Hot4Max, no not in the pants... / by David Mackenzie

Hot4Max Render Test
Hot4Max Render Test

So I recently came across this nice plugin for creating ocean surfaces in 3dsmax. I did a quick render test (above) and was pretty bloody happy the results. The frame above took about ~10min to render at 2.5k. I will post up an animated sequence of this in the next couple of days/soonish. What I really like about the plugin was that there are only a dozen or so controls and it is very quick to get up and running. The test above took me about 30 mins to setup. The other feature that I found really nice was the foam. Basically all the foam is on vertex colour that you can access with a Vertex Colour Map, however, this does mean the detail is limited to the density of your mesh. This approach works really well, very easy to incorporate it into a shader or render a selection etc... The plugin is free with a "nag", I made a donation of a whopping $5 and got access to a nag free version along with the beta releases. If I have to use the plugin in project commercially they will get another donation as it really is a massive time saver.

In case you are wondering what HOT stands for, it is the Houdini Ocean Toolkit. You can get the plugin on the creators website here.

Below is a quick breakdown of how I created the still above. I often think that when people try to create oceans in 3d they really over complicate the process. Often just a simple shader with a good water surface is all you need to get a good result. I rendered the image in V-Ray and comped it in Fusion. If anyone would like a further breakdowns or a tutorial just let me know and I will put one together.

[gallery link="file" ids="1162,1151,1152,1153,1154,1155,1156,1157,1158,1159,1160,1161"]

Update: You can check out the rendered animation test here.

In short I really like the plugin and highly recommend it to anyone who needs an ocean surface. Plus by buying it you get to support the single artist that created it and hopefully enable him to further develop it.

You can also check out some of the demo videos below: