Stoke MX is an easy-to-use Particle Simulator for 3ds Max designed to simplify and accelerate the creation of high volume particle clouds driven by Velocity Fields (originally available as Stoke MX 1.0). Supported Velocity Field sources include FumeFX simulations and Stoke Velocity Fields, other particle animations from Particle Flow, Thinking Particles or external particle file sequences in PRT or RealFlow BIN formats, 3ds Max Force SpaceWarps etc.
Stoke MX also includes a set for powerful Field Manipulation tools enabling the creation and simulation of new Fields including Velocity Fields, the loading and saving of Field data using industry standard formats, the editing of existing fields and the integration of Field data with 3ds Max sub-systems like Particle Flow, MassFX, mCloth, Hair&Fur, Materials, most renderers, and more.
Stoke MX also includes Genome (previously available as a standalone product). The complete Genome toolset including added support for Stoke Field-related query operations, as well as new Loop nodes for iterative operations over vertices and faces.
Where Does Stoke MX Fit In The Thinkbox Product Family?
- Stoke MX is based on Krakatoa, Magma and Ember core technologies.
- The Stoke Particle Simulator is a valid Krakatoa MX rendering particle source.
- The Stoke Particle Simulator supports all Krakatoa MX PRT objects as "Distribution Sources" to seed dynamic particles based on other particles.
- The Stoke Particle Simulator accepts Krakatoa Magma and Krakatoa Delete modifiers for channel post-processing and particle culling.
- The Stoke Particle Simulator produces PRT file sequences that can be loaded with Krakatoa PRT Loaders.
- The Stoke Particle Simulator particles can be meshed directly using the Frost particle mesher (v1.3.5 or higher).
- All Stoke Fields can be sampled to particles and rendered in Krakatoa or meshed in Frost.
Where Does Stoke MX Fit Inside 3ds Max?
- The Stoke Particle Simulator is a much faster alternative to FumeFX particle advection using Particle Flow and FumeFX Follow.
- The Stoke Particle Simulator can use all native and 3rd party 3ds Max particles to advect new particles and produce higher-resolution simulations.
- Stoke Fields can be used to control Particle Flow simulations via a dedicated Stoke Field Follow operator and can even trigger events using Selection Fields.
- Stoke Fields can be converted to Forces and affect any 3ds Max sub-systems supporting Force SpaceWarps including native and 3rd party particle systems, MassFX, mCloth, Hair&Fur etc.
- Stoke Fields can be converted to 3D procedural texture maps to integrate with all 3ds Max renderers that support the native 3ds Max materials (excluding mental ray and iRay which use their own independent shaders)
- Stoke Fields can be rendered directly in all 3ds Max renderers that support the 3ds Max Atmospheric effects sub-system using a dedicated Stoke Atmospheric Effect. These renderers include Default Scanline and V-Ray. (mental ray and iRay are not supported due to their incompatible shading system)
Stoke MX 2.0 Features
- Stoke MX can create particles from one or more geometry objects by seeding random points on their surfaces.
- Stoke MX can also emit particles from mesh Vertices or Edges, optionally respecting the Vertex Soft-Selection.
- Stoke MX can emit directly from mesh Volumes. This is similar to the PFlow Position Object in Volume mode, but many times faster and based on the same approach as the Krakatoa PRT Volume object.
- Stoke MX can create new particles from existing particles in Krakatoa PRT objects including PRT Loaders, PRT Volumes, PRT Surfaces, PRT Makers, PRT Hairs and so on.
- Stoke MX also supports direct emission from 3ds Max Particle Systems including Particle Flow and Thinking Particles without intermediate saving.
- Using the existing family of PRT objects shipping with Krakatoa, Stoke MX can indirectly emit from Mesh Volumes, Mesh Surfaces, Splines, Max Hair, HairFarm and Ornatrix hair splines, PRT Maker fractals and procedural particle desitributions, FumeFX Fire and Smoke and even 3rd party external sources thanks to the PRT Source object.
- Particles saved to PRT, BIN or CSV file format and loaded by a PRT Loader can also be used as Stoke seeds.
- The Birth settings allow the creation of particles within a specified time interval.
- Any number of Distribution Source objects can be specified .
- The Birth Rate can be specified per Distribution Source as absolute values per Frame, as total Rate for the whole simulation using the per-object values to define the distribution ratios, the Total Rate can be split equally between the active sources, or it can be used as absolute value for every object.
- Both the global Rate and the per-object Rates can be keyframed to change over time.
Velocity Field Sources
- Stoke MX supports 3ds Max Force SpaceWarps as Velocity Fields - other than 3ds Max particle systems, the values of the Space Warp are taken as absolute velocity value and not as a force to accelerate the particle. This means that no additioanl Drag Force is necessary to prevent the particle from getting too fast over time. The result is good looking motion, every time.
- Stoke MX supports FumeFX simulation objects as Velocity Fields directly. Simply pick a FumeFX simulation grid and your particles will follow it.
- Stoke MX supports Thinkbox' upcoming Ember simulation objects as Velocity Fields sources. Ember is the ultimate Field Manipulation Toolkit for 3ds Max and can be used to create Velocity data for Stoke from all kinds of sources including texture maps, moving particles, geometry objects, FumeFX simulations and any combination thereof.
- Stoke MX supports particles as Velocity Fields. All 3ds Max particle systems including Particle Flow, Thinking Particles, legacy particles and all Krakatoa PRT Objects capable of providing a Velocity channel are supported.
- Stoke MX supports the mixing of multiple Velocity Fields. This can also be achieved through Ember for added flexibility.
- The Velocity Field influence can be scaled by a user-defined factor which can be animated over time individually for each source.
Particle Life and Death
- The Particle Age and LifeSpan will be set at birth for all particles.
- The Particles with Age exceeding the LifeSpan value can be optionally deleted during the simulation.
- If the "dead" particles are not removed during the simulation, Krakatoa Magma and Delete modifiers can be used to perform the deleting "in post". This also allows the changing of the LifeSpan procedurally after the fact by either extending it for all particles, or scaling it proportionally.
- The Age and LifeSpan channels can be saved to PRT and are expressed in floating point time in seconds.
- An optional NormalizedAge channel (Age divided by LifeSpan) is also available in Stoke MX 2 to reduce disk space usage while providing similar controls.
- Other particle channels like Color, Density, Emission and so on can be easily modified using the Age and LifeSpan via a Krakatoa Magma modifier.
- When a particle is born in Stoke MX, it will inherit the channels of the "seed" particle.
- Stoke MX provides a list of all channels found in the sources with checkboxes to define which channels to save to PRT files and which to ignore.
- Thanks to this, it is possible to turn a static particle system (for example a PRT Volume, PRT Surfrace, PRT Maker etc.) into a dynamic Stoke MX particle system by emitting one particle for every seed particle.
- This also means that Magma modifiers that operate on the seed particles can be applied to the animated Stoke MX particles and will find the same channels and generally continue working as expected.
- If the Position of the seed particles was saved in a mapping coordinates channel, this channel will be inherited by the Stoke particles at birth but will not change during the animation, thus allowsing for "sticky" textures that follow the dynamically simulated Stoke particles.
- In Stoke MX 2, previously hard-coded channels like Velocity, ID, Age and LifeSpan can now be omitted when saving, and the bit depth of each float or vector channel can be set explicitly to save disk space. Most channels now default to 16 bit instead of 32 bit.
Particle Caching And Playback
- Stoke MX supports a fast memory cache coupled with a write-through asynchronois disk cache which uses regular PRT files and can become the final output if desired (Beta 3 and higher).
- Memory Caching allows the storage of an animated sequence in RAM and enables very fast viewport playback and direct rendering in Krakatoa.
- Disk Caching creates a PRT sequence which can be loaded dynamically by the memory cache within specified memory limits, or via a regular Krakatoa PRT Loader for editing, playback and rendering.
- The Stoke MX object accepts Krakatoa Magma and Delete modifiers and can be modified directly based on the particle channels.
- The Playback can be tweaked using the same Playback Graph feature as the one found in the Krakatoa PRT Loader.
- Cubic sub-frame interpolation is supported for smooth retiming even with extremely sparse settings.
- Memory Caching can be set to store every Nth frame to save memory. Even storing every 10th frame allows for very plausible playback when Interpolation is on.
- Playing back past the last cached frame will interpolate the positions further based on the last known positions and velocities.
- The Memory Cache playback can display particles as Large Dots or Lines using Velocity or any other available Vector channel. Vectors can be displayed as raw data or as normalized vectors, with optional Scaling factor.
- The particle Color can be set using the Color, Velocity, or any other Vector channel. Advanced control is available via the Krakatoa Magma modifier.
Stoke Field Magma Object
- A history-independent field object.
- Uses Magma node-based logic to create fields from mathematical functions, texture maps, sampled particle data, sampled field data from other sources, sampled geometry data, mesh LevelSet data and more.
Stoke Field Simulator Object
- A history-dependent field simulator object.
- Uses initial and per-step Magma node-based logic to create a Velocity field, as well as arbitrary Vector and Scalar Fields.
- Advects all Vector and Scalar Fields by the Velocity field.
- Caches data asynchronously using OpenVDB file sequences.
Stoke Field Loader Object
- Loads external field data from FumeFX .FXD, OpenVDB .VDB, or Field3D .F3D files.
- Can be used as a source of field data by any other Field-driven component of Stoke, including Stoke Field Magma, Stoke Field Simulator, Stoke Field Texmap texture, Stoke Field Follow Particle Flow operator, Stoke Field Force SpaceWarp etc.
Stoke PRT Field Object
- Converts field data to a point cloud usable by Krakatoa MX and FROST.
- Uses a Scalar Field (typically Density) to determine where to seed a point sample.
- The points inherits any available Vector and Scalar fields like Velocity, Color etc.
Stoke Field Force SpaceWarp
- Converts a selected Vectror Field to a Force Field.
- Can be used anywhere in 3ds Max where a Force SpaceWarp is accepted, including all particle systems, Hair&Fur, MassFX, mCloth etc.
Stoke Field Follow ParticleFlow Operator
- Transfers Vector and Scalar fields into the Particle Flow particle simulator of 3ds Max.
- Can fully replace a channel, or blend the incoming data with existing data.
- Can control the logical flow of Particle Flow by setting the Selection channel to send particles to other events.
For a complete list of Stoke MX 2.0 features, please view the Stoke MX 2.0 Major Features section of Thinkbox's Stoke MX page.
- Product Identifiers -MPN
- Product Specifications -
What Versions Of 3ds Max Does Stoke MX Support?
Stoke MX 2 supports only 3ds Max 2013, 3ds Max 2014 and 3ds Max 2015 64 bit. Earlier versions cannot be supported due to a limitation imposed by the OpenVDB libraries which use a version of the Intel TBB.DLL that is incompatible with the old library version used by 3ds Max 2012.
Stoke MX 1 supports both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of 3ds Max 2010, 3ds Max 2011, 3ds Max 2012, 3ds Max 2013, plus 3ds Max 2014 which is 64 bit only. The updated Stoke 2 licenses support running Stoke 1. If you are running 3ds Max 2012 or earlier, you cannot update your Stoke 1 and/or Genome installations to Stoke 2. Thinkbox apologizes for the inconvenience!
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