Requirements and restrictions

At the moment Volume Node is only compatible with 3ds max 2009 32bit and 64bit version and 3ds max 2010/(2011?) 32bit and 64bit version. Be aware Volume Node at this time is still in alpha stadium using it is at your own risk!

Since Volume node uses Direct3D in 3ds max viewport and was build against the DirectX SDK August 2009. You need the end-user redistributables of at least August 2009 or newer. You can find DirectX End-user redistributables at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=04ac064b-00d1-474e-b7b1-442d8712d553&displaylang=en. You also need a Direct3D9 shader model 3 capable graphics card to take advantage of the viewport hardware rendering.

Current version and change history

Version 0.5a
Changes to previous version:
  • Added TIFF image stack loader
  • Added DICOM image stack loader using (DCMTK) no JPEG2k compression support
  • Added internal shadow casting for isosurface rendering (mental ray only)
  • Hardware viewport display supports spotlights now
  • Fixed hardware viewport light support (always used point lights before)
  • Fixed UI control names in track view
  • Couple of other UI fixes
  • Memory management changes in mental ray shader

Installation

The archive comes with the main plug-in and some mental ray .dlls that are the required mental ray shaders, both have to installed seperately. First lets start with the plug-in itself:
  • Create a dedicated directory somewhere on your harddrive
  • Copy the files maxvolumenode.dlo and volumeshader.bin depending from either the 32bit or 64bit directory into the directory you just created
  • Start your 3ds max version
  • Add the directory you previously created to your 3rd Party Plug-Ins in 3ds max. You will find it under Customize->Configure System paths... entry
  • Close and restart 3ds max and the plug-in should now be loaded.
Now lets install the mental ray shader:
  • Close all open 3ds max sessions
  • Copy the file mrVolumeShader.mi into mental ray autoload include directory of your 3ds max installation, typically you will find this under
    DriveLetter:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds max version\Mentalray\shaders_autoload\include
  • Depending on which version you have 32bit or 64bit copy mrVolumeShader.dll from either the 32bit or 64bit directory into the mental ray autoload shaders directory of your 3ds max installation, typicall you will find this under
    DriveLetter:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds max version\Mentalray\shaders_autoload\shaders
Now you are ready to try it out! Have fun!

Demo datasets

Here are a couple of demo datasets to try out. You can find more at www.volvis.org
  • CT Engine datasets (Volume size Xdim:256, Ydim:256, Zdim:128, header size: 0 bytes, 8bit = 1 Byte per voxel)
  • Pacman (Volume size Xdim:128 YDim: 128 Zdim: 128, header size: 0 bytes, 8bit = 1 Byte per voxel)
When you load the datasets make sure you get the size and header information right otherwise the images will look strange.