Plugins Archive

How to create terrains from contour lines in less than a minute with 3ds max and “Populate: terrain”

As an architectural illustrator you will quite often need to create the terrain of a site following the contour lines provided by the architect. In some cases modeling the terrain can take up as much time as the building that sits on it (it happened to me on several occasions).

Fortunately, now there is a really easy way to do it using a free plugin called Populate Terrain.


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14 3ds max plugins that you should check out

Ivy generator

This is a plugin “grows” ivy on 3d objects. Just place the seed next to the model, click “grow ivy” and let it do the job. If you need it not to grow around some 3d models in your scene, just freeze them. The interface is very simple and intuitive, so you won’t have any trouble finding your way around it. Check out the official page for more details.


RayFire Tool gives you the ability to fragment, destroy, demolish, wreck, break down, wreak havoc, blow up, burst, detonate, explode, shoot and do other similar things you have always dreamed of to do in Max.

Vray scatter

VRayScatter let VRay to generate huge amount of objects in array. You can create huge forest areas, cities and much more.


A plugin that enables you to create photorealistic grass instantly. There are 11 presets of most commonly met types of grass, so you don’t even need to model anything.


This is most probably the best tool for creating dynamic fluids and soft bodies.   It has been used in films like Lord of the Rings 3, Lost, Ice age 2 and many more well known productions.


This plugin optimizes the vray settings for “faster rendering times and higher quality”.
If you are like me and always feel the need to tweak everything that you can control, than SolidRocks is probably not an option. However, if there are times when you just want to hit render and get it over with, than you should probably check it out.


A wonderful plugin that helps you rig and animate a 4 wheel vehicle in 3ds max.

Ozone 4.0

Using this plugin you can create realistic procedural skies, choosing from up to 100 sky presets and up to 100 cloud shapes.


A plugin that creates terrain maps and scatters objects all over it.


A plugin that helps you create spectacular effects such as fire or smoke.

Thinking Particles

A rule-based particle systems plugin developed by cebas

Roof designer

As you can guess from the title, this plugin creates roofs with just a few clicks.
You can see a more detailed review in the previous post (creating roofs in 3ds max) or check out the plugin homepage here:

One of the most efficient and easy to use free cloth simulator plugin.

Ocean Waves
A plugin that generates dynamic ocean surfaces.

Creating roofs in 3ds max

Creating a roof in 3ds max is a very time consuming task, especially if you need it to be very detailed, with 3d shingles on it. Whenever I need to do a rendering of a mediterranean  architecture style villa (where I can’t get away with texture maps), I spend more time creating the roof than I spend on the rest of the project.

Lately I came across a plugin that seems to be a real time saver. It’s called roof designer, and it is developed by batzal software.
I got to play with it a little and I must say I’m pretty impressed. Not only it can create parametrical roofs that come out with the uvw mapping ready, but it can also create roofs covered with 3d shingles meshes. One can either choose from the presets that are available with the software but also can use customized 3d models of shingles and place it correctly on the roof surface almost instantly. You can also create ridges, export edges to create gutters, or even control color variation for more realism.

The workflow is not complicated but if you have only worked with 3d max and don’t have experience with programs like “allplan”, you may find it a bit difficult at the beginning, since it’s a little different than what you have been used to.  But once you understand it, you will see that it’s a real time saver.

As always, there are also some things that could be improved:
1)    Since you have specified the height of the roof and the outline is set, why does it require to you to enter the angle? In my opinion, it should be calculated automatically.

2)    I can’t find a way to cap the shingles that were cut, other than doing it manually after having converted it to editable poly. (I am waiting for an answer from the support team, just in case there is a way to do it within the software)

3)     The documentation could have contained more tutorials. However, the support guys seem to be very helpful; you can contact them directly, or open a thread on their forum and you will receive an answer from them regarding your problem.

Having this said, I think that overall this plugin can save you a lot of time. You can download the fully functional plugin and use it for 14 days without any obligation (plenty of time for you to understand it)
For more details, check out the official website: