SurfaceSPREAD is a follow up plugin to the excellent SplineSPREAD plugin reviewed here. It is developed by plugin developer Frank Willeke going under the on-line name of Jack. You can find Jack´s site here. The plugin costs 79.90 EUR. The main function of the plugin is for creating landscapes and distributing / cloning objects on the surfaces of landscapes. There is some functionality similar to MoGraph with regards to cloning objects but the plugin is not a MoGraph replacement and isn´t designed for Motion Graphics although some basic effects can be created.
Having reviewed Frank´s excellent SplineSPREAD plugin I was really looking forward to seeing what Frank had come up with again. This review will look into what the plugin can do and give you an overview on how to use it.
The plugin comes as several small downloads consisting of the plugin, a 72 mb Content Browser library consisting mainly of trees and a pdf manual available in English or German. A separate licence text file is emailed to you. The licence file is based upon your C4D serial number which you have to provide when you order the plugin on-line. Like most plugins it´s just a matter of placing the plugin files in your plugin folder and starting C4D. The licence text file has to placed in with the plugin as well to make it work. The Content Browser library file goes in your Library-Browser folder along with the ones for Thinking Particles etc. Frank´s site has some example scene files to download as well. The plugin comes in PC (32 and 64 bit) and MAC OSX (Intel) versions.
Before you get started you may want to watch a 2 minute slide show that will give you a taste of what SurfaceSPREAD can do. (Complete with Audio)
The Autumn Road image just above is by the plugin developer Frank Willeke and was Image of the month in issue 119 of the 3DWorld magazine. Well done Frank. If you want to download the slideshow and view offline then you can download a zipped version here (5mb.)
The SurfaceSPREAD plugin can be found in the plugin menu and consists of the SurfaceSPREAD object, Distribution Modifier, Scale Modifier, SPREADScape object, SPREADRock Object, Wire Object and 3 commands that disable and enable SurfaceSPREAD objects. The various SurfaceSPREAD objects are created in the normal manner by clicking on the icon. This places them in the Object Manager. In addition to these objects and commands there is also a SurfaceSPREAD shader found on the material shader menu and also a Distribution Override tag.
SurfaceSPREAD objects and tools
This review is done using CINEMA 4D Release 11.5. The SurfaceSPREAD plugin comes in 2 flavours. A standard version for pre R11.5 and an enhanced version for R11.5 that utilizes the new Render Instances in R11.5. I´ll cover these later but essentially what they do is allow you to use many more clones without running out of memory at render time as what would occur in an earlier version of C4D and usually on a 32 bit system.
Review by 3DKiwi / Nigel Doyle