[Plugin Announcement] SurfaceSPREAD

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  07 July 2009
[Plugin Announcement] SurfaceSPREAD


today proudly announce my new plugin SurfaceSPREAD, the second plugin of the SPREAD family.

What is SurfaceSPREAD?
It's a plugin specialized on the creation of landscape scenes in CINEMA 4D. The plugin has already been demonstrated on some images, including my works Lagoon and Autumn Road (3D World Magazine's Image of the Month, July 2009).

SurfaceSPREAD contains several componente which I will introduce now...
This is only a quick overview, it does not cover all features.

SurfaceSPREAD Object
This object distributes object clones on surfaces and was specifically designed for natural distribution. It goes into a whole different direction than all other cloner objects you know.

Using a special weighting system, the distribution of clones is influenced with an array of filters, which can all be combined with each other. There are geological filters that control the distribution according to the surface's topology like altitude and slope. Other filters manipulate the distribution by means of fractal functions, producing a natural looking variance of the clones' density; or they prevent clones from appearing too near to each other, effectively avoiding unwanted intersections of clones. Others use control objects to influence the distribution on a local basis, making it easy to create clearances in forests. Of course, there are also filters for standard functionalities like constraining clones to a polygon selection or controlling their density using vertex maps or materials.

In addition to this there are filters called Performance Filters, which reduce memory usage and render preparation times or a scene. For example you can eliminate clones that are located behind mountains, or outside the camera's view cone, or you can decrease the distributin density with increasing distance from the camera.

Of course, clones can be aligned using versatile funtions. Apart from static alignment and target alignment, you can also align the clones to polygon or phong normals while being able to mix that alignment seamlessly with any direction you want.

Last but not least there are several effects to change the way the created clones look like, e.g. random alignment or random scaling (optionally with hard random values or using a scalable noise field). Clones can even be scaled depending from the filter system.

SPREADscape Object
This object is an alternative landscape object which offers a lot more possibilities than the standard landscape object of CINEMA 4D.

A terrain is build from up to 7 layers. Each layer can consist of one of several fractal functions (create cool looking terrains with lightning-speed), a spline (allowing you to interactively sculpt river beds, road fundaments or mountain chains), or a material (making it possible to use almost any channel shader or bitmap textures, as well as combinations of both). All these layers can be combined with each other using different mix functions (e.g. Add, Multiply, Highest, Lowest).

A shaping curve makes it easy to apply a shaping to the generated landscape. The curve can be manually edited, but there are also several preset curves available (including glacialization, canonization, dunes, plateau, terraces, etc).

SPREADscape is very fast and generates impressive terrains with several layers and a million polygons in mostly less then 10 seconds.

SPREADrock Object
A simple parametric rock object, utilizing different fractal functions to generate a rock or stone. With animated parameters, it can also be used for other nice effects.

SurfaceSPREAD Shader
This channel shader applies a color to each clone, depending from data calculated by the SurfaceSPREAD Object, or using a random or noise function. The available colors are simply defined in a gradient. This way, even a single cloned tree can be used for a colorful autumn forest. Of course, the shader also works with Vray Proxy objects!

Distribution Override Tag
This tag can be attached to the objects that you want to clone and is able to override any distribution setting defined in the SurfaceSPREAD Object. This way you can apply different distribution to e.g. rocks and trees while still using only one SurfaceSPREAD Object. Not only a time-saver but also a good workflow improvement.

Wire Object
A simple but helpful object that creates a spline along any number of child objects. Can be utilized for easy-to-use spline sculpting in the SPREADscape Object. You can also use it in conjunction with the SurfaceSPREAD Object and have instant spaghetti, hair balls or cable tangle. Of course, you can also just use it in your everyday modelling and animation work, e.g. to create a spline that can be animated without the restrictions of PLA animation.

SurfaceSPREAD Library
Thanks to the partnership of www.c4d-jack.de and 3dplants.com, all SurfaceSPREAD customers get access to the SurfaceSPREAD library. This is a library for the CINEMA 4D Content Browser and contains a multitude of flowers, bushes, cacti, palm trees and other plants. All UVW textured and ready to use. License includes private and commercial usage rights.

Enough talking. Take a look at the website, it's worth the click!

If you want to have another short overview of the most important components, and watch some videos, just click the "tour" link on top of the page. If you want to know everything in detail, you can already get the User's Manual (60 pages, PDF) from the download section.

>> SurfaceSPREAD Website >>

SurfaceSPREAD is going to be released very soon!
The price per license will be 79,90 EUR ($113,41 at the time writing), and there will of course be a demo version to play with.
Using the plugin in NETrender Server or Client is free of charge.
Target systems are Windows (32 Bit and 64 Bit) as well as Intel Macs (32 Bit and 64-Bit); CINEMA 4D R10.1, R10.5 and R11.


Last edited by c4d-jack : 07 July 2009 at 11:28 PM. Reason: Demo ready for download
  07 July 2009
This looks amazing!

Great work.
  07 July 2009
You will have more of my money soon Jack ^ ^ Amazing looking tool! Great worK!
M dot Strange
Independent CG Filmmaker & Game Developer
M dot Strange dot CoM
  07 July 2009
This looks really great! Sort of like a Landscape Module for C4D. How does SurfaceSPREAD handle large, vast forests with many different trees and plants? I'm hoping that this will be a good alternative to Vue. Great price as well.

When will this be available to download?
  07 July 2009
You can throw as many child objects as you want into the SurfaceSPREAD Object.
They will all be cloned. So you can have as many different trees (and again color them all different using the SurfaceSPREAD Shader) as you desire.
The plugin even allows to bias the selection of objects to be cloned, so you can put rocks and trees in there and control if you want more rocks or more trees.

The only limit is your memory ;-)

The plugin works in 32 Bit (I also only have 32 Bit Windows installed) but 64 Bit, or a rendering engine with "real" instancing is recommended.


Last edited by c4d-jack : 07 July 2009 at 11:50 PM.
  07 July 2009

Originally Posted by SilverCity: This looks really great! Sort of like a Landscape Module for C4D.

Yes, it started as a little cloner object with some extra functions for landscapes. But as time passed by, it evolved into something much bigger. I'm quite happy how it turned out.

Almost 7 months of work, at least 50 liters of coffee, uncountable cigarettes, some minor quarrels in marriage, many nights without sleep, more than 12000 lines of code, 2 broken keyboards and one broken mouse... but it was worth it

Originally Posted by SilverCity: When will this be available to download?

Very soon. Working on the final MAC builds right now, and some minor things to improve on the product website. But to tell a precise date is always misfortunate (think of the many developers who have to move their announced release data again and again, or think of those guys putting up a countdown on their website and nothing happens when it has finished counting).

It's done when it's done, and that will be very soon ;-)

  07 July 2009
If this is out before the August 14th, you will have answered my prayers.
I'll never have to and I never want to deal with Vue again.

Make it happen dude and good luck with sales, this is an awesome addition to Cinema 4d.
  07 July 2009
as long as it works in 64bit cinema, youll have my money ( for both your plugins! )

its great that you made generalized tool set that will work outside the bounds what you created them for.

quick question. are we able to paint objects onto the surface or do we only get manual placement ( painting like in vue ) available as well? ( i dont remember seeing it in the list of things ).

i love stuff like this!. ive been meaning to buy vue, but i hate its instability, so having this work within cinema would be killer.

i also love the fact that your shader works with vray. that was another thing ive been considering getting, so having that flexibility would be wicked.

keep it up man and you'll see a bunch of my money running your way very soon.

im currently using cinema at work and its been proving like a very capable application. these tools will surely aid me big time.. i think i might even get the camera tools now.

cheers and thanks guy!.

Last edited by ambient-whisper : 07 July 2009 at 01:58 AM.
  07 July 2009
One more question. I noticed that you used VRay to render both "Lagoon" (also w/ VRay Proxy objects) and "Autumn Road". Have you tried to render both using only C4D? How do the render times and quality compare to the VRay version?
  07 July 2009
Thumbs up

Wow, this is amazing! Always thought that C4D was lacking greatly in surface modeling tools. This is definitely going to be worth buying.
"I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by."
Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)
  07 July 2009
The wire object has me sold.
  07 July 2009
the plugin looks amazing easy for creating landscapes. lookin forward to play with it+vray proxies. do u need mograph for it? you wont be sorry buyin scoobycam ambient whisper..i use it for each and every animation.

  07 July 2009
Great stuff man! Congratulations and keep it on. It's really worth it.
ROBO Design - We bring you the future
  07 July 2009
Hi, look's like a "must have plugin", really nice, is there, or is it going to have
a random rotation on the clones ?

Mats Lindgren.
  07 July 2009

Originally Posted by ThePriest: If this is out before the August 14th, you will have answered my prayers.
I'll never have to and I never want to deal with Vue again.

I guess it is very likely likely to be release before the August 14th ;-)

Originally Posted by ambient-whisper: as long as it works in 64bit cinema

Of course it does. A landscape plugin without 64 Bit support would be like a door without handle.

Originally Posted by ambient-whisper: are we able to paint objects onto the surface or do we only get manual placement

Not exactly. For painting objects on a surface manually there already is a great plugin (PaintOnSurface). SurfaceSPREAD is all for automation while providing great control over the result. But of course, you could e.g. use the C4D Weight Tool + SurfaceSPREAD's Vertex Map Filter to kinda 'paint' the clones.

Originally Posted by ambient-whisper: i think i might even get the camera tools now.

You're very very welcome ^_^

Originally Posted by SilverCity: One more question. I noticed that you used VRay to render both "Lagoon" (also w/ VRay Proxy objects) and "Autumn Road". Have you tried to render both using only C4D? How do the render times and quality compare to the VRay version?

Since both scenes have like 30 million polygons, I am not able to render them on a 32 Bit system with AdvancedRender. I should make another try to get Win64 installed correctly (always got driver problems, so I put Win32 on, again).

Originally Posted by MAN0: do u need mograph for it?

No, it does not require any modules to be installed ;-)

Originally Posted by lindgren: Hi, look's like a "must have plugin", really nice, is there, or is it going to have a random rotation on the clones ?

Of course, it will have random rotation on the clones.

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