Subsurface scattering (SSS) is an advanced rendering technique that has quickly gained popularity among professional visualization artists. It is a mechanism that calculates the transmission of light through translucent rendered materials that results in a more realistic representation of transparency and veiled light. Scattering improves the quality of a rendering with little more than having the right plugin installed to power through the calculations.
Forest Pack, developed by iToo Software is the essential plugin at the front line of the SSS frontier. It’s been built specifically to provide 3DS Max with a powerful scattering algorithm that results in a level of photorealism that simply can’t be achieved without it.
Rendering firms, architectural firms, and animation studios should be running to their computers to install Forest Pack immediately. Their work, their employees, and most importantly, their clients, will all benefit from the power contained within this beautiful little add on.
You could probably live out a perfectly fine and prosperous rendering and visualization career without integrating a scattering plugin with your rendering software. However, you’d be missing out on an opportunity to take your work to the next level. Specifically, for 3DS Max users, Forest Pack is the scattering plugin to end all scattering plugins, and will add a polished layer of realism to scenes that rely on translucency and quality of light.
But, Forest Pack takes things even further, offering scattering algorithms for a variety of objects, including trees, plants, crowds, aggregates, ground-cover, rocks, and more. For architectural visualization artists, it provides the perfect extra bit of professional shine that can transform a mediocre rendering into a portfolio piece.
Forest Pack’s advanced programming allows for billions - yes billions - of polygons to be rendered and displayed. This accounts for thousands of objects each with millions of polygons now at the fingertips of most compatible rendering engines. Forest Pack’s geometry shaders are state-of-the-art, and allow it to achieve an unparalleled level of photorealism.
In another showcase of technical wizardry, Forest Pack utilizes a powerful point-cloud display mode that allows artists and renderers to change camera position, lighting, and texture properties and view the results in real-time. This saves time (and money) on setting up scenes in preview settings just to get those particular settings dialed in.
One of Forest Pack’s most unique features is the Cluster. It uses predictability and procedural generation to create randomized geometric forms more commonly seen in nature. This powerful tool gives modelers and visualization artists the ability to write scripts that produce modeled trees, bushes, topographies, and other natural effects in true-to-life conditions. Architectural visualization benefits from this feature particularly, as buildings can be landscaped in a way that doesn’t seem plastic or manufactured.
As if the power and versatility of this rendering plugin weren’t enough to sell you on its value, consider the robust community of artists and developers that support the teaching and continued learning of those willing to join the party. iToo’s website includes tutorials, lessons, galleries, case studies, and information on events and classes - all free to use for people who use their product.
And while Forest Pack isn’t particularly taxing from a learning-curve perspective, the fact that the developers have gone to such lengths to support their clientele tells a great deal about their commitment and confidence in the product they are selling. For those who aren’t always quick up to speed with new programs or plugins, the wealth of available information ensures even the novices among us have something to lean on.
Anyone who considers themself a professional visualization artist, really. Whether you specialize in architectural visualization, animation, industrial design, or engineering, Forest Pack is a plugin that can plug a variety of holes in your workflow and your quality of end product. It truly is invaluable, and might very well be the plugin to take rendering into the next generation of realism.
And whether you’re a freelancer, an employee at an architecture firm, or a member of a large team of professional renderers an animators, there really is no downside to getting on board with Forest Pack. It’s poised to soon rank with Rhino, 3DS Max, VRAY, and Maxwell as an essential pieces of visualization software.