array using Scale mode and Bevel Corner.
  • Fixed: missing links when copying macros between different RC objects.
  • Fixed: Display->Adaptive mode may fail if RailClone Listener is open.
  • Fixed: Shortcuts and Toolbars using RailClone actions are not initialized at startup.
  • Fixed: Missing links in copy/paste operations using nodes with exported attributes in the Style Editor.
  • Fixed crash loading nodes using certain Unicode characters.
  • Fixed crash updating Master Style
  • Fixed performance issue when Segment->Nest is enabled, but are not nested objects.
  • "Display->Use DirectX" is removed. Now this feature is always enabled.
  • Fixed bevel issues with Arrays using negative Y Sizes
  • Fixed: Random Node->"Sync between generators" does not work if Seed is exported.
  • Fixed: Spinboxes may get stuck on slow rebuilds.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 09:31:41 AM by iToo »
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software