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Gugila releases GroundWiz 1.2 (Terrain Map & Planter)
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GroundWiz - procedural 3d terrain map & mass placement / instancing tool for 3ds max/VIZ- for creating natural 3d environments with ease and precision.

Ljubljana, Slovenia, Europe, May 24, 2006 - Gugila announced today that they have released GroundWiz Full Version 1.2. New features and improvements of GroundWiz provide graphic artists, architects, animators and game developers with control, power and flexibility to create and modify nature/landscape in 3ds max/VIZ with much ease and precision.

The new version introduces GroundWiz Planter, a mass placement & instancing tool for 3ds max/VIZ. Handling millions of instances of 3D objects in 3ds max/VIZ at interactive speed, GroundWiz Planter merges vegetation, rocks and other nature elements and quickly creates realistic interactive scenes of nature/landscape. Planter's main goal is to help artists place and manage a huge number of objects particularly when creating nature scenes. A set of tools was created especially for planting nature elements quickly and efficiently while allowing users to pay attention to details when required.

On the other hand, rendering many objects represents another difficult task for today's rendering systems. For Mental Ray rendering, GroundWiz Native Geometry Shader was created that can render heavy scenes where a huge number of plants are used. With it, hundreds of millions of triangles can be rendered in a single view. GroundWiz Planter's key features include:
  • Optimized to handles a huge number of objects at interactive speed. 3ds max is not good at handling thousands of instances, but GroundWiz Planter allows you to handle millions of objects.
  • Uses GroundWiz Terrain Map layers for mass placement to easily create forests and plant massive areas based on slope of the terrain, altitude, sun direction, etc.
  • Once objects are auto (mass) planted, you can do precise placing of each one. Options include sub-selection, moving, rotating, scaling, detaching and attaching.
  • For detailed planting, Brush mode is available that allows painting plants over the terrain. Brush can be used to add, remove and select many plants (objects) at the same time.
  • Allows placed objects to avoid one another and also standard 3ds max objects: collision avoidance. Collision with 3ds max objects is triangle based and placement density and scale can be controlled based on the distance from those objects.
  • Automatic LOD (level of detail) handling so that far away objects don't waste polygons and rendering speed.
  • Objects can be drawn as normal 3d models or as billboards to reduce number of polygons required.
  • Numerous adjustable standard controls: varying size, orientation, position, etc.
  • When used with Mental Ray, GroundWiz Native Geometry Shader is used that allows hundreds of millions of polygons to be rendered.
Also, the new version of GroundWiz brings new features to GroundWiz Terrain Map, a procedural 3d terrain map that uses fractal algorithms to generate terrain textures and mimic real-life terrain.

Numerous new features should make working with GroundWiz Terrain Map easier and more useful:
  • Mental Ray support.
  • Displacement map support (each layer can have procedurally controlled displacement).
  • Layer channel data - Except for the standard color and bump information, the new version allows each layer to carry other channel data: displacement, specular color, glossiness, reflection. System is flexible to allow users to use channel data in many other ways.
  • GroundWiz map can be shown in viewport by using 'Viewport Texture' option. This allows easier placement of max objects over the textured terrain.
  • Layers can have thickness setup either through bump or displacement controls.
  • Layers can have detail level controlled to create smooth & detailed or lumpy edges.
  • Workflow improvements and bug fixes.

GroundWiz Full version 1.2 is a free update to all licensed users of the software.
GroundWiz Lite 1.2 is a free version with some limitations, for personal non-commercial use. Lite version can be downloaded from http://www.gugila.com/downloads.html.

Price of GroundWiz Full version 1.2 is $180 USD per license and it can be purchased online and immediately downloaded. Other than GroundWiz Full version, network rendering node version is also available at a much lower price.

For additional information about GroundWiz, please visit http://www.gugila.com. ####


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