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RPC Proxy Helpers

This features is available in Autodesk's 3ds Max and AutoCAD.

RPC Proxy Helpers, in conjunction with the Mass Population Tool allow users to quickly and easily distribute RPC content using RPC Proxies. . The Proxy Helper panel is located under the creation panel in the helpers drop down menu. Screen grabs in this document are from 3ds Max, but the process is the same for AutoCAD users.

To Access the RPC Helpers Menu:

1) Left-click on the Create Panel.

2) Left-click on the Helper Icon.

3) Select RPC Helpers from the Helpers drop down menu.



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RPC Proxies and Proxy Helpers each have separate placement icons.


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RPC Proxies

These objects are placeholders that may be filled in with an RPC Object. They can also be empty (providing randomization of empty spaces). RPC Objects will be oriented like the proxy object unless they are modified in the RPC Mass Populate - Proxy Rule Set Editor.

RPC Focus

These objects are used to make RPC Objects face toward the Focus.

RPC Attractor

These objects are used to attract RPC Objects to an area of the scene. An attractor will cause the RPC Proxies nearest it to be filled with more RPC Objects than empty spaces.

RPC Repulsor

These objects are used to repel RPC Object from an area of the scene. A Repulsor will cause the RPC Proxies nearest it to be filled with more empty spaces than RPC Objects.

RPC Helpers Tutorial

Not all surfaces are flat, but RPCs always appear in a scene positioned at 0 on the Z-axis. While the positioning can be changed once inserted in a scene, users attempting to place large quantities of content into such a landscape are often frustrated with the adjustments that need to be made to accommodate the surface. This provides an example of how proxies can be used to avoid the tedious readjustment of RPC placement. The following tutorial will demonstrate how to effectively use proxies combined with the Max Spray Script Tool and Mass Populate tool to quickly and correctly populate uneven terrain.

Step 1 Open a scene with a rolling Terrain. If you do not currently have a scene with rolling terrain, you can create one by using soft selection on an editable mesh plane and the move tool.



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Step 2 In the top viewport place a proxy on the uneven plane.



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Step 3 Click here to download the Spray Script. Click on the Utilities Panel. Next click on Max Script followed by Run Script. Select Spray Script and click on Open.



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Step 4 To use the spray script, highlight the plane and choose use selected, then highlight the proxy and choose use selected. Next click spray.



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Step 5 In the top viewport begin spraying the proxies where you wish to see content (in this example pine trees).



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Step 6 Open the Mass Populate Dialog. It is located under the Modify Panel when an RPC is selected.



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Step 7 Select the Proxies you wish to populate with content.



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Step 8 Choose Select RPC Content to view available RPC Content. Check the box next to content you wish to include for populating the proxies. Accept the Selection and click populate. Trees will begin appearing everywhere that a proxy was previously. The amount of empty space specified will determine what percentage of the proxies are filled. I used 80% to generate some randomness. To further improve the randomness. I used the random size feature of the Mass Edit tool and specified heights between 62" and 84".



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Step 9 I changed the camera perspective slightly and then rendered the scene. Below are my results. In less than 10 minutes, using proxies, the spray script tool and the mass populate tool I was able to create this scene and did not have to reposition any of the trees.



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I added some shadows using Ray Tracing to make the scene look more life like.

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Using Proxy Helpers

Once you have a obtained an adequate understanding of how proxies work to place and distribute content, you can broaden the possibilities of RPC proxies with RPC Proxy Helpers. The following portion of the tutorial will introduce effectively using RPC Helpers to manipulate the placement of RPC proxies in your scenes. For this example please create a large plane for distributing proxies (a flat plane is acceptable).

Using RPC Proxy Helpers for Manipulating Content Distribution

Next use the technique mentioned above to place proxies randomly on the plane.

Proxies Distributed with the Max Spray Script



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Using the Mass Populate Tool, select all of the proxies and populate with RPC Content (I used the RPC Business People Content Library). Make sure that the Percent Empty is set to 50%. The scene from the top view and perspective view should look something like this:

Normal Proxy Distribution with 50% Empty (Top View)



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Normal Proxy Distribution with 50% Empty (Perspective View Rendered)



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Using the RPC Attractor Proxy

Place an RPC Attractor at the center of the scene and set the strength to 100 under the modify panel. Next perform the Mass Populate again with the same settings, make sure that the box next to the Attractor Proxy rule is checked. Notice how the content is distributed differently among the proxies than when previously populated. All of the proxies are populated closer to the location of the Attractor Proxy.

Enabling an RPC Attractor Rule



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RPC Attractor Applied at Strength 100 with 50% Empty (Top View)



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RPC Attractor Applied at Strength 100 with 50% Empty (Perspective View Rendered)



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Using the RPC Repulsor Proxy

The RPC Repulsor functions very similarly to the RPC Attractor. The difference between these two Proxy Helpers is that the proxy population occurs at a repulsed distance away from the icon instead of towards it.

Enabling an RPC Repulsor Rule



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RPC Repulsor Applied at Strength 100 with 50% Empty (Top View)



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RPC Repulsor Applied at Strength 100 with 50% Empty (Perspective View Rendered)



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Using the RPC Focus Proxy

The RPC Focus Proxy directs the RPCs to face a specific direction. Creating the same scenario as above, place a focus proxy on the far right of the scene. Populate with the Focus Proxy selected and observe that the RPCs all face the Focus Proxy.

Enabling an RPC Focus Rule



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RPC Focus Applied at Strength 100 with 50% Empty (Top View)



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RPC Focus Applied at Strength 100 with 50% Empty (Perspective View Rendered)



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Additional Features of the Mass Population Tool

The beauty of the Mass Population Tool is that it gives users the ability to randomize RPC content distribution. The Mass Population Tool includes a Random Transforms menu. This allows the user to use transformation variables to further randomize content placement.

The Random Transforms Menu is located at the bottom of the Mass Population Tool. It is necessary to scroll downward to locate it. Random Transforms should be added prior to pressing the Populate button in the population process.

The Random Transforms Menu



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Percent Random Transforms

Configuring the Chance of Applications percentage allows the user to determine what percentage of the content will have the Random Transformation selected applied when population occurs. If a percentage value is not specified, then the the selected transformation will be applied to all content.

Setting the Percentage for Chance of Application Value:

Setting the Percentage for Chance of Application



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Random Transforms Scale

The Scale Transform option randomly scales all or a percentage of the content to be populated between a given range by a user specified step. The step value determines how the scale will vary in unit increments.

Configuring Scale Transform Values

Configuring Scale Transform Values



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Z Rotation Random Transforms

The Z Rotation Transform option randomly rotates all or a percentage of the content to be populated between specified values on the z-axis.

Configuring Z Rotation Random Transforms

Z Configuring Z-Rotation Random Transforms



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X, Y & Z Translation Random Transforms

Performing an X, Y or Z Translation will move the RPC along the X, Y, or Z-axis as specified by the Min, Max and Step values. Like all of the transform types, each of these transforms can be made in conjunction with the others.

Performing an X, Y or Z Translation using the Random Transforms Menu.


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