Thanks for the kind words and the useful feedback, I'm really glad you're enjoying our software. I've tried to break down your questions and requests as follows:Using a RC objects as a segment in a second RC object
This is something we'd really like to add to RailClone. At the moment as you know you can nest one RailClone object inside another, but there's not a way for them to share parameters. We're investigating the possibility of wiring a generator's output to another generators input as shown in your mock ups, but this will require some substantial changes to the plugin. In the meantime I've attached a file called ceiling.max
that may achieve some of what you are trying to achieve in the ceiling style using a single A2S generator. There are two versions, one uses Sequence
operators to add the lights to the Y Evenly rows
, the second more complex example uses expressions
to add lights to the X Evenly rows
. There will be a windows tutorial released next week that covers many of the techniques used in the this file, but feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
You might also be interested in our ceiling tutorial
which covers using the Sequence operators to create a suspended ceiling. Generator Switcher setup
If you want to switch between different generators you can do this by exporting a generator's On/Off
property and wiring it to a Numeric
node so it can be controlled from the Modify
panel. Using an expression with an if
Function you can selectively turn generators on and off when the exported number equals a specified value. The set up for this is shown below where the constant value is the number that the numeric node needs to match to turn the generator on.
I've attached the sample file selectingGenerators.max
to illustrate the approach. Distributing Lights and other non geometric objects
Unfortunately due to a limitation of the max SDK, RailClone can only generate geometry. We're looking into workarounds but there's not a simple solution. In the meantime one possibility might be to convert a RailClone object to instances using RailClone Tools and then use Max's Clone and Align tool (or another script) to place lights using the instances as a reference. You might also be able to create a script that places the lights on face centres of a given material ID, but I haven't noticed one yet that's publicly available. Scale between two surfaces
Thanks for the suggestion, we have many ideas for new generators and I'll add this to the wishlist. To a certain extent it's already possible to cheat this effect using the same technique as illustrated in our Bridges
tutorial and also as seen in this forum
post. Both these examples show scaling between splines but attached is a file called scale_between_surfaces.max
that shows how this can be done between a spline and a surface, and between 2 surfaces. Grouping nodes with ability to minimise and maximise the group for clarity
This is a good idea, in fact it's already on our roadmap for a future release Support grouped objects
We're looking into this too Element Mode
Though there isn't a tree editor mode we do include RailClone tools
that allows you to convert an object to instances that can then be manipulated individually. I'll talk to our development team about an elements mode but due to the way in which RC manipulates meshes it may be technically very difficult.
I hope that helps. Please let me know if I've missed anything or if something is not clear.
All the best,