Particle Flow Discussion


savat thank you so much, that’s what I wanted and you even made a max file, I really appreciate that.

Thanks a LOT :slight_smile:


just one more thing :slight_smile:

Is there a way to make it easy in and out?

Thanks again!


As some of you might have noticed already the PFlow Toolbox2 will now be added to Max for Subscription members:

So Box2 is free now for annual members :slight_smile: Thats the good news, the BAAAD news is that Box3 will be only available to Suite owners (i don’t know ANYBODY that is!) in the future.

If you just got Box2 through the subscription update check out my training material for Box2 here and here lots of free stuff here



Does that mean that Box #2 will be part of the regular 3ds Max 14 Release?


It is highly likely! In the past the extensions for subscription members rolled into the next release (CAT, etc.)


I was really excited about this, but it seems currently you can only get it if you are a subscription member + have one of those suites. I dont think buying a suite is going to happen at my place.


Same here, nobody is gonna buy a suite for just box3!

BUT what a subscription extension usually means is that it will roll into the regular max in the next release! Happened in the past with CAT, etc. So be faithful. In max2014 you will have box2 on board from the get go i think :slight_smile: Also Oleg is providing installers for legacy customers for now for 2013. It’s not dead just yet! Maybe JohnnyRandom can fill in some gaps here but i think that’s the basic plot of it.



That really is glass half full.

The bare facts are

Box #2 is over 3 years old, and will be getting on for 4 by the time 2014 hits. That’s a long time in tech, and look how far TP has come in the same period.

Considering that Box 3 was released in 2005/06, that will be getting on for 7/8 years by 2014 I can’t imagine much new being turned around in time for 2014.

That’s leaving aside Autodesk moving the goalposts of what subscribers might get, and consequently might be in a base Max in 2014.

I’ve skipped releases before, and it’s time to do it again, or just call it a day and look elsewhere.


@Steve Green

The latest build of Box 3 1.53 and Box#2 Pro 1.07 came out May 22, 2011 . If you are talking about initial releases than TP is 11 yrs old!!! 4X the age of box2 and almost twice the age of box3.

Anyway Oleg sold these products so he could further develop them. As you know plugin developers do not make much money. Not only will Oleg and AD benefit but so will we.



And how much has it really developed since it’s release compared to TP - that’s what I was getting at?

Even Oleg seems fairly down on it.

At the moment it’s only going to benefit those on a Creative Suite package.


That is the gist of it. No new news, yet.

It is much better than the original deal. Although I will stand by what I have said elsewhere, this really felt much like a psych evaluation, testing how far they can push users before they blow. We still have no idea what is happening with the other half of the tool-set. In my opinion the most important half, specifically for the markets that AD seems to want to target, judging by the AE bridging enhancements that would be mograph.

This totally came off like the perfect storm:
[li]announce agreement with Orbaz, users - yay finally![/li][li]announce increase in subscription rates, users - hmmm…[/li][li]announce extension, two cache ops! users - really WTF?![/li][li]announce “new” extensions, users - yay! but what about…[/li][li]announce Box#3 suites only, users - huh?![/li][li]announce we’re (AD) not sure whats happening yet, users - huh?! Hope ?![/li][li]users confabulated, mystified, miffed, confused, bluttered in a state of ism.[/li][/ul]Call it like you see it.


Even Oleg seems fairly down on it.

Please don’t pull it out of the context. The question was (at the Orbaz forum) whether there will be a new demo reel for Box#2/Box#3. The answer was “unlikely”. And the question was before the SIGGRAPH '12 and the collaboration announcement, so I was not at liberty to give any details.

Now, after all the announcements, I can decrypt the “unlikely”. It means that Orbaz is unlikely to create new demo reels for Box#2/Box#3 because now the demo reels are job for Autodesk, and not Orbaz. Orbaz will do what it does the best - develop new features for Box#2 / Box#3.

Oleg B.


somehow… this statement just gave me a jolt of life energy… it was as if I just heard a voice echoing from above… where the dark cloudy particle skies just opened up… and I see a bright ray of light.


First off, I can’t wait to see what you are coming up with Oleg :smiley:

And a quick comment on the TP remarks… And please dont take this as a “This tool is better than that” post. My goal is to hopefully provide an honest, professional opinion to counter what I feel is a mass of mis-information regarding these tools. I have definitely leaned towards PFlow in my career, but only because of the Orbaz plugins…mostly Box3…I find it indispensable. But I am not opposed to using any tool to get the job done quickly and efficiently. That being said, I was quite excited at the announcement for TP5. In fact it had two new features that fit exactly into some needs we had on two separate projects at work and we upgraded to it as soon as it was available. After a week of trying to make the new features work (realize that our facility has long used TP)…we had to give up on it for our projects. The features worked as shown in the feature demonstration videos, but completely lacked the flexibility to achieve the results we needed in production. TP is a very good tool that does some things really, really well, it is NOT however, the glorious, god given, be all end all particle tool that cebas would have us believe. It is widely used and a good product, but it pales considerable compared to the particle tools found in ICE and Houdini. Both of which are current staples in most higher end vfx work. The Box2/Box3 combo is a lot closer to these and I am quite anxious to see where it goes from here. I hate the thought of having to buy an ECS package to get it, but if it is worth it, it will be done.


Mind if I ask which features? I haven’t used tp5 yet (I’ve since moved on to Houdini and love it for most things), but I’m really curious since I have a history of pflow/box3 and TP. …and you’re right, there is no glorious be all end all tool. They all have their pros and cons and I’m pretty sure at least 80% of the time it comes down to what the person is comfortable with or learned on in terms of preference. Never limiting yourself to one choice is always a good idea.


The two features we were after were the rope physics and the car rig. The artists that was after the car rig had worked at Uncharted for 2012 and I guess they had set up a rig system in an older version, but it had some issues that v5 looked to solve (mainly some collision jitter issues). At first v5 made the whole thing a piece of cake, it seemed to work perfectly, then we realized that it could not be built upon as we needed. Adding the additional functionality required adding a second layer of physics and that reintroduced a whole new set of problems. We ended up just using a scripted car rig. As for the rope, I could not get it to properly create a system where I could animate one object (or particle), hang a rope off it and have the other end attached to a particle that acted as cargo on the end of the rope. Once I got the rope created, it would instantly crash if I set it up to animate one end (whether it be as a particle or scene node reference). For that I ended up using Box2. A 30 min setup gave me exactly what I was after. Even let me dynamically pick up the cargo. I was worried that the box2 approach would jitter, but it worked great.

Several of our fx artists only know TP and they use still use it regularly. But there are many instances where it is not the right tool for the job.

I am also migrating myself to Houdini…mainly because so far, it seems to give the power you need to work around nearly any issue as long as you know the way. I am hoping it is a much less limiting tool than what I have been using in the past. However, I really hope that Oleg takes max particles to a whole new level. Where I work now is completely a max facility and trying to integrate additional software brings its own challenges.


Thx for the info. I thought those were the ones too. :slight_smile: I was also there at Uncharted with the old car rig. The new one doesn’t look very different, but I know it uses bullet instead of sc. It def is limited, but still has it’s use. The whole car destruction pipeline there was very complex, we only used the sc rig for a small portion of it anyway – mostly just to give us an initial animation to work that reacted to the buildings and roads being destroyed. All the other fancy stuff was done separately (as you probably already know) with their own rigs, just basing animation off the sc car (that was exported to geo). As for the ropes, yeah I figured the initial release would have bugs. They used Tp4 for the ropes on Final Destination 5’s bridge sequence. The setup is probably similar fashion to how you (i’m guessing) did it in box2, with lots of joints/constraints that create a chain of particles, also worked a charm and is a quick setup. I was able to make rope in tp4 that held up a chunk of bridge and could hand animate and release/explode the connections to the bridge at any time while doing some voronoi frags as well. It was a sweet setup. :slight_smile: I left before I could do any work on the actual show though, so I’m sure the setups got way more involved.

Houdini is great, but IMHO tp is easier to use and is faster for heavy RBD work. Of course Houdini is way more open, and less limiting, but it often requires more set up time and figuring stuff out and such. The best thing is how well integrated all the Houdini stuff is with well… itself. lol There’s no worrying about whether X plugin will work with Y plugin, etc.


Yeah…rdb. seem to be one of tps stronger points. The broad cross tool interaction is the biggest appeal for houdini to me. I hate getting what seems to be a solid solution and have it totally fall apart in one of the shots and have no easy way to fix it without recreating it all over again. The solution is usually easy to seebut the tool just wont hand it over. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway…what fun would our job be without the challenges.


LOL it wouldn’t be :slight_smile:


I did cars with manual jointing and particle based deform, and ropes with jointed particles/skinwrap with TP4 in a recent show, it all worked quite well :slight_smile: