FAQs

GroundWiz plug-in for 3ds Max:

To see answers to some issues on GroundWiz, please check the online version of GroundWiz manual for the latest update:
For GroundWiz Procedural Terrain Map, click here.
For GroundWiz Planter, click here.
For GroundWiz Terrain Importing, click here.

Q: What's the difference between GroundWiz RTS (Real-Time Shaders) and GroundWiz plug-in?
GroundWiz RTS (Real-Time Shaders) is a set of procedural shaders for rendering nature in real-time applications. Users are supposed to integrate shaders into their own rendering code/engine.
GroundWiz plug-in is a content creation tool for 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design for making nature scenes as a part of 3ds Max workflow process. It is possible to export GroundWiz plug-in data to GroundWiz RTS for use in real-time applications.
Q: Does GroundWiz Planter support V-Ray proxy objects?
GroundWiz Planter supports V-Ray proxy objects and many other 3rd party objects (such as SpeedTree objects) through the use of 'Instancing Object shader'. This shader allows V-Ray users to use V-Ray Proxies for planted objects. This way it is possible to plant tens of thousands of highly detailed trees and render billions of triangles. Since version 1.500, 'Instancing Object shader' is also used to render ArchVision RPC and mr Proxy objects.
Q: How many plants can GroundWiz Planter handle / render?
Planter can handle 10 million and more plants at interactive working speed. When those plants are to be rendered, each rendering engine might have different limitations on the number of triangles and objects that it can process. For that reason, 3 shaders were created.
The following limitations apply to 32 bit 3ds Max versions:
Merging shader will allow approximately 10 million triangles in the view to be rendered and Mental ray shader version 2 can render 200 to 300 million triangles (depending on the renderer settings) while 'Instancing Shader' allows programs like V-Ray to render even a couple of billions of triangles by using V-Ray Proxies. When using 'Instancing Shader', there is, however, much more limit on the number of plants that can be planted. Read more about it here. With 64 bit 3ds Max versions memory limits are more relaxed. However, the basic rule still applies : the more you render, the longer it will take.
Q: What versions of 3ds Max and VIZ does GroundWiz support?
Since version 1.600, GroundWiz supports 3ds Max versions 7, 8, 9 and 3ds Max 2008, 3ds Max 2009, 3ds Max 2010 and also VIZ 2007, VIZ 2008 (GroundWiz does not support 3ds Max 6 and VIZ 2005, VIZ 2006 any longer since version 1.500). It will also work with all the mental ray versions supported by the previously mentioned applications.
In case of certain versions of 3ds Max/VIZ, to see GroundWiz map in material/map browser, make sure you select 'Compatible With Renderer' check box.
Q: Can GroundWiz be used to create 2D Texture with 'Render to Texture' (can it be used for texture baking)?
Sure.
Q: What renderers does GroundWiz work with?
GroundWiz has been successfully used with the following renderers :
V-Ray, Default Scanline renderer, Brazil, and FinalRender Stage-1.
GroundWiz mental ray Shader
Q: How many licenses of GroundWiz do I have to buy if my computer has 2 CPUs?
You should buy a license for each computer and not for each CPU.
Q: I cannot use the download/credit card option. Is there any other way to order the plug-in directly?
Yes. Other than credit card payment option, international wire transfer or cheque/check is accepted. Contact us for more details.
Q: There is no internet connection on the computer where I'd like to install GroundWiz. Would it be possible to authorize/activate the product without      getting online?
Sure. You don't need to have your computer connected to the Internet to use GroundWiz. Internet connection from any computer to download the software is all you need.
Q: Can GroundWiz be used with 'Advanced lighting'?
Probably. Radiosity and 'Light Tracer' have been successfully used.
Q: What system units can I use when working with GroundWiz?
All system units are ok with GroundWiz: inches, meters, feet, centimeters... GroundWiz will internally convert values to its own units. Also when you are merging files with different system units, parameters will be automatically rescaled. However, it is best to stick to real life dimensions. If that isn't possible, you might need to tune some parameters a bit more (ex. Noise Size). But in general it should be possible to work with any scale of objects.
Q: Sometimes scene ('.max') file becomes much bigger after applying GroundWiz. Why is that?
GroundWiz preview system stores a lot of data for its previews specially when layers are using images or other standard 3ds Max maps. To remove preview data and reduce file size, go to Preview panel and click 'Reset' button. Stored previews will be deleted and GroundWiz map will take minimal disk space.
Q: What are the differences between GroundWiz Lite and GroundWiz Full version?
GroundWiz Lite is free for personal non-commercial use but has following limitations:
GroundWiz Terrain Map - maximum 5 layers can be rendered at the same time / texture maps cannot be used with diffuse color, displacement map or extended channels / MR renderer has size limit of 800x600.
GroundWiz Planter - maximum 2 different plants are allowed (no matter if it's one or 2 planters) / maximum 2 different LODs are allowed / no detaching as mesh or instance / no collision options (self collision and collision with other objects).
GroundWiz Variation Map: Maximum 4 variation map slots can be used.
Q: Sometimes when doing 'Grab' for the preview, I get the following message: "Preview didn't detect any screen pixels that would belong to the current      GroundWiz material. Operation aborted." What does it mean?
Most likely the GroundWiz map you are using isn't applied to any object that is visible through the current grab view in the scene. Check if the object has GroundWiz applied. It is probably using different material with different GroundWiz map.
Q: When rendering a scene with V-Ray, objects far away don't appear although they are shown in the viewport.
If 3ds Max / VIZ units used are very small (ex. millimeters) and ranges handled are too big (scene distance values go into millions) then V-Ray might have problems rendering Planter objects. In that case, V-Ray log window will display warning message: 'scene bounding box is too large possible raycast error...'. The solution is to rescale the world to some smaller size and/or switch units to something more manageable like feet or meters.
Q: Why aren't bumps visible in preview?
Preview was made to be an interactive tool. Therefore we decided to cache lighting (calculate it only once). Since bumps modify surface normals and therefore affect surface lighting, we chose to ignore bump contribution to the lighting in the preview. However, even in the preview, bumps are calculated and that can affect children layer distribution (positioning) if slope or direction limits are used.
Q: Why doesn't my Terragen world look same when imported to 3ds Max?
GroundWiz tries to convert and approximate the look of Terragen surfaces with its own layers as closely as possible. However, in some cases, imported layers might end up looking quite different.
Very important aspects of the final look are also lighting and atmospheric effects Terragen and 3ds Max use and those are not compatible either.
Q: If I download a newer version of GroundWiz, will the look of the terrain stay same - especially random features?
When new features are added, we will try hard not to do anything that would change the look of older scenes. If, however, that isn't possible, we will inform you and suggest some workaround.

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