Thursday, January 26, 2006

Murphy's Law

I have a new harddrive in my computer now. I just have to reinstall Visual C++ and 3dsmax. But guess what. CD Number 2 of my Visual C++ install package has a CRC - Failure. Now it will take some time until I can continue. Murphy's Law par excellence.

But I have some more links where people tested the plugin:

Anders Steensgard also did some tests:

But still there are only tests. Nobody did a "real" scene yet.
I have solve the problem with the broken install CD first.

Happy Rendering,


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Welcome to my Blog


I'm using this place to inform about the status of my sparetime development projects. Actual project is a plugin to render implicit surfaces with 3dsmax ( and vray ( It's inspired by the work from a german post house called CA Scanline ( They developed a plugin to render corals for a underwater sequence. I first read about this in the Chaos Group News (
I'm coding this as a spare time project. Therefore progress is slow and it's hard to stay motivated. Having a place to celebrate every tiny step could help:).
I had a crash of the internal hard disk of my computer last week and it will take some time until I have the development environment running again. I thought I could use this break to set up this blog. Don't know much about blogs, but perhaps this will be a good place for those who are already testing the first versions.
I had a first version of the plugin that at least rendered ISO surfaces defined by 3D texture and a blobmesh. First results were like this:

But still much too slow to be of use. To speed up things I had the idea of using a basic grid structure to cache regions where the surface lies.
Nothing fancy like a BSP-tree, only a regular grid for now. I have outlined the general idea some months ago in a small pdf ( ). The results were better. I got a lot of emails from people who were interested in this stuff and who pointed me to similar works. This way I got in contact with Christopher Batty and Ben Houston who worked on something similar for frantic films. ( They explained to me how I can get a better conversion from polygons to Isosurfaces that are defined by a voxelgrid ( aka levelset ). Also they had a way of compression this levelset with a clever RLE compression called HRLE. (
I'm currently implementing this. First results with this:

So that's it for a start.

Happy Rendering


Keywords: levelset, implicit surface, Isosurface, VRay, 3dsmax, raytracing